I want to reply to a whole bunch of you, so I'm doing it all in one spot here, for easy reading...
As probably the most hawk-like observer of the system, I have noticed some ways in which it does definitely work:
So that's the good. Now, there are definite weaknesses to the system as well. Such as:
- I don't have to spend all my time deciding which articles stay and which go. There have been some that I was very torn on, and would have made the wrong decision about, according to the popular vote. This is a huge relief to me, as an administrator, because I don't have the whole responsibility for making sure the readers are reading interesting content.
- Stories actually get posted, and most people aren't displeased with the content so far.
- Users can always see what's been submitted, so reposts and multiple submissions have been just about nonexistent.
- Frequently, the need to entice readers to vote for a story prompts submissions that go deeper than just "here's a neat link" and provide some thoughts or commentary on why the story is interesting. Not all stories, mind you, but many. The overall tone tends to be less inflammatory. Whether thats a result of moderation or not, I don't really know, though.
All in all, there's still a lot to do. This is all a big experiment, and it's going pretty well so far. Amusingly enough, the very day this story goes up, not one but two stories got shot down in moderation (a record!). So to answer the original question, yes, things do get voted down sometimes.
- Speed, or lack thereof. Breaking news or timely stories just don't get posted fast enough. This could be solved by having sections for different types of stories, and setting the thresholds and expire times differently. For example, in the "Discussions in Depth" section, the threshold would be high, so that articles would have to be really good to get posted, and would stick around for a while, while in "News" the threshold would be pretty low, for speed and current info. And quickies, of course, would be miniscule, cause who doesn't like a fresh quickie or two every day. :-)
- Inconsistency: Right now, there are around 600 active user accounts, and about 650 that factor into the scoring percentage. The number of accounts tends to increase in spurts, though, and new users don't always realize that they're supposed to be voting on stories. So some weekends, we'll see the number of users increase by 20 or 30, and yet the number of active voters remains the same. This is something that would get smoothed out by volume, I think. 20/600 is significant. 20/10,000 isn't, really.
- Granularity/revision: People need to be able to vote "extra yes!" or "extra-no!" sometimes, and also I'd like there to be a revision system like raph describes in his comment. If enough people vote "revise" then it goes to the "drawing board", where people can comment in terms of what should be fixed, and the author can revise, and later resubmit. There should also be a rejects file, cause someone's always gonna be curious. :-)
- Time-decay/expiration: There needs to be a way to auto-expire old stories. Right now I do it manually when things languish for too long, but it should be an automated system, to decay points by the day (again, this should be configurable-- news stories might decay 1 point per 12 hrs, while D.I.D features might not decay at all).
- "Quality ratings"? I'd like to do some kind of quality rating, along with the voting. This could be used to help people filter their own home page, or to provide section-summary info.
I really appreciate all your feedback. Please tell me what to do. :-)
Not the real rusty