vote up/down comments

Dunno, might make a lot of people butthurt if someone down-voted their comment. (Me included, I admit.)

The version I use has some plug ins that allow it. I thought they were part of the base distribution.

This happens to me a lot on Yahoo! Answers. I use it sometimes, but not really, mainly for two reasons:

  1. You cannot actually respond to anyone and have them respond to you, at least not easily. It’s just people putting in random comments without actually being able to have a discussion.

  2. The thumbs down feature. If I get a thumbs down, I would like to know what exactly is wrong about my post. You cannot ask such a thing on Yahoo! Answers and expect a reply.

I complained about this there during late summer of 2012 just before I discovered the Dope. At the time, I was really looking for a good message board for this reason. This was when I had loads of questions about getting into a top university and some questions about this side mathematical problem I was working on. I was trying to get some quality input from Yahoo! Answers, but as you probably know, that didn’t work out too great. Apparently after searching and searching and searching and searching, etc., I stumbled upon the Dope on this exact thread. Then I thought to myself, “Wow, these people really know what they are talking about; why don’t I join and post my own thread?” So I did upon my entrance to the Dope.

Anyways, sorry for the large hijack. The point is that we (or at least, many of us) really just don’t want people simply thumbing up or down other people’s posts, but we want them to actually quote them and explain why they agree or disagree with the post and have an actual discussion. So I’d be upset if the Dope actually did enable this feature.

Perhaps TPTB should modify the generic vBulletin FAQs page to clearly indicate what vBulletin features are available here or not. And if it’s not covered on the FAQs page, then add a simple SDMB laundry list of what this board has, or has not, including things that just won’t happen.

Bolding mine

I LOLed.

Seriously I did.

Only if they sparkle. Also, I think we should all try to have animated signatures that are bigger then our posts.

My posts have gathered a fair number of “likes” around the internet. But in my experience, that signal contains little value. Zingers attract lots of favorable attention (30 likes!): a balanced treatment tends to cause a lot of eyes to pass over your work (3!?). Dislikes have some value in that they give a rough guide to trollery-- but this advantage matters much less in a well moderated board such as this one.

It’s not just the public are idiots. I like handing out likes and dislikes as well. And I do it for fun, not because I’m seriously evaluating the underlying arguments. So the half-assed votes I hand out are little better than the ones I receive.

I suppose the inevitable brags about one’s like arsenal would provide fodder for humor and a little cluelessness identification. But seriously, we could do without this. Likes and dislikes are basically a form of poor-man’s moderation: we don’t need that here.

Voting works on Reddit, and it works pretty well. A problem with the SDMB is that your only recourse, really, is to ignore somebody who posts a lot of junk. That doesn’t help much, because they might also post some interesting stuff. Also, while you don’t see the noisemaker (provided you’re logged in), you still see complaints about the noise.

I like to think that if there was a voting system that made posts below a certain threshold not show on screen, not only would I have only read “Let’s go down to the quarry and throw stuff in there” only once or twice, I wouldn’t have seen the thread complaining about it. People would just downvote the unfunny failed attempt at humor and move on.

Not only that, there’s another common problem on the SDMB, where a new poster will come along, post something false, and 10 posters will post similar corrections. Or in IMHO, somebody asks for advise, you get 10 similar responses (“you should ask her out”) and two dissimilar responses (“I think your post was reprehensible”). Then you get a Pit thread about why the dissimilar response was uncalled for. That thread should have been two posts long: “Should I ask girl out yes/no?” and “Yes.” And then maybe some jokes that people actually like.

If applied intelligently, a voting system would cut out a lot of the visible dross and might even make moderating easier. Mods already depend heavily on user reports. If, say, you have a poster who usually made intelligent comments but had a predilection to rant about, oh, I dunno, random things, down votes for the stupid rants would make that bit disappear for most users. People who really want to read the the rants could. Moderators could easily find hot spots by watching for spikes in downvotes.

I don’t expect that this will make any impression on the admin-- Tuba’s already claimed that it’s not possible to add such a system, I don’t even know if a voting system here would work as I imagine, and the site appears to be somewhat handicapped in terms of technical resources-- it’s just that I’ve seen voting systems that work very well. I think that a good implementation could fix some glaring problems with this message board, hopefully bringing in new users and reducing the need to ban current ones.

The great philosopher Yogi Berra is rumored to have said “You can observe a lot just by watching.”

What you see here is what you get … words and not a lot of pictures.

Not a huge number of bells and whistles.

We just want people to read and write stuff, pretty much, and we want to save as much bandwidth as we can so that the largest number of people can do that. It’s making the best use of the resources that we have.

Could that change someday? I dunno, perhaps. We will always have people who want a different experience – some want more and some want less. I suspect mostly we’re going to take the road less spangled by. That’s just how we roll.

Dave Hartwick, that all sounds great in theory, but it also sounds like a totally different board to me. In particular, the part

We like people to justify their position, argue their case. Not just click a bunch of “me too”.


TBG likes Vinyl Turnip’s post

I was talking about the visible bits. Ideally, the best similar answer remains visible. Interestingly, this might get rid of the ninja’d feeling you get when somebody posts a similar answer while you’re composing a post. If you took longer because you were taking the time to find sources and revise, your better answer should, ideally, receive more up votes.

One of the guiding principles here is that you don’t need voting to determine a good answer. It stands or falls on its own merits. We assume our posters are intelligent enough to understand the arguments presented.

And yet they aren’t to be trusted to vote intelligently?

Set up a poll if you want folks to vote. Rating individual posts is not needed nor desired. If you agree with something explain why. If you disagree explain that. Thumbs up/down doesn’t add any value to the equation.

Many posts add no value. They may be trite, they may be incorrect, they may be off topic or simply insane. If downvoting them takes them out of sight, don’t you think there is a value? Does every trite, incorrect, off topic, or insane post require rebuttal?

You didn’t answer my question. If users of this particular message board are so clever that they will argue reasonably, surely they can also vote reasonably. Also, where did this “guiding principle” that voting is not desirable come from? I’m suspecting out of your imagination. The closest I’ve seen to such a principle is when Tuba said that the board avoids bells and whistles. Might be a good idea to get rid of emoticons, if that’s the case. Everybody should type out how they feel and provide reasons why they feel that way.

I see benefits to an intelligent voting system. Less visible noise, reduced banning, easier moderation, less visible redundancy, a better reading experience, all of which hopefully brings more users.


Its easier to vote like an idiot than post like one.

The question has empirical aspects. Reddit works well, slashdot works well and the SDMB works well. Yahoo answers and blog comment sections (TPM, Kevin Drum, the newspaper) tend to be weaker, notwithstanding their up/down approach. Generally speaking, you have to evaluate the whole package.

Yes, the quality of my blog votes tends to be inferior to my posts.

Pit threads are the method of downgrading egregious posting here. There’s also some self-selection in participation.

If you’re really serious about it, you might propose an up/down forum at the Giraffe boards. I don’t think it would work out that well, but my internet intuition has been wrong before. We have a guinea pig site now; we may as well use it.

Obviously not. :wink: