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  1. #1
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    Thanking System - Food for thought

    I'm just making an observation here and offering food for thought and not critisising at all.

    This is the first forum I have come across that implements a "thank the poster" button on posts.

    While in principle it's a good idea I am wondering if the fact that most other forums don't implement it means that it is open to manipulation by users artificially bumping up peoples "thanked" counts. Although I am positive the overwhelming thank-you's are genuine I am also certain some will not be.

    So, my food for thought idea is what about publishing a percentage ranking (thanked posts/total posts) of thank-you's in at least addition to the total count if not replace it alltogether for each user. The thank-you's for a user could be tallied from post 1 but not published for the user say untill 100,150,200 or whatever total posts because having a percentage of 100% after 1 post is also meaningless.

    I think a percentage ranking would have multiple benefits.

    1) For posters who place importance on their percentage ranking, it should encourage less fluff and more quality posts which is to the benefit of everyone.

    2) Currently, the top ranked thanked posters have been here for a while and so the top rankings, based solely on total thank-you's, are unlikely to change much at all. A percentage ranking would probably alter the top rankings more often and so provide more interest to other posters.

    3) A percentage ranking will make the rankings much less susceptible to being manipulated.

    Anyway, this is just the mathematics side of my brain talking and just some food for thought

  • #2
    Super Moderator Inigoesdr's Avatar
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    You are thinking too much.

    It's just a plugin for vB, and in my experience not that many people use it anyway.

  • #3
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    ok no problem I'll put that idea back in the box and nail the lid shut

    So I won't bother posting my "food for thought" idea for the reputation system because it to is not used by many other forums and I suspect it's because it to is open to manipulation, especially since not all peoples' votes count until they "qualify" to vote.

    Atm I have 4 +ve reputation votes and 1 -ve reputation vote for a nett point score of -1......go figure

    I think I'll just ignore reputations from here on

  • #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bullant View Post
    ok no problem I'll put that idea back in the box and nail the lid shut

    So I won't bother posting my "food for thought" idea for the reputation system because it to is not used by many other forums and I suspect it's because it to is open to manipulation, especially since not all peoples' votes count until they "qualify" to vote.

    Atm I have 4 +ve reputation votes and 1 -ve reputation vote for a nett point score of -1......go figure

    I think I'll just ignore reputations from here on
    you make a confusion between reputation and thanks, there is no connection between this two,

    best regards

  • #5
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    I realise they are completely different systems that's why I only mentioned 1 of them in my op.

    But as I said, both can be manipulated if someone wanted to and posted some food for thought on how I believe the thank-you system could be improved - but it's no big deal and I just finished putting that idea back in its box and nailing down the lid .

    The reputation system imo can also be skewed and so I won't be placing any importance on it and I won't be taking my idea even out of the box for this one . But again it's no big deal. Like Inigoesdr said, I'm thinking too much about these things and they are not important really, well for me at least, and so I will ignore them from here on
    Last edited by bullant; 03-07-2011 at 12:49 AM.

  • #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bullant View Post
    I realise they are completely different systems that's why I only mentioned 1 of them in my op.

    But as I said, both can be manipulated if someone wanted to and posted some food for thought on how I believe the thank-you system could be improved - but it's no big deal and I just finished putting that idea back in its box and nailing down the lid .

    The reputation system imo can also be skewed and so I won't be placing any importance on it and I won't be taking my idea even out of the box for this one . But again it's no big deal. Like Inigoesdr said, I'm thinking too much about these things and they are not important really, well for me at least, and so I will ignore them from here on
    a percentage ranking system doesn't change anything because you work with same numbers, in other words is just a view from another point of same thing.

    best regards

  • #7
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    It depends on how you interpret the numbers.

    Let's take this for example

    User_1: Total posts: 9000 Thanked posts: 1000: Percentage: 11.1%

    User_2: Total posts: 1000: Thanked posts: 200: Percentage: 20%

    Imo User_2 is much more likely to post a helpful post and imo should be ranked higher than User_1.

    But these numbers can be manipulated by groups of users thanking each others posts or maybe some mischievous poster or even some bot going around the threads thanking posts for fun. So imo the numbers are not reliable in any case but for me the % numbers are less unreliable. And in a similar way, reputation votes can also be manipulated and so I now ignore them.

    But all this is academic and redundant now because I have put my idea back in its box as posted earlier
    Last edited by bullant; 03-07-2011 at 01:32 AM.

  • #8
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    I think this is a splendid idea, and in fact I suggested it myself about a month ago: signal / noise ratio user stats

    It didn't go over too well, though, so I don't really see it happening any time soon.

  • #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bullant View Post
    It depends on how you interpret the numbers.

    Let's take this for example

    User_1: Total posts: 9000 Thanked posts: 1000: Percentage: 11.1%
    User_2: Total posts: 1000: Thanked posts: 200: Percentage: 20%

    Imo User_2 is much more likely to post a helpful post and imo should be ranked higher than User_1.

    But these numbers can be manipulated by groups of users thanking each others posts or maybe some mischievous poster or even some bot going around the threads thanking posts for fun. So imo the numbers are not reliable in any case but for me the % numbers are less unreliable. And in a similar way, reputation votes can also be manipulated and so I now ignore them.

    But all this is academic and redundant now because I have put my idea back in its box as posted earlier
    if you don't trust the number of thanks you can't trust the percent so one or another reflect same thing.
    On the other hand some people are slow, you need sometimes many posts to really help the user and using this system you will "punish" the people who help.
    If you want an oposite example, somebody who is very happy because you help him to solve a problem could push the thank button to each post of you in the thread.
    Other people simply doesn't think that pushing a thank button could be so important and they just thank you in the post.

    Quote Originally Posted by venegal View Post
    I think this is a splendid idea, and in fact I suggested it myself about a month ago: signal / noise ratio user stats

    It didn't go over too well, though, so I don't really see it happening any time soon.
    _Aerospace_Eng_: Total posts: 18501: Thanked posts: 913: Percentage: ~5%
    Arbitrator: Total posts: 2609: Thanked posts: 107: Percentage: ~4%

    is relevant? I think that if you spend some time on a forum you start to know who is who, what is bad an good and this number doesn't means to much,

    best regards

  • #10
    Super Moderator Inigoesdr's Avatar
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    The reputation points degrade if I recall correctly, so unless someone exploited it constantly it wouldn't make much of a difference. I believe that is another feature that mostly goes unused. Ideas and feedback are always welcome from what I've heard from WA, so don't hesitate to suggest something. Just keep in mind that some things just can't/won't be changed. Of course, he could come along later and change something, I was just providing an opinion earlier.

  • #11
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    The other issue with the percentage thing is that it can be misleading if it counts posts since the forum started 9 years ago. The thanks system was added much later. Not that it would be a huge deal to fix, you would just only count posts from the date the thanks system was added going forward.
    OracleGuy

  • #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by oesxyl View Post
    I think that if you spend some time on a forum you start to know who is who, what is bad an good and this number doesn't means to much,

    best regards
    yep agree 100% As I said, it's not a big deal. I mentioned in my op that I thought the 'thanking' system (and the rep. system as well for that matter) is a good idea in principle and that most votes in both systems are genuine but the fact that both systems are vulnerable to being manipulated as I described earlier now casts sufficient doubt in my mind on the usefulness of the numbers of both systems to gauge the credentials of any poster.

    My experience is similar to Inigoesdr's in that not many people use the system anyway and I suspect most of them don't use it because, like me, they don't see any importance in it as it is currently set up. But if you see merit in it and like to use it, then go for it

    Both boxes with my ideas are now dead and buried and pushing up daisies in my backyard
    Last edited by bullant; 03-07-2011 at 03:16 AM.

  • #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by oracleguy View Post
    The other issue with the percentage thing is that it can be misleading if it counts posts since the forum started 9 years ago. The thanks system was added much later. Not that it would be a huge deal to fix, you would just only count posts from the date the thanks system was added going forward.
    no problem

    Don't get me wrong, I realise no system would be perfect. As I mentioned before, imo the option in the food for thought I posted made the numbers "less unreliable", if you know what I mean.

  • #14
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    Dead issue now, I know.. but I just noticed the thread.

    Here's my take. Some people get a much higher number of thank you votes than others because of the way they choose to help people out in the forum. My style is to nudge fledgling coders off the ledge a bit and make them flap their own wings before smashing against the craggy rocks below. If they have some strength in their wings, they will have a nice landing and I usually get a thank you.

    If, on the other hand, they are copy/paste experts, not much interested in the "how", but just want copy/paste code, then they'll drop like rocks and get nothing out of my posts, and I'll not get a thank you from them.

    I'm not saying those of us helpers who provide code for noobs are doing the wrong thing, quite the opposite. It's just not the way I prefer to help. I usually provide code if I can tell the OP has been wracking his/her brains for a while and has just hit one of those brain blocks, or if the OP provides code that just isn't quite right and is having a hard time resolving the problem. There has been effort made, I have no problem providing examples or corrected code.

    It's the lazy ones who don't get free code from me, and my thank you count shows it. I've long since stopped concerning myself with it, but it's an interesting observation.

  • #15
    Supreme Master coder! Philip M's Avatar
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    Very roughly,

    1/3 of posters use the blue "Thank You" button
    1/3 of posters give written thanks in a post
    1/3 of posters just walk off with what they have been given

    I am by nature quite competitive and I quite enjoy receiving "Thank You" points. Show me anyone who is not pleased to receive "Thank You" points. But obviously these statistics are subject to intelligent interpretation. It has been pointed out that the "Thanks" score only started some three years or so ago. So people who joined the forum comparatively recently will have a higher thanks/posts ratio (other things being equal) than longer-standing members.

    Only people with 10+ posts may give reputation points. I notice most of my reputation comments did not add to my score - perhaps because most of the questions I answer are relatively simple. I would not expect to teach Kor or any mod very much! I do not pretend any great expertise - I think that I am a good teacher in the school grades but not of course at university or professional level. I recognise that beginners require more elementary solutions, not post-graduate level stuff, and do my best to explain something clearly.

    But anyone who get worked up about forum statistics is much too serious-minded - is the right expression anally-retentive?

    Perhaps we need a league table of posts per day. Bullant at 18.56 posts a day (he joined 02/22/11) beats even Old Pedant with 15.65. But of course some people are active in several forums.

    “Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please: facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable”. - Mark Twain
    Last edited by Philip M; 03-12-2011 at 10:45 AM.


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