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Several Slashdot Notes

CmdrTaco posted more than 15 years ago | from the fun-and-games dept. 255

First up, Jon over at Brain Power has improved the job search engine to allow boolean searching, and parenthesis, so you can search for "c++ and not "visual c++" or "(unix and perl) or linux" to help you on your quest for unemployment. Second is a minor change to the posting system. I'm not quite convinced about the exact numbers, but users are now getting a default score based on their comment posting history. ACs still post at 0 and normal users at 1, but based on your past commenting, your scores can start at anywhere from -1 to 4. I've posted the exact numbers, more details, rationale, as well as assorted other comments on the system below.Ok, your "Alignment" is the sum of all moderation done to all of your comments on Slashdot. A posts initial score does not affect your alignment: only actual moderation. The "Score" of any comment, is your default score, plus or minus a fudge factor based on your alignment, plus or minus any moderator activity.

ACs post at 0. Logged in users post at 1. When you break the following alignments (I played a lot of Tradewars 2002, can ya tell?) your default score will be as follows:

-1 at -30
0 at -10
1 (Normal)
2 at +5
3 at +10
4 at +25

I suggest that this system will encourage posting of good comments. Currently it actually is only affecting about 1% of the comment posters. But extreme comment scores (-1 or 3 or more) tend to draw much more attention from moderators, so they will likely get knocked back towards the median unless they are consistantly high quality. Assuming that moderators are doing a good job anyway.

I've been fiddling with those numbers for the past few days. I've been making them pretty high, but we'll likely need to make them higher as more moderation occurs, but I'll need a few weeks of moderation to determine what those numbers are. Sorry to the people who have been surprised by these changes.

The mass moderation system is actually running now. I'm tweaking numbers, but it'll probably be a few days before any readers actually start getting moderator points. The system is basically what I discussed last week with a few numbers tweaked. We'll have to see how it works.

By far the most controversial change to the moderation is the new restriction against posting & moderating the same discussion. Let me try to defend this decision a bit. First, I think this prevents people from getting to play the judge and the prosecution at the same time. Many people argue that this will discourage moderators from posting comments. That might be true, but since the new moderation system will have more moderators, there will be people available to pick up the slack. Plus, currently the moderators have an abundance of moderator points- the new system will make them much more scarce (they'll expire after 3 days too!) so most of the time, people won't even have an option to moderate. Plus, if someone moderates and then decides to post, they can do that. Sure the moderation is undone, but that isn't the end of the world. The workload is distributed, hopefully (!) other people will pick up the slack.

The most important factor however is that our initial batch of 400 moderators were selected from the comment posters. The new batch will still have that element, but there will be many more lurkers as well- and since these guys don't post, this point is moot for them. I think that these 2 groups will offset each other and give us a good scoring system.

Finally, I added an option to the user preferences to allow users to say "I don't wanna be a moderator". By default all users will be flagged to be moderators. Remember that unused points will simply disappear after 3 days, so if you don't want them, just don't use them. A lot of people suggest that people ought to be required to turn moderation on, but I want to give this a try for now simply because I'm trying to get as large of a body as possible. Realistically, moderation is fairly easy. And since you'll only have a few points every few weeks, it won't be a major problem.

Anyway, I'll have a bit more on the subject soon. I'm sure this is a lot of stuff to talk about for now *grin*.

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"Alignment" sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1946028)

AM (Anonymous moderator here). I'm not sure why your comments were moderated to -1.

What I can tell you is, why weren't they moderated back up? Well, this AM does his best to make sure that comments don't get unfairly hit. [Which means that I often read the -1's first.] Unfortunately I do have to sleep and work sometimes, so a comment might get spiked when I'm not looking...

BTW, I looked at your user history... one of the comments must have been moderated back up already, and as soon as I log back in, I'll recheck the thread, and if the comment isn't total garbage, you'll get the point back.

I use this same logic for all posts by the way. In my book anyone can have as many troll bait comments, irrelevant flames, etc. as they want, without it affecting my willingness to moderate a good comment up.

Hang in there. We anonymous moderators aren't perfect yet.

Looking good.. (0)

drwiii (434) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946029)

I was wondering why all my posts were showing up as -1 earlier. :-)

0 be me.

What's my score? (0)

msuzio (3104) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946031)

OK, I'll bite. What is my default score?

I'm currently a little unsure if I like the new system or not (or if I even understand it). I guess I should be a good /.'er and look into it further...

re:Need post-time control of our initial level. (0)

dieman (4814) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946032)

Yeah, but Bruce -- We want to see your opinions eaisly.

I like the idea also. It lets me be lame and admit that im lame, rather than having a few moderators feel it their duty to take me to a negative one.


My only question is where... (0)

law (5166) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946033)

My only question is where does meept rate?

(Checking My Default) (0)

cyberwench (10225) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946034)



Just seeing my default (0)

pspeed (12169) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946035)

Just trying to find out...

Just testing my default score, ignore me. (0)

dirty (13560) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946036)

read subject.

Self-Downmoderation (0)

The Cunctator (15267) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946037)

But if you downmoderate yourself, I assume you
can downmoderate yourself out of being a moderator. That's my (weak) understanding of the current system, which is certainly getting complex enough to be bizarre. I'm not sure I'm a big fan of creating a /. personality forum, where people can rest on past laurels. More, I worry that unliked people will be downmoderated out of existence. Again, though, I am confused by how the system actually would treat someone who is regularly downmoderated. And can people moderate with comment filtering on? I still feel that's a bad idea.

This will create chaotic instability (0)

mkozlows (21830) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946039)

One of us is confused. I don't think that the "moderation points" that would be lost refer to the rewards for the poster; they refer to the moderators' ability to adjust posts. And if moderators lose the ability to adjust posts semi-randomly, it won't hurt anything -- assuming, as seems to be the case, that there are enough moderators around to make the loss of one statistically insignificant.

Default Moderation Scores (0)

DonkPunch (30957) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946040)

I _was_ wondering why my posts immediately popped up with a 2.

I don't know if I should get a default of 2. Most of my posts are pretty pointless -- like this one. ;)

BBSing (1)

drendite (3) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946042)

Why reinvent the wheel? I'm sure there's someway you could interface port 23 on your machine and dosemu/bbs software. That would be sweet. Telnet (:

Favoring old timers... (1)

Maryck (84) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946043)

One problem that I can see with the system is that it might have a tendency to favor old timers simply because they've had an oppurtunity to post more and thus gain a better default score. Considering how rapidly the net and /. are growing, I don't know that this is a good thing. There's a decent chance that /. will continue to attract new and interesting people whose comments might be overlooked simply because they do not carry the initial higher weight.

Should be interesting... (1)

jabbo (860) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946057)

A compilation of the results for the first week or so, plotted by movement and initial score, would be interesting... more so if there were some easy way to correlate movement up or down (baseline or average score) by user and plot that too.

Default post score? (1)

YuppieScum (1096) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946058)

Is there any way I can find out my default post score without actually posting anything?

Self-Downmoderation (1)

Kyril (1097) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946059)

It's back at 2 now.

But it would be a good idea to be able to "down-moderate" yourself when you want to post something pointless. Saves you from having to log out, post as AC, then stick your name on the bottom to disclaim anonymity.

Everythin in......Moderation. (1)

chrisd (1457) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946068)

Okey Taco, what I would like to see is tying the user scores to the Everything project, while removing the arbitrary two post limit on topics. This would be cool and would allow for everythign to grow even cooler than it is.

Chris DiBona

Grant Chair, Linux Int.

right on track.. (1)

suprax (2463) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946076)

i think youare right on track rob, with the way you are handling moderating. i was very suprised and happy to see that unused points will expire after 3 days. that was something i was going to post about very soon, but you already covered it. :) well, keep it up rob! :)
Scott Miga

Nice (1)

suprax (2463) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946077)

on the nice comment, yes. that should be implemented, because sometimes you just want to voice your small opinion on a subject without going into any specific logic or reasoning on the comment. and there should be a AC option that allows accounted users to post as ACs, although i dont see a huge reason why any users would want to. :)
Scott Miga (1)

suprax (2463) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946078)

just a quick note to anyone who cares: when you type slashdot in netscape, it looks it up on the netscape find thing, then redirects to once on www./., the latest story didnt show up and i didnt log me into my account.. is on a different system or something? just wondering.
Scott Miga

"Alignment" sucks (1)

pberry (2549) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946080)

If you feel you are being slighted, you should point Rob to those posts. Like he said before, this is a system in flux and there will be people who abuse the system. He needs to know so he can make it better.

Personally I think the amount of user control of /. is getting pretty f-ing cool. Pretty soon there will be a My Yahoo SlashBox 8-)


Quantifying Credibility (1)

A well known coward (2835) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946083)

I subscribe to a few high-traffic USENET newsgroups. After a while, I got to the point where I scan for the names of posters I know will have something good to say instead of the subject of the message itself. I think that Rob's system helps this process by quite a lot. It's not about punishing the trolls, but rather encouraging good behavior.

It gets this well known coward's approval :)

Nice try... (1)

adatta (3240) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946086)

It's a nice idea, but I am of those who doesn't like any sort of moderation. One of the mailing lists I started and went very well (and is still going very well without me) -- systalk (originally, now -- fought moderation like the plague and was one of the best mailing lists to be on.

It's the people, not the moderation, that makes a list good or bad.

(Of course nice on virtual paper, not so great in practice).

Check your default here! (1)

Lamont (3347) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946087)

figure I already know what mine is, but I'll go ahead and post to check.

Quest for unemployment (1)

linuxci (3530) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946089)

About the jobs page - how is searching for jobs meant to help you on your quest for UNemployment?? (that's what it said at the time of writing - perhaps they'll fix it soon). As for the varying default comment threshold I think it's a good idea. So basically people who publish meaningless comments all the time have a harder job to get noticed but people with a reputation for good comments get a higher threshold even before the moderators check it.

"Alignment"... (1)

Puff (3954) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946090)

The scores should fade away over time. That would allow flamin' newbies a chance for a better score once they have matured. Just my $.02

Check your default here! (1)

Puff (3954) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946091)

Just curious...

One thought (1)

Kiwi (5214) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946096)

People with accounts with a default score of 0 or -1 will probably end up creating a new account with a higher default score.

- Sam

BBSing (1)

Ross C. Brackett (5878) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946099)

I played a lot of Tradewars 2002, can ya tell

This brings up an interesting point: has anybody given any thought to a Slashdot telnettable Tradewars/BRE/SRE door BBS? I mean, right now, the web interface fulfills everything else that a BBS would provide - forums, appropriate files, realtime chat; except doors. When I used to frequent #slashdot, nostalga of door games was a frequent topic. Jeez, I'd even be willing to set it up, given bandwidth and a little spare time. I for one, enjoy an occasional game of TW2002. I'll bet a lot of you do too.

Favoring old timers is often a good thing (1)

tomblackwell (6196) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946102)

There is often an important point made within the FAQ of discussion-oriented internet resources. It is that someone who is "new in town" should shut up for a while until they can tell how things are done in that community. This is a very good rule of thumb. If someone stumbles upon slashdot and has something to say that reflects vast wisdom, the many moderators will bump its score up until it gets the rating it deserves. This moderation scheme only affects where a post starts, not its final score.

BBSing (1)

Haplo (6441) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946107)

After the author made the COW (Cash On Wheels) unusable, BRE sucked. Tradewars, now that was a game... Anybody remember Legend of the Red Dragon?

One thought (1)

JanneM (7445) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946109)

[...]im assuming few people look at -1 posts (i for one dont)

Actually, I think it's pretty funny to lower my threshold now and then to see what I miss... It could be fun to have the option to collect the lowest scoring posts on a separate page -- sort of like a sideshow :-)

wish: back to comments after 'Submit' (1)

juuri (7678) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946110)


Or in my best USENET voice:

ME TOoO1#$O!@#$(!)@_#$(@#($_@#$_@!#($

Openstep/NeXTSTEP/Solaris/FreeBSD/Linux/ultrix/OSF /...

Brain Power is Brain Damaged (1)

PD (9577) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946129)

I did a search for "C++" and not "Visual C++" and I typed the word "Austin" into the location field.

It gave me three jobs located in Little Rock, AK.

User scores? (1)

Mooset (9986) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946132)

This might be something blindingly obvious that I'm just really stupid to be missing, but where do we find out what our default score is? I didn't see anything about it on the "user account" pages, but I could very well have looked past it.

If it isn't anywhere yet, be sure to credit me for the great idea. :) (j/k)

reply (1)

NYC (10100) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946133)

Hmmmm, what is my score
--Ivan, weenie NT4 user, Jon Katz hater: bite me!

Alignment fading (1)

ToastyKen (10169) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946134)

I like this idea a lot, at least for negative default scores. After all, like someone else pointed out, people can just make new accounts anyway.

Feedback (1)

Greg Bodnar (11479) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946141)

It seems as if the changes are taking us towards a more fair basis for judging quality of comments. Most of the feedback that I've read through (that I thought would be useful, at least ;) has been started on. Whether is all works is another issue...

Good job, though.

--- -

One thought (1)

clifyt (11768) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946142)

I agree. I don't mind accounts being moderated up as a default, but one of the guidlines was to promote not to demote. Why start someone where they are gona wanna start fresh?

Give us the source, Rob! (1)

jimduchek (13246) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946144)

I remember seeing a point saying you wanted to clean it up before you released anything past 0.2. Who cares!? Release it!

Self-Moderation Damnit (1)

KuRL (13889) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946147)

To echo something I just read, I think self-moderation for those of us (ok, fine, not me, I lurk, but people who actually post) who by default get 2-5.. something like: You rate this post a: 1 2 3 4 -KuRL Newnet IRC: KuRL

BBSing (1)

Amit J. Patel (14049) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946149)

Yeah, telnet is the right interface for doors .. not really web. However, there's a web version of SRE here:

Maybe /. can host some games.

- Amit

Score pool. (1)

Bob Barker (14508) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946150)

BiGGO, I think you've hit upon a good idea here.

A nice way to handle this would be to allow users to adjust the scores of their comments down when they post, or just post with the default score. That way if a user wants to post something that just says "me too" he/she can give it a low score. At the same time, users can't save up points in a pool for a few weeks, then give themselves a high score for a "first post" or something silly like that. Of course you'd have to make sure that voluntarily lowering a score before it is posted doesn't change the default score for the user, otherwise nobody would use it.

I'm sure you'll get this thing perfected eventually, CmdrTaco. I've been lurking on /. since it was just a section of your college homepage (what was it called? Chips & Bits?) and it just keeps getting better all the time.

Bob Barker

Why automatically score? (1)

choo (14599) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946151)

I think the function of a default score is not so much as to save moderators work, or even to try guess at the value of a particular post -- but rather to try to increase the general quality of posts, on the assumption that people, being driven by their egos, would like to be able to flaunt a high default score and hence make better posts.

But I think it's a bad idea to assign a default score to posts. It'd probably be better to have a separate 'reputation' score that appears with a message -- this will still serve the function described above, but avoids assigning artificially high or low scores to posts that may not deserve it.

reply (1)

choo (14599) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946152)

Reply to this message to see your score

good idea, plus (1)

maphew (14702) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946153)

Self moderation is a good idea. It should be expanded to include all users. The poster should not be able to rank their own message higher than their current default though.


posting to see default. (1)

Zebulun (14800) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946154)

like others, im just posting to see what my
default is.


reply (1)

RedGuard (16401) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946157)

I'm wondering too

What's my score? (1)

NighthawkFoo (16928) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946158)

Just finding out what my default score is...

I'll refrain from commenting until the dust settles.

I became a Linux convert the day that NT crashed five times on me.

Default Moderation Scores (1)

pboulang (16954) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946159)

How many points before I win?

Prisoner's Dilemma kinda explained that it is always best to attack, so do I need to criticize people to be moderated up to get more points to win the game? Hmmm...


p.s. I like the sig, too [DAMN, that's not helping my game!]

About moderation and such... (1)

Anonymous Shepherd (17338) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946160)

Seems as if there are two levels of action at work.

Moderators craft a user's alignment values according to their reaction to a post.

On the other hand, users with higher alignments will be generally seen more often, just because of the general prefernce of viewers to read generally accepted highly valued comments. Unless moderators intentionally go about reading at -1 or something to pick up all the loose ends, or they intentionally ignore comments above a certain threshold(why would they though? Proven track record and all), I think the system may be some sort of positive feedback loop.

Maybe I have the mentality of a moderator wrong, and they generally do read everything, and are fairly good about not increasing someone who is already default 2 or 3.

Regardless, I like very much the idea of a default post value, defineable by alignment or something.

I'm not sure I have a better suggestion, though, for the moderator positive feedback issue, if it even is a problem.


alignment vs. average (1)

Edward Carter (19288) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946167)

OK... if I understand the system correctly, your initial moderation value doesn't help you at all for future initial moderation values, even if that initial value is +3 or +4. So, let's say you had a +3. As someone posted earlier, moderators would be reluctant to moderate you up further because you already have such a high score. If that is the case, your initial value would remain constant if the quality of your posts remained constant under the current system, because you would not be gaining any extra points. If, however, an average is used, your initial moderation value would go DOWN just from making more posts that are as good as the ones you've always made. This is because you still wouldn't gain any extra points, but the number of posts it's averaged over is higher.

Your system might work if the points awarded just for posting were included in the calculation. Then the initial value would just be an average of all the other posts you've ever made (not a bad idea, IMHO).

Some people deserve labels. (1)

Edward Carter (19288) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946168)

MEEPT!! and Daryll Strauss's comments on the "Ask slashdot" about 3d under Linux definitely come to mind. If labelling people can automate the same thing human moderators would be doing anyway, it's definitely a Good Thing. For one thing, it takes effect faster than human moderators. Also, I'm sure SOME of us have things to do besides comb through all the comments to adjust their score... :)

BBSing (1)

Stalke (20083) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946169)

Ah, those were the good old days. There must be some way of implementing that in html though, then that would be sweet. The only way I can think of would be a java client but that would just suck. The only way I can think to implement it is with Dynamic DOM rewriting that was just mentioned on mozillazine today [] . It allows you to rewrite parts of the screen instead of doing a total refresh. In that way you could have more of an ANSI session implemented in html (which brings up the point, the more we advance technology, the more we re-invent old ideas).

Bre would get really interesting though. Imagine a game of bre between /., segfault, bedope and userfriendly. You'd have litterly a couple thousand people on each team. That would be unreal. I think the most people I've ever seen on one team was about 50 (HOD rules, ya!). And we won of course.

But one other thing, it would have to be the classic tradewars that was released about 12 years ago, not the updated one that came out about 6 years ago, that "newer" one was as good. Cloaks failed on you, way to many new ship types. The ferengi sucked, etc.

Check your default here! (1)

rm -rf /etc/* (20237) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946170)


Score pool. (1)

Mephistoph (20303) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946171)

agreed.. blah blah ;)

I think this is a good idea, however it seems a little unnecessary. It seems to me that a few minor changes to the way the default scores are set (someone posted a suggestion about using averages as opposed to totals) would allow things to sort themselves out. That is to say, I dont see how this system is easily exploitable, unless you have a user who decides to continually post really good material simply to do a First Post with a score of 5, which i doubt.

For example, if a user regularly posts meaningful and enlightening information it will naturally be moderated up an his default score will be raised, while this may result in a few high-scored ("agreed") needless posts I think hes entitled to it, as he (or she) has demonstrated an interest and has added relevant material to previous discussions. If the user continues to post drivel, his default will naturally begin to decrease as his posts are moderated down.

But I did say this is a good idea. I think users *should* have the ability to moderate their own posts _down_ as they see fit, but the intricacies in allowing a user a pool of points to up his own score seems a little too confusing to implement cleanly.

uhm.. heh thats all.

Except, Rob needs to put the users default score on the user page so we can see it without having to post a stupid 'test' post.. and what is the "# of # comments" on the main page? I thought it was #of comments above threshold and #of comments total, but for this article, it says "0 of 0 comments" Anyone?

"They say that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could eventually type out the entire works of Shakespeare. But now, thanks to the internet, we know it's not true"

quest for unemployment?!?!?! (1)

The Iconoclast (24795) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946185)

All the stuff on the jobsearch page to keep me unemployed. I must continue mu quest for unemployement, for I have been employed for too long. :-)

-- A wealthy eccentric who marches to the beat of a different drum. But you may call me "Noodle Noggin."

Flat mode hierarchy (1)

sklib (26440) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946191)

While we're talking about slashdot improvements, I think it would be a good idea to make a flat-mode hierarchical display that would tell you who replied to what. Kind of like a threaded display, but it would show the actual comment, not just the title.

Flat mode hierarchy (1)

sklib (26440) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946192)

Oh, hey, it already exists :) n/m :)

"Alignment" sucks (1)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946195)

Re: 1; in one case I repeated what another reply had more or less stated (and had score "1"), not having read that reply yet. I don't think that quite justifies a -1; maybe a 0. The other case my post was reasonably original and (I thought) made a reasonable point.

Re: 2; actually no :) that was the first. I normally avoid saying "sucks". But it seemed apt in this case and I'm not in the mood for searching for euphemisms.

PS I made a mistake in my post, i didn't get two "-1"'s, I got a "-1" and a "0". Oops.

"Alignment" doesn't suck (1)

jeffcuscutis (28426) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946196)

I don't think the issue of a poster whose alignment has been pushed negative will be a big issue. Why? Because all you have to do is wait a few days and you are back at 0 like everyone else.

jeff cuscutis
I'm not an evil overlord, I just play one on my computer.

Re: Interesting ideas, but... (1)

Wonko42 (29194) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946198)

'tis coming soon. Rob's brushing it off and cleaning it out as we speak. 'Course, this is all wishful thinking....

Wonko the Sane

Average instead of 'pool' (1)

CricketGod (29826) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946201)

I think perhaps instead of accumulating a pile of points, each poster should have an average score, which would be his default score. That way if a comment of his was moderated down, his average score would be lowered, but if he usually posted lots of good stuff it wouldn't hurt his rating.

However, since a single good comment might give someone an average rating of 4 instantly, there might be a minimum number of comments before certain ratings could be reached. i.e. Must have 3 comments to receive a default rating of 2, 7 for 3, 12 for 4, and 20 for 5. Something along that line.

Hope this helps... (1)

evin (31167) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946204)

I think it has to do with the way cookies work - cookies sent from can't be read if the current page is

And if you don't want netscape turning slashdot ->, you can always add a line to your /etc/hosts. Of course, this won't help the cookie problem.

Off Topic : Your sig... (1)

a.out (31606) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946205)

"Save the whales. Feed the hungry. Free the mallocs. "

BAHAHA!! That's just too funny! Congrats for making me laugh!!!

Brad :)

Why automatically score? (1)

akkem (31946) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946206)

Since we've already got moderators, why is it beneficial to do auto-scoring of posts based on past behavior? It's not going to save the moderators any trouble since they still have to check posts to make sure that the auto-scoring is correct.

However, there is one thing that auto-scoring does do: it labels people as useless or intelligent. It won't take long for an upper class of people with high default scores to form.

"Alignment" sucks (1)

trazom28 (134909) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946207)

Nah.. he'll just write up a quick "My /." web portal that we can all use :-)

I like the customizations.. keep up the efforts!


Score pool. (2)

CmdrTaco (1) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946209)

Somewhat confusing description, but I think the idea has merit. I'll think about it for inclusion if I have some time.

I like letting good posters choose how to spend their alignment rather than simply bumping up their scores automatically. It would allow a user to "Get on the Soapbox" occasionally if they've proven that they have something to say in the past.
Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda
Pants are Optional

Nice try... (2)

CmdrTaco (1) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946210)

See that option up there that says 'Threshold -1'

If you don't like it, turn it off. No sweat off anyones back. Its totally at your discretion.
Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda
Pants are Optional

Nice (2)

drendite (3) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946211)

I think a user should be able to "nice" his or her comments. Let's say I want to post a joke that is vaguely related to the subject at hand. I dont want my alignment to go down a point from someone bumping it down to 0 or -1. So, I could "nice" it to 0. Or, let's say my alignment is so high that my default score is 2. I want to post a "me too" post that doesn't have any value to the discussion. I should be able to "nice" it down to 1 or 0 because it doesn't deserve to be above the pack.

Anyways.. besides a nice option.. I think there should be an option to post as an AC without having to log out.

"alignment rating" has serious problems. (2)

Paul Crowley (837) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946221)

I find I'm less likely to get a 2 if I post to a thread later. That's OK per post, but if I'm lowering my average by doing it it means I'm best off only posting if I can get my comment in early enough. I suspect this is only one of many biases in alignent calculation that (a) throw it further away from a good indication of someone's posting form, and (b) bias people towards strange behaviour directed towards maintaining a good alignment. Running more than one account could also be used towards this end.

If I've misunderstood and it's a total rather than an average, biases the other way happen: very frequent posting is encouraged, and those who post only the best are discriminated against.

I think this stuff is really difficult to get right. I'm surprised that there's no bazaar development around Slashdot so you don't have the same pressure to implement ideas before suggesting them.

Quest for unemployment (2)

Frater 219 (1455) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946226)

Simple really. Get a good job, make a lot of money, live on the cheap so you can save a lot, put it all in mutual funds, and retire in a few years. Presto -- unemployment.

moderators and posting (2)

Chakotay (3529) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946228)

it seems a bit twisted imho... you can become a moderator by posting a lot of good comments (emphasis on "good", not on "a lot"), but then you practically prevent moderators from posting. moderators are by definition the people who generally have something interesting to say, but you put them in the dilemma of posting or moderating.

on one side, the rule will prevent people from moderating posts that may oppose or advocate their vision, but I think the average moderator is intelligent enough not to do that. and the fact that there are a lot of moderators also works here, because a post that is valued too high or too low will be re-evaluated by other moderators and put back where it belongs, while still allowing moderators to post there on average good comments. or am I completely mistaken about this?

the Gods have a sense of humor,

Alignment decay (2)

ketan (3574) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946229)

How about this as a method of normalizing alignment: every week, go through all the registered users' alignments, divide by some constant (say, 2), and add another constant (say, 1/2). This gives users a chance to "rehabilitate", but also doesn't give posters who've been inactive for a while good default scores. This sort of exponential decay would encourage posters to be consistently good. The down side is that it would punish those who post irregularly, but are always good. That could be solved by decay of average moderation, rather than the total amount of moderation, plus judicious selection of the constants. A few test cases would probably work to determine those better.

Default Moderation Scores (2)

jammer (4062) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946231)

Heh. Now watch and see if the moderators adjust your score on that post. Wouldn't it be ironic? :)

One thought (2)

myconid (5642) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946233)

That actually is a valid point... But it takes a lot to get a 0 or -1 score, so if you continuously post shabby posts, then its easier for the moderators. But I do think it is pointless to give -1 to users, because, im assuming few people look at -1 posts (i for one dont), but it can get some fairly good comments never read...

Whatever :-)
Stan "Myconid" Brinkerhoff

Quantifying Credibility (2)

tomblackwell (6196) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946234)

I've used the internet since 1987 and love any trick which will increase the signal-to-noise ratio. Some people post because they can, and others post because they have something worth saying. If someone builds a reputation for wisdom and credibility, their remarks should initially carry more weight. Anyone abusing this will eventually get moderated down to where they belong.

"Alignment" sucks (2)

BiGGO (15018) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946240)

My guesses:

1. You're off-topic posts were repetition of the other off-topics,
and you should have been on their thread.
(moderators tend not to lower the score of big threads)

2. Have you ended all of your comments' subjects in the word "sucks"? ;-)


a possible problem (2)

Edward Carter (19288) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946244)

If a whole bunch of people reading a comment in reputation + score mode find its score to be too high and moderate it down, people who come along and read the comments in score - reputation mode will see a set of scores that just isn't really that useful (they will tell you how the comments you're reading compare to other comments made by the same people -- who cares?). I think having multiple scoring "modes" in general would be a bad idea for just this reason.

Interesting System (2)

flimflam (21332) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946245)

Which brings us to this: At what point does the pursuit of points supercede the importance of posting insightful, relevant comments? And we know it will come to that, for some posters.

Actually, I think that's a reason why it shouldn't say your current level on your homepage. That way the only way to find out what your score is is to actually post a message, and you don't want to post a stupid message (which will probably get moderated down) just to find out your score.

alignment vs. average (2)

brad.hill (21936) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946246)

How about making the default score be based on the average score of all previous posts (or previous posts in the last n days), instead of on a total point basis?

IMHO, somebody who posts 10 things a day scored zero or +1 deserves a default score of 4 less than somebody who only posts once a week but always gets scored +3. The alignment system seems to reward meidocre quantity over true quality.

Also, this would eliminate the need to be constantly adjusting the alignment thresholds over time. An average is always an average.

Interesting data point... (2)

genehckr (23251) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946247)

Apparently Rob's alignment only gives him a +1 posting bonus...I don't know why, but I'm a little surprised that it's so low.

(I'm also posting to see what my alignment is...'cuz I'm too lazy to do the math myself.)


What's my score? (2)

Darkforge (28199) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946248)

There appears to be no way to find out one's current alignment besides figuring it out by hand or posting a message. This would be easy to fix.


Whooohooo shaping up nicely (2)

outgrabed (31546) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946250)

I gotta hand it to you Rob-
I have a lot of ideas about how to take over the world/end capatalism/emancipate information, but at this rate you will have the "new world order" on your hands before I write any pseudo code:)
Its a weight off my back if you can take over the world for me:)

-dont bother flaming me about brown nosing, I dont plan on even reading the responses to this one:)

Check your default here! (2)

PhoneMonkey (32729) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946251)

Hey Rob,

Until you get up a way to see your default score, why not set up a "See your score" area that is unmoderated so people can see their scores?

I saw that a couple of these were already moderated.

Soooo, until then, how about people replying to this post not get moderated so they can see their scores?
"Responsibility for my career? I'm just a freakin' phone monkey!"

Default Moderation Scores (2)

PhoneMonkey (32729) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946252)

They did. I refreshed and it was down to 1. Heh.
"Responsibility for my career? I'm just a freakin' phone monkey!"

User scores? (2)

PhoneMonkey (32729) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946253)

Look at your post and you'll see it listed in the title bar (or whatever that's called

"Responsibility for my career? I'm just a freakin' phone monkey!"

Interesting System (3)

Aaron M. Renn (539) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946254)

It gets harder to get better. If you go in with a score of 3, you are much less likely to get moderated up than if you went in with a score of 1. Moderators will think that you have already been bumped up! I kind of like it. As long as it doesn't result in people getting bumped down for comments that go in at a high moderation level (due to alignment) that are good, but probably aren't worthy of the high level. I think everyone should be able to make postings (especially replies) that are brief but not abusive or lame. These might be worth a 1, but if your alignment is 4, somebody might bump you down just because they think the comment is rated too high! I hope that doesn't happen.

Interesting ideas, but... (3)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946259)

... where's the source?

Sorry to be a nudge but no-one seems to have answered this. I'm curious to see how this is implemented, and (with my semiconscious perl skills) possibly augment with more features, clean up cruft, document, etc...

Please make a statement about the source. Anything would be useful:
o "it's so cruddy right now we're embarrassed to release it in this state: give us time to clean it up a bit, it'll be available X"
o "we're going to turn it into a saleable product and make some m00la off it, v0.2 is all you're gettin' and if you don't like it you can lump it"
o "oops, we forgot, here's the link to the tarball"
o "you jackass, it'll be available when it's available, just like Quake, so quit yer whinin'"
o "you jackass, we've had anonymous CVS for aeons now, here's the CVSROOT"
o "you jackass, it's at (freshmeat|rob's page|foobar), you just didn't look hard enough"

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

No sir, I don't like it (3)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946261)

I've liked all of the mod improvements, until this. I clicked on a couple a folks with a default greater than 1 and found the majority of their recent comments (prior to this change) right at 1. And, for the most part, they were typical comments. Nothing amazing, but not off topic or rude or "first" or anything. With the newest changes, high-rated & nested comments spill out. This means someone else thought that the *comment* was really something people should look at (and I mostly agreed). But now it's the poster that will stick out, regardless of what he says now. It's a step backwards.

If you really MUST base something on reputation, make it separate and parallel from the comment ratings. I can then set my preferences for posters ranked at 5 to spill out and comments at 3 to spill. I could sort by poster, comment, date, etc.

My only other question is... what about AC? Does his reputation remain at 0, or will he eventually be knocked down to -1? Doesn't seem fair to knock AC down since it's not one person, and it seems even worse to knock identified posters have anything lower than AC.

Again, kudos to all the other great changes, but please consider this one a bit more...

wish: back to comments after 'Submit' (3)

maphew (14702) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946262)

I'd like to the Submit script to hand me back to comments when processed. Currently I have to 'back' three or four times or return to the index.



Have a 'rating' on comments on the first page. (3)

typo (15376) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946263)

Firstly, I think the moderation addition and changes have all been great so far, definitely in the right direction.

I don't normally read that many comments, haven't got the time, but now I read those that spill over the 4 and this is rewarding. Previously I would scroll down searching the subject headings. So overall I am reading far more comments now than I used to.

It is also encouraging me to come into a story 'late' so that there is a decent chance of having some good comments. How about having an indicator on the front page showing where abouts the comments lie, just showing the number of comments that 'spill over' with your own settings would be enough, but there are a thousand variations along this theme that would also be useful.

Doing this would tell me when a story had 'ripe' threads.

Interesting System (3)

BlackHawk (15529) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946264)

As long as it doesn't result in people getting bumped down for comments that go in at a high moderation level (due to alignment) that are good, but probably aren't worthy of the high level.

I believe that's the point: higher scoring posters are usually of consistently higher quality (though admittedly, not always). In order for someone's alignment score (AS) to remain high, the quality of their comments must also remain high. In your example, if a poster with an AS of 4 posting a comment of only "normal" quality (AS 1) would probably have that post moderated down, with a corresponding drop in the poster's alignment factor. This could result in a high-quality poster dropping from an AS4 to AS3 as s/he posts more comments of limited value. In order to maintain the higher score, s/he would have to maintain higher quality posts.

Of course this will also result (in those to whom AS is important) in fewer posts, since it is easier to maintain a high score by not being moderated down!

Which brings us to this: At what point does the pursuit of points supercede the importance of posting insightful, relevant comments? And we know it will come to that, for some posters. Fortunately, IMO, the moderation system Rob et al. have put in place should account for that, and the "point-pursuers" will simply have the effect of raising the bar for all posters. All in all, an elegant solution to the SNR problem.

Hmmm... (3)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946265)

I REALLY liked the last change. I'm not so sure about this one. (I hereby define "reputation" as "the default score of a person's posts".) I like the idea of comments being judged on their own merits, and not on the reputation of the person who posted them. Yet, I sort of like the idea of posters having a reputation, since people who posted intelligently in the past ARE more likely to do so in the future. But there are no guarantees - if a person with a high reputation posts something silly, it will still be way up there (if you order by score). Granted, it will probably be down where it belongs in a few days, but I want to read it now! NOT LATER! NOW NOW NOW! (kidding :)

It would be nice if there was some way to separate a writer's reputation from a post's score (defined as solely what the moderators did to the post, disregarding the writer's reputation) and sort accordingly, either by reputation OR by score. Or by reputation + score (current moderation scheme). Or by score - reputation (previous moderation). Or score * reputation * 0 (no moderation). Or score * reputation, or reputation * 5 + score, or score * 5 + reputation. Of course, these last few mean there should be no non-positive scores. It would allow you to do some pretty cool customization of your sorting if there were multiple criteria and you could come up with your own formula to sort based on those criteria. But now I'm getting kind of silly.

Auto scoring is a bad idea (3)

Josh Turpen (28240) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946266)

Posters with a history of posting good comments can still post bad comments, and vice-versa. The whole point of moderation is to improve the signal-to-noise ratio, which this won't do. There are just too many variables that go into what is a good comment and what isn't. What if a good comment poster posts an irrational comment because the subject matter was sensitive to him?
If you are a user that sets his threshold really high so that you only see the good stuff, you are still going to get these guys with pretty good reputations but the occasional bad comment. The more users that /. gets, the more this score-history system will break down.

In the beginning, we had no moderation. Then we got moderation through scoring. Now we have moderation through scoring + past history. Next it will be moderation through scoring + past history + grammar. Then scoring + past history + grammar + buzzwords, etc.

Let the moderators decide, not past history. Moderators are the most effective noise filters. The logic a moderator goes through determining what is a good comment and what is not is a lot more involved than something you could code in Perl ;).

"Alignment" sucks (3)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946267)

First off, I've had two comments now that have been moderated to -1, and I have examined them over and over and neither of them can I come up with a single reason why. In each case they may have been a teeny bit off-topic, but they were the same topic as the posts I replied to, which were NOT moderated down, so off-topic can't be the problem. What the hell happened there?

Second off, this is dumb because it is possible that someone with a bad posting history could post a pretty good comment. Then nobody reads his post - by the time some moderator gets round to reading his default -1 post and moderating it upwards, the article is old and stale and noone is reading it anymore.

The only exception is when someone obviously is a troll and is out to continually post only crap. Then there should be some other type of flag that can be set on that user, like "troll" or something.

Too much of a good thing? Maybe. (4)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946268)

Posted by Mike@ABC:

I was wondering why my posts were defaulting so high today. I thought they were good posts, but certainly not Pulitzer material. Now I know.

This isn't necessarily a bad system, but I think this should be the last tweak for a while. An allegorical story, if you'll permit me:

I had a friend who wrote his own role-playing system, did the points up and the skills and dice rolls and all that math stuff. It ended up being way too complex to play smoothly. Just finding out who walked away alive from a single battle took all day. The system barely survived one session before all his notes were thrown in to the fire. Literally.

I cannot help but wonder if Slashdot might eventually fall to that same phenomenon, where the bells and whistles not only drown out the static, but the pure sound as well.

That's not to say that CmdrTaco and his crew haven't done a superb job thus far. They have, and I for one am thankful for the great resource they've provided. But perhaps they should let this settle a while and see how things play out before tweaking any further.

And that's all I have to say.

Score pool. (4)

BiGGO (15018) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946274)

People with stupid comments, that may have had good ones before, can expolit the system.
(intentionaly or unintentionaly).

I have a good idea.
For every point someone's comment have got,
he will get half a point on the pool.
When he posts a comment,
he can boost it up according to his pool.
If someone wants to say something stupid, like "agreed, blah blah",
he can choose the score for the comment to stay 1.
but, if he had an enlightenment, and has a very good point (and he knows it), he can pull from the pool,
and get attention.

but, if the moderators thinks the comment is bad, they can lower it down, thus lowering the amount of score in his pool to spend at other times.
(and ofcourse, when he posts the comment, he lowers the pool by himself).

negative pools will FORCE users to post at bad score of 0 (no choice for the user).
the user will rely on moderator to give him thumbs-up to normal score and higher his pool.
he will get a score for the act of posting,
if a poster post "this is meant to higher my score" he will get thumbsdown,
and it won't change anything.

however, positive pools cannot be set for such a thing, and may not recieve score in such a way.

also, an extra 1/2 point should be given to a user who got 4 points.
a point for going to 5 points,
and -1 points for getting to -1.
(and the reverse on the opposite direction)


This will create chaotic instability (5)

Doug Merritt (3550) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946275)

The 3 day rule throws away most of the inertia in the moderation system, which will cause chaotic instability: moderation will become much more noisy.

Consider that people will lose moderation points semi-randomly: if there's a three day weekend when they're offline, or few interesting stories, etc -- it rewards only extremely recent behavior, yet it's people's long term behavior that you want to reward.

It's also true that, the more capricious and unpredictable a reward system, the less it is perceived as a reward system, and therefore the less it tends to motivate behavior.

(I don't mean "reward" here necessarily in a moral sense, just in a behavior modulation sense.)

Need post-time control of our initial level. (5)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 15 years ago | (#1946276)


Not everything I write is a 4, and the posting form should have an option if I'd like to self-moderate it to a 1, 2, or 3, rather than wait for a moderator to come along and do it for me.

The way it's set up now, I feel as if I should never post unless it's golden prose :-)



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