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Proposed ratings mechanism modifications

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Quote:
Original post by Dave
I 100% agree with the rating of threads based on usefulness. Alot of nice threads are lost to the archives and the same questions are asked and asked. I also think that any threads that gain the permanence status could make it into a section that can be closely linked to For Beginners.

It would be good if there was an automatically generated topic at the top of every forum where 'permanence' qualifying threads are link in so that they can be preserved.

Dave


I can agree with maybe a top post which will linkify to a noted post, but not too sure about the post itself becoming sticky.

I can see maybe something where the first 200 topics are all stickied because they all are greatly appreciated. This doesn't even necessarily have to be abuse, it could all be legitimate. Take the DirectX forums. Someone posts a commonly used question about DirectX 9. A year from now, we're all using Direct X 10, and another series of questions gets stickied, with the DirectX 9 post still being stickied up top. About stating that it would still have relevance, what about 5 years from now, DirectX 11-13 all get their stickies out, and the DX9 post is still stickied because of it's usefulness half a decade earlier, but not in the current time? I'm not really sure I'd want to scroll down multiple pages, regardless of how useful other posts are for answering commong questions.

As for the individual posts, would it be the post itself, or the entire message? If the entire message, what about useless posts in the topic that have no meaning? If just a singular post, what about the chain of messages that might be useful?

Unless you're talking about a new forum called Classic GameDev Posts or something similar where the post would be copied over too if it was deemed important enough to be. But I'd still think the post would have to require a supremely large amount of positive ratings.

Either way, I don't necessarily see it too useful outside of a search function. People have a tendency to be lazy and ask the same question regardless of how often it's been answered within the past day, so obviously the search box is not being fully utilized. The post would have to be up near the very top of the forum they believe the topic should be posted in.

(Although I do like maybe flagging a post as being relatively important, regardless of if I need it or not, because I would probably read it rather than skip over it. But I feel that this usefulness is mainly for expanding knowledge for people willing to learn rather than attempting to solve an issue that really comes down to the lazyness of the poster instead of the usefulness of the forums.)

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Quote:
Original post by LessBread
#3 My understanding was that the current upper bound was somewhere above 2000. For example, Myopic Rhino has a rating of 2088.

If the switch to a percentage rating is made, existing members should start out with a rating based on their current rating, perhaps the percentage of their current rating relative to Myopic Rhino. As an example, that would give you a 95% rating (1987/2088) to start with.

Let's say for instance, iMalc suddenly gets a rating of 2634 and I stay at 1626. My rating would go down because of it. At first glance, it would be misleading because one would think I was being disruptive, unhelpful, or just a plain ass and got rated down. It's also misleading to myself if I or no one else has an actual rating to manipulate or base the percentage on.

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Clarification of the Classic Posts Idea

The vast majority of our database here at GameDev is worthless. We have thousands upon thousands of threads that have zero long term merit, yet we retain them for those rare deep searches or in case they contain obscure nuggets of wisdom that someone has linked to in a signature or from a journal post. Introducing a mechanism for ferreting out such individual posts creates the opportunity for us to optimize our database and discard the dead weight.

When a post is nominated for classic status, it would be placed in a list that Content Editors (a proposed user category that would comprise members of the community who have demonstrated knowledge, skill and helpfulness, and been granted privileges to tend certain community content resources) can peruse. A nominated post would need to be cleaned up to provide appropriate context, then voted into the classic posts area (basically a wiki) by at least two editors. Threads, as a whole, will not generally be archived.

Why no classic status for threads? In the history of the GameDev.Net forums, the only "classic" threads have been Lounge discussions, which could likely be reformulated into wiki articles by the community. The classic posts area would be dedicated to preserving particularly notable technical contributions (including artistic technique; not a literal interpretation of "technical") by members of the community.

Between these two mechanisms (Classic Posts and Notable Threads wiki forest, including a section for Common Problems and Solutions), we will probably be able to reduce our operating forum database to an age of no more than 180 days.

Comments?

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Personally, I never understood why there was/is so much griping about the current system. I think it works just fine, and if other people don't feel that way, they can ignore it.

Edit: It would be kind of nice to see a way of leaving "Was this post helpful to you?" feedback, like you see on amazon book reviews and the like. Maybe if enough people say yes, the post gets archived or something, and if enough people say no, it gets deleted or reported to a mod (I don't think reporting it to a mod would necessarily do anything but increase the workload for the mods, so maybe that's not the best idea). I'm sure there would be details to work out, but it could be nice.

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For the purpose of normalizing individual ratings, I like it. For the purpose of purging old threads/posts, there are much simpler implementations.

I'd say keep the ratings as they are but display them as a percentage of helpful/unhelpful ratings rather than a simple aggregate. All it would require is a change in the code that displays the rating.

As for archiving, flagging threads as favorites (which already exists) would keep them from being archived/deleted. This would have to be expanded upon. On the other hand, each post could have a counter that allows a user to tag it as useful. If no one finds it useful, it's deleted forever. If no posts within a thread are tagged as useful, it's deleted forever.

I like the rating system as is but I think your percentage idea would be an improvement. However, I think the archiving feature should be seperate from the "user" rating system (if implemented at all).

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What's the motivation behind the change? Is it just a desire to save on operating costs by limiting database size? Is it just a cleanliness thing: maintain a database with a higher density of good information?

If it's anything other than a cost reason I say keep the data. Nothing is worse to me than the destruction of knowledge; what's to say that something which doesn't meet the classic post bar for the editors isn't immensely useful to someone who hasn't created an account yet. I wouldn't be psyched to see data deleted but if it's because it's too expensive to maintain that's at least something I can understand.

My gut instinct is to stay with the unbounded points system (only because it provides the same satisfaction for me as gaining levels in an RPG). A capped system would, on first inspection, make me look at my rating more as something that must be maintained rather than a fun continual improvement loop.

I definitely otherwise like the classic post & classic thread system as a different mechanism by which data can be accessed. It'd be awesome to have a classics section just open for user viewing; that way when you're bored you can just start browsing and learn cool stuff.

-me

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I propose the following, which should be taken light-heartedly (my purpose is to help):

- The rating system's purpose must be CLEARLY defined and stated.
- One can nominate a post to be in a FAQ-like section (the community sticky?) in the sub-forum (i.e. General Programming).
- A mechanism for the post to actually go into the community-sticky section must be devised based on votes from users (taking into account their rating)
- Viewing in the community-sticky section should allow the user to sort according to rating or according to time (to solve "dusty posts" problem).

As for peer-rating I would propose a rating of correctness. So it would start at 50% (well it should be an interval [0,100]). Another rating system would be a rating of credibility. A combination of both is also a possibility: vector rating?, interesting dynamics can emerge out of this (the more credibility you have, the more you affect other people's correctness and credibility). In that sense it would be meaningful for staff and moderators to have high credibility (not necessarily correctness) and it would be their responsibility to set-off a good community self-reviewed system.
Maybe a search about the chess ranking system might provide some insights (I scarcely did so).

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I know that this is an ostensibly dumb question, but, on the off chance that the answer could be surprising, I'll ask anyway.

Are you sure that there actually is enough content that is effectively "dead weight" that it would outweigh the overhead of having potentially tens of thousands of unique user ratings applied to tens of thousands of threads and posts?

Obviously, anything that receives zero responses is practically of no use to anyone, but beyond that how prevalent are the worthless ones?

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If say we're allowed to rating posts (as opposed to threads -- for the record, I'd like to be given the option of both), then after a year or so, filter out the posts that have high ratings and keep them on the main server and put the non-high ones in another dedicated server. For storage at the very least.

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