I love the idea of "minus points" ... unfortunately I'm afraid we'd end up with the same kind of extortion experienced on eBay ("if you as a seller don't jump through every stinkin' hoop I throw up, I will whack you with negatives")
If someone thinks you *could have* answered their question but didn't (ignored them), they could hunt down your posts and drop a negative on you.
Seeing who rates you is a great idea (IMO), but I think it's a good idea to keep it so the worst thing that people can do to you is not rate you (as opposed to negatively impacting your scores).
It's not often, but we do occasionally get an attitude case and "negative points" might end up causing more problems than it's worth.
I like both suggestions, "knowing who rate you" and able to "rate minus" those who post useless answers.
However, there is a problem with that.
- First, the rogue person/people can just create a new account and start doing what they do best (or worse if you look it the other way).
- Second, with their new account, now they will not only rate you "1", they can even rate you "minus" and hunt all your posts if they don't like you account name :)
- Third, disgruntled NetPro's will start hunting those who rate them below their expectation and ask for explanation instead of focusing what they came here for, answering questions. They may even trace all the the person's post and rate them "1" or "minus".
- Lastly, with all of the above, the forum will start become hostile to anybody. Nobody in their right mind will stay in this forum if they keep getting "1" or "minus" ratings and someone who is not happy with their rating is hunting them down.
This is from my experience in Online Gaming Forums and Programming/Scripting Forums :)
I suggest to remove the "1" rating and start with "2" rating. If you think the answer to your post is worhtless, then don't rate it. If the answer to your post is already tried by you (but didn't work), either don't rate it or give the person "2" ratings for his/her effort.
I'm afraid I would vote against both suggestions.
I think if you allow people to see who rated them, it could all too easily become vindictive and personal. I think a rating should be a reflection on the usefulness of the response, not on the person responding.
Interestingly, the current system asks you to rate the helpfulness of the response, and not the usefulness of the response. Hmm, something to think about there.
I really don't think negative ratings are a good idea. That could easily become a flame war. I mean, having just been overtaken by acomiskey ... ;-) just joking, no hard feelings!
But I would consider allowing a zero rating for responses that are irrelevant.
Here is a suggestion that some will not like, but I throw it in just to add to the debate. At the moment, points are accumulated over all time. So old-timers keep their high scores for ever, but recently active members have a high mountain to climb. How about an exponential decay, with a half-life of, say, 18 months? (Moore's law)
Here's another one: you are not allowed to rate until you have contributed a posting to the thread, either as the original poster or as a responder, or simply to justify the rating.
Please don't rate this posting too low - it'll do horrible things to my average. (That's supposed to be ironic, in the strict sense of the word.)
I can't believe there is a discussion about ratings on NetPro Idea Center ;-) This is by far the feature that I've received the most emails about. I'm not sure allowing to see who rated members would work as desired. As stated by Scott, I fear it would be used for retribution purposes.
After talking with many community managers from various companies I've learned there is no perfect ratings system. Making significant changes to established rating systems tends to cause hard feeling for those who have spent years gaining status in the community . That said, I'm open to tweaking ratings to make it more useful for everyone. Any other ideas or thoughts on ratings?
NetPro Community Manager
On second thoughts, maybe negative points isn't such a good idea...
However, I think the ratings system could be tweaked as follows:
5 - Solved the issue or answered the question
4 - Excellent info, but didn't quite solve the issue/answer the question
3 - Provided useful info
0 - Didn't contribute to the issue at hand
I don't think I've ever seen a 2 rating and it seems a bit unfair to award positive points for unhelpful answers.
What do people think? Another option would be to only use ratings 3 to 5 and not have the 0 option.
I love the '0' rating idea!
This way, someone could anonymously show their dislike for your post, but not necessarily have it count against the poster. Also, a '0' should not count against your average, or in other words really even count as being rated at all.
Good one andrew!
Adam, thanks for opening up this nice discussion (5 points from Calgary for "going where no man dares to go" :)
Thanks as well to, Dan (you Rock!) Andrew,Dandy,Kevin and Scott. You are some of my favourite NetPros and are all extremely valuable contributors here. I must say that I admire all of you!
There have been many times that I would have liked to have seen who rated one of my posts, most of the time to say Thanks, but on occasion, to see who gave me a 1 or 2 rating for some reason that I felt was undeserved. So although this function could be used for positive purposes, the sad fact is that our Human nature would likely lead to unpleasant and unforseen results. One of the greatest things about our platform here @ Cisco NetPro is the level of kindness and dignity normally shown to those who participate here. I fear this might be destroyed and most of us wouldn't probably wouldn't want to be a part of this anymore :(
My vote is to remove the 1 and 2 Rating as these two serve no real purpose and are generally more inflamatory than anything else.
Keep up the great work guys!
Just my 2 cent$
PS: I hope I don't lose half my points, with my Baboon-like typing skills it may take a long time to recover :)
There are really two different viewpoints at work here, the first is view of the OP who really justs want his/her question answered. The second viewpoint is the reader who maybe doesn't contribute but finds the information really useful and thinks it should be rewarded (whether or not it helps the OP). I'd have to agree with the previous posts about disallowing rating others with low marks, but I feel that the OP should still have this ability, after all, that's the only person qualified to judge.
So, how about the OP being able to rate 0,3,4,5 and anyone else only gets 3,4,5? or even a separate value such as U (for useful) and we count everyone's U's. That way if a thread had a bunch of U's attached we see at a glance that it would be worth reading..
just an idea..
p.s. OP = Original Poster (someone's bound to ask ;-)
Now that I've seen a number of ideas posted about ratings it seems the consensus is the original poster should be able to rate 0, 3-5 and everyone else can rate 3-5.
In our upcoming ratings reminder program we'll address the original poster being able to rate a â0â. In this program the original poster can also rate a response n/a (not applicable) which is equivalent to a â0â. As Adam suggested, a rating of ân/aâ won't count against the respondent's average. We decided not to use a â0â rating because it may deter someone from trying which defeats the purpose of a community.
Currently there are no plans to remove the 1-2 ratings, but I'm not opposed to it. I'd love hear any other thoughts on this idea or other suggestions on how to improve NetPro ratings?
NetPro Community Manager
Although I do prefer the strictly technical discussions, I decided to express my own opinion about ratings. In short, I think there is too much rating given to the ratings.
I have been frustrated myself once or twice in the past about some 2.0 rating or something like that. I have even suggested in a way (not really seriously, more of a joke) the "who rates whom" or the "0 rating not being possible" (in another sense, "the thank God sense"). That was temporary and other community members support you in such cases. In the end, I believe the way the things work is fine. That's life. You can't expect everyone to appreciate your work. Often people just do not have the knowledge to appreciate your answer (I cannot rate something if I do not really know whether it is correct, unless it is very well documented). If somebody says "you helped", I am ok, even if person doesn't rate me (often because doesn't know how things here work). I am more disappointed when somebody does not say anything, no feedback, no reply, no nothing. But then again, you can't force others to notice you and to reply. Some people will recognize your efforts, some will not, some will be kind and some will be rude. This is the hard part of offering technical support. To be polite when others are rude (or they will never trust you in the future, they will think you are just bored or mean), to keep working behind the scenes, while other people just enjoy the generally acknowledged fun part of the Internet (although to me the fun is in building it). Be patient guys. We are not movie stars, just the poor guys behind the scenes :-)
After some thought I could say I am strongly against the idea of zero rating even from the original poster. I do not understand the reason to give somebody that much power. The irrelevant answers are not that many. In many cases irrelevance will be analogous to how accurately the original problem has been described by the person who opened the conversation. We do not get any money for this and I do not believe that there are so many people here that deliberately want to mislead others. Some people suggest this zero rating maybe because they consider impropable to be rated with a 0.0, but I am not that confident. Those who are should try to be prepared when they see the 0.0 in their own post in front of their eyes. Not geting any points for our posts, as it already is, should be enough. Unless we try to find a way to tell a person "why don't you just go away?".
As always, two excellent postings, and two well argued positions. As the person who originally suggested the 0-rating, I guess I should comment.
If I understand your second posting correctly, your position is that you believe tha a 0-rating is more likely to be abused that to be used properly, and therefore it should not be implemented. No ... not exactly that, but more: if a 0-rating is abused then the damage it would cause would outweight the benefit of the system being used properly. Also that whoever supports a zero-rating should be prepared to accept the abuse of such a system.
I can understand that argument, and you may well be right. What it comes down to is how such a system would be used in reality. That is something I am still reflecting on. My faith in human nature varies depending on recent events.
(If I may comment on your argument: you show faith in human nature in "I do not believe that there are so many people here that deliberately want to mislead others", but less so in "they consider impropable to be rated with a 0.0, but I am not that confident".)
I suppose, we already have the option of ignoring postings, just as we have learned to ignore Spam.
Regarding the 0-rating, I would say the jury is still in session.
In your first posting, you argue that too much rating is given to the rating system. I fully agree with you on that. At the end of the day, it serves the useful purpose of flagging helpful responses, as well as being "just a bit competitive fun". As you point out, we are not pop stars, and if we manage to seperate technical content from ego, then the forum would be the better for it.
That is why I do not solicit ratings except in very rare circumstances.
Thought i'd chime in because at the moment we seem to have a problem in the Firewalling forum with 1 ratings which are occurring rather too frequently at the moment.
I have never asked for a rating and won't but if i am being honest i think for a lot of the people on NetPro getting rated is an added incentive to participating. It does help people find relevant answers and it is rewarding to be appreciated.
I really don't think it is about ego, certainly none of the experts on the forums i participate in seem to have an ego at all. They are all very open to being questioned, challenged and are the first to admit when they have made a mistake.
On the idea of removing points from "old-timers". I am not against this, indeed we could have 3 tables
which may give appreciation to the active members on the site.
As for the ratings, well i guess it is all down to human nature. Some posts do actually deserve a 1 so i see no reason to get rid of that score , everybody will now rate this 1 to make a point :-), but i think as has been pointed out any system is open to abuse.
I think the only way is to self-regulate ie. if you see a post that has been rated 1 and the mark is completely inappropriate then mark it 5 to readjust. That is what i do in the forums. Giving people the ability to see who rated them although tempting at times would as Scott says just lead to more problems ie. someone rates a post 1, i readjust by marking it 5, then they find one of my posts etc..
I would support the removal of 2 because it's very subjective "somewhat helpful".
I don't think we are going to find a solution that will please all of the people all of the time. I agree that the ratings are an incentive, and as such the system works quite well. There are not many who would offer free support and advice if there were not some form of recognition at the end of it. Maybe the solution is to leave "well enough" alone.
I like your suggestion of a year table as well as an "all time" and "this month" because it shows who is currently active without actually removing points. Maybe it could be a rolling year - "since 1 year ago" so we don't get the abrupt reset every New Year's day. Just a thought.
My suggestion about decaying points exponentially was because I believe that in our industry Moore's law applies to knowledge and skills as well as to hardware, except that it is an exponential decay rather than exponential growth. That is, something I learn today will be worth only half as much in 18 month's time. Not sure about the decay constant, but the idea is there.
I don't like the idea of "0" rating even for the original poster - even it doesn't count. We are humans dude, I received "1" and "2" rating from original poster for my perfectly correct answer, people like to antogonise other people to start a word war as this where they are good at (they are not interested on what this forum is for - I think they belong to some organisation with their own rating system on how many people they get irritated on them) - do you like that to happen in this forum?
If "1" and "2" also can be removed that would be nice. If the reply to your post does not solve your problem (does not satisfy you), then don't rate the poster. This is an international forum, we have communication barrier sometime.
Hello Kevin and all,
I am not to say that a good rating doesn't make me and others feel good. It does and is probably major factor that keeps the forum going and people become somewhat adicted to it. :-) Good ratings help in that direction and serve the purpose of finding ready answers later. I would put less weight to the "search later" factor because my own memory would search for conversations that I was active participant. I may see some rated conversations daily (and rate some myself without posting anything there), but hardly remember them if I have not put effort to think about issue at hand. The "search later" is also comprimised by the subject line chosen from the original poster (not much we can do about that). So, no matter what people say to defend their desire of a good rating for the posts, I would believe more somebody who would say "rate me, 'cause it makes me feel good and makes me keep doing my best to help you and others now and in the future". :-))) A rating every once and then is enough to make most people feel good. I have seen that most people have total points almost equal to the number of their postings. 1 point for every posting on average seems enough for most people (Rob Huffman gets 2, well done Rob! :-).
I am ok with things that make the community members feel good (those are that keep participation high and encourage quality postings) and against anything that will potentially make them feel bad.
p.s. Maybe we can do something about the subject line now that I think about it more. Perhaps add some capability to add keywords to the subject line (not change the original, but add something). I do not know how hard something like that is in practice. Maybe subject line composition help to the original poster (make the poster somewhat categorize its problem) or let participants in conversation add something there. And another thing: an indication of how urgent issue is (so, we do not see the "need help" subject line too often :-)
Some idea now about how to improve the ratings, since this is the purpose of discussion and I bit deviated from it.
Instead of seeing who rated our post, each community member could have an accumulative number of the total points that has given to other people. Not exactly where the points went to, but only the total. I believe this would encourage somewhat people that open conversations to rate some of the posts (or else we will not reply to them, hey, this is a joke, but the joke is half truth :-). Of course somebody could hide this information (as some do with their posts and points), while I see no good reason for such an action. If you think that the points you give are justified, why hide them?
Please look at our âratings reminderâ program that is highlighted in Idea Center. This program has similarities to what you're proposing.
NetPro Community Manager
Yes, there are similarities. However, if I understood correctly, the rating reminder consists of messages related to opened conversations by a person and would be shown to the particular person while being logged in to its own account and nobody else would have access to this information. (I personally never forget to rate a post I think is good, but others might just forget or don't know about the ratings, so ok.) However, I consider important the ratings given not only by people who open conversations, but also from other community members. Many may think the ratings should mostly be given by the original poster, but I rather disagree with that. If I read an answer and I agree with it, I rate it to support it and often post nothing to the discussion. The total number of points given to other people would be an indication of the time a person spends to read the posts, support a particular opinion and acknowledge other community members (I consider this as some form of technical reviewing. The more the experience of the reviewer, the more the chances the rating reflects reality). As I said previously, each person could choose not to show this personal counter to others.
I apologize for misunderstanding your suggestion. This idea has been discussed by our team in the past. Many years back I came across a site that did something similar. It gave points and badges out to people based off how many posts they rated. My main concern with this is will it diminish the value of the rating system. People might just start rating posts without reading them to acquire a higher designation. Thoughts?
NetPro Community Manager
When a reply to Original Poster (Thread Starter) question solve his/her problem, the Original Poster usually rate the reply but forgot to tick the Red Check Mark (or intentionally) and without posting any "Thank you I rated you 5 points but you don't solve my problem".
Is it possible that if the Original Poster didn't tick the Red Check Mark, to have an alternative mark whenever he/she rate those replies to her/his question automatically? Maybe Silver Check Mark?
- This will tell us if the Original Poster rated our reply or somebody else.
- This will tell us that our reply makes sense to Original Poster (though it may not have solve his/her problem)
Very nice and interesting ideas and discussion regarding the rating system. While reading I understood most positions and arguments.
As a frequent poster/visitor I like to add my 2 cents.
I am not in favor of being able to see who rated your post (allthough I agree that there have been instances where I wished to know as well, LOL).
As stated by others our human nature is to use this to find out who provided feedback, why and when, and use that info it to our best interest. This could be easily abused. Also, I am not in favor of zero ratings.
What I do agree though is that it would help a poster to better understand why someone rated 1 or 2, or perhaps even 3, in order to be able to improve postings or update with additional info (this would keep discussions alive and improve the overall quality).
So why not just force a user to give reasoning when rating with 1 or 2? Without reasoning only allow to rate with 3 or higher. That should be easy to implement as well.
And now that we are discussing rating anyway, I have always wondered why it is impossible to rate the initial post on a thread. This kinda makes me think the netpro forum is a place for questioning only, while I appreciate post that just provide great info, best practices et cetera as well. Sometimes an initial post is just great and you can not even rate it :-/
Hope it helps, and happy to see a lot of the frequent posters chime in on this one ;-)
It's been a while since I wandered through this area ...
In the meantime, I've seen (at least twice) a situation where someone (I think it was Rick Burts)gave a perfectly acceptable answer, and got rated a "1," apparently because the OP was thinking "You're Number One!!" (i.e., "1" was the top rating).
I know there are specific labels right next to each number, but either due to interpretation issues, or the person was in a hurry ... didn't catch the right label.
Maybe come up with some icons for the numbers too? Like a big happy face for 5 and an "awsh!t" face for a 1 ... something like that... or get rid of the "1" and keep the rest.
I still believe that negative points would be a Bad Thing (but lose the one to remove the which is better a one or a five? confusion)
As a possible solution to an OP's lack of response when a good solution has been posted, maybe have a different color check mark that can be selected by a non-OP that is certain that the solution is a good one ... maybe with a tag (or a link)like "ScottMac says this really works!"
Putting a name on that provides a known source to establish the credibility and to prevent "back scratching" ( you rate my posts and I'll rate yours). It would offer some guidance that a solution is known-good, but unacknowledged by the OP.
OR, to make it somewhat more personal, once you cross into the blue star zone (or higher), you get a personal stamp of approval (Rob gets a Maple Leaf, for example) and a solution could collect badges by known, well-established responders.
Just set aside some table space at the top of the post for the badge gallery.
Oh well, nap time's over, time to go to bed.
Again, my thanks to all the contributers, a lot of great information is posted every day. It's like an Ultra-short Reader's Digest version of keeping up with the tech stuff.