View Full Version : I'm sorry for whatever it was I did

20 April 2002, 08:15 AM
Warning: whining ahead...

Ever since joining Holonet, I've tried my best to be helpful. I've taken time out of my day to look things up on the Web and forwarded them to people when they asked for a picture of this starship or an article on that subject. I've dug out my books and presented facts when people were looking for them, and quoted text when I could have just said "trust me, I know, dude" and left it at that. I've put up character sheets to share with the rest of the community. And even when I disagreed with people, I've tried my best to be polite about it and have never made it personal with anybody.

Yet my rating has continued slowly to dwindle, which tells me I am, in fact, doing something wrong. I know it's an indicator of not having much of a life (admittedly, I don't) that I got up this morning and noticed my rating had tanked another couple of tenths. I shouldn't care, I know, but it does bother me just a bit.

Maybe I'm posting too much. Maybe people don't like me dropping my two cents on far too many threads. Or, maybe I'm just taking it way too seriously and need to take a break.

In any case, if I ever have gone too far in my disagreement with anyone, or offended anyone with my point of view. Please be assured I never meant anything personal by it. They're just opinions, after all, and I'm not out to change anyone's mind about anything.

Anyway -- the fact that I am taking this all a bit too personally is an indicator that I need a little break from this place. Maybe a few days, maybe longer. I just want to say that I really enjoy Holonet a great deal -- I truly believe this is the best Star Wars fan community on the Web -- certainly the best I've ever found, by far -- and I've met some great people.

Anyway, thanks for letting me take up a bit of space on C&M for this little rant... see ya.

20 April 2002, 08:55 AM
Y'know this is just one more reason why I hate the rating system. It doesn't matter if what you say is helpful or useful, what matters is if you say things that please people. As a result, if you worry about your rating you aren't free to post what you really think about something. The best way to raise your rating is to stay out of the opinion threads, never say anything that anyone might disagree with, and say nice things about people even if you don't mean it. Oh, and adding useful contnet might raise your rating a little, but chances are it won't. In any case, if you've ever offended anyone on these boards, consider your rating shot, because chances are you'll really have to kiss up to them in order to get them to change their opinion of you. You'll probably have more fun just saying what you feel, though.

Chris Curtis
20 April 2002, 09:34 AM
Well, for whatever it's worth, dgswensen, I think you've been contributing quite constructively. At least lately (I can't say that I remember one way or the other from much more than a week ago or so).

I will agree that it is a tiny bit of a let-down when I've seen my own rating drop a tenth. Like you, it isn't that I'm concerned about the rating itself, it's that I use it as an indicator for how well I'm helping the community. When they go down, we both think we must be doing something wrong.

But in the end it doesn't really matter one way or the other. I could have a zero rating and I'd still continue trying to post useful information and contribute insightfully into threads. I only post in a thread when I actually have something to say (unlike some of the members on the HoloNet who seem inclined to post in every thread they find...), and I don't think that will change, regardless of what my rating is. I get the impression you're much the same.

Anyway, don't sweat it. Some of us know you're doing a good job (and incidentally, I don't rate people nearly as often as I should -- including you) and we'll have your back when the throw-down, drag-out fight comes. :D

20 April 2002, 11:10 AM
To all of those that read this, and might find themselve falling into the same kind of angst that dgswensen or Chris Curtis are feeling about their rating, I have this to say:

A tenth of a rating here or there ISN'T a big deal. 1 or 2 whole points would be. The rating system isn't designed to make you feel that if you've got down one tenth of a point, that you're a worthless individual. It's an indicator...something you can base your future focus on. Is your rating around 1? If so, then you should focus on being a little more helpful and a little less annoying. 2? Well, then you're "fair".

Personally, I feel that anyone's rating who's 3 or higher is doing very well in the whole community. A 3.0 is AVERAGE, people, so if you've got a 3.4 or a 3.5, you're ABOVE AVERAGE. Losing a couple of tenths of a point is inconsequential. *I* lose that much occasionally. It's simply a hazard of granting the ability to everyone to tell others what you think of a person.

dgswensen, you're quite a helpful member to this community. I don't feel that you should take time off (unless you really feel that it's necessary) simply due to the loss of a few tenths in your rating. There are obviously, based on Sabre's comment, several people out there that don't even put emphasis on what a person's rating is. So your numbers are going to affect their opinion. Your rating also won't affect the opinion of the moderators or people who've already voted for you and think that you're a helpful member of the gaming community.

Consider the rating to be more of a general focus measurement for you. When you dip to a rating of 2 or 1, then you can start aplogizing and re-thinking your habits. Losing tenths is nothing to get worked up about...that goes for everyone.

I'm sorry if I sound like I'm preaching, but I've seen a couple of people get worked up over these ratings when the numbers are pretty much a personal guage for themselves. Just remember that there are some people on this Holonet that may judge you (or me) harsher than others, thus your rating will fluctuate slightly. There's no harm done, and there's nothing to start a major personal revamp on your part.

So please go a little lighter on yourself. Most people on the Holonet know who the "unhelpful" people are, and no one who's posted on this thread fall into that category...by a long shot!

20 April 2002, 01:18 PM
Has anyone out right said your an idiot or anything like the such? If not I wouldn't worry about it. I think your a great member of the community! You've always seemed helpful to me (well not just to me specificially but everyone in general). :)

Reverend Strone
20 April 2002, 01:49 PM
I must admit having glanced at dgswensen's rating a couple of times and thought, "Wow, who did you honk off?"

Certainly in the time I've been visiting the Network, I've come to respect and value you my friend, and wondered why your rating has declined. Your posts are always what I consider intelligent, well thought-out, constructive and polite. I don't ever remember reading you flame anyone, or offer such a substantially divergent point of view to another user that might see them take offence and penalise you.

For what it's worth, you're a perfect five in my esteem, and a model for a Holonet user, so please don't get too upset. I can relate to your dissapointment. I know I always frown when I see my rating take a dip, and it makes me think, "What did I post in the last couple of days that could have lowered someone's opinion of me?" Once you start doing that, it begins to creep and linger in the back of your mind, and you begin to think you're not contributing valuably to the Net.

All I can say is, in your case DG, that couldn't be further from the truth. Hang in there, and be at peace. The ratings are sometimes a lottery. You win one week, but for some reason the following week, you get the slap. I reckon you're about due for an up-turn.

20 April 2002, 06:47 PM
I for one, have been helped by your input quite a bit. I have found myself trying to emulate the maturity and thought you put into your posts, and respect you as someone who's example I should follow.

I agree with Revstrone 100%,


20 April 2002, 06:57 PM
i think people take advantage of you. i have one person I know who hates me so they voted a 1. I also get mad occasionally (like when people are'nt offering advice, they're just critizing me). People vote me down. I'm only a 2.? And dgswensen you are an exampleary member.:)

20 April 2002, 07:02 PM
I myself am new to this site and consider myself to be a frendly happy fellow. And under normal conditions I am happy to outright tell anyone (no one in paticular) what I think of them. I happily represent myself as a True Neutral player and live up to my own standards. I'm Happy to help and not to proud to ask for help and normally don't let other peoples views bother me. So I'll be here to help you and I hope all of you are there to help me when the time comes. We'll all stick together, unless your Imperial....ha

(and if any of the people who decide rating are reading this I give out great Christmas Presents...JK)

"If it's got an engine and a seat sign me up!"

20 April 2002, 10:58 PM

I remember not too long ago a discussion about who was more underestimated: Luke or Vader. You had a very polite way of arguing for your opinion. I remember this well, for instead of getting defensive or wishing to really argue back, I really saw what you were saying and agreed with it, and am happy to see that some people on this board can argue and talk with people, without talking down to people. If someone can convince me something (I'm originally from Missouri....the Show Me state) through examples, and politely do so, I cannot help but agree with them. Whenever I see that you have posted on a thread, I always read what you had to say. Your posts are always clear and very helpful. Keep up the good work, and don't mind the ratings too much. Anyone who has visited this site long enough knows that you are one of the contributors, and we are glad to have you here.

Chris Curtis
21 April 2002, 12:04 PM
Man, all these posts have even given me a warm, happy feeling inside. Just one more example of what a great community this really is -- heads and shoulders above most of the other ones I've been involved in.

Oh, and I've noticed that DG's rating has already gone up a bit! ;)

darth maim
21 April 2002, 12:57 PM
Allright I guess I'll pipe in here... Yeah it definately sucks when your rating goes down (I too find myself screening content just a bit and hoping not to piss anyone off) but in the end I say if you think you need to change do so, if you think you do more good than harm don't sweat it. I like the others who have spoken here respect your opinions and I think you are definately a well-spoken member of the net.

21 April 2002, 01:12 PM
Well, far be it for me to throw cold water on the warm feeling, but my opinion is this:

The ratings system is pointless. At least to me. I think you should assign value and importance to a post based on what that poster has to say, not on their rating. If you are tooling through the forums and excluding posts simply because you see someone has a low rating then you are not only doing a disservice to them but to yourself.

The bottom line is this: the ratings arent perfect; and, depending on who may or may not like your posts you could be posting worthwhile info and opinions, but some 12 year old with a chip on his shoulder who has nothing better to do than sit at home and be angry can come along and take a shine to knocking your score down and make every effort to track down your other posts and lower your score.

Well, forget that noise. I come here to post opinions, enter in intelligent conversations and occasionally make a wisecrack or two (all in good humor of course). It's who I am and it's how I post. Just because some rules lawyer thinks I'm too glib in my answers or gets his/her nose out of joint becuase I didnt go back and re-read 14 chapters of some obscure novel and rather relied on my memory to answer a question while trying to be helpful isnt going to change me or make me stop posting.

If you are sincere in your love for this game and topic and dont go out of our way just to post upset people or see your name in print you shouldnt worry about some little rating bar under your name. Mine can go down to zero and I could care less. Until people come to me directly and tell me to leave or inform me that Im not wanted here I'm going to continue to stick around and do my thing. DGSWENSON , dont you be afraid to do the same. It's our personalities that makes the holonet fun and interesting, when we start censoring ourselves in the hope our little green bar grows we are hurting the community more than helping it. Trust me.:D

21 April 2002, 04:37 PM
Also remember that your rating will drop most likely the more votes you get. For example, if I have a rating of 4.5 after two votes, and then I get 50 more votes and more are 4s than 5s, my rating will go down. It's not that big a deal.

Personally, I like the ratings system because it means there's less emphasis on post count and is a good way to provide quick feedback on the way a user behaves.

21 April 2002, 04:42 PM
Let me clarify something for you BRodgers and anyone else who may be wondering:

A person can only rate you ONCE. If they rate a post on a thread a 1, then that's the only 1 that will ever count by them for you. It doesn't matter if they go to twenty other posts by you and rate you 1, as only the first 1 counts.

Now, they CAN go back after rating you and change their rating. So if you first rate a person at 1, and later you find out that they've improved (in your opinion), you can vote at a higher number...say a 2 or 3, and the rating for that person, with your individual vote, will go up.

I hope that clarifies it for some people.

21 April 2002, 06:57 PM
Thanks Grimace , I wasnt aware that was the case, but really, it only means one thing:

Your rating is solely dependent on the people who actually vote. So. while you may have posted a hundred times and may have submitted a hundred valuable opinions BUT if only of the hundreds who may have viewed it , five are pepople who actually take time to vote, your entire rating is hinging on those people alone....a very small percentage of the population (and lets be honest not EVERYONE votes like they should..some do and some flat out don't).

So we are essentially back to square one. Now, granted, I realize that some people are very mature and honest about the voting...but some arent. And unless you have a system where every person is required to vote you are going to get (in my opinion) inaccurate results in some cases. Fo those who need evidence merely look at this thread...and individual gets poor rating for no discernable reason and has to make a public statement on that very fact for his ratings to get raised. One begs to question if DGSWENSON 's rating would have inproved at all had he not started this thread. Nonetheless, any system that requires a poster to go to this length, is, in my opinion, flawed.

Personally I think we could do without the system. For those who are just joining the holonet it may be a little intimidating to question someone who has a high rating or post count or whatever. Or you ay come across someone who is very knowledgeable and helpful and, for whatever reason they have a low rating and a new person might simply dismiss them or what they say because of that little green bar. I know, I know, ditching the system isn't the most popular opinion, especially for those of you who have such high ratings or whatever, but hey, last time I checked it was a free country and I didnt need permission to voice my sometimes very unpopular opinions...as long as I'm respectful about it...which I most certainly am.:D

21 April 2002, 07:05 PM
Maybe its not people voting low. I have incountered aerror in the programing. I think. Sometimes when I scroll down with my mouse I have noticed that it rates players if the pointer is to close to the vote thing. I havent been using my mouse to scroll down anymore but Ill tell you if ive had the problem Im sure many others have as well. Maybe we need like a confirm vote pop up or something.
Anyway its just something Ive noticed and I think if anyone has something to say about someone the should just outright voice there opinions and not hide behind the vote. you have been a great help here d ive found alot of good post from you. Dont let anyone get you down. I wanna see alot more.

Dan Stack
21 April 2002, 07:17 PM
As an only occasional poster, I'm not certain if my opinion on this has merit (I've only an average rating... :D)

I've never been a big fan of either rating individuals or giving out "ranks" based on post count (especially the latter, being a moderator on another board which had a few instances of people spamming for ranks).

However, the ratings for individual seems somewhat odd to me - not offensive, but more like being back in school. For example, if you hypothetically make a bad first impression - like getting net access for the first time and MAKE POSTS IN ALL CAPS you're probably going to get hammered by a bunch of annoyed people. You realize you've made a boo-boo and stop doing it but odds are people will not go back and say "wow, I really misjudged so-and-so, let me improve my rating of him". So your rating stays low - does that mean you should form a new identity? (Kinda like a superhero who realizes his costume looks a bit silly.)

Like I said, I'm an occasional poster, mainly speaking up if I have something I wish contribute. But I frequent these boards quite often and I know without any ratings whose opionions I respect, who tends to make well-reasoned arguments, etc.

Hypothetically speaking, if 500 people read this post of mine here and say "wow, what a loser, MINIMUM RATING FOR DAN STACK!!!!",does that mean if someone new shows up they should have the prejudgement that other people have a low opinion of Dan Stack? I would imagine if I were an annoyance they'd figure it out pretty quickly on their own.

At the end of the day, it really isn't that big a deal, but my honest opinion is it doesn't really add all that much. People who are respected will be respected regardless of an insignia or number next to their name.And people who make fools of themselves will obtain that reputation as well.

Of course, it doesn't effect anyones salary, GPA, or status in the non-virtual world. :)

21 April 2002, 10:06 PM
Well, as I've pointed out, if your personal choice is to ignore the rating system, then by all means do so. We aren't forcing anyone to pay attention to the rating system, nor are we taking away people's ability to post or anything based on whether you've voted for someone or not.

The rating system is more for each individual person to get a general idea of what others think of you. It isn't hyper accurate, and there's no way we can force everyone to vote. Most people (I hope) will base their opinions of a person based on what each person posts...whether they are helpful or just a loudmouth...rather than what a person's rating is. I know that I don't look at a person's rating when I read posts. I read the post, and if it's particularly useful (and I recall that same person being helpful in the past) I rate them. If the post is a troll, or goes out its way to slam another person, and I recall that same person being less than helpful in the past) I rate them low. Of course, I will go back later and raise a person's vote if I feel they have improved.

I admit, though, that I haven't voted for everyone...not even all of the people who've posted here.

All in all, though, the rating system ISN'T perfect. No system ever is. If you don't want to use it, ignore it. If you want to judge other people's posts based on their rating, without reading a post, then that is your prerogative, but I'd advise against it. If you feel that the rating is a fairly tolerable way to tell people whether you like their general "online" performance, get out there and vote.

The rating isn't meant to be the end all of your Holonet experience. Neither are the ranks, or anything else. They're more "eye candy" and flavor than anything. If you don't like them, feel free to ignore them.

Also, another clarification, simply posting a lot doesn't rapidly increase a person's rank here. The ranking system is a rather complex formula where post count only plays a part of it.

Just remember, this place is supposed to be for fun, and for fellow fans of Star Wars to get together and swap ideas. :)

Talonne Hauk
21 April 2002, 10:27 PM
Okay, I voted earlier, and I'm back, and dgswenson's rank is approaching godlike status. So unless I'm getting a cut of the action, that's enough with the pity points.:p

22 April 2002, 12:42 PM
Another flaw with the ratings system, as I see it, is that it is based on raw averages. So if 3 people think you deserve a 5 and they all vote that way, but one troll who doesn't care how the system is supposed to be used and doesn't care for you gives you a 1, your rating goes down to 4 (16 / 4). From then on, if you ever want to get back to a 5, you'll need about a hundred votes, all 5s, before the system rounds you back up to 5 again. The weight of one troll's vote can bring down someone who everyone else thinks is doing a good job.

It is also possible that people look at the user's rating, know that it's an average, and then vote to put that user's rating closer to what they think it should be rather than voting the number that best represents their opinion. For example, if a person saw my rating at 5 (Yeah, never happen, but this is an example), thought my work deserved 4 (again..), and then voted 1 to bring my overall rating down to their expectations.

Why have measures like post count and user rating at all? People can read the works of other posters, and then decide for themselves whether or not they like what that person writes, and then follow their posts or avoid them as they see fit. People don't need a ratings system or a post count system to attempt to tell them how they should feel about what anyone has to say.

darth maim
22 April 2002, 01:01 PM
Personally I like having the post count and rating bar... it's window dressing and it makes this set of forums unique.

22 April 2002, 03:55 PM

Well, first of all, I would like to say I'm pretty overwhelmed by the flood of supportive posts. To be honest, I didn't think my little tirade would get much of a response -- and if it did, I expected it would be somebody advising me to get a life or a thicker skin! So, needless to say, I'm pretty stunned.

I'd just like to state a couple things for the record, though:

1) I did <I>not</I> post my rant to get "pity points" and boost my rating. I appreciate the flood of positive votes for me, and if you feel I've <I>genuinely</I> been that much of a help to the community -- great! However, if any one of you comes to your senses later, and decides I'm not worth that top-dollar vote after all -- feel free to mod me back down to something sensible, and I promise not to take it personally. :) (I agree with what Talonne Hauk said... sure, I took a little umbrage at 3.6, but 4.1?... not ready am I...)

2) I also did not post in an attempt to criticize the user rating system. I tried to be careful to phrase it that way -- I wasn't saying "My points dropped, the user rating <I>sucks</I> and I'm out of here!" but rather "My points dropped, and I'm taking it seriously, and that's kind of silly, so it's time I took a break." I have no personal issues with the ratings system as such.

Anyway, I'm back now, and have things back in perspective. Thanks to everyone for the good advice, which I plan on taking -- rest assured, I'm never going to take my rating quite that seriously again. I'm back, and no more nonsense. :)

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a lot of catching up to do...

Donovan Morningfire
22 April 2002, 06:39 PM
(finally decided to check this thread out, and see what's keeping it popular.)

Unless someone flat out tells you that you've frelled something up, don't sweat it. Having hung out on a more than a few message boards along the years, this is probably one of the more peaceful ones. (You want venom and nastiness, go check out some of the DBZ based ones. Eh-gads!) Heck, just mention "canon" over at the WotC Star Wars boards and things get ugly. (I think Jett Darkstar can back me on this one.)

As for the rating system, I think (according to Lokar at least), I've gotten the most votes overall, or am at least in the top 5, and seem to have settled into a 3.8 rating. I get the feeling I'd have to do something really spectacular to boost that up. But I don't worry too much about it. If I want an idea of what people think of my contributions/comments, I read their replies to my posts.

Myself, if I have something to say, positive or negative, about something you've said, I'll post a reply and state my thoughts/views/opinions. I haven't voted for a lot of people, mostly since I think it's too impersonal. But then I never have known when exactly to keep my beak shut :D

23 April 2002, 09:19 AM
Well for what it's worth, I usually don't vote unless I consistantly see good posts from that member. There are so many members on the holonet that their names often run together and I have no idea who is who. Then again there are numerous members who stand out and often have something to say (good or bad) on any number of topics and if I see them posting, I'll toss a vote on their rating to boost them up.

As for my opinion on the rating system (not that anyone cares) I think it's pretty cool as it is. If you get lots of LOW ratings, then there has to be a reason. Either you piss people off or just don't haven't impressed anyone enough to balance out the people you irritated. BUT I don't think that your rating defines you as a holonetter. My rating goes up and down and I really could care less. I post what I want to, when I want to, and try to avoid intentionally irritating anyone. Hell, I never claimed to have all the answers, but my amount of free time allows me to post on things and put out my two creds worth wether people want it or not! :D

Armage Bedar
24 April 2002, 11:11 AM
Hey all - fearless administrator Armage here. I noticed that there was a bit of discussion about the rating system, and I figured I'd toss my comments into the thread to elucidate and hopefully clarify my feelings about ratings.

So far, ratings have been a success, as far as I'm concerned. Few long-standing members have less than 20 ratings, and even many registered within 2002 have 10 ratings or more. When it first started, I was wary about how well it would work. Well, the problems were mostly worked out, and then it became a waiting game. I'm very glad to see many people have been rated, and I'm also thankful that the webmasters and moderators have been encouraging the use of the system to such a high degree. Thanks!

Now, as <b>Grimace</b> has said, small changes in a user's rating is not a big deal. As more people rate you, the net effect that each individual rating has on your average gets lower and lower. Obviously, though, if you only have been rated by 5 people, and a 6th person who takes umbrage at you for some reason rates you lower, you may swing by almost a point. The law of averages is supposed to help with that - the more ratings you have, the less that an unjust rating will affect you. Hence the reason why I've been encouraging the use of the system, even if you only give someone another "3".

I do agree, though, that the system isn't perfect. Abuses will occur, but thanks to the great community we have here those abuses are few and far between. I have been tossing around a few changes in my head, though -- changes that I think will diminish the effect that troublemakers will have on the system:
<ul><li>Reduce the effectiveness of low-rated members' ratings. IOW, someone with an average of 3 and up would rate people normally, with their rating being equally weighted compared to everyone else. If you have an average of between 2 and 3, though, you'd only rate people 2/3 as effectively. Between 1 and 2, you'd only rate people 1/3 as effectively. Since troublemakers and trolls tend to have low ratings to begin with (or else will accrue such a rating fairly quickly) this will keep them from causing damage to an innocent member's rating. Teaming up to foil this would be difficult, IMHO -- difficult enough that most members would not worry about it. In addition to reducing one's rating effectiveness, though, the next suggestion might also reduce abuses:</li>
<li>Limit privileges based on rating. Obviously, this presents more serious repercussions based on your rating, and would have to be considered carefully before being instituted. I would also set a threshold before it could take effect, since members with only a few ratings would be more susceptible to inadvertent punishment with this system. Anyway, the deal is this: low ratings mean fewer privileges. This means things like custom status lines (which I'm going to adjust to allow HTML), rating effectiveness, forum privileges, etc. (Just suggestions, mind you, not necessarily what I'd plan to use.) It's simple: if the members say that you can't play nice, then you don't get to have the benefits of a community participant.</li></ul>

There are more things I'm thinking about, including setting up privileges based upon number of ratings and such, but those are less revolutionary and will be discussed soon.

Hope this addresses some misgivings about the rating system. If not, keep the comments coming!

Terras Jadeonar & Raven
24 April 2002, 02:25 PM
I don't normally look at my ratings all the time... But I can say that time to time i've seen mine once peak at 4 then drop to 3 again and holding... that made me raise an eyebrow those times... then it got me wondering: ok, what did I do and where?

I think the voting system is like a scratch my back i'll scratch yours... If we vote new users with decent ratings when they deserve a pat on the back and in turn I'd hope they see that follow by example ...

Maybe its just me but, even though the ranks don't mean a whole lot as many have said... but it does tend to get on one's consciousness over time, well mine at least... I guess thats both good and bad I guess.

Hmm, maybe some range like .5's would be nice to see in the rank list. would be less harsh to rank by a half point, and those half points would add up i think ...

darth maim
24 April 2002, 02:31 PM
a .5 system might help out with the shock drop syndrome that seems to be a widespread phenomenon good idea man.

25 April 2002, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by Armage Bedar

<li>Limit privileges based on rating. Obviously, this presents more serious repercussions based on your rating, and would have to be considered carefully before being instituted. I would also set a threshold before it could take effect, since members with only a few ratings would be more susceptible to inadvertent punishment with this system. Anyway, the deal is this: low ratings mean fewer privileges. This means things like custom status lines (which I'm going to adjust to allow HTML), rating effectiveness, forum privileges, etc. (Just suggestions, mind you, not necessarily what I'd plan to use.) It's simple: if the members say that you can't play nice, then you don't get to have the benefits of a community participant.</li></ul>

There are more things I'm thinking about, including setting up privileges based upon number of ratings and such, but those are less revolutionary and will be discussed soon.

I think that this would be a pretty bad idea, considering the ratings don't really show anything other than how many friends someone has, and doesn't necessarily(spelling?) say anything about their posting habits.

darth maim
25 April 2002, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by ALFRED_THE_EWOK

I think that this would be a pretty bad idea, considering the ratings don't really show anything other than how many friends someone has, and doesn't necessarily(spelling?) say anything about their posting habits.

This is a pretty broad blanket statement and is pretty much untrue... I vote people what I feel they deserve not because I'm looking for friends but rather because of their posting habits.

That's not to say that I disagree that limiting holonet use by rating is a bad idea... anytime you put the ability for a person to access a site in the hands of the general site viewing public you are introducing a recipe for disaster. I would have no problem if one of the administrators decided I couldn't post anymore for a while but to allow someone to decide they disagree with my views on something so they'll lower my rating and now I can't post is pretty ridiculous...

Just my opinion.

25 April 2002, 03:05 PM
Originally posted by Armage Bedar
I have been tossing around a few changes in my head, though -- changes that I think will diminish the effect that troublemakers will have on the system:
<li>Limit privileges based on rating. Obviously, this presents more serious repercussions based on your rating, and would have to be considered carefully before being instituted. I would also set a threshold before it could take effect, since members with only a few ratings would be more susceptible to inadvertent punishment with this system. Anyway, the deal is this: low ratings mean fewer privileges. This means things like custom status lines (which I'm going to adjust to allow HTML), rating effectiveness, forum privileges, etc. (Just suggestions, mind you, not necessarily what I'd plan to use.) It's simple: if the members say that you can't play nice, then you don't get to have the benefits of a community participant.</li></ul>
Wouldn't that INCREASE the effectiveness of troublemakers? By giving the troublemakers more power? That's the way I see it.
I would have to say I don't like that concept, and not just because I have a bad rating, but I think it could lead to more abuse and hard feelings by people who say something someone else doesn't like.

Reverend Strone
25 April 2002, 03:10 PM
I'll chime in to lend my support to Armage bedar 's idea of lowering the effective rating potential of lower rated users.

As someone who was slammed with a (most unjust IMHO) 1 by a low rated user who objected to something I said, I would support that kind of policy. It lessens the impact on the system that unscrupulous users have, and they can still earn their way back to grace and greater say by posting and behaving well. Fortunately we don't have many of these guys on the boards.

However, I don't know about lessening the privledges of lower rated members. That seems as if it takes the punishment thing too far IMO. One of the nicest aspects of these boards is the feeling of inclusion one can have at the outset of joining. Many online discussion groups tend to feel like rather exclusive clubs. The Holonet never has, and this is one of its greatest strengths.

I would worry that a policy that restricts low-rated users' freedoms would have the opposite effect and only discourage them from trying to improve because they would feel slighted. It establishes a hierachy, and while I'm not adverse to hierachies, I believe the ranking system already does this perfectly adequately and postively without the need for a negative re-inforcement feature.

Armage Bedar's first solution, simply lowering a poor user's voting power is the better because it is less obvious and overt. Many of these poorer users may not even realise it has happened, but their ability to disrupt the boards is none-the-less nicely curtailled.

Wherever possible, a postive re-inforcement is preferable to a negative one, I would submit.

Armage Bedar
26 April 2002, 11:58 AM
I agree with everyone who expressed concern about being limited in their HoloNet use purely based on member ratings. If this were imposed, some sort of review process would obviously be in order to keep the system from being abused. Like I said, these are just ideas, and I'm glad you all are making your thoughts known -- it keeps me from doing things that might otherwise be detrimental to the community.

The consensus, though, seems to be that reducing someone's rating effectiveness if they have a low rating themselves is worth considering. It still keeps the rating system detatched from the rest of the HoloNet's functions but gives members an incentive to "post well".

As for creating more rating increments (perhaps by using fractions or increasing the range from 1-5 to 1-10), I'll consider that, too, but I'm inclined to let the system remain fairly simple. It's worked remarkably well so far, and I find myself checking a user's rating almost as a litmus test of their posting history. (If that person has a sufficient number of ratings, of course.)

Keep the comments coming!

Ghost In The Holocron
26 April 2002, 05:48 PM
I'm with many of those here who've expressed their concerns on limiting HoloNet use based on ratings. Overall, it may do more harm than good since there's a some sort of negative reinforcement involved, which may generate too much bad vibes. Should such a system be implemented a "review" system should be aswell -- but that may just complilcate matters for all the admins. The system seems to work best when there's a free range of movement for all members.

However, the idea of "weighting" your vote based on your own rating is something worth considering for the reasons Armage has summarized in his latest post above. There's no use-limiting effect to be had since it's basically a system thats independant of HoloNet use and yet it will give a more balanced feel to ratings over all.

I wouldn't mind fractional ratings (2.5 3.5 4.5 etc) but I'm not that gung- ho about them as well. It does seem the basic 1-5 works quite well in it's simple way. There's a certain elegance to it.

Good luck with the changes!

Talonne Hauk
28 April 2002, 06:30 PM
My rating has begun to slide lately, which is an issue of consternation for me. The idea of the ratings is a good idea, and I support it. But the problem is that if I feel I'm trying to be helpful, and be a positive contributor to the site, I don't know why my ratings are sliding. I honestly feel that people take issue with my opinions. Let's set something straight here; opinions are an outgrowth of free speech. If you disagree with something I say, debate it with me. Don't rate me lower due to an opinion. If I'm incorrect factually, correct me. Don't rate me lower due to a mistake. If I'm negative towards other users, if I berate them, if I post inane comments, if I stray too far offthread, by all means, rate me lower. If you do feel the need to rate me lower, do me this one favor; look up other postings I've made to get a better holistic view of my outlook.
If the site continues to use ratings, I think it should stay the way it is.

28 April 2002, 08:34 PM
Well I don't lend much weight to polls anyway, so it really doesn't make a diference to me whether the votes are weighted. However weighting votes smacks of elitism. In the US we do not weight Political Votes based on the voter's education, because even those with a low education have the same voice and power as the most educated Poly Sci Doctor.

Again I tend to lend weight to a Poll question based on the comments made, and sometimes the rating of the comenter, but the Poll results are too vague for me lend creedence to.

Armage you are dong the site a service by opening this to public comment, I commend that.

Just thought of something: How about, instead of rating being based on the Mean Average, basing it on the Mode Average. That way a single vote of 1 has no real effect, but many will knock down the rating.

(For those that don't know a Mode Average is simply the most common result in a sample, rather than a normal Average.)

28 April 2002, 09:26 PM
One last thing to say, this time aobut weighted averages.
These could very easily fragment the board's ratings between those who are popular and those who are not. People are more likely to rate their friends higher and honestly believe that they deserve it. Friends tend to form circles. Circles tend to share opinions. People on the outside will see their ratings fall as all of the inflated circle member ratings see their ratings rise. People inside the circles will see their ratings rise as people on the outsides ratings fall. So, it puts even MORE pressure on people to say things that will be popular with their fellow holonetters.

Anyway, just something to think about before you decide finally.

28 April 2002, 10:54 PM
I find the rating system to be unnecessary and possibly worse. I think rating people is pretty bad, especially in numeric form. It's too subjective, too intimidating/disgruntling to enough people and doesn't dovetail well with the concept of community. It really feels like it's being used because it's a unique piece of functionality that came with the bbs software and it might have been interesting to see how it worked out...

Just my feelings on it.

Dan Kyrinov
29 April 2002, 08:59 PM
I suppose this thread has become a place of discussion over some of the rating problems, comments, difficulties, and possible changes or modifications. A lot of people have expressed well-thought opinions and advice. Me, I just have an observation. There are a lot of new members, which is great, but before they've even posted twice, they get wailed on by low number ratings. In addition, people I respect are being brought down seemingly at random. I could be wrong, but new posters who have only posted once shouldn't be at 1.7. I sense a disturbance in the Force, and it's probably someone who has no better thing to do than to go around smacking ones on people at random. I know the ratings can discourage new posters, so hang in there, all of you. Now, I write this post not only to add a thought on the rankings, but express the same sentiment that I gave to a friend who joined and quit because of near-instant votes of poor on his first post. (Hopefully I can get him to come back.) A growing forum is important.

Reverend Strone
29 April 2002, 09:35 PM
Dan Kyrinov raises a very valid point. I've noticed this new trend too. If someone does something really insulting or otherwise worthy of a slap in the ratings, fair enough, but it does seem strange when someone who has only posted twice has a low rating straight off. Perhaps the benefit of the doubt could be applied to new posters until they've had the opportunity to prove themselves?

It's also worth noting that sometimes people don't join up until they feel strongly enough about a subject to feel compelled to chip in, necessitating registration. This would result in first time posts being on average, more controversial or perhaps contrary to popular view, thus more likely to garner a bad rating from those who might disagree or object.

I recall my first post was a negative one, but I was lucky enough not to be rated down. On the contrary, when I retracted some of my comments that were misinformed, I was rewarded with a high vote from resident members to encourage more constructive posting.

My point is, lets be encouraging of the new guys. Like me, they might screw up a few times while they find the correct forum ettiquete or tone, but lets not be too hasty to vote them down (Actually, many of you know I still screw up pretty regularly). Give them a second chance and reward them for good posts rather than slam them for the bad.

Talonne Hauk
29 April 2002, 10:09 PM
I think I'm voicing an idea that's running through Dan Kyrinov's and the good Reverends heads; give new members a grace period. Perhaps five posts? That way it might encourage members to backtrack through a new members posts before truly rating them. I would welcome that change.

30 April 2002, 09:20 PM
I think it'd be interesting to see what would happen if the rating system was optional.

1 May 2002, 06:50 AM
I just noticed this, I posted an update this weekend and asked a bunch of questions and my ratings dropped. I thought I was just trying to help, ?: oh well. Actually I don't really worry about the ratings, its one of those subjective things.

Actually I like the idea of Force Points, instead of the rating. Where you give them a Force Point for a paticullarily good or helpful post. That way people can see what they are doing and incourage helpfully behavior instead of providing negative reinforcement.

1 May 2002, 07:06 AM
Originally posted by Dan Kyrinov
Me, I just have an observation. There are a lot of new members, which is great, but before they've even posted twice, they get wailed on by low number ratings. In addition, people I respect are being brought down seemingly at random. I could be wrong, but new posters who have only posted once shouldn't be at 1.7.
I definitely agree that users should not be modded down at random, nor for trite or immature reasons. Myself, I try to concentrate on modding people up when they deserve it, and mod down only when someone flames, is disruptive, or just out to cause trouble. I will, however, do that regardless of how new the player is -- because if I got a new account, came in and started slinging insults, I would get a bad rep very fast -- and I would deserve it.

Of course, if some people abuse the system and mod others down just for disagreeing with a point (which I'm sure happens), that's regrettable, but I think a certain degree of misuse is inevitable.

I realize that I am not exactly a Holonet veteran, but it strikes me that the ratings system is there to encourage a certain standard of behavior, "rewarding" the good and "punishing" the undesirable. When I first started, I found it encouraging that people who were helpful and insightful got higher ratings, and the people who flamed and so forth got low ratings -- i.e. you could generally spot the troublemakers right away. I wonder what other Holonetters think about the impact of the ratings system. Do you think the ratings system helps foster the (generally) friendly and helpful atmosphere around here, or does Holonet just somehow attract a certain breed of user?

Talonne Hauk
1 May 2002, 08:10 AM
I think the community here is helped by the ratings system. But I think a Star Wars Rpger in general is a better gamer anyhow. Not that I can conjure up a doctoral thesis to support that statement, but in my experience, most Star Wars gamers are more mature than their counterparts who play other games, and that goes a long ways towards fostering a good attitude.

Matt Richard
11 May 2002, 07:57 AM
(Thought Id take the advice of Chris and Grimace and post in the right thread, instead of trying to start a new one, sorry about that)

Well, reviewing what has been said, i have this to say about the rating system:

As I understand it (correct me if im wrong), the rating system is there to provide the user an idea of how well he is contributing to the community. Now, I consider making a complaint a good contribution because 1. It inspires change, 2. It provides grounds for a good debate. BUt too many times, when someone complains about something, their rating drops, because as i see it, it is a fair contribution. If we werent allowed to complain, this wouldnt be a "community", it would be a "take it or leave it message board". So, in that aspect, the only time the rating system is not good is when people abuse it, and do it for no reason. A SOLUTION: whenever you vote for someone, whether good or bad, how bout there be a text box after you vote where you can write a short, anonymous explination as to why you voted that way, which could only be seen by the user being voted for and the Administraters.

Otherwise, the rating system has been ok for me. Its helped me find some "rolemodels" who are ranked high, to which i try to be as close to friends as i can. People like darkweji, Chris Curtis, Grimace, etc. are people who i respect and try to be like while posting.

Yet, I must say that it seems that im afraid of what people might think of me after i post something (i naturally have that fear, but the rating system makes it worse). Maybe we can find a way to fix this.

Master Dao Rin
11 May 2002, 09:20 AM
Originally posted by Matt Richard
Yet, I must say that it seems that im afraid of what people might think of me after i post something (i naturally have that fear, but the rating system makes it worse). Maybe we can find a way to fix this.

He has a good point there.

A number is useless to me if there isn't any constructive criticism behind it, since what one considers garbage another might consider a laugh.

I mean, I have a great time with Donovan, and would give him a five, but I doubt I'd get a high rating from him.

This number thing is all subjective, and really isn't reflective of a poster's contributions, since no one is forced to vote, and so someone can post really great stuff and no one ever bothers to vote for them!

I concur that an anonymous message attachement in place of the voting thing would be much more helpful in the long run.

Chris Curtis
11 May 2002, 12:07 PM
Actually, Matt and Master, we had something very similar to that here on the HoloNet in the past. Anyone else remember the Force Points? Anyone else remember how it failed badly? Now, I'm not saying it wouldn't work if it was introduced with this new rating system, I'm just pointing out that it's been tried before (albiet in a different form).

Really, it's all pretty simple: If you want to pay attention to the ratings, do so. If you don't care what people think of your postings or just don't care about your rating one way or the other, then ignore the whole system. ::shrug::

Matt Richard
11 May 2002, 12:21 PM
force points? how did that work out?, and why did it fail. You mean something actually failed to work on the holonet, i refuse to believe it.

11 May 2002, 01:01 PM
Ya, what were these force points, were they before my time or do I just not remember?