# Rating single posts in forum, not the whole thread

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by sircuit, Dec 1, 2011.

1. ### sircuit Thread Starter New Member

Dec 1, 2011
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Is it possible to activate a feature in this forum which allows to rate single posts, not whole threads? It would be interesting later then, not only to search for a "topic" but also for "topic" with post-rating > threshold.

2. ### Georacer Moderator

Nov 25, 2009
5,151
1,266
Maybe it could be feasible, but who was going to do the rating? We have discussed this before and we don't want to use any kind of rating system for individual users.

3. ### sircuit Thread Starter New Member

Dec 1, 2011
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Who will do the rating, of course the users. It is not about rating the users, but the content of the post. Just allowing a +1 and -1 with a comment field would be nice. The advantage will be later, if all those +-1 are added together, you will see some picture. It depends of course on all users, but this is not a bad thing. The user again has the freedom of ignoring those post-ratings. But my starting point is more "the user is intelligent" rather than "we can not trust users".

Another idea I had some time ago is creating a parallel wiki, for commenting something more static, like a database or forum posts. Then you need bidirectional links between those parallel worlds, so you can see in each item of those worlds the other connected item from the other world. As an illustration again:

wiki <----> forum

This would allow e.g. also doing all those post-ratings in this parallel world, e.g. wiki. But both worlds need to be linked, e.g. besides the forum post you need some number, the result of the +-1 calculation with a link going to that wiki-rating-page where you can read all the comments regarding the +-1 decision. This would allow all users to learn more from each other, in my opinion. Forums in the year 2011 can be more interesting this way, apart from their contents. It can show and allow you to discuss the contents further more.

4. ### Georacer Moderator

Nov 25, 2009
5,151
1,266
As far as ratings (user ratings, as you present them), there will be none in AAC. The subject has been examined before and we have concluded that all voices are equal. We prefer to keep vigilant and correct each other, rather than rely on some metric.

As far as the wiki goes, I don't get what you say about its purpose. What I know, however, is that no administrator has the time to build a wiki right now. Pity.

5. ### t06afre AAC Fanatic!

May 11, 2009
5,939
1,223
We do have the "thanks" button. That may in some cases give some information on how useful a replay/post may be for other. So if you find a post worth a "thanks" remember to give it. It may help others

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6. ### sircuit Thread Starter New Member

Dec 1, 2011
16
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Yes, exactly, the thanks button is exactly equal to +1, however there is no commenting possibility, directly attached to the "thanking" operation, also no negative thanking. Anyway, having at least a THANKS button is better than having nothing. So your last post will get now a thanks from me, why because you answered directly on the topic with a great result/explanation. And yes, this is the purpose: Helping others in the future in this forum, about same and similar topics. Making also their live easier DYNAMICALLY to filter/block users and posts. You could say filter out in the next week all users with received-thanks/number-of-posts < threshold. The logic behind this would be: No received thanks means no useful answer, at least not to those who read the text so far. Also easily filtering out users with a very low given-thanks/written-posts ratio. The logic behind this would be: The user seems to be ignorant, not trying to help others. Let us filter out those ignorant users.

Is vBulletin the most advanced forum software nowadays? I mean for example having or not having "post ratings", giving THANKS is already a positive-rating-without-comment.

7. ### sircuit Thread Starter New Member

Dec 1, 2011
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The wikis purpose would be "using technology creatively", in this example: Using a parallel wiki which has a bidirectional connection to another forum to implement a post-rating with post-commenting feature. Of course this should be just a suggestion, only if somebody who has time, programming skills and required access to the forum technology resources/code.

This forum has already a THANKS button, which is already a +1 rating without comments attached, as written before.

8. ### Georacer Moderator

Nov 25, 2009
5,151
1,266
But what would the content of the wiki be? Usually wiki pages contain an index of articles about a specific topic each. Then, each subject is analyzed thoroughly, by submissions of the wiki members. What would be the index tree, subjects and content in our site's case?

About the helpful/unhelpful posts, I think I can say that the quality of the forum is above standard. Generally, the reply scheme is as follows:
Someone posts a question, well explained or not.
Another member attempts an answer or tries to clarify the question.
The OP comes back to answer the member's questions
Members build a discussion on solving the OP's problem, each one giving suggestions and commenting on the suggestions.

The mods of AAC are always vigilant to delete spam and diverging posts. Therefore each thread is on-topic and very productive. That makes quality filters unnecessary. At least this is my aspect of AAC.

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9. ### sircuit Thread Starter New Member

Dec 1, 2011
16
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But the ugliness of how those thanks-texts are displayed IN the thread text sequence should be obvious? How would it be having just a small number or some color-bar instead? About the ugliness of all those rectangles everywhere we do not need to talk , I started already another topic for this.

Here a nice formula: $power = beautiness * quantity * quality$

10. ### sircuit Thread Starter New Member

Dec 1, 2011
16
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Oh I forgot to answer this part: Wikis are systems for writing text, in a collaborative way, having additionally all kinds of extra nice features, depending on the used wiki engine.

So, how wikis are used "normally" is not important here, you can use it for whatever you want, in any creative way you want, too. For example you can have a link button, which automatically generates a page in a wiki, with the page title being a post-id-number+username+postdate, or in any other combination you might prefer, then opening this page, ready to be edited. So from users perspective what you do is: press a button, then write something, that's it, very simple and effective. Where the text is saved later exactly is not important, if in the database of the forum engine or in a wiki engine, as long as you have bidirectional links between both systems items. The items would be "forum post item" and "wiki page item". So every post in a forum, can have exactly only one page in the wiki.

11. ### Wendy Moderator

Mar 24, 2008
20,870
2,649
You might check check out how the ElectroTech systems works. It is closer to what you describe, but is far from perfect. It is as much about popularity as technical expertise. It also encourages some minor trolling.

One of the advantages of how it is done here is there is no trolling allowed, none. We do not allow some people to build their egos by demeaning others. We also have features that exist no where else, the ability to modify posts more or less forever. I use this feature a lot, to write among other things.

I have used Wiki's, it would be a poor fit for what is done here. This does not mean it is a bad idea for some other site, but the fact is I like the way AAC is run. I've been a moderator for around 2 months, I put a lot of my precious time before that trying to make AAC a better place to visit. I don't think I would have like your model applied here, this site has existed for around 10 years and is a product of constant tweaking to where it is today.

Now I am moderator, I find I have noticeably less time for the stuff I enjoyed. That is OK, this is still a labor of love. My health is noticeably degrading, I don't know how much time I have here, but it is a good use of my time. At the moment I am functional, and could have years left. We'll see.

My point though, is what you see is a result of many, many man hours by many people. If you have a vision that is noticeably different I would encourage you to implement it. We recommend other sites for people all the time. But I don't think I would like it here.

Of the changes I would like to see would be a shout box, but that is not going to happen, as it would need moderated pretty well 24.7. ElectroTech has lead the way on that one, it works well for them.

So instead of trying to change the fundamentals of a system that works much better than average lets go over what this site has to offer.

1. No flames, ever. This rule is rigidly enforced. People are allowed to argue technical issues, this is debate at its best, but the moment someone tries to get the upper hand by making it personal that person is throttled back or the thread closed. It also allows beginners to ask what would be dumb questions elsewhere without fear of being ridiculed.

2. It sounds minor, but once you have established you are not here and gone you can modify your posts forever. In many ways this is very Wiki like, with one significant difference, other people can not change what you have posted. I have/am writing many articles using this feature, from many different computer workstations. It had to be throttled back due to abuses from students who would ask questions, and having gotten what they wanted, would erase their questions to prevent professors and other students from gaining what they perceive an upper hand off of their work. Now we require more than 10 posts before you have the ability to modify old entries. To my knowledge this has been abused twice by senior members.

3. We have free hosting of blogs (which I use extensively), along with free hosting of albums. There are minor problems with each, but the owner of this site has bent over backwards to correct that which can be corrected. My blog is here, Bill's Index. It is probably the most extensively developed here, though there are many examples in various states of organization.

4. I am on unsure ground here, but I believe this site will take a foreign link to a picture and make a local copy. This is because stuff disappears off the net all the time, and we want our old posts to be as legible as our new. It creates minor problems occasionally, but the benefits are worth it.

My suggestion, instead of trying for a total redesign of a superior site, learn what we have to offer. It is pretty deep, and could take you a while to figure it out.

Things I would like to see added:

1. This is a limitation of VBS software, but I would like to be able to organize my pictures in my albums (schematics mostly) without loosing the links to old posts. This would include the ability to modify an existing schematic and keep the link active. I would like to be able to make a cook book of circuits, for example.

2. A chat room. Due to the complexity I doubt this will every happen, every feature like this that is added increases the chance this site will be hacked. It happens, we and other similar sites come under attack now and again.

3. The ability to embed YouTube videos. This might happen, but the administrators for this site are busy. It is also the same reason I suspect a Wiki will never happen here.

12. ### shortbus AAC Fanatic!

Sep 30, 2009
4,292
2,202
Maybe speaking out of turn or may even be out of line, But this is in no way meant to start a war.

Why is it that new members are the ones that want to change probably the best electronics forum online to what THEY want? They have visited the forum and have seen how it is run before joining, and after a few posts it seems necessary to change to their idea of a perfect forum.

AAC has been around for a while and has risen to the top of the list in electronics forums just the way it is. Why change now? If a member isn't happy with being here, it costs the same to leave as it does to stay/join.

Just my thoughts and not intended to step on any toes.

13. ### sircuit Thread Starter New Member

Dec 1, 2011
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shortbus, if it would be possible in this forum you would receive now a negative thanks from me. Why? Because you did not understand the topic and its purpose, which is to help each other.

Anytime a user writes non-related stuff, like in this example shortbus, they could receive as a bill "negative thanks" which would be visible to other users, in future to understand shortbus' behaviour. Obviously a user with many negative thanks from many other users is still welcome here, but it would have a meaning also which could be useful to others in their decisions, e.g. for filtering.

14. ### strantor AAC Fanatic!

Oct 3, 2010
4,389
2,058
I don't agree with everything here, but nothing is perfect; nothing can be perfect. I'm on many forums that have the features you speak of, but AAC is where I hang my hat. Why? because its the best. The idea of the "rep" system seems ideal in thought, but in practice it always seems to turn out badly. the "thanks" system here seems to work very nicely; the only thing I would change is to put the "thanked X amount of times in X posts" right on the user's each post, underneath "join date" and "# of posts" (this information is already available by clicking on the user's name). That would give new users a better indicator of who they are dealing with on the other end of the internet and the quality of the information they are being given. As it is, new users may only a judge the quality of the information they're being given based on "# of posts" - which isn't always a good indicator.
All that being said, I only place a very minor weight of desire for this change; I'm very happy with the way things are.
Sircuit, if you hang around for a while and let the forum impress upon you what it is, rather than what you think it should be, I think you will find that it is superior to all the others.

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15. ### Georacer Moderator

Nov 25, 2009
5,151
1,266
Okay. You propose a vote system. I see a flaw here from the beginning: You didn't approve of what shortbus said. I think he's right. Do we get an equal vote on the matter? The answer is no. Because you are a new user that hasn't contributed to the site to the least and I 'm a moderator that is appointed by the site owner to run things. Our voices are not equal. Why would a filter consider them as such?

To save ourselves and other members from meaningless debating, I 'll say that no ranking/reputation/filtering system will be implemented in AAC in the near future and without any specific need that the site management will acknowledge.

I will not post another reply in this thread, as I think anything worth mentioning has been said.
Other members are welcome to discuss the matter as long as they like, but keep in mind that it will not affect the site appearance.
If the discussion degraded to a flame zone and/or hosts personal insults the thread will be closed.

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16. ### sircuit Thread Starter New Member

Dec 1, 2011
16
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Forum as a medium can be improved in following ways
- visual improvement, e.g. removing all "engineering looking" boxes everywhere here
- technical improvement, e.g. helping future users more in their decisions
- content improvement, well this can not be changed, it always depends on the users, maybe a little also on the work of moderators, but in an ideal situation moderators should do zero work, and the content should still be interesting and relevant to users, which is why technical improvement can also help here.

17. ### strantor AAC Fanatic!

Oct 3, 2010
4,389
2,058
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is."

18. ### Wendy Moderator

Mar 24, 2008
20,870
2,649
Uhh, in case you haven't noticed we are an engineering kind of site?

I also do not agree, and I have made many suggestions that have been implemented. Why? Because I used the site for many years, I contributed heavily, and I knew what I was talking about. Like I said earlier, I have been a moderator for less than two months.

Any member over 100 posts has contributed, in helping new members, and people new to electronics. People over 1000 posts have put their heart into it. We have a mix of PhD's, Bachelor degrees, practicing and retired engineers, technician's, and hobbiests for our user base. Both the technical and content is well covered. You did note there is a text book core to our site, with the complete approval from the author?

In case you have not noticed, we really are in the top three sites, possibly #1 in our class, so why would we want to follow the advice of someone who has just figuratively walked in off the street. You are always free to start your own site, it is not as easy as it looks.

I like the visual, the technical is superior, and I suspect the content is far over your head, since you have given no technical (by technical, I mean electronics experience) background. Your attitude has left me with a very poor impression however (-5).

You can contribute, by helping teach (this is a teaching site, complete with text books on site). You can learn. You can ask questions. Then, after you have spent a while here and learned this site, you suggestions will be given more consideration. Consideration does not mean approval.

As Georacer has suggested, not all members are created equal. And since you are so fond of using ratings, your numbers are well into the negative. What do you have to offer that is positive?

I have mentioned this before, but this site is a no flame zone. I am responding about as harsh as I will get, and from me it will go no further. This does not mean I am leaving this thread, but I've said most of what I wanted to say.

Oh, one other thing, by way of technical information. There is a little red triangle on the upper right hand corner. It is to report abuse or safety. Feel free to use it, this site polices itself pretty well. When I say we do not allow flames here, this is also by common consensus. A beginner can ask all the questions they want, and they will not be intimidated.

So if you are new to electronics or an experienced hand, Welcome to AAC.

Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
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19. ### sircuit Thread Starter New Member

Dec 1, 2011
16
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Votes of users should be of course counted as equal, because both are from humans, no matter from whom, a moderator or not, also no matter if from a 10s user or a 10years user. The filters will be set from each user, it is their free decision to use a filtering or not. Also when, and for how long. In such votes, it does not matter what a few single users vote, the whole sum of the mass of users is important, of course if they would use the voting system, which we have already here in a limited form, its name is only different, as THANKS button.

20. ### Wendy Moderator

Mar 24, 2008
20,870
2,649
Ah, I understand now! You think this is a democracy. It is not. This site is owned, the owner sets the rules, and we have been appointed to keep order and keep it friendly. We use a soft touch to keep it friendly, but that is a matter of style.

Moderators are not users with privilege, we are the enforcers of civility, judges of what threads are appropriate, and when necessary for those folks who can not help themselves, Justices of the Peace. That is to say, we can ban members who can not interact with others in a civilized manner.

By the very nature of the job, we are not equal. This subject has been discussed, the administrators have already decided against. We have a working example of how it would look with ElectroTech.com, so this is not a new idea.

Then there is the little matter of shear number of hours required to make this minor change work. It is easy to suggest changes, implementation can be a bit harder.

A member with 5,000 posts are also not that equal to someone with 20 posts. They have put in the hours, they have contributed.

It is not complex.

Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
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