It arose in a separate thread that the moderating team can upvote any submission by +1, +2 or +3. The purpose of this is to give a real boost to awesome articles in Incoming to get them over the "hotness hump" and display on the front page. This feature was introduced with the new Inbound.org last October for moderators only to improve overall quality of submissions.
Multiple upvotes are used at a moderator's discretion and are intended to showcase the best stuff on the homepage quicker, and keep fresh content going to the homepage. We owe it to you to keep Inbound.org a place to keep coming back to. We're here to fight spam, but also curate the best stuff for you and set the example.
Sure, it could be manipulated... but there's a team of a dozen folks hand-picked and trusted by Rand, Dharmesh and myself who are trusted with fighting spam and evangelising Inbound.org. Top level admins have access to logs of every action on the site too. Never have we had a problem with this.
Sorry if this hasn't been totally transparent before - hands up for not communicating this properly :(
What do you think of +3 upvotes?
I'm glad that there are people who have the power to boost good content here that might be missed, but it doesn't appear to me that you guys are using it very often. There are long stretches of time when the Hot page barely changes, while lots of articles that are being considered awesome and groundbreaking elsewhere, when posted here, drift on by in Incoming. Maybe you need to increase the Mod team so there's more coverage.
I honestly had no idea what it was designed for (must have skimmed the memo - my bad) and thus, never used it... but this makes more sense and will likely give it a spin next time I'm saying "this should really be on the front page"
Thanks for the feedback, Mark. You're right - I'm very conservative with using the additional upvotes so I don't give a negative impression like I'm manipulating the post. I'll consider being more liberal with the additional votes for content that deserves to be at the top.
You hit the nail on the head Mark. Since inbound wants to make sure that they only feature TOP CLASS contents, then having more MODs will surely help.
I think adding more MODs (and adding the downvote button) is the way to go.
Thanks Ed. Transparency ftw.
I thinking having karmic weight like Hacker News, such that an upvote is more powerful based on your positive contributions to the community (good articles, good comments), would be a better system for doing this, as the +3 is a bit extreme. The "+3" could naturally be awarded out to people who are valuable to the community, which would probably still occur with most moderators - but also those others who aren't, but should have similar power.
FWIW, I've used the +3 vote no more than three times since the feature was added.
Ed can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there's already an algorithm in place that gives more weight to quality contributors' votes.
Nope, it's +1 equal weighting for each vote. Moderators/Admins can add up to 3.
Ross - we could do that. I quite like the idea of people "unlocking" the ability by category or hand-picking members who can give more weight in a specific category.
I think +3 for moderators is a needed thing as I have
witnessed quite a few contents that never made the first page... and many
people just didn't get to know about it!
I think the idea of unlocking +1s is an awesome idea as
this will allow moderators to do some quality job...Although if this applies I will
lost the power of +3 but still a good idea! :)
Agree with you. It will create a good probability for quality but non popular posts to show up on first page.
How many moderators are there by now? I think it's OK as long as it's the exception. On the other hand having half of the regular users "super powers" would diminish the incentive to participate as only 1/3 voter.
18 moderators including 4 Admins + 2 Dev.
Sounds fair to me so long as there's not any back patting going on (e.g. people always +3ing posts from the same site every time) and that people can't +3 their own stuff (which I believe is the case?). If both of those factors are met I think it's a great thing as the average post only needs 4 votes to hit the Home page so there's a lot of potential for a neglected item to make it there easily.
Of course there isn't back patting and self-submission. Dont worry, if Rand starts spamming the site with SEOmoz submissions, I'll have a quiet word ;)
Your second point - that doesn't happen in any case (like I said, we have log files). Sitewide however, it's a problem. We're evaluating a handful of updates to the algorithm weighting, including logarithmic decay in value per user, per domain in the weight of upvotes, so you're 10th upvote of anything on Koozai.com (for example) would carry less weight in the algo than your 1st. This would really hit the "regulars" like SEOmoz and self-submitters we don't catch already in favour of biasing towards new, different domains.
Whether we roll it out or anything similar is to be seen, but details in due course. Incidentally, anti-spam algorithms are really interesting! Most of the new algorithms we roll out we set up as a variable which is editable in the admin panel. For instance, I can change the weighting of comments in the hotness algorithm.
We're experimenting a lot... :)
Thanks for the transparency Ed. The weighting sounds like a great idea, especially to encourage diversity in the results.
It also reminds me that I'd love the ability for someone to be a site owner (e.g. me as Koozai.com) so they could see who upvotes content from their site. E.g. If I submit an article I've written I get notifications to see who upvoted it which is awesome but if I wasn't the first voter I can't see that which is a shame. Something for another discussion perhaps (unless in the pipeline?).
It's in the pipeline :) You'll be able to get custom notifications shortly, so you can set this up for your domain and (ultimately) get notifications here, tweets and emails when domains you're watching get submitted.
Excellent, thanks Ed. I think that'll also help reduce self promotion.
Personally I think +3 is a little unnecessary. Regardless of what you say there will be authors/sites that you will have a subconscious/conscious preference too.
I love how something done in error means that people instantly scramble to apologise for a lack of transparency. Don't worry about it, no-one cares enough about Inbound to care about +3 unless it's being used unfairly.
You must care a little Sean. You did leave a comment after all ;)
I wanted to leave a misguided, immature comment :D
spoken like a Saloon member
Totally agree. The moderating team who are the only people with this feature have a very concious preference towards pretty awesome content :)
I just feel sorry for the post you only upvoted +1 the other day ;)
Hi Ed! Thanks for the clarifications. Time and time again I'm impressed by the professionalism and integrity of this board, so let's keep this place clean shall we? I'm sure there's a dark side in all of us that we'd rather not have to trigger ;)
I actually don't mind the idea of the +3 and it sounds like it's only given to a few responsible few. There defiantly is lots of great content that sadly never seems to get voted up.
9 votes... so has this only been upvoted by three people? ;-)
Myself, Jason, Mike, Sean (hehe) and yourself at this moment in time :)
Also it's vital that moderators are not all from the same site. E.g. if you have three moderators who all work for company X that could make this system unfair.
Of course, you do understand that, now you've revealed this little factiod, your inbox is going to be flooded a million billion gazillion 'Pls read my artical!!!!!!!' email's? Have fun with that.
Simple. Setup a Gmail filter to remove "pls" and "artical" :)
I think this is exactly why most people don't know who the mods are. I am one, but I'm not a "super-mod" and hence can't see everything going on behind the scenes. But we're all people you'd know and trust and look up to as, to an extent, trusted industry thought leaders.
Not as yet. I'll bring it up in this weeks roundup, but for the reasons John says it could annihiliate productivity so people can be buzzed. Perhaps some "buzz the moderators" button could be used which displays a red notification to the next moderators on the site until someone clears it. Worth testing perhaps?
Ooooh, I like the sound of that. :)
make a feed of suspect items (flags abnormal votes..) plug it into a private twitter account that mods subscribe to.
Can we start a thread about things that are not user friendly with inbound? ie.
-When I reply to a comment it then takes me to the top of the page.
-Why is inbound always signing me out automatically
It would also be cool to get notifications when someone replies to your comments.
Again, it's coming :) We've a backlog of stuff from December shipping right now...
I find myself upvoting the comment I'm responding to (like I have done now)! :-) I guess that only works if I actually agree with the sentiment of the comment though...
Haha, yeah--unless your into throwing hate, I guess:)
Do you have specific expert moderators for their respective categories? I would just hope to avoid a situation where a moderator who knows a ton about PPC might +3 a UX/Design article that they think is fabulous, but a UX/Design expert can see is really not all that great.
Hi Eric - Good point. I'm a mod who tries to focus her efforts on non-SEO content because:
1) I'm not an SEO expert (nor am I an SEO ;) )
2) I have a natural preference to read content that's related to the services I offer (content strategy, email marketing, social media, entrepreneurship)
3) Since the creators of the site have a strong history in SEO, naturally, Inbound.org has many SEO-focused practitioners. There's a natural bias for many members of the board to focus on SEO content. It's my personal mission to be an advocate for the great stuff that falls under a lot of the other categories.
Drinking game: take a shot every time I use the word "natural".
I find there are very few synonyms for natural when it comes to internet marketing. Annoys the crap out of me sometimes.
Oops!Thanks so much for the headsup :)
Any time Lauren,,, I have sent the request on all your social media platform..... :) hope you will accept...:)
No. I guess that's the unfortunate way the world works where "good" gets confused with "famous". There's stuff on this homepage other people clearly get a lot of value out of, but makes me squirm inside... of course my opinions are my own and I shouldn't start censoring the community so I keep my mouth shut :)
What you've said makes the case though for "unlocking" +3 voting on a per category basis if you can prove you know your stuff. "XX expert has endorsed this submission". That'd be really cool... with the bonus of having expert people take ownership of each category.
You saying you need a squirm button Ed? ;) Sounds just like a feeble Flag to me - which I happily wave.
Why not use a reddit-like algorithm that adds automatic downvotes to counteract a surge of upvotes. http://amix.dk/blog/post/19588 <-- describes the implementation of the algorithm. This bring up a second point, why no downvotes? I know it's been covered before but surfing through the incoming article section, I have to wade through a metric-ton of spam. The ability to downvote and creating a culture of responsible downvoting and upvoting - again like reddit did - would round out this community, IMHO.
*reaches for medication* It's been discussed to death :) We don't want to introduce negativity into the system. HN thrives without it. And we already have the downvote button... the flag.
The spam you mention you ought to flag. We flush out that crap pretty quick, and ever faster with new algorithms and anti-spam features for the moderators.
If you disagree with the content however, take it up in the comments or ignore it. Perhaps we could introduce an "ignore this"/"hide this" button instead?
Again, I did not mean to poke at an already beaten horse I just wanted to voice an opinion. The Ignore/Hide option would be a good start.
Also, since the Flag button is the "unofficial" downvote button, why not call it what it is - a downvote button, the arrow is not necessary. Additionally, how does it work? Does a certain number of flags remove the post outright? Is it just up to a Mod once a post is flagged?
If memory serves me, 3 flags from community members gets the post removed automatically. 1 flag from a moderator gets it removed instantly.
With the original Wordpress site yes, three flags (or one by a moderator) would make the post a "draft" and no longer visible. Now, flagged items are highlighted in red to all moderators and added to "FlagBox" (list of all problem items on the site) for attention there and then (faster) with on-the-fly deletion by mods.
We wouldn't call it a downvote button because people will use it differently. Broadly speaking, downvote = I don't agree with this OR this is spam. Flag = this is spam.
Downvote = This comment does not add anything of substance to the conversation. Downvote =! I disagree. Again, like reddit.
If there's no downvote option I'm sure there will be something soon enough to take it's place in the market...
Per Rand, the downvote is the Flag button. I think I'm going to flag your comment so you can see how it feels and tell us all in the Inbound support group I'm starting next week.
haha.... where are the sign ups for the inbound support group?
Wow, I did not know about this, hopefully this will help some of the better content get to the top and cycle out the stale stuff.
I guess this thread explains why there is no downvote. As an infrequent redditor this design "quirk" had be confused.!
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