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View Full Version : Do you think Reputation Points have increased the quality?



spencer
06-14-2005, 12:51 PM
So, now that we've been living with the Reputation system for a couple of weeks, do you think the overall quality of posts has gone up?

spencer

Tom Rankin
06-14-2005, 12:54 PM
So, now that we've been living with the Reputation system for a couple of weeks, do you think the overall quality of posts have gone up?
spencer

Every time I post, I now think a little about what the value of my message will be. If it's zero, I don't post...

Rivet
06-14-2005, 12:58 PM
Was that the intent of the reputation points?

jbrown
06-14-2005, 01:26 PM
I'm not worried about the reputation points, especially since I found out that just being a wise-guy can earn you a negative reputation vote.

Apparently ,"Sometimes sarcasm isn't appropriate."

I just keep being my usual, not-so-normal self and putting in my 2 cents where applicable (or liable to get a laugh...)

Gris
06-14-2005, 01:29 PM
No change whatsoever. And that's consistent with the way points are awarded and taken away - completely anonymously and randomly. In order for points to work they would IMO have to be awarded/taken away "conspicuously" ("non-anonymously") as well as with a specific comment. By way of example, I received my first negative rep anonymously at 3:00 a.m. last night and for no apparent purpose... :D

Double Bow
06-14-2005, 01:34 PM
I don't think that the quality has changed very much but, I like the system the way it is. Sure, I've gotten negatives that I think were simply personal and not actually warrented but, I think most peeople are using the system appropriately.

I do think that it's good that the comments are made anonymously however, because if they were not, there might be even more bickering and things could turn ugly. :(

sapblatt
06-14-2005, 01:36 PM
A funny thing about this is that a person that has less than 50 posts reputation votes seem to always count positively. I put up something that was considered tasteless and got two negative votes from short time members and my rating went up. I have since taken my post down...

GeorgeFitch
06-14-2005, 01:39 PM
>>> By way of example, I received my first negative rep anonymously at 3:00 a.m. last night and for no apparent purpose... <<<

I'm with you Gris. I got my negative point at 2:59 AM last night.

For apologizing for something that technically I didn't do, but figured I would own since I was the more "senior" person present.

Go figure!

:rolleyes:

Neil
06-14-2005, 01:43 PM
I don't know whether it's due to the rep points or not but things are a lot more serious around here. A little dry for my taste but if that's the price for getting rid of the garbage then I'll live with it. As Tom has mentioned, before hitting "submit" I ask myself if my post has value or not.

BTW, when I get a positive rep point the person often signs it. When I get a negative it's never signed. If only I knew who sent me those negative rep points. Man oh man, would I ever get even! :D

Gris
06-14-2005, 01:51 PM
BTW, when I get a positive rep point the person always signs it. When I get a negative it's never signed.

I rest my case. IMO all the anonymous rep point function does is allow "haters" to anonymously ding folks or worse send anonymous negative private e-mails. OTOH most folks positive rep-ping are gonna want their friends to know who did it! :D

sapblatt
06-14-2005, 01:53 PM
I am going to sign all of my rep posts from this point forward...if you care enough to help or harm someone's reputation you should have the courage to stand up for what you believe.

Neil
06-14-2005, 01:55 PM
I rest my case. IMO all the anonymous rep point function does is allow "haters" to anonymously ding folks or worse send anonymous negative private e-mails. OTOH most folks positive rep-ping are gonna want their friends to know who did it! :D

True, but...



I do think that it's good that the comments are made anonymously however, because if they were not, there might be even more bickering and things could turn ugly. :(
But at least the ugliness would be below the surface in PM land.

Gris
06-14-2005, 01:59 PM
Oh shit, I gotta get out of this thread. All opinions hereby withdrawn. I'm flying above the radar and getting dinged left & right!!! :D :D :D

Double Bow
06-14-2005, 02:00 PM
BTW, when I get a positive rep point the person often signs it. When I get a negative it's never signed. If only I knew who sent me those negative rep points. Man oh man, would I ever get even! :D

Hmmm I've got unsigned negatives and unsigned positives...

beverly
06-14-2005, 02:03 PM
It must be a conspiracy. I got an negative at 3:01am and I can't tell what post it is from.

I don't mind that it is anonymous, but since there is no comment attached and it is from a "thread" and not a particular post, I can't figure out which particular post it should be attched to. :confused:

MichaelJ
06-14-2005, 02:06 PM
I'd forgotten entirely about them...

Gris
06-14-2005, 02:10 PM
sapblatt and GeorgeF
It must be a conspiracy. I got an negative at 3:01am and I can't tell what post it is from.
Back above the radar - and you left me out (i actually got mine at 3:09 a.m.). Conspiracy solved, let me guess, these late anonymous dings all relate to the "Avatars" thread and thus must be somehow related to our "tolerant/pragmatic" position on same. :eek:

darren
06-14-2005, 02:12 PM
I can tell you that things have been better. I can see posts that are "deleted" by members. Meaning they post something, think better of it and go back and delete it. Even though they "delete" it, I can still see it and can read it. There have been a lot of deleted posts that I would have had to delete myself. Could be coincidence, but just might also be fear of a bad rep. Which is what the intention was all along.

- darren

dr_wu002
06-14-2005, 02:16 PM
Even though they "delete" it, I can still see it and can read it. There have been a lot of deleted posts that I would have had to delete myself.
Dammit! I replied to your thread last night and then deleted it because I didn't want you to see it! Haha. I certainly didn't delete it because of reputation points though -- I only have a few red squares and at least 2 of them I've PM'd people and asked them to give me. I deleted the post though because I wanted to write something a little cheeky but after reading it I felt that it didn't have enough meat in it as a stand alone post. And now you've read it and now how much of an evil person I am. :( :confused: I feel like you can look inside my brain now.

-Dr. Wu

twigeater
06-14-2005, 02:20 PM
I get a kick out of the reputation points - especially when I get a red one AND a green one for the same post.
:)

Tramper Al
06-14-2005, 02:21 PM
No, I don't think there has been a positive effect on post "quality".

We are seeing a lot less cleverness, satire, and sarcasm, all of which will get you negatives within a few minutes. Hence, it's been a bit more boring and sanitized lately.

Also, people don't like to read even the mildest suggestion that something they are doing or have done may be objectionable.

If it gets to the point that no one is willing to risk posting for fear of these anonymous reprisals, the quality of the content here will decline, as I think it already has.

Quack
06-14-2005, 02:21 PM
I'm fine with getting negative rep points (I'm trying to get the red and green boxes to alternate on my User CP) but I wish I knew why people didn't like a particular post. I mean, is it the subject matter or the way I present it? Is it just that someone disagrees and dinging me with a negative rep is easier/quicker than posting a rebuttal?

GeorgeFitch
06-14-2005, 02:23 PM
Beverly, did you click on the thread title beside the colored square? When I do that it takes me to the post I made that is being rated.

Darn, I just got my second red square, for the second post in which I said I was sorry.

What's a balloon brain to do?

spencer
06-14-2005, 02:26 PM
For someone who always claims to be getting pummeled by red squares, Tramper sure seems to be getting "famous" as we speak. I think it's part of his strategy to get sympathy green squares. :D

note: I consider Tramper an "in-person" friend (as opposed to many of you who are so far, regrettably only "online friends") so my attempt at humor should not be construed as berating him.

spencer

Gris
06-14-2005, 02:28 PM
I think it's part of his strategy to get sympathy green squares

Damn, i fell for it hook, line & sinker! :D :D :D

Tramper Al
06-14-2005, 02:30 PM
For someone who always claims to be getting pummeled by red squares, Tramper sure seems to be getting "famous" as we speak. I think it's part of his strategy to get sympathy green squares.
Well, you know I'm so darned sensitive that it takes a bit more than one green square to conteract one red.

Please don't send me a sympathy square, or I'll really be sad.

How about this, then, so you'll know how I feel about it. Despite my currently being (I think) in the top 10 for rep, I'd actually like to see the whole rep system done away with - and the board will be better for it.

beverly
06-14-2005, 02:36 PM
Beverly, did you click on the thread title beside the colored square? When I do that it takes me to the post I made that is being rated.
Darn, I just got my second red square, for the second post in which I said I was sorry.
What's a balloon brain to do?

Thanks for the tip. That worked. It's still got me scratching my head, though.

..........and as for your balloon brain. Didn't you know that the helium is supposed to go in the balloons and not inhaled?!
:D :D :D :D

NH_Mtn_Hiker
06-14-2005, 02:40 PM
Well, you know I'm so darned sensitive that it takes a bit more than one green square to conteract one red.

Please don't send me a sympathy square, or I'll really be sad.
"You have given out too much Reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later."
Darn... :D

twigeater
06-14-2005, 02:41 PM
Tramper Al, I keep trying to give you a green square for the balloon post, but I keep getting this message about spreading stuff around. I thought as you did, but didn't post it for other reasons.
:D

My first red square was because I said flags eventually became litter.

Warren
06-14-2005, 02:46 PM
I didn't vote in the pole because I think it's too soon to tell. I have noticed that folks are self-conscious of the red/blue square feedback they get and such comments are making there way in to threads. I do get the sense that the intent of the system that reputation is awarded according to the quality of a posters posts is not happening, rather that personal preference likes/dislikes is more often the determining factor.

Since it makes most posters a bit more self conscious I'd say its probably improving things. A bit of self consciousness and a moments thought goes a long way to improving what gets posted online. But I'm still waiting to see how it shakes out a few weeks is too soon.

I am surprised at how sensitive some folk are to red squares. I always thought of those who go off in all sorts of weather to walk through all sorts of bramble and mud to be a bit more, well independent and confident in what they do and say.

Neil
06-14-2005, 02:50 PM
I am surprised at how sensitive some folk are to red squares. I always thought of those who go off in all sorts of weather to walk through all sorts of bramble and mud to be a bit more, well independent and confident in what they do and say.
I'm not surprised. Judgment by one's peers in any field of endeavour is a very powerful force.

Sherpa John
06-14-2005, 02:52 PM
I am quilty of what darren speaks of with the "deleting" posts. I'll be the 1st to admit that some of my posts lack certain standard quality..whatever standard here may be... and some posts I have wanted to add to my trip reports have been a bit too personal for most to handle.

I have had many a conversation with folks I hike with talking about these rep points and most agree that the whole thing is ridiculous. As for myself... I'm still not entirely sure if I like it or not.

I like it because it causes me to think harder at what it is I am trying to say and also has me thinking of what might offend or have others on edge... which Is something I truly do not want.

on the other hand - I don't like it because.. as stated earlier in this post. People are giving negative points and being cowards about it. No one is owning up to giving the negatives nor are they even really giving a valid reason WHY. In fact, a lot of negative points are given for reasons totally unrelated to why the reputation points was 1st intended. People now have a new way to attack each other... but in a more conspicuous manner. Its just really crummy in this sense.

I also feel that even though it has calmned things down a bit on the site, there are still a few out there who decide they want to team up on other members of the site, which in essence is wrong.

So.. either way... makes no difference I suppose. :(

NH_Mtn_Hiker
06-14-2005, 02:54 PM
...I do get the sense that the intent of the system that reputation is awarded according to the quality of a posters posts is not happening, rather that personal preference likes/dislikes is more often the determining factor.
I've noticed that as well.

Also, I think some people give out green rep points just for the heck of it, but I could be mistaken. :D

Double Bow
06-14-2005, 03:19 PM
Also, I think some people give out green rep points just for the heck of it, but I could be mistaken. :D

I'm too lazy for that. It's so much easier to not give anything. I have to REALLY like or dislike something to actually rate it...

How bad is it that I'm being lazy about doing something that I'm doing when I should be working? Isn't that laziness compouded? Laziness squared?? :confused:

chomp
06-14-2005, 03:43 PM
I like the system except for the fact that I don't know where the ratings are coming from. If the system wasn't anonymous, then I would be able to see who approved and disaproved. It would also encourage the negitive feedbackers to provide a reason for the negitive reps.

So far, I have only received reputation points for one thread, and I knew going into the thread that it would attract some attention. And I got more positives than negitives, so for me it was a good way to judge my opinions with others on the site.

So anyway, so far I like the system, and I think it is working. I notice less of a problem with threads getting out of control, but there is still some chatter and banter going on, which is good. We don't want a completly sterile site, but we do want a focused one.

cantdog
06-14-2005, 04:03 PM
I'm fine with getting negative rep points (I'm trying to get the red and green boxes to alternate on my User CP) but I wish I knew why people didn't like a particular post. I mean, is it the subject matter or the way I present it? Is it just that someone disagrees and dinging me with a negative rep is easier/quicker than posting a rebuttal?

Interestingly, my post under "site problems" earned a reputation of "somewhat positive." There were two anonymous comments. One was of a civilized nature. The red one just said "yanks rock." Since I picture Frodo as being too classy to do something like that, I'll just laugh as I wonder what that opinion possibly has to do with the content of my post.

Kevin Rooney
06-14-2005, 04:07 PM
While I have no doubt that from Darren's perspective there is more self-policing, I've found that it hasn't changed the way I post nor have a noticed the change in others.

Maybe it's an age thing - after a certain age you get comfortable with who you are, what you know, and it doesn't much matter whether others agree with you. You have your truth, they have theirs. Sometimes they're the same, sometimes not -

Kevin

Peakbagr
06-14-2005, 04:10 PM
Agree with Darren, as its been a much easier job to moderate.
I've seen nary a thread where there was a concern that things would really get out of hand. It seems as if most everyone is on their best behavior.

On the other hand, I do feel that posting decorum has its price. With the concern some have about getting dinged, the spontaneity and spark seems to be missing in many threads. But then, I should probably be the last person complaining about it, though.

PB

Neil
06-14-2005, 04:14 PM
Ok folks, time to relax and put some spark, zing and wit back into our posts. Hey! did I ever tell you about the time.....

rondak46
06-14-2005, 05:03 PM
I try to use thumbs and smileys now, whereas I didn't before. I think they guide people to the "tone" that I mean to give to a post. Before the change, I just let the words say what they will, without regard to guiding the reader to a particular interpretation or tone.

I am also paying more attention to grammar, and learning something in the process.

Mike

SherpaKroto
06-14-2005, 05:25 PM
I found it funny that my defense of our colorful SherpaJohn on the Speed hiking post generated at least 18 reps, 6 of them bad.

Am I more careful what I say? I always thought I was :o

Sherpa John
06-14-2005, 05:26 PM
Interestingly, my post under "site problems" earned a reputation of "somewhat positive." There were two anonymous comments. One was of a civilized nature. The red one just said "yanks rock." Since I picture Frodo as being too classy to do something like that, I'll just laugh as I wonder what that opinion possibly has to do with the content of my post.

A good example of how the process is being abused.

Sorry to double post

bobandgeri
06-14-2005, 05:30 PM
I found it funny that my defense of our colorful SherpaJohn on the Speed hiking post generated at least 18 reps, 6 of them bad.

Same thing here :< I think if this is going to stay around the system needs to be changed to allow you to see who is giving you rep points - good or bad.

Chip
06-14-2005, 06:54 PM
Interestingly, my post under "site problems" earned a reputation of "somewhat positive."

I had a similar positive response to a post about linking photos to threads, really dull stuff.
Don't quote me on this, but I believe the moderators may be using the ranking system to "knudge" posts in the "right" direction, like giving or taking away "At-A-Boy !'s".
If this post earns a negative, my paranoid suspicions will be confirmed. :o

It's Darren's baby, so he can make it what he wants.
I know that I no longer attempt hardly ANY humor, as it's bound to offend someone.
Just as well, more time to weigh gear and hike.

Davehiker
06-14-2005, 07:40 PM
I haven't even got a point yet. I guess Iíll have to think up something witty or controversial!

Tuggy
06-14-2005, 09:06 PM
I really don't see much point in having reputation points. Each person knows whether the other person is making any sense or not. After awhile, you know someone will have somethign sensible to say and some will will just want to hear themself talk. Who cares? Read the one ya want and skip the other.

Tuco
06-14-2005, 09:22 PM
All I know is that I really enjoy hiking, have met some real good people at VFTT, and learned a heck of a lot- still learning.

Other than that I don't know what all the fuss is about.

darren
06-14-2005, 10:01 PM
There were two anonymous comments. One was of a civilized nature. The red one just said "yanks rock."

This is a clear case of abuse of the system.

Cantdog, I deleted that comment and you get a point added back to your rep.

The person who gave you that rep vote just got -10 rep points from me. I will not allow abuse of this system.

- darren

rondak46
06-15-2005, 05:54 AM
I gave you the point for the Avatar. While I didn't own it, my comment was the explanation: The anti-Yankee avatar, I thought, was disagreeable.

While it is not in the rules, a while back I thought Darren had given feedback as to the limits for sportsfans on the forum. I thought the Avatar was against those guidelines. It is negative, antagonistic and off-topic. I thought that the rep-point was an apropriate way to express that, as long as it had an explanation/ comment. If I had just givien the point without an explanation, I would not have got into trouble and got dinged ten points.

Perhaps the use of avatars and signatures should be clarified in the rules..

I know, I know: Go hiking! I will be working the Whites soon enough.

Boredom spells trouble.

Mike

chomp
06-15-2005, 07:44 AM
From what I know, avatars have always be OK to use to express your loyality (or dis-loyality) to a sports teams. There have been several of those types over the years, and I wasn't aware of a problem with any of them.

I know that POLITICAL avatars are verboten (yes, I am trying to use big words to get better reputation), but I believe that tasteful sports ones are allowed. Being that Darren is a Red Sox fan, and anti-Yankee avatar is clearly tasteful. :)

However, I am not sure on the official policy, but I know that i have seen Yankees, Jets and Steelers logos on various member's avatars in the past.

darren
06-15-2005, 08:04 AM
Avatars are a way to express yourself to the group. It is a representation of who you are. Sports logos have always been allowed. Politics have always been banned. Certain pictures of certain people in bikinis are disturbing and shouldn't be used. :eek:

- darren

RGF1
06-15-2005, 08:06 AM
>>> By way of example, I received my first negative rep anonymously at 3:00 a.m. last night and for no apparent purpose... <<<

I'm with you Gris. I got my negative point at 2:59 AM last night.

For apologizing for something that technically I didn't do, but figured I would own since I was the more "senior" person present.

Go figure!

:rolleyes:
George I got a negative point for posting a story about a climber from Mass sumitting Denali . The post was not even a opinion or what would make some one upset I thought either some one is just hitting the subbmit reputation and thinking that if they did that it ment it was good or a person ment to hit good but hit bad once you do subbmit the reputaion and relize you made a mistake you cannot change it. . But who is up at 3 AM giving out negative pionts ? The only time I am up that early is when I am climbing out west. .
But if a person is just trashing some one, I would imagine that darren can find out and deal with them
3 am ! ok ? :confused: The only time I am up that early is to climb out west so I summit before 10 AM not being a speed deamon. I want all the timein the AM I can get.

dr_wu002
06-15-2005, 08:54 AM
Have either of the moderators received Red Squares from anyone so far??

:p

-Dr. Wu

Blue
06-15-2005, 10:20 AM
Avatars are a way to express yourself to the group. It is a representation of who you are.

- darren


If I put up my "tent" avatar, will I get extra green squares?
:)

NH_Mtn_Hiker
06-15-2005, 10:25 AM
Have either of the moderators received Red Squares from anyone so far??

:p

-Dr. Wu

I'm not going to do it.....you do it :D

I got a red square for congratulating Sherpette for finishing her 4,000 footers. :mad:

Blue
06-15-2005, 10:40 AM
Have either of the moderators received Red Squares from anyone so far??

:p

-Dr. Wu

I gave a moderator a red square, but I really don't know what I'm doing. I haven't had the time to fully understand the whole reputation thing, so I shouldn't vote.

jbrown
06-15-2005, 11:16 AM
I gave a moderator a red square, but I really don't know what I'm doing.
If I had been drinking my coffee when I read this, I would have snorked it out my nose!

That's awesome! I must say I'm very entertained by all of the talk about the reputation stuff. I just don't give a crap about it all, so I haven't felt it necessary to chime in much... Keep the fun going, though, none of the other threads are doing anything...

bobandgeri
06-15-2005, 11:28 AM
If I put up my "tent" avatar, will I get extra green squares?
:)

Probably not, but if you post one of you in a bikini I bet you would!

Dugan
06-15-2005, 12:53 PM
And please, the comments should be meaningful.

Not to pick on Rondak, but his post is recent and will serve as an example. If he had explained his position i.e. that he thought the avatar was against the guidelines, rather than stating an opposing opinion, "Yanks Rock", it would have been clear that his position was related to the site, rather than personal in nature.

I like that the names are anonymous, though, if I opt to distribute points I will add my name to the comment. Keep in mind that since the comment appear to be free text, there is no guarantee that the name is included in the comment is a true indicator of the user giving the points.

funkyfreddy
06-15-2005, 01:25 PM
No, I don't think so. It may have deterred some controversial posts, but is that a good thing? I don't know....... with 4 pages devoted to a guy in a bikini last week I think it's real stretch to say the overall quality of posts on this site has gone up. As always, the lowest common denominator seems to attract the most attention, here and in our society at large.

So far I'm not sure about the reputation thing. There are people who have high reps and hardly post at all, their reputation seemingly related to the fact that they are some ones wife/girlfriend/hiking companion as opposed to any information they may have shared. There are obviously a lot good people on the first few pages but it certainly helps to be a member of one the of more popular hiking cliques, doesn't it, like the ADK, AMC, or White mountain ones? In this way VFTT resembles high school and that can be both a good and bad thing, can't it? I would think just giving good rep points to your friends and hiking buddies might in one respect be considered abusing or gaming the system, then again it is hard to think about your spouse, friends,and family objectively, isn't it?

There are some of us here who are very savvy politicians........ who put up posts and quickly delete them when they see which way the wind is blowing. Maybe fear for ones rep can be a good thing in some cases........... but if it stifles independent thought in favor of a "let's just go along with the herd" mind set then I think it will be bad for VFTT in the long run. Greatness is not bred by conformity, just as climbing the same old list of 48 NH peaks doesn't compare you to Lewis + Clark or Ernest Shackleton.

One disturbing VFTT trend I've noticed recently is that every thread that mentions or debates LNT (Leave no trace) has been closed or deleted. This disturbs me on many levels, the first being that I would think that most of us here on VFTT would want to be considered responsible stewards of the forests, wouldn't we? I would also think that if we are going to go to the effort of "bagging" lists of mountains we would at least want to take care of them, save them for future generations as they are now, not litter on them, etc.? I know it's not a very popular subject and causes headaches for the moderators but I think it's an important one and needs to be repeated again and again, just as an issue like slavery needed to be discussed in the 19th century. LNT is certainly a more important issue than ones reputation on a hiking website, isn't it?

OK, I've said my piece w/o censoring my thoughts but did try to order them as best I could. I haven't got any red squares since I suggested that people might want to take some time with their posts in order to make them more readable, so maybe I'm due for some. :D Fire at will!

dr_wu002
06-15-2005, 01:36 PM
I have to weigh in on the red square / green square thing:

Why is everybody taking this so seriously!?

This is a website! I love it as much as the next guy but personally, I think it's fun to click on my USER CP and see all the little red and green and gray squares. And it's fun to read the comments -- please leave lots of comments, even if you don't sign your name. I only wish there were more colors! I guess I'd prefer more green than red but I do like variety. The square color certainly hasn't influenced the content of my posts in anyway -- no, just the threat of drawing Darren's ire is enough! I don't want Darren AFKA_Bobbiting me! :p

-Dr. Wu

funkyfreddy
06-15-2005, 01:51 PM
Actually, Dr. Wu has a good point! We need more colored squares beyond "I approve" or "I dissaprove". We could use colors for cool, peculiar, boring, disgusting, sweet, etc. That would make the ratings systems a lot more interesting! Aside from that, who's afraid of those little red squares anyway? Life is pretty boring if you just cruise through it w/o pissing anyone off, isn't it?

I know a bit about this subject...... but there are others on this site that obviously know a lot more about it than I do! :)

RGF1
06-15-2005, 01:53 PM
No, I don't think so. It may have deterred some controversial posts, but is that a good thing? I don't know....... with 4 pages devoted to a guy in a bikini last week I think it's real stretch to say the overall quality of posts on this site has gone up. As always, the lowest common denominator seems to attract the most attention, here and in our society at large.

So far I'm not sure about the reputation thing. There are people who have high reps and hardly post at all, their reputation seemingly related to the fact that they are some ones wife/girlfriend/hiking companion as opposed to any information they may have shared. There are obviously a lot good people on the first few pages but it certainly helps to be a member of one the of more popular hiking cliques, doesn't it, like the ADK, AMC, or White mountain ones? In this way VFTT resembles high school and that can be both a good and bad thing, can't it? I would think just giving good rep points to your friends and hiking buddies might in one respect be considered abusing or gaming the system, then again it is hard to think about your spouse, friends,and family objectively, isn't it?

There are some of us here who are very savvy politicians........ who put up posts and quickly delete them when they see which way the wind is blowing. Maybe fear for ones rep can be a good thing in some cases........... but if it stifles independent thought in favor of a "let's just go along with the herd" mind set then I think it will be bad for VFTT in the long run. Greatness is not bred by conformity, just as climbing the same old list of 48 NH peaks doesn't compare you to Lewis + Clark or Ernest Shackleton.

One disturbing VFTT trend I've noticed recently is that every thread that mentions or debates LNT (Leave no trace) has been closed or deleted. This disturbs me on many levels, the first being that I would think that most of us here on VFTT would want to be considered responsible stewards of the forests, wouldn't we? I would also think that if we are going to go to the effort of "bagging" lists of mountains we would at least want to take care of them, save them for future generations as they are now, not litter on them, etc.? I know it's not a very popular subject and causes headaches for the moderators but I think it's an important one and needs to be repeated again and again, just as an issue like slavery needed to be discussed in the 19th century. LNT is certainly a more important issue than ones reputation on a hiking website, isn't it?

OK, I've said my piece w/o censoring my thoughts but did try to order them as best I could. I haven't got any red squares since I suggested that people might want to take some time with their posts in order to make them more readable, so maybe I'm due for some. :D Fire at will!


Freddy ,my guess is that for some reason LNT debates often either get ridiculous such as should I leave or take the antler or they turn into flame wars. Some people do take either side a bit to far and in this format it probably comes off the wrong way. I happen to think you are right it should be discussed but I can already see the flame-throwers at the ready. at the ready on all fronts. Imagining the military weapon not the cyber type :eek:

Panama Jack
06-15-2005, 03:31 PM
I have been so busy being "of the world" I have not been in the mountains yet this year. Therefore I decided I should refrain from posting and take a spectator seat.

My take on the rep thing is that it has turned the tables in some ways. Those who were offended or off-put by a certain post now have a means of retaliation.

Anonymity is a very powerful drug to some people. This being my second post since the reps started I have 1 red and 1 green square so far. Its not so hard to figure out who rates you. The rating is time stamped and gives you the post it is in connection with. Go to the thread and see who posted at practically the same hour.

My 1 red square was because someone thought I was betraying them and my 1 green square was a brownie point myself and two other people got when we noticed the scales before Darren explained them.

So in my small rep, neither one of the comments would indicate whether I suck at hiking or have good thoughts.

Over all I'd agree with Tramper.

Bjarni
06-15-2005, 04:07 PM
I looked at this board for a long time before I joined and actually began posting myself. I think the overall quality of posts was much higher before I joined. :D

I frankly find the reputation points silly. I understand the board is and should be run the way the moderators want it to be. However, it should be recognized that giving out gold stars and black marks reduces us all - if we care - to the level of pre-schoolers, at least emotionally.

Happily, I don't care. I'm always mindful of the likely impact of my words, so I try to be careful. If I accumulate little red or green boxes as a result, that's irrelevant. I use this board to inform and be informed, not to accumulate brownie points.

Anyway, unlike many of the posters here who seem to be part of quite an active hiking community and socialize in real life, I'm a guy who has always been a solo hiker and will always be one. I'm completely uninterested in impressing others with my exploits, which is certainly one way of keeping the board's throughput down !!

Double Bow
06-15-2005, 04:27 PM
The rep points are kind of like communism, good in theory but less than steller in practice. Until we get to the point where someone is needing to go to therapy because they saw a bunch of red boxes next to their name, WHO CARES? What's the harm? I've got every color but, I'm not losing sleep over it.

I think that it's fun to check out what you get! I only wish I could look at the feedback that others have been left!! Now THAT would be interesting!

OK... I'm bracing myself for the RED SQUAREs since I said something good about communism... :D

spider solo
06-16-2005, 06:42 AM
I don't know the answer, so I guess I would have to say undecided.
I was glad Spencer started this thread because I was actually pretty despondent about the whole thing, then I found reading different peoples views to be helpful.
I don't use the rating system, actually I don't use many of the functions that are offered. (I am about the maximum end of my technology absorbtion.)
I also read the forums for a year or so before I actualy joined up to participate in them, yet I still can't tell if the quality has improved or people are just at different phases of their communication skills.
I know at first my posting were more abrasive than they are now if someone disagreed, and I see others who have also refined their approach to various subjects..perhaps encouraging people to think it through or at least consider a different perspective.
I shy away from the rating system because I believe it has the inherent abilty to breed a negativity, which may not be it's intent .
So while I see why the moderaters might favor it in hopes of a means of quality control. I would think it's not the first choice of something they would like to do.
There was a study a few years ago where people who remained unseen could electricly zap people who gave wrong answers..not being zaped was as close to positive as it got. Sure enough the study had to be discontinued... When people could clearly see who was doing it things tappered off ,but not enough to justify the discomfort.
I am often surprized how frequently I see VFTT quoted and referenced in books and articles. So my hope and motivation is that we would strive as a group to make it shine all the more. It is often beyond my comphrehension when I see it brought to it's most base denominator.
So when I write I might try to use a metaphor or anology to try to bring something to light and it's a difficult thing to realize that sometimes people haven't got the slightest idea of what your talking about or twist it to fit something that is the direct opposite of what your trying to say.
I would rather understand from an approach like Mark Twain with his humor and wit to make you think...than that of say Howard Stern for it's shock value. So I try for the former.
For a soft spoken guy I will take a strong stand for something I believe and may tell myself it means nothing what others may think.
This happened recently on a thread where I expected to get heavily dissed. I never have read all the various responses just some random ones...I tell myself I'll read them someday when I want to get completely bummed out.(perhaps it won't be so bad)
Still I give no reps nor look up ones I might have.
If I did the negatives would hang like a cloud over my head and I would take them to the mnts with me and brood about them, when in fact I should be enjoying the world about me and be thankful the mnts are there to enjoy.

I am a short time before I go to Canada for a couple of months. Some beautifull sunny day I may go to the nearest village and look up the thread and read it through it's entirety, knowing that it will seem of not so much importance.
While I was saddend that I felt the subject needed to be addressed I can be hopefull that the quality of the responses showed VFTT at it's finest and not at it's lowest, and hope it wasn't the reps that motivated peoples responses.

Halite
06-16-2005, 09:45 AM
The good news is: even if the reputation points haven't increased the quality of posts, the attention given to them suggests people really care about the quality of this site. And that makes all the difference.

I've abandoned many other forums in the past when they've deteriorated into unmoderated or poorly moderated shouting matches, digressions and bashing newbies for their lack of knowledge. VFTT is exemplary in staying away from those problems.

It's not always perfect, but with each user focused on following rules of conduct, communication on VFTT is pretty effective. For me, it's like the NYC subway system since the MTA introduced the basic concept of stepping aside to let passengers off the train before boarding. There's still a lot of jostling, but generally things work because of this simple agreement to behave.

mavs00
06-16-2005, 10:53 AM
Everybody else has weighed in on this, so I suppose I will too, even though donít think itíll add much. Do I think itís made a difference? Who knows, weíll see when a lot more time has gone by. Has it made a difference in my posting habits? Perhaps a bit. While Iíve ALWAYS tried to be civil and polite, I admit that in the beginning (of this system) I was REAL careful in my posts, or would not post where I might otherwise had, even deleted some stuff that I ordinarily would have left up solely on the worry that ďgee, I donít want to offend anyone and get dingedĒ.

I also admit that I have learned from some of the positive comments left for me. I havenít learned much from the negative ones as of yet, because no comments have been left. One thing I have noticed, is that most every time I post, Iíve generated SOME response (either bad or good), which means that just posting does a lot for your reputation (again good or bad). If you do not post much, your reputation will remain static. That somewhat skews the results. Here is an example. There are probably few people alive that know more about the Adirondacks and her trails than Tony Goodwin (tgoodwin), and when he posts, you can take it as FACT, because IT IS. However, because he does not post often, his reputation is neutral. Ditto for Christine, Pete Hickey, E. Schlimmer, Dennis C and many, many others.

So we should all remember that while REPUTATION is based on positive and negative FEELINGS generated by what we say in our posts, it may have NO ACUTAL BEARING on our true KNOWLEDGE of the mountains, peaks and the outdoors in general.

As for me and my reputation: Just as in life, I can only be me, and that will sometimes get me some green blips and sometimes get me some red ones. At the end of the day, I can only hope my green ones outnumber my red ones. Other than that, you canít really dwell to much.

p.s. Sorry for any misspellings or poor use of grammar/punctuation. I was never so good at that in school :(

chomp
06-16-2005, 01:08 PM
Any idea how much disk space this takes? There must be some sort of bitmap/sparse matrix linking every member to every post so that it can't be rated twice.

This system will take up minimal disk space. All that is required is a seperate table in the database with three columns - one for the person being rated, one for the person doing the rating and then the number of rating points, +/- for that rating. Everything else can be generated on the fly from that simple table. Given the small requirements, I can't see this table ever getting as large at 1 MB.

BTW - Mavs, I have noticed the opposite from you. Most of my posts don't generate any kind of rating whatsoever. And the ones that I did get rated on, I knew when posting them that I was presenting a strong opinion, so I expected to see some rating.

dug
06-16-2005, 03:28 PM
Ah...I never noticed them until recently. How do they work? How am I doing? I guess I don't care?

sapblatt
06-20-2005, 11:58 AM
One comment I have on this is that if you are going to (be)rate someone at least have the courtesy to leave a comment. I sign all of mine...I can see why some would not want to do this, but if you want to give someone feedback, especially negative feedback it would not kill you to write a comment as to why.

dave.m
06-20-2005, 01:51 PM
If it gets to the point that no one is willing to risk posting for fear of these anonymous reprisals, the quality of the content here will decline, as I think it already has.

I think the quality of the posting here has been in decline for sometime, but not for the reason that many will think.

I read and post primarily for 3 reasons at this point.

The first is pure vanity mixed with a bit of good natureness. If I can help pass along stuff that I've learned to somebody that is learning, well heck, that just makes my day and I feel like I'm pretty darn swell.

The second and third are more serious and closely related. I also post to think through thorny backcountry issues and I post to solicit input from view points that I don't have. That is, I intentionally want to read things from viewpoints that are potentially, dare I say it, offensive to me.

IMO, this forum has long ago slid into that trap that some moderated forums do in that there seems to be a central group and group think that become the predominant view point and voices that differ from this either get shouted off, shunned or even moderated out.

Case in point... Several months ago, Sherpa John started a threat asking about people's religious motivations for hiking. The thread was locked with in days. Based on my experience in other moderated groups (and I've not confirmed this with the moderators here) I would guess this is because religion is somehow off limits as a discussion point.

Now, as a test, I followed up to Sherpa John's thread by starting a thread of my own in which I simply asked, "Why do you hike?". That thread ran up well over 8 pages and stayed in the top 10 for 2 weeks or thereabouts, all without a single follow up from me to keep it going. The issue of religion came up several times.

I could cite numerous other inconsistancies here. I've seen numerous examples of senior members (including moderators) who:
+ Make political statements
+ Make personal attacks
+ Use profanity

All of these things are explicitly forbidden in Darren's site rules.

My conclusion is that Reputation Points is just another way for insular group think can be enforced. I *want* some degree of controversy because I want to grow and stretch as a person. All I want is for that controversy to be handled with civility. IMO, this site is fast becoming a place where unpopular opinions can not be expressed.

Instead of reputation scores, I would much rather see more thought put into the site rules to make them more explicit. I would make it more clear about what is on and off topic for the various forums and I would make it more clear about what kind of behaviour is and is not allowed. And I would make efforts to apply those rules as neutrally as possible, regardless of the popularity of a view -- especially the popularity as expressed through some reputation score.

Man, if I want agreement, I'll just talk to myself.

dropack
06-20-2005, 02:10 PM
Group think is a good thing, just think of all the history it has brought us, ah I mean yes mine heir.

cantdog
06-20-2005, 03:16 PM
I agree with Dave M, but never Terry and Bronu, or Neighbor Ostra-Dave for that matter.

Ok, I'm a few sheets to the wind right now and I know I'll probably get hit with a few zings.

Off to check my current balance...

;)

Sherpa John
06-20-2005, 03:37 PM
I have a question...

I'm a bit confused as to WHAT EXACTLY the reputation point system is supposed to be grading.

Is it the character of the people on this site?
Is it the opinions of us on this site?

Or is it... the CREDIBILITY of ones post?

My answer is here: Darren said, "If you like the post you can add to their rep, if you dislike the post you can detract from their rep."

So basically... we are operating on a system of opinion... and opinions are like.... ELBOWS... everyone has one.

Even though I read the rules.. I thought and hoped.. that when it was started it was supposed to be a rating of ones credibility so that newer members would be able to see exactly whose word you can trust and whose you cannot when seeking out information. Thats the vibe I got from it.

But as it has played out... I see nothing more than folks giving very personal negative points. I lost 6 points for my avatar at one time. How does this affect my credibility as an information provider on the site?
I get negative points for being "boastful" or for posting a second time on a thread. These things have NOTHING to do with credibility.

I got negative points for my Cabot Trip Report. I said that when I go to break Seavers Record, I would do Cabot 1st as it's no where near anything. The person who gave me negative points said I was "Inacurate(cabot is near Waumbek)." Now If I knew who gave me the neg point... I'd give them a neg back because... Saying Cabot is "NEAR" Waumbek is like saying Madison is "NEAR" Eisenhower. Both 11+ Miles apart on a ridge line.

Also... someone gave me negative rep for posting a 48 showing date saying "This site is not for self promotion." Further proof that people love to jump the gun on this site when they have no clue what kind of arrangements and/or agreement pertaining to team Sherpa was made previously with Darren. I mean... come on people.

At anyrate.. I agree with Dave M. It has turned into a kind of popularity contest where one is more capable of seeing the cliques that have formed. Not out of spite mind you, but some have just been here longer period. Ho Hum..

ZING AWAY

chomp
06-20-2005, 04:07 PM
Case in point... Several months ago, Sherpa John started a threat asking about people's religious motivations for hiking. The thread was locked with in days. Based on my experience in other moderated groups (and I've not confirmed this with the moderators here) I would guess this is because religion is somehow off limits as a discussion point.

Now, as a test, I followed up to Sherpa John's thread by starting a thread of my own in which I simply asked, "Why do you hike?". That thread ran up well over 8 pages and stayed in the top 10 for 2 weeks or thereabouts, all without a single follow up from me to keep it going. The issue of religion came up several times.

I could cite numerous other inconsistancies here. I've seen numerous examples of senior members (including moderators) who:
+ Make political statements
+ Make personal attacks
+ Use profanity

All of these things are explicitly forbidden in Darren's site rules.

My conclusion is that Reputation Points is just another way for insular group think can be enforced. I *want* some degree of controversy because I want to grow and stretch as a person. All I want is for that controversy to be handled with civility. IMO, this site is fast becoming a place where unpopular opinions can not be expressed.


While I don't totally disagree, I think that you missed the point on the religion argument. Darren has a set of rules for this site which are moderately enforced. Threads about religion are not welcome here, which is why Sherpa John's thread locked - any and all responses were guarenteed to be religion-centric. Your post, however, about "Why do you hike?" was not religion-centric. Sure, it might have come up a few times in discussing the reasons for hiking. If Darren had locked that thread for one post mentioning religion, don't you think that would have been overkill? Killing an entire thread for a few comments that stray into the "unallowed" areas of conversation would have been seen as heavy-handed by most menbers.

Again, with political statements, they do pop up occasionally. However, usually they surface when talking about such issues as logging, the roadless initative, etc... In other words, issues directly effecting hikers in the Northeast. As long as the political talk stays civil (GOOD: "I hope that congress doesn't send that bill to the White House" or BAD: "W SUCKS!!"), it tends to be allowed. While it might seem inconstant, I like the fact that the rules are not 100% rigid and that we are allowed to express ourselves if it done so civilly and with respect. Would you have Darren lock this thread because we starting talking about religion and politics?

As for the group mentatlity and getting harrased or flamed - well, I know that it can appear this way sometimes, but I don't think that is ever the intention. Online communities are a funny thing, and people expressing themselves passionatly can sometimes seem like an attack.

Bottom line - the content of this site is determined by Darren and only Darren. Those of us who agree with his line of thinking might be seen as the core or a clique... but only because we agree on how the site should be moderated. As far as I have seen, differing opinions are always welcome here - but if its an unpopular opinion, you better be prepared to defend it. What is wrong with that? I hope that anyone that feels passionate about something has thought about it enough to explain, detail and defend their opinion.

Now - as to the point if the rating system is being used correctly, well that is a different issue. I think that quite a few people are using it in the way that you describe, Dave, and to a certain degree it is a popularity contest. I can only hope that for those people, this fasincation will end. And a reputation is no good without a comment - you don't need to leave a name, but some reasoning would be nice. I have a few negitive points with no comments and no idea why someone thought it was a bad post. However, I also have some positive votes from people that I was arguing against, and I have also given positive reviews for people that I argue against.

The system is new, lets let things work themselves out for a little bit.

Warren
06-21-2005, 07:33 AM
Instead of reputation scores, I would much rather see more thought put into the site rules to make them more explicit. I would make it more clear about what is on and off topic for the various forums and I would make it more clear about what kind of behaviour is and is not allowed. And I would make efforts to apply those rules as neutrally as possible, regardless of the popularity of a view -- especially the popularity as expressed through some reputation score.

I've always thought making the site rules more explicit would be a huge help in moderating the forum. I've since evolved my opinion on this: explicit site rules can attract problems from rule lawyers and the forum does have folks who are of this type. Lack of an extensive explicit list also allows for some degree of flexibility and yes, confusion.

I would gather that any moderated forum will get some sort of group think, it's hard to avoid. You have a few folks moderating and setting a style for a forum, in time that attracts the similar minded. It's not a universal truism, Darren's not a peak bagger but there's a large peak bagging group think on the site



Man, if I want agreement, I'll just talk to myself.

Yup, know how you feel with that, it is hard to have a serious round of back and forth with out the thread tail spinning...

dave.m
06-21-2005, 08:16 AM
While I don't totally disagree, I think that you missed the point on the religion argument. Darren has a set of rules for this site which are moderately enforced. Threads about religion are not welcome here, which is why Sherpa John's thread locked - any and all responses were guarenteed to be religion-centric.

Where is it documented that threads about religion (as it relates to hiking) is not allowed? It certainly is specified in the official site rules. By way of reminder, the prohibitions in the Site Rules are as follows:
"The general rules of the site are:

Posts must be relevant to the forum they are in.
Posts within a thread should remain on the topic of the thread.
NO flames, ie: no personal attacks.
NO politics.
NO advertising. Signatures can not include links to commercial websites.
NO foul language.
Off topic posts will be deleted."




Your post, however, about "Why do you hike?" was not religion-centric. Sure, it might have come up a few times in discussing the reasons for hiking. If Darren had locked that thread for one post mentioning religion, don't you think that would have been overkill? Killing an entire thread for a few comments that stray into the "unallowed" areas of conversation would have been seen as heavy-handed by most menbers.

Either religion (as it relates to hiking) is on topic or it isn't. In his site rules, Darren notes that "The forums on this website are moderated in an effort to stay focused and on topic. This tight moderation is what separates this site from other backcountry websites." But it is not at all clear to me if posts with religious content are allowed are not. Either way, if the moderation is supposed to "tight" (Darren's words, not mine) then at the very least I would have expected the religous posts in my thread to be removed for being off topic. NB: I'm not arguing for religious posts to be deleted. Quite the opposite. I'm just pointing out that I percieve a huge disparity between the stated goals of the groups according to the site rules and the actual moderation practices.

I should futher note that a part of what I was testing with my "Why Do You Hike" thread was whether or not non-useful posts are considered on-topic. In the site rules, Darren says "This is a backcountry specific site developed for the sharing of backcountry information." I'm not at all sure on way or the other if a post asking people about their deeply personal reasons for hiking can be considered "backcountry information" or not. The Site Rule guidance for the General forum shed no light on this. The examples that Darren gives all relate to gear, routes and purchasing equipment. I actually would not have been surprised if my thread had been locked for being off topic because the examples that Darren lists all suggest that he is looking for gear and route related posts only. But there is ambiguity in the Site Rules in that there is no clear guidance on whether more personal issues are considered on or off topic. Personally, I see no substantive difference between Sherpa John's original post and mine. The basic question we both asked was the same. The only difference is that his thread had the word "religion" in it.



Again, with political statements, they do pop up occasionally. However, usually they surface when talking about such issues as logging, the roadless initative, etc... In other words, issues directly effecting hikers in the Northeast. As long as the political talk stays civil (GOOD: "I hope that congress doesn't send that bill to the White House" or BAD: "W SUCKS!!"), it tends to be allowed. While it might seem inconstant, I like the fact that the rules are not 100% rigid and that we are allowed to express ourselves if it done so civilly and with respect. Would you have Darren lock this thread because we starting talking about religion and politics?


Darren's site rules are very specific on this. No politics. You are right though, statements with political implications are regularly made, occasionally even by Darren himself (he's commented on the AMC's, which operates as a PAC, policies).
Personally, I think the problem here is no in the moderation, but in the statement of the site rules. I think it would be much, much better if Darren were to recast the Site Rules and to classify topics into 3 categories: Strictly on-topic (eg equipment, routes), Strictly off-topic (eg sexual content, profanity, personal attacks), Dangerous but allowed topics (eg politics, religon so long as they related to hiking).

I think such a revision would bring the site rules more in line with that actual moderation practices. It is my strong belief that the big gap between the stated site rules and the actual moderation, it is no surprise to me at all that there has been problems with people staying on topic, complaints based on unmet expectations and even bannings.



As for the group mentatlity and getting harrased or flamed - well, I know that it can appear this way sometimes, but I don't think that is ever the intention.
Online communities are a funny thing, and people expressing themselves passionatly can sometimes seem like an attack.


Chomp, I very much disagree with this. Consider the case of Afka_Bob. He expressed opinions with wit, passion and sometimes sarcasm. But he did not resort to name calling or personal attacks. So we agree that passionate expressions *can* be misunderstood as personal attacks, which is a shame. However, I can search the boards today and find direct personal deragotory referances to him. Those posts have not been deleted. Bob has been banned. Those who have made direct personal attacks against him have not.

Bob's sin? He expressed views that were unpopular but on topic as far as I can tell according to the Site Rules. But, the unpopularity of his views resulted in complaints and the complaints ultimately got him banned, so it would seem.




Bottom line - the content of this site is determined by Darren and only Darren. Those of us who agree with his line of thinking might be seen as the core or a clique... but only because we agree on how the site should be moderated.


Chomp, this is *the* very definition of insular group think.




Now - as to the point if the rating system is being used correctly, well that is a different issue. I think that quite a few people are using it in the way that you describe, Dave, and to a certain degree it is a popularity contest. I can only hope that for those people, this fasincation will end.

Chomp, it is a nice thought but I really doubt it will happen.

I wrote a personal message to Darren a few years back expressing my opinions that his site rules were inviting problems due their lack of clarity and (even back then) what I percieved to be inconsistency in the moderation practices relative to the site rules. I am saddened to see that my predictions were correct.

The reason why the rating system is doomed is precisely the same reason why moderation is doomed in this forum. There is no clarity in the site rules. And given that the site rules are unclear, it is left to every individual leaving reputation scores (or moderating the group) to decide on his or her own what is good or not good -- not based upon the written site rules, but based on his or her own opinions.

I know I for one would gladly pitch in and help Darren with a revision of the site rules. There are lots of moderated forums that have succeeded and failed and it would be interesting to do a more thorough comparison among their charters to see what structures have produced the best results. Darren's efforts in keeping this site up have been a labor of love on his part that is deeply, deeply appreciated, by me and would be happy to help out in any way I can to stem the on-going dust ups.

Panama Jack
06-21-2005, 08:44 AM
I love to hike! Do you? Theres a really cool website for all us NE baggers, nice folks, good information, not alot of crap to wade through.

If you hit the back button on your browser it will bring you to many many many interesting and informative threads about where to hike, how to hike and what to watch our for.

Go ahead, hit that back button and let the jocular festivities begin.


Good hiking, good eating, good beer!


-PJ-

darren
06-21-2005, 08:57 AM
Dave.m,

Here it is, plain and simple. I have posted the rules for the site. I moderate the site and follow the rules as best I can. I run the site in my spare time, with my money. I am a very busy person with a very demanding job. So, sometimes my moderation time is limited. I appreciate the help that peakbagr gives me. Chomp summed up everything very well and I don't have the time to repeat it. Go back and re-read his posts if you want to know how I feel. I will add the following that I have stated many times in the past:
1) the site is what it is 2) if you don't like it, go somewhere else 3) if you don't like what you find elsewhere, go make your own site

As for afka_bob, I have deleted all posts that attacked him by name. As for why he is banned, it is because I do not have the time to waste on people who continually break the rules. He is a repeat offender to the nth degree. He and anyone who chooses to act like him will be banned. Period.

If you have an example of when I have ever made political statements, personal attacks, or used profanity, I would sure like to see it.

- darren

spencer
06-21-2005, 09:03 AM
I used the word "cr_p" last week. I'm sorry.

spencer

dms
06-21-2005, 09:07 AM
I log on to this site for hiking and peakbagging information, I like to read about such topics, and I am happy to share what information I have. I do not log on for political discussions, religious discussions, reading, debating and/or interperting rules of the site, or how to hike a mountain. I am happy with how it is run.

dr_wu002
06-21-2005, 09:42 AM
Bob's sin? He expressed views that were unpopular but on topic as far as I can tell according to the Site Rules. But, the unpopularity of his views resulted in complaints and the complaints ultimately got him banned, so it would seem.
Not true... what you missed (and what Darren did not mention either) was that Bob started threads, which ultimately were deleted, that deliberately called out and antagonized Darren. I liked Bob and defended him when he was attacked personally and treated like a pariah but his final thread (it wasn't the only time he posted something like this either) was a ridiculous and smug verbal assault on Darren and it wasn't a big surprise that Bob got well, Bobitted and so did the entire thread.

Bob expressed his views and some people disliked him and some people appreciated him. His sin, in my opinion, was doing something that I haven't seen anyone do on VFTT -- and that was to deliberately antagonize Darren. He was like the kid who when he got in trouble in class, stood up and pulled his pants down in front of the teacher. Of course he's going to get kicked out.

-Dr. Wu

dave.m
06-21-2005, 11:21 AM
Here it is, plain and simple. I have posted the rules for the site. I moderate the site and follow the rules as best I can. I run the site in my spare time, with my money. I am a very busy person with a very demanding job. So, sometimes my moderation time is limited. I appreciate the help that peakbagr gives me.


Darren, I hope it is crystal clear in every thing that I have written on this. Your work in standing up this site and, in particular, the work that you and peakbagr do in moderating it is deeply, deeply appreciated by me. I strongly, strongly, strongly believe in the value of moderation in public forums. Good un-moderated forums are almost non-existant.

My saddness here is for you and the rest of the users of the site. I am sad that meta discussions keep popping up. I am sad that you need to spend so much time on petty issues between personalities. I am sad that you need to spend time actually moderating including deleting posts, locking threads and banning people.

My belief is that a little up front work on the site rules (which I have repeatedly offered to help with) might save you from needing to waste your time on this little stuff.

It seems to me like you have 3 options.
1) One, you could retreat to an even more vaguely worded charter, more along the lines of what Warren might be suggesting. Mitch at Telemark Tips and the moderator of the Vermont Ski Maillist both take this approach. But, this will also open up the forum for threads that may be of interest to folks but that are off topic like: road bikes, kayak design, best cars for hikers, best snow tires and so on.

2) Two, you could divert your energy away from issuing corrective missives in the midst of threads, which then get "lost" and put that time investment into making the Site Rules more explicit. Some usenet groups like the rec.bicycle.* groups have used more explict charters to keep signal/noise ratios very high with NO moderation. When the rules are well defined with little ambiguity, the community is able to self-police better, lessening the burden on you and peakbagr as moderators. I too am extrordinarily busy but would be happy to carve out time to collaborate with you and peakbagr on this effort if you want. Just let me know.

3) The third option is to leave the site rules as they are. My take is that this option is specific enough to raise the spector of on topic versus off topic but not specific enough to clarify the concepts. My prediction is that this will continue to be a recipe for confusion by posters and readers and will continue to impose a moderation drain.




I will add the following that I have stated many times in the past:
1) the site is what it is 2) if you don't like it, go somewhere else 3) if you don't like what you find elsewhere, go make your own site


Well, I can offer a 4th option. I will once again offer my assistance to help improve the site by helping with Site Rules review.



As for afka_bob, I have deleted all posts that attacked him by name. As for why he is banned, it is because I do not have the time to waste on people who continually break the rules. He is a repeat offender to the nth degree. He and anyone who chooses to act like him will be banned. Period.


Understood. And I know what I'm about to say is going to likely frustrate you but... As an outsider looking in, I remain confused as to what parts of the Site Rules afka_bob was repeatedly violating. Perhaps, if you are willing, you and I could work together to modify the Site Rules so that people like afka_bob (or me) could more easily understand what you are looking for.



If you have an example of when I have ever made political statements, personal attacks, or used profanity, I would sure like to see it.

Just to be clear... I didn't say that you had ever made personal attacks or used profanity. What I did say was that you made political comments about the AMC. Here is a link to a post where you question their fee structure relative to their non-profit status.
http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?p=59063#post59063

I should note that I think that political comments like yours *should* be allowed because 1) they directly have an impact to hikers and 2) you made your point with a high degree of civility. But it is, like the entire thread imo, in conflict with the Site Rules.

Darren, I can't emphasize enough how much your hard work on this site is appreciated. Please understand that *ALL* of my comments are really directed at lessening the time burden on you and achieving less meta-discussions. Again, I would love to work with you if you are willing.

funkyfreddy
06-21-2005, 02:45 PM
Why is it that I can understand the site rules? Am I missing something? Perhaps I want to understand them and that's why I understand them? Seriously, the "lawyering" as Warren puts it of some folks here is getting a little tired.

Come on, this is a hiking website! Use it to set up hikes, gain backcountry knowledge, and meet new people to go on trips with. If you use it like this it will enrich your life, I promise you! It's enriched mine as I've met a lot of great people here over the years and hiked/kayaked with them. I don't care about their politics or religion because I'm having too much fun hiking or kayaking with them to be bothered with that kind of stuff. Frankly I'm glad that non hiking trolls aren't allowed to cause trouble here - that's one of many reasons this site is so good! There are lots of other places on the internet for that and we really don't need it here, believe me..........

This is a great site, the best of its kind, IMHO. Let's not make it too much of a PITA for Darren and Peakbgr. Why don't we all take a deep breath, go for a hike or 2, and give the reps and rules a rest for awhile? ;) :rolleyes: :)

Puck
06-21-2005, 04:12 PM
The topic is about Rep points and the thread has meandered as long threads do. Some interesting points have been brought up. I understand the need to ban certain topics like politics and religion. People never remain civil espescially on a BB format. The AMC failed with its MM forum. However, I would love to find a forum that discusses environmental topics ie; conservation, policy and environmental sciences. There are members of this board who extremely knowledgeble in these areas. An educated and civil exchange of ideas on these topics would be very rewarding and enjoyable. Perhaps I am being to idealistic, perhaps I am have been exposed to to many lab chemicals....

Double Bow
06-21-2005, 04:12 PM
This is a great site, the best of its kind, IMHO. Let's not make it too much of a PITA for Darren and Peakbgr. Why don't we all take a deep breath, go for a hike or 2, and give the reps and rules a rest for awhile? ;) :rolleyes: :)

I agree whole-heartedly!

Sherpa John
06-21-2005, 04:57 PM
I agree whole-heartedly!

me too... but before we do.. hehe...

The ORIGINAL question and poll started in this particular thread was all about a question. Opinions have been weighed and folks have voted. And to date, over 69% feel there has been NO change to the quality of posts with rep points and only 23% feel there has indeed been a change. This would lead some to believe from the evidence, that the Reputation point system has changed nothing and perhaps should be rid of.

Either way... LETS ALL HIKE! :D

dms
06-21-2005, 05:48 PM
The 69% represents 57 votes out of over 2,000 members, which translates to less than 3% of the total membership.

Mashmann
06-21-2005, 06:05 PM
I wonder what my reputation would be like?

Ed

darren
06-21-2005, 10:26 PM
My saddness here is for you and the rest of the users of the site. I am sad that meta discussions keep popping up. I am sad that you need to spend so much time on petty issues between personalities. I am sad that you need to spend time actually moderating including deleting posts, locking threads and banning people.

My belief is that a little up front work on the site rules (which I have repeatedly offered to help with) might save you from needing to waste your time on this little stuff.

I do not think the rules on this site need to be clarified at all. The real issue is that some people, no matter how many times you tell them the rules, break the rules over and over. Over the past 10+ years I have come to learn that these people, which I like to term "problem children", seem to get their jollies over breaking the rules. They seem to enjoy the cat and mouse game of "lets see how many times I can piss off the moderator and people on the board". This childish behavior by a few is what causes the vast majority of moderation effort. Since nearly 2000 people have little problems following the rules, I do not think they require clarification.



Understood. And I know what I'm about to say is going to likely frustrate you but... As an outsider looking in, I remain confused as to what parts of the Site Rules afka_bob was repeatedly violating.

That could easily be due to the fact that I deleted many of his offending posts before you had the chance to read them. I will go back to the term "problem children" and tell you that once a problem child is identified they get a higher level of scrutiny than the other site users. Their bad posts are deleted faster and sometimes most people never see the number of posts that are deleted. If you are a member of the afka_bob fan club, I can tell you that you are in a very small minority. I warned him about his actions many, many times. I made it very clear to him why his posts were being deleted and he continued to post in the same manner. He was deliberately trying to go against me and test my patience. Well, he found my limit and now he must deal with the consequences of his actions.




Just to be clear... I didn't say that you had ever made personal attacks or used profanity. What I did say was that you made political comments about the AMC. Here is a link to a post where you question their fee structure relative to their non-profit status.
http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?p=59063#post59063

Exactly were is the politics in that post? I see none. It is about the AMC being held responsible for their actions. The last time I checked, the AMC is a non-profit organization, not an elected official or a political party.


Darren, I can't emphasize enough how much your hard work on this site is appreciated. Please understand that *ALL* of my comments are really directed at lessening the time burden on you and achieving less meta-discussions. Again, I would love to work with you if you are willing.

I appreciate your offer to help, but again, I will say that the vast majority of problems are caused by a severe minority of the site users. As such, I don't think any modifications need to be made to the site rules. Problem children are singled out, warned repeatedly, and then finally reap what they sow.

To get back onto the topic of this thread, I will say again that I know that I have deleted less posts since user reps has been turned on. As for whether or not user reps is "working", it is too early to tell, but so far I see an improvement and my observation is based on much more than what the average user sees. As for the stats in this poll, dms got it right. The numbers really don't mean anything. You can take them anyway you want, and one way is that only 0.25% of the site readers (8.4% of 3%) think things have gotten worse. I bet I can guess who those 5 people are. Most likely the same handfull of people who complain non-stop about user-reps. Everybody has their pet peeve I guess. I guess for the other 1995 people user reps is not theirs.

- darren

rondak46
06-21-2005, 10:46 PM
afka_bob:

provided little no hiking or back country content and appeared to have no experience.

He was mainly concerned with showing how someones "logic" regarding soil erosion is absurd when used in the context of halibut fishing.

When the post about trolls came up, I knew then that he was one.

He made, and this was just before he got beooted the second time, comments about how some (one in particular) senior members, members who are nearly universally valued on this site, just post to see there numbers go up.

He repeated in no uncertain terms, some comments that were wholly unacceptable on this site, and were quickly deleted. I had to apologise for sending an unacceptable PM to him which he repeated on the forum.

He ignored darrens admonishments about stupid avatars..


That said, now that the points system is in place, I'd love to see him brought back; he can get feedback from the masses insteaed of antagonizing the mods and the valued members.

I really was rooting for him the second time around. He WAS trying. However, he couldn't take a hint, he coulldn't take advice. He was like a person who keeps checking to see if the red burner on the stove was really hot; or a dog who can't stop eating ice cream even though his brain was freezing.

Mike

Panama Jack
06-22-2005, 07:19 AM
I gave or should I say took away rep points from someone for the first time yesterday. I posted so long a comment about why that I had to finish it in a PM, and also I had left no room to sign it.

This person is a lovely person who's adventures I have enjoyed reading about for a while now.

The inevitable bitter response was handed back and we both felt like crap. Good, bad or indifferent, I am swearing off the rating system now that I have used it once.

Kindness, generosity and compassion are hard to invoke when yo are telling someone (in detail) why you dont like what they have posted.

Now, can we please lock this thread.

darren
06-22-2005, 07:29 AM
Now, can we please lock this thread.

That part I agree with.

Amen.

- darren