There is an ambiguity in voting positive or negative on stories.

Forum: LXer Meta ForumTotal Replies: 7
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Oct 14, 2004
7:41 AM EDT
Without a rationale for the vote, it could be no more than I (dis)liked what was said. Whereas, I would think that if it was well written, interesting view would be positive even if I disagreed as opposed to poorly written, not supported by facts as negative, even if I personally supported the same bias.

Manytimes I wonder how voters are viewing the write-ups when they make this estimate. For example, take today's writeup of SCO creating a legal web site to solely express their view. It was about, 75% against (somehow I remember 76%!) and 25% for. However, if you look at the comments: two mentioned the humor of such a site but they rated the story diametrically opposed. In this case, I suspect that really they shared the same view, but just viewed what a "positive" vs. a "negative" response meant differently.

Am I alone wondering what positive or a negative vote should denote?

Oct 14, 2004
7:55 AM EDT
You have a very valid point: a single vote seems to mean several things to different people, based on the commentary accompanying votes.

1. Vote means approval/disapproval of even showing this story on lxer. 2. Vote recommends/disparages the content of the story. 3. Vote recommends/disparages the lxer writeup.

The "vote" mechanism should clarify this, maybe with 2 or 3 different votes - (i) lxer should/should not have carried this story, (ii) the story sucks/rules, (iii) the write-up stank/compelled me to read the story.

Oct 14, 2004
7:56 AM EDT
I agree that the voting is a little too simplistic. It's hard for me to vote only "positive" or "negative" for an entire article when I may have no issue with the article itself, but rather the subject matter I object to... It could be well-written and wrong, so do I positive or negative vote it?

Oct 14, 2004
10:09 AM EDT
This issue keeps coming up, so clearly something needs to be done. The simple additions that have been recommended here on this thread actually sound pretty good to me. Let me give this a little more thought.


Oct 14, 2004
12:44 PM EDT
This has to be approached rather gingerly, since there is another problem. Even this current simple voting system is underutilized. There are too many instances where neither votes nor article comments appear. And too many cases where there are votes without any explanation.

Oct 15, 2004
9:06 AM EDT
The off shoring story blurb read to me as sarcastic [admission: I have not read the article yet, and probably will not bother], but the comments on the negative votes had quite clearly stated criteria. The lone positive vote had no explanation. So one is left to wonder: a resident of India (or outsourcer) or thinks the write up was a hoot.

Perhaps the simpler method might enforce a comment to explain the vote. The automatic statistics might be meaniless, but the potential reader might be better informed.

Dave, the above is a suggestion I am still not certain this or any method will work. My idea can simply be ignored by adding gibberish characters. That can be countered by removing the registrant from the voting pool. If, however, your site began to really grow multiple registrations by creeps would negate any effort, c.f. slashdot.

Oct 15, 2004
9:30 AM EDT
Slashdot... oh, the horror... the horror... :p

Dec 05, 2004
11:21 AM EDT
One comment on the first vote:

"Did you like and/or agree with the actual content of this story?"

This question is quite ambiguous. There are many things in my life (online articles included) that I don't like, but do agree with. e.g. say a story states that MS Windows currently has 90%+ of the desktop market and that Linux has about 4%, and that furthermore, MS is likely to run on the majority of desktops for some years to come. I most certainly don't *like* that, but I do, grudgingly, agree with it.

I would likely give such a story a positive vote for that category if the rest of the facts presented are reasonable. However, a very good argument could be made for voting negatively, on the grounds that I don't like it.

BTW, for the most part, when I do vote, I almost always vote positively to whether the article should have appeared here at all, since I believe it is important that we see the constructive criticisms, and yes, the FUD, so that we can respond to those criticisms and counter the FUD. I mean, if we don't do it, who will?

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