Author Topic: Withdrawal effects from internet points  (Read 731 times)

bugmenоt

  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 4016
    • View Profile
Withdrawal effects from internet points
« on: January 30, 2017, 02:28:50 pm »
Most of you probably use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit. What these three have in common is that an amount of points is displayed along with each post or comment.

Every other month or so, I like to roam the realms of PD to see how you heathens are doing. Today I had a fnordesque moment when scrolling through whatever thread. While reading a comment I caught myself red-handed looking for the amount of points it had. I must have subconsciously expected the forum to tell me how much I should agree to that specific comment. But it didn't. Even the users' post counts are not trustworthy on here.

Like some sort of animal, I had to think for myself. No wonder the user counts are declining.

Vanadium Gryllz

  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 4477
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal effects from internet points
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2017, 02:46:44 pm »
Most of you probably use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit. What these three have in common is that an amount of points is displayed along with each post or comment.

Every other month or so, I like to roam the realms of PD to see how you heathens are doing. Today I had a fnordesque moment when scrolling through whatever thread. While reading a comment I caught myself red-handed looking for the amount of points it had. I must have subconsciously expected the forum to tell me how much I should agree to that specific comment. But it didn't. Even the users' post counts are not trustworthy on here.

Like some sort of animal, I had to think for myself. No wonder the user counts are declining.

I think you have an interesting point regarding the idea that the more 'internet points' a post has on most websites the more reality it seems to hold. If something has been heavily uptweeted then it must be true right?

Maybe that feature of many web 2.0 sites is a draw to the masses - this is similar to the discussion in the customized search thread that means people are more easily able to see information that confirms their biases.

I wouldn't necessarily agree that a lack of such a feature here is the cause of declining membership. I don't even know if membership here is declining - seems to have been a recent uptick now that we're fully sliding into Aftermath.

I think it is more that the bbs-style forums (is that what this is?) aren't managing to capture the increased hordes of internet users because they are part of the 'old' web. For someone who is only used to reddit/twitter/facebook I suspect that a forum looks rather unwelcoming and archaic.
"I was fine until my skin came off.  I'm never going to South Attelboro again."

bugmenоt

  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 4016
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal effects from internet points
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2017, 02:56:41 pm »

I wouldn't necessarily agree that a lack of such a feature here is the cause of declining membership. I don't even know if membership here is declining - seems to have been a recent uptick now that we're fully sliding into Aftermath.


Membership here is indeed declining, as you can see at the bottom of this page: http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php?action=stats

I agree that the reasons for the decline may lie somewhere else.

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

  • v=1/3πr2h
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 687093
  • The sky tastes like red exuberance.
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal effects from internet points
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2017, 03:10:50 pm »
It's because we're terrible, awful, no-good, very bad people, IIRC.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Faust

  • Tyrannical Overlord
  • Deserved It
  • *
  • Posts: 82644
  • The Greasy Strangler
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal effects from internet points
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2017, 03:12:18 pm »
Most of you probably use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit. What these three have in common is that an amount of points is displayed along with each post or comment.

Every other month or so, I like to roam the realms of PD to see how you heathens are doing. Today I had a fnordesque moment when scrolling through whatever thread. While reading a comment I caught myself red-handed looking for the amount of points it had. I must have subconsciously expected the forum to tell me how much I should agree to that specific comment. But it didn't. Even the users' post counts are not trustworthy on here.

Like some sort of animal, I had to think for myself. No wonder the user counts are declining.

Seeking out the highest voted comment will the majority of the time lead you to populist common denominator, not so bad on facebook, really bad on reddit. It's the equivalent of confirmation bias mechanism, and its why those sites do so well.

There's a simple randomiser on the post count, Trip used to have a lovely randomiser that would add a random SI unit and select a random number for the post count, if I get a chance I will reimplement that.

There are a few others we changed, instead of friends list we have a nemesis list. And on the front page we don't have a welcome to the newest member, we have the community spiritual leader, which automatically changes as soon as someone newer comes along.

00.dusk

  • A vicious helminthic infection.
  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 2690
  • Worm.
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal effects from internet points
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2017, 03:14:33 pm »
I found myself doing the same thing, weirdly enough, the first day I was back. I'd see a post that made me laugh, and my eyes would automatically flick to the borders, looking for the bold, colored numbers. I retrained myself after the third time, but it still happened, and I find that concerning.

"Karma systems" (i.e. any "vote content you want" system) are useful, but easily broken, and they're habit forming. I remember reading an article last year on a useful replacement for them, but I couldn't find it if you paid me now.

Now, I have seen them function before in limited locations, but these are systems like the one used on Thomas Ligotti Online, where it's a "personal" thank-you for a given post. These seem to work because of a few things unique to them?

Low content posts get nothing because there's nothing to thank that person for. This is explicitly framed as a "thank you", so it works.
High content posts get a few "votes" because only a few people are truly thankful for the content -- those who read it fully and appreciated it.
Content-dump posts (e.g. link collections to off-site PDFs, etc...) get a lot of "votes" because everyone can benefit from and appreciate the post immediately, making them meaningless.
Everyone's name is publicly tied to a post and you cannot "un-thank" someone. This makes it useful to reserve judgement lest you get stuck with a post that turns out to be highly unpopular.
And you can, IIRC, write a tweet-sized message to go along with it. Make this compulsory and you make a barrier to entry. In that world, if someone has /one/ thank you vote on a post, that post is probably good. On the other hand, if some post has 50+ thank you votes, either they've made something indispensable or something shifty is going on. Either way, you want to read the post.

Which is all well and good, but I wouldn't implement something even that good here. It would become a contest (it's always a fucking contest) to see who can make the most "useful" posts. Eventually someone figures out a shortcut to the "this is good" mechanism in the average user's brainpan and quality declines precipitously.

Even assuming a declining userbase, the level of quality on-site is (IMO) more important than the quantity. At this point we have an excellent signal/noise ratio -- I have seen one definitely, unquestionably "noisy" user who is currently active. Precisely one. Everyone else is firing on all cylinders. I would personally consider getting any new users who aren't on-message and on-point out of the gate a net detriment. The Terror cometh, and there is Real Work to be done.

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

  • v=1/3πr2h
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 687093
  • The sky tastes like red exuberance.
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal effects from internet points
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2017, 03:35:39 pm »
Even assuming a declining userbase, the level of quality on-site is (IMO) more important than the quantity. At this point we have an excellent signal/noise ratio -- I have seen one definitely, unquestionably "noisy" user who is currently active. Precisely one. Everyone else is firing on all cylinders. I would personally consider getting any new users who aren't on-message and on-point out of the gate a net detriment. The Terror cometh, and there is Real Work to be done.

I think that this is precisely the thing that makes the forum environment most attractive to me, and to other people who value engaging content over easy clickbait. Whether the clicks are loads or likes, they foster a very shallow level of interaction. In a forum without that kind of easy feedback, users are challenged to provide more meaningful responses, some sort of real engagement and interaction. Although posting a lulz emote is a common way of expressing approval, if a bunch of other people have already done it, there is a perceived pressure to be different by adding a joke or opinion to your post. So, by making feedback more complex than the internet equivalent of clapping, content is stimulated.

People love Facebook because everybody wants a soapbox, deep down. But if you spend too much time on a soapbox, at some point you become starved for interaction and feedback that is more meaningful than mere applause.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


00.dusk

  • A vicious helminthic infection.
  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 2690
  • Worm.
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal effects from internet points
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2017, 03:38:28 pm »
And that's when you start huffing your own rectal fumes to get high. Yup.

Vanadium Gryllz

  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 4477
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal effects from internet points
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2017, 03:43:42 pm »
It's because we're terrible, awful, no-good, very bad people, IIRC.

I thought that went without saying at this point.

I kind of see the number of replies that a post or thread gets to be a reasonable indicator of it's quality. A highly replied to post is either so mind bogglingly retarded that everyone has to jump on it (quality here = fun) or good enough that people feel compelled to agree/expand.

There's a lot of threads around here that are wallowing with <5 replies but you don't see 'em much because they aren't getting bumped.
"I was fine until my skin came off.  I'm never going to South Attelboro again."

00.dusk

  • A vicious helminthic infection.
  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 2690
  • Worm.
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal effects from internet points
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2017, 03:47:54 pm »
That's not foolproof, but yeah, I was going to say that myself. I just got caught up trying to outline the exceptions to the rule and decided it wasn't important to point out.

There are the rare occasions where a topic gets few replies because it's pretty much a Complete Package -- used to be you'd see a lot of that in the OKM forum, ~3-8 replies with no content in any of them, because the OP was high quality enough that there was nothing more to say. But that's another exception, not the rule, and people tend to bump those every year or two to remind people they exist, so over time they'll exit that weird low-reply ghetto.

Roly Poly Oly-Garch

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 15811
  • "I DARE YOU"
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal effects from internet points
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2017, 05:35:25 pm »
I haven't been trained to look for the number of likes or upvotes, but I do reflexively look to click like on posts. Of course I also reply with :mittens: on FB (even to people who have NO idea what that means), so I guess it works both ways.
Back to the fecal matter in the pool

bugmenоt

  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 4016
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal effects from internet points
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2017, 12:33:24 am »
Seeking out the highest voted comment will the majority of the time lead you to populist common denominator, not so bad on facebook, really bad on reddit. It's the equivalent of confirmation bias mechanism, and its why those sites do so well.

Both "likes" and "upvotes" have a dangerously ambiguous meaning. They say "I agree" and "I want others to agree" at the same time. Or, alternatively, "I saw this" and "I want others to see this".

There's a simple randomiser on the post count, Trip used to have a lovely randomiser that would add a random SI unit and select a random number for the post count, if I get a chance I will reimplement that.

There are a few others we changed, instead of friends list we have a nemesis list. And on the front page we don't have a welcome to the newest member, we have the community spiritual leader, which automatically changes as soon as someone newer comes along.

I always figured that the post counts on PD were somehow multiplied with a constant. But now that you say it I see primes everywhere. I'd love to see some more slightly confusing modifications like this.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 12:37:42 am by Weltbürger (NSFW) »

Dildo Argentino

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 24867
  • Whatever ain't what it used to be.
    • View Profile
    • futureupdate
Re: Withdrawal effects from internet points
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2017, 04:54:57 am »
I may be wrong in the head, but I hated those post systems from the start. So, following the lead of some article I saw, some three years ago now I stopped using 'like' buttons on FB. If I like something enough to want to share this with the world, I write a comment. I also switched my newsfeed to 'newest' and I keep switching it back whenever, for no apparent reason, it switches itself back to 'most popular', and every two or three months go through the five-minute tedium of deleting all my accumulated advertising preferences. I also never answer any questions the behemoth asks me. My newsfeed has improved. Being on FB reminds me of being a tiny parasite on a massive creature with an altogether different agenda. Also, of my adolescent days of surviving in a shit school. I was going there every day, certainly not for the reasons the institution thought I ought to be going for, but I did. It beat getting into the fight with my parents and the law, and there was cool things to be done there - though they had little to do with the institution's explicit agenda. Ultimately, I think FB needs to go. But until a social network that doesn't feed on its members comes along that beats FB on structure (wouldn't be all that difficult, I sometimes think), it's here to stay.
Not too keen on rigor, myself - reminds me of mortis

LMNO

  • Lubricated and Rabid Lungfish of Impending Sexdoom™
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 87074
  • Internet Fuckweasel of Haunted Pork Dimensions.
    • View Profile
    • Earfatigue Productions: When it has to sound like you give a shit.
Re: Withdrawal effects from internet points
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2017, 12:55:21 pm »
I stopped using 'like' buttons on FB. If I like something enough to want to share this with the world, I write a comment. I also switched my newsfeed to 'newest' and I keep switching it back whenever, for no apparent reason, it switches itself back to 'most popular', and every two or three months go through the five-minute tedium of deleting all my accumulated advertising preferences. I also never answer any questions the behemoth asks me. My newsfeed has improved.

If we can shape this into a Big Words, it could prove to be a memebomb that actually has an effect on people.

00.dusk

  • A vicious helminthic infection.
  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 2690
  • Worm.
    • View Profile
Re: Withdrawal effects from internet points
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2017, 01:11:05 pm »
Bit off topic, Big Words wasn't a thing when I was active. There a ref piece on it? I kind of get the general idea, but the specifics are evading me enough that trying to put work toward it is basically procrastination, except I type out a bunch of word salad and feel endlessly confused about it.