Sorry this site requires JavaScript to be enabled in your browser. See the following guide on How to enable JavaScript in Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox and Safari. Alternatively you may be blocking JavaScript with an advert-related or developer plugin. Please check your browser plugins.

Question for Danny:

Do you feel it healthy that many of the moderators of Sphinn are also part of vote "alliances" and "groups" who vote for each others stories and who do not vote for others?

Is this a community or is it a "good ole boys" network?

My take on it is that I feel it unhealthy, and will lead (as is already starting to) a somewhat obvious thing that anyone with math skills can figure out.

While I think it would be unrealistic to have no networking, I would like to be able to rely on the moderators at least, for some moderation on their alliances.

For those of you who have entered such arrangements (something I refuse to do) I would tell you that friends are important to rely on, but even more important would be the ability to rely on yourself.

Do not invite me to be part of this stuff, the next time you do I will call everyone out and list the names. In the last week I have heard about this stuff like 6 times. Stop contacting me.

To those of you who write quality stuff that do not feel your articles are getting their due, you are right. Regardless of this however, I recommend that you continue submitting. I actually feel a bit guilty because I have not been a very good community member, and I need to read more and give my votes more. The more you interact, the more fair chance that will exist that the over all votes will be real. There is hope. I often write unpopular stuff (like what I am writing now) but you will still find my articles in the "Greatest Hits".

If you are participating in such a scheme, I would ask you ponder to yourself why receiving a few sphinns is more important to you than the opportunity you take away from others.

The amount of moderators involved is lame Danny, truly lame.
Comments38 Comments  

Comments

Avatar
from tamar 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Pat, I’m not sure what you’re talking about here.  What "alliances" and "groups?"  Without naming names or being too direct, who are the participants?I can tell you that I personally vouched for networking outside the sphere for a certain (cough) social network.  Additionally, I get requests to Sphinn stories all the time.  Here is my response.  Honestly, if the concern is my success ratio, don’t vote on my stories.  I’m not pitching any Sphinn requests at all.  I’ll let the community decide.What I don’t understand is why you’re specifically targeting the moderators.  This is happening outside the moderator sphere, from what I see, hence my post on it last week.By the way, just an FYI: the moderator list is not completely up to date.  One of the moderators listed is no longer modding. ;)

Avatar
from Feydakin 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I think this is an interesting comment considering how so much of what is posted and discussed refers to doing this very same thing on other social networks.. All social voting sites devlolve to social groups helping out friends and being, well, social.. I know that there are people that make several sphinn/digg requests every single day.. And there are people that automatically vote for things when asked to without bothering to look at the content.. But there are far more people that even when requested, actually take a few minutes to look at what they are voting for and vote or not vote based on what they see there.. I happen to be a part of that group.. And if asked to digg something that is utter crap, I might even bury it.. All that said, I think it’s a lot to ask to think that people won’t ask friends to help each other out.. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s part of being social..

Avatar
from BradleyT 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I agree with you.  The number of sphinns required to get an article on what’s hot is so low that it would be easy for groups to form that simply vote each others stories up.  And it appears to be somewhat evident based on some of the garbage that appears on the front page.

Avatar
from baiduyou 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 0

There are certainly a few mediocre articles knocking around that you could reasonably suggest get more attention than they deserve, but are there really any Sphinners pathetic enough to only ever vote for their friends’ posts?

Avatar
from TimDineen 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@Tamar - "Without naming names or being too direct, who are the participants?"How is it possible to answer that question?And who would want to attract the scorn of any of the high-profile moderators here by doing so?

Avatar
from tamar 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Tim, it’s a hard question to answer. I have no idea what Pat’s talking about and am seeking some sort of clarification.  

Avatar
from Lyndon 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 2

You can see the alliances at work when a story gets an instant hit of over 15 votes straight away, you can hear the IMs cranking out. This usually happens when it’s a Sphinner with a huge recognition factor or if it’s not an A lister, then I guess it’s what you would call an alliance.As long as the content is good then I am fine with it.I don’t think the fact that being a moderator means you can’t indulge in a bit of healthy back rub. All they seem to do is delete spam, they have no power over 99% of the posts.I agree a vote for my crap and I will vote for yours means the usefulness of Sphinn is reduced, I would never call it wrong as I do not feel like taking any moral high ground. But I do say it’s short sighted and used mostly by bottom feeders rather than someone who is going to be a player in the space.Asking for a vote when you know your content is crap simply makes you look weak and shitifies your brand.But Alliances, c’mon? What is this, a game of Risk?

Avatar
from Lyndon 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 0

...and where is this moderator list and how come they all seem to be Yanks?

Avatar
from chriswinfield 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 1

"...and where is this moderator list and how come they all seem to be Yanks?"Right here.  And last time I checked Mikkel and Rob aren’t "Yanks"...

Avatar
from planetc1 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 0

As I mentioned in a post last weekend ( http://sphinn.com/story/11238 ) viewing the sphinning habits of anyone registered (including moderators) is quite transparent. Checking on sphinns, I did not notice any activity by moderators that appears in any way to be selective.

Avatar
from Lyndon 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Thanks Chris, it’s true they are not, I didn’t realise they were mods.

Avatar
from Lyndon 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Hmmmm, looking at the list of mods I am confused as to which ones are in the "good ole boys", network.Pat, do you need a pickup and a gun rack to join the "good ole boys" network?C’mon mate, make it easy on us and just tell us who you are talking about. I love a good conspiracy theory ;)

Avatar
from SEOish 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Sorry it took so long to respnd, I posted this right before going to bed, and I have just woken up.:)I am not talking about asking for votes here, I am talking about specific gaming of Sphinn and yes, by moderators (or at least by people on the "moderator list").@Tamar, who isn’t a mod anymore that is on that list?

Avatar
from tamar 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Pat: Rae stepped down because she relocated and has a bunch of new responsibilities now.

Avatar
from Lyndon 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 0

What do you mean "specific gaming of Sphinn"? How are they gaming Sphinn?They can’t be very good at gaming as the top two sphinners are not even modsPat, stop teasing and get to the point. Who is gaming digg and how the hell are they doing it?Look forward to the sordid revalations ;) unless of course your just farting around.

Avatar Administrator
from MattMcGee 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Pat - if you’re gonna make accusations like this, you really better lay the evidence out, okay friend? Because without any evidence, it really comes across as an attention grab. Go through the mod profiles and look at who’s sphunn our submissions. I just checked my last three that hit the home page. They did that with a total of two votes from other moderators -- that’s 2 votes across all 3 stories, not 2 votes on each story. You could do some similar research and maybe come up with some quality stats to prove your conspiracy theory. It’s all transparent around here, no one can hide behind their votes.

Avatar
from SEOish 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Attention grab? This can only be negative attention Matt, I say what I say because it is true.  I assure you that this exsists. I would suggest, if this be a open conversation, that the moderators who know about this or have been contacted about this, say something.I know there are some of you who have.Or even more refreshingly, the moderators who are invovled say something.

Avatar
from SEOish 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 0

No takers?I am really dissapointed here, and have lost respect for some people today. (Some of whom I thought had balls enough to be honest).

Avatar
from Lyndon 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Is this a wind up?

Avatar
from SEOish 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Hehe, I hope it isn’t Lydon. I was hoping that someone would actually say something, or at least acknowlege it.Oh well. I learned that honesty is second to, er "Sphinns" (scary), and so did the members of those groups. It is good to know such things.To be clear, voting blocks do exsist and moderators are indeed involved, which is inappropriate (in my eyes).

Avatar
from Lyndon 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Still waiting to hear who the evil doers are Pat.Am building the bonfire as we speak or are you just pulling our plonkers?

Avatar
from SEOish 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I assure you, Lyndon, no plonkers are being pulled :)

Avatar
from SEOish 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Hi, Jill. This isn’t about my stuff. As I said my stuff is in the "Greatest hits" As far as sphinns go Jill, the stories I write get more that yours. You Jill are an unquestionably gifted and knowlegable writer, and a very smart person. I am not sure why you would assume I am making a theory. I am not making assumptions or theories. It is true. You are the one making an assumtion here, not me :)

Avatar
from Halfdeck 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 4

Pat, without proof, this whole thing looks to me like a baseless attack on people who invest their time into Sphinn for our benefit. You may be right or you may be wrong, but I think its time for you to get your show on the road.If you will not mention specifics, then there’s nothing more to discuss.

Avatar
from SEOish 3609 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I agree with you Halfdeck.I was asking the people involved or the moderators who have been contacted and not invloved to say something. It is becoming clear they are not going to that. I said what I wanted to say in my original post

Avatar
from TimDineen 3608 Days ago #
Votes: 3

I’m going to defend SEOish here...While he mentions that some moderators are involved in group voting, and I don’t disbelieve that, the point is that there is group voting occurrring and moderators aren’t able to control that... in fact some, as he states, may be part of the problem.It’s a tough call to ask the insane to watch over the asylum -- I think that’s a standard saying and not something I mean to say about the mods here -- but in a few cases it appears that some who should be watching over what gets promoted here are instead promoting their own submissions. Really, it shouldn’t be that dificult for you all to figure out who amonst the leading Sphinners is participating in such... so stop arguing about it and accept the constructive critcism that this post is meant to be.I, like SEOish, won’t "out" anyone... but I will ask that you all take a second to consider the reason behind the fact that he stood up and made a statement about this. What would he have to gain from doing so? Is he going to prosper from this? No. He stuck his neck out and it got chopped off...It’s constructive criticism - in most circles that’d be considered a good thing.

Avatar
from SEOish 3608 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Thank you Tim. I appreciate the sentiment.I was hoping to have an open discussion about this. Naturally I gain nothing from this. I am not just "spouting off" I am challenging some very good people, many of them people I respect to be honest about this and put it out for open discussion.My secondary point, and the one I wish would be paid more attention to is this...By securing opportunity for yourself, you remove it from others. I ask that the people who are Sphinn users who are in voting blocks please consider that. Please consider using the Sphinn "whats new" page rather than only using your email.The trend of people voting for each others stories is not dangerous because of the votes, it is dangerous more in the trend that it creates where the most influential users are using less and less the "whats New" page, and therefore, less and less stories from people seeking opportunity who do not have the benefit of a network will be seen or voted for.This trend is there, and will continue to rise (and become more obvious)I do not seek opportunity, I am not saying this for me or my purposes. I am saying it simply as an opinion of someone who cares about this community.My third point is this....I do not want to be asked about joining a network. I want to be really clear about this, I do not believe in this practice and I am utterly against it.Thank you again Tim, that took balls and I respect it mightily that you did it.

Avatar
from Lyndon 3608 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Tim, as Pat has not provided any evidence, or even accused anyone I don’t think it is constructive at all. In politics this technique is very common and effective, make a vague accusation and let people run with it. It’s psy ops 101Spread enough doubt and confusion and paranoia strikes hold.Until Pat actually accuses someone I can’t take him seriously. I don’t know the dude so I make no judgement, but if you are going to question the honesty of people in a public forum at least have the decency to be open about it and not hide behind smoke and mirrors.All I say is.....wait a minute, what’s that smell? Is it cow, is it pig? No, it’s bullshit.Pat, until you actually come up with the goods I really can’t take you seriously.

Avatar
from SEOish 3608 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Fair enough Lyndon.What do you feel about the other points I made in the above comment?

Avatar Moderator
from Sebastian 3608 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Pat, did you watch the live page recently? Many of us have bookmarked it, and use it to find stuff when the new list is way too noisy. I’ve often seen that when a few folks click stories, and vote, from the live page that looks like a voting club working on a plz-sphinn-this broadcast. It is natural Pat, the folks you’re addressing don’t feed each other.  OTOH the live page also reveals the existing voting clubs, shows the activity of vote bots and so on. When you look at artificial voting patterns, you’ll see that the sphinners involved aren’t mods but new accounts or accounts with unnatural submission/sphinn-lists.  Pat, I  can understand that you don’t want to out anybody, but please tell us the method you’ve used to work out your theory. Thanks.

Avatar
from SEOish 3608 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Hi, Sebastian. thanks for your insightful comments, really. Thanks for pointing out the live page. I am aware of it (and have some great ideas for it concerning gadgets)The way I became aware of the voting blocks was not via a theory, it was conversations with people who are actually involved in them. During the course of this thread I have been contacted by 8 additional people now who are also aware of such blocks. Why are they not speaking up? Well I think people are scared to do so. And sadly, rightly so.A better way to look at it, is this, Let us just say that there are some people who believe this sorta thing exists, and there are some people who do not believe it.I hope we can look at what would be common to both perspectives, and take from this conversation positive things.I think one positive thing is...We care. What would be considered best practices? I, for example, have been a total lame butt by not reading and voting more.I honestly do not want to assume or speak for anyone else, but I think that all of us on some level realize that there are groups of people who tend to vote amongst themselves. I am not saying that is evil, and I am not saying that the they vote for things that are not worthy.I am more concerned with the pool that we receive our submissions from, and what that means to Sphinn, it’s users, and it’s future.I am willing to highlight things that are unpopular, and feel that it is impotant to do so.

Avatar Moderator
from Sebastian 3608 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Sorry Pat, this answer sounds too vague. Of course there are voting clubs, but you’ve opened the thread saying that mods participate there. We shouldn’t discuss a few single sympathy votes or bookmark kind of sphinns and systematic gaming the system on the same level. Not every IMs/PMs asking somebody to look at a particular submission, not even "sphinn this" twits indicate a voting club. Tell us why you think that mods vote artificially. That’s not outing, accepting the job as a mod here comes with readiness for transparency.  I doubt that any of the mods did what you say, you can’t convince me with vague accusations. Please tell us facts, for the sake of your own creditability. Thanks.

Avatar
from SEOish 3608 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Because Mods are a part of the networks I am talking about. It is good you got back to that point, I think that if mads are going to be part of voting networks, then the network they should use is Sphinn itself.Should moderaters be in groups where the sole purpose of the group is to vote? Because that is what is occuring.

Avatar
from tonyp 3608 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Interesting discussion!  What attraced me to this post was the number of comments and not the number of sphinns!

Avatar
from bwelford 3608 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I too would like to come to the defence of SEOish, although SEOish is doing a pretty good job already.  I think it was possibly wrong to tie the phenomenon to moderators, but it’s quite clear that groups and alliances, albeit informal in some cases, do exist.  Possibly in some cases, people sphinn a number of posts rapidly as evidenced by the Live display in order to ingratiate themselves with the authors.  Regrettably it means that Sphinn has become too Digg-like IMHO.  If only folk would send Free Gifts or whatever on Facebook and act more diligently here, it would be much better for Sphinn.

Avatar
from tamar 3608 Days ago #
Votes: -1

I already told Pat in a private message that there are groups of networks where mods participate in -- but these groups have NO bearing whatsoever on Sphinn.  Why, then, is Pat making it sound like mods are gaming Sphinn?Case in point: there are Facebook groups where people ask for Diggs.  People trade votes on DigitalPoint forums.  Is this a new phenomena?  Not at all.  But my questions is - where do the Sphinn moderators fit in the picture? I’ve nothing to hide here.  When I spoke at SMX, I said that it’s encouraged to network outside the social sites themselves.  However, right now it sounds like Pat is pointing fingers at mods and claiming that they’re gaming Sphinn when that clearly, at least to my knowledge, is not the case.

Avatar
from SEOish 3608 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I know how dedicated and respectable the mods here are, I know they work hard and give up their own time for the community. The whole Sphinn community probably knows that as well. I am sorry I didn’t point that out loudly and clearly.The mods here are an enormous part of why Sphinn works and their efforts, and their dedication are seen and appreciated by everyone I know, it is certainly seen and appreciated by me.I was completely and utterly wrong not to point that out.

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 3607 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Pat, if you have a question for me (or anyone, for that matter), it’s usually better to ask them directly and privately rather than doing some public accusation of lameness. I could understand that if I had a history of somehow not being responsive, but I don’t think that’s the case at all. I’m not aware of any gaming by moderators, nor has anyone raised such a concern before. I’m on vacation right now, but I’m back next week. Send some real details to me or Rob, and we’ll look into it. If there’s gaming, we’ll stop it. Otherwise, we’ll come back with an answer that should help your concerns.

Upcoming Conferences

Search Marketing ExpoSearch Engine Land produces SMX, the Search Marketing Expo conference series. SMX events deliver the most comprehensive educational and networking experiences - whether you're just starting in search marketing or you're a seasoned expert.



Join us at an upcoming SMX event: