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.

Within a week or two, the voting model will end at Sphinn. Stories can still be submitted, but editors will consider those in addition to others they find. Why? Rather than build community, voting -- an activity which is also in decline -- seems to foster an anti-community "who's winning" atmosphere.
Comments97 Comments  

Comments

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 5

Below is the full post from me at the Sphinn blog:

When Sphinn launched in July 2007, I wanted to create a place where search and internet marketers could submit stories and vote on them in the style of Digg but without feeling unwelcome. At the time, stories about SEO in particular were routinely buried at Digg.

The site launched, and we had a good response in our initial year. We went out with no rules in particular other than for people to use “common sense” when it came to submitting items on internet marketing. We added rules organically, one-by-one, in reaction to specific problems and often in response to community requests.

Over the first year, spam issues grew — and grew — and grew. We expected that. Sphinn was a site catering to marketers, and they’re going to promote. Of course, we also got stuff that was just wildly off-topic.

We embarked on rebuilding our platform from the ground up, to better deal with spam. It was a long process, but two years after Sphinn launched, Sphinn 2.0 went out in July 2009. Since then, we’ve gotten much better on the spam front. However, another concern arose. Participation was down. People didn’t vote as much. Good stories weren’t submitted as often.

We’ve tried various tweaks to improve the situation, but our suspicion has been that people find better ways to share these days than through voting. Chief culprits? Facebook and Twitter. These new platforms make it much easier for people to share interesting stories with others than voting platforms do. People have friends and followers, and they can spread news rapidly with them – no voting required.

Of course, Sphinn has always said it would also use editors in addition to votes to meet the overall goal of the site, to provide a daily collection of great articles. With voting in decline, we’re giving it up entirely. In the near future, within a week or two, voting will be removed from the site for stories.

How will we find stories going forward? For one, our editors will continue to look for good stories to feature. In addition, we’ll still be accepting news ideas from others.

Our submission form will continue working. But those ideas will go in front of the editors to decide, not to a page where people will vote. If a submission is selected this way, the individual who submitted it will be credited.

Part of me is sad to see the voting system go. But the reality is that stories have been getting fewer and fewer votes, while the site’s traffic hasn’t changed much since our Sphinn 2.0 rollout. That tells us people are interested in a collection of good stories, not in actually voting for them.

Moreover, by losing voting, we lose a large number of hassles that have come with it, such as outright spam submissions and voting gangs. It’s not fun dealing with that stuff. People complain that their story didn’t “win.” Others complain that someone else seems to “win” all the time. Moderators get subjected to abusive language, including F-bomb drops. The bulk of our editors’ time is spent too much on playing referee, rather than coach to getting good content a starring role.

So it’s goodbye to votes. It’s not goodbye to community, I hope. Perhaps without voting, we’ll actually have more community and less concern that someone is winning or losing.

We continue to allow commenting on stories, as well as voting on comments, and my hope is that we’ll see discussions about news stories pick up. We’ve had many great discussions on the site in the past, and that’s been one of the best things to me. Perhaps deemphasizing voting will cause people to express their opinions not with a Sphinn but an actual comment, which is always so much more valuable.



Avatar
from willsemto 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Look forward to this Danny, sounds great. Will this not add a huge amount of administration to your moderator team though?



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

The moderator team already works a huge amount. It just changes the nature of their work. We think they'll be able to focus more on finding great needles in the haystack than getting buried by hay, so to speak.



Avatar
from UtahSEOpro 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 6

So now people will work on greasing palms rather than soliciting votes :)



Avatar Administrator
from Michelle 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@utahSEOpro haha. yeah, i'll shoot you my paypal address ;)  #goodluckwiththat



Avatar
from debram 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 5

Here. let me make it easy for you Jordan :)

Jill can be bought with red wine and chocolate.

Me - rum & diet coke and wild flip flops

Matt S - will take Cardinal tickets 

Matt M - Seahawk tickets

Tamar - anything as long as it's kosher

Keri is partial to chocolate liqour drinks and Costco gift cards

Sebastian - anything crabby

Nick W - best to send gift cards to any baby store online

Todd -  Complete set of Marvin Gaye tunes

Glen - airline tickets

Michelle - see above ;)

Danny - a new Dell.  With 3 screens



Avatar
Desphinn from Ruud 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Desphunn because it's the wrong thing to do.

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Over on Twitter, Susan Esparza and Lisa Barone asked me why the purpose is going forward, if there's no voting -- just editors picking stories.

Yes, that's it exactly. To be more specific, Search Engine Land has a SearchCap newsletter where our news editor there, Barry Schwartz, picks what he thinks are good stories about search marketing. He does this each day. We have thousands of readers. Happy readers who love what he does.

In addition, I've never -- never -- had anyone drop an F-Bomb on him because they felt somehow their right to be included was unfairly denied. No one questions that there's a value to editorial judgement, that there's only a "wisdom of the crowds" but not a wisdom of editors.

Sphinn will be a collection of stories that our editorial team thinks are worth noting on the home page, just like we do similar judgements all the time at Search Engine Land or just like plenty of editorial sites operate. We won't be perfect, but goodness knows the current model isn't perfect.

We'll also take suggestions, just as people can suggest stories to editorial sites all the time. Tip us to something good, you'll even get a credit. If we don't get good tips, life goes on. That's why we have editors.

As for community, forums operate all over the web where people talk about interesting stories without having first had to vote them up. I think there's plenty of community in conversation, and personally, I hope that develops here.

Also some case-in-points. Both Susan and Lisa felt the need to talk about the Sphinn changes but not on Sphinn, here in this thread, but instead on Twitter. As best I can tell, Susan doesn't even have a Sphinn account.

As for Lisa, she does (. And her activity is indicative of someone who clearly cares about Sphinn (hence her tweets) but who doesn't participate. Her last submission was 454 days ago. Over a year ago.

Anyone think that Lisa doesn't discover great content all the time? I think she does, but she doesn't submit it here.

Her last vote was 37 days ago, then 56 days before that, then 90 days. Anyone think Lisa doesn't know good content when she sees it? She clearly does know good content, but she's spending over a month before expressing any voting opinion here on Sphinn.

Her last comment? 6 days ago, about the move to tighten up editorial standards. Before that, it was 200 days ago, then 400 days before that.

Bottom line, Sphinn clearly hasn't been compelling to Lisa in terms of participation. And I totally don't mean this negatively to her. I mean it to point out that here's someone who you'd think would be an ideal person to participate in the community, and it's not there.

Or how about Rudd Hein, who has done a post about why he thinks Sphinn is dead:http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/sphinn-is-dead.html

I read through it several times. He listed all the problems voting sites like Sphinn had, and all I could think was, why do you want to keep the voting then?

He asks: "what place is there for you without voting, without the community angle?"

I think the place is to offer a good collection of stories, because editorial is always valued -- and community, as I said, in the discussions.

But Ruud, who also says in his post that it's not right to take voting from "our" community and does participate here frequently still doesn't really do that much:

http://sphinn.com/user/Ruud

Last submit was 12 days ago, then 61 days before that for a series of 3, then 103 days before that. Clearly, we can't rely on Ruud to be submitting stories.

Ruud votes more, but even then -- there are gaps. last vote was 5 days ago. there are gaps of day, then a couple of days in places, then a huge month gap.

Again, I'm not calling Ruud out to be mean. It's just easier to explain what's really going on by looking at real activity. Here's someone who clearly is part of the community, who clearly likes the idea of voting but in the end, acts differently.

You want a community site on voting, then you need to have lots of people consistently voting every day. And submitting good stuff. We don't have that. We've tried various things to improve that, but they don't work. What we do get for our pains is a lot of time wasted playing referee. That time is better spent elsewhere.

But hey, if we're wrong and the voting is so important, then anyone can just dive in an operate a voting site on internet marketing news. I think there are already some sites out there like this, though I don't think they're that large. If it's an opportunity we're missing, I'm happy (seriously) if someone else makes it work.

All I know is that I think a sense of community, if it's going to reemerge here, will do so in a climate of discussions, not around voting. That's just been harmful, in my view. And if it doesn't, I do know that editorial selections work, work well, have a place -- and that's where we are headed.



Avatar
from Ruud 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 4

Well, to be a pain in the butt jerk, I have more desphinn reasons. It's not exceptional content for example. Any piece suggesting to solve a problem by ditching the problem? Not exceptional. "You have a problem building links? Then don't!"

Second, look at who's voting this up. Weren't we looking at voting rings: now the editorial team is patting each other on the back so I guess *we* the community have to do the vote pattern watching ... now we still can :)

What makes the whole thing look like a clammer-fall-over-ourselves-hurry-do-something decision is that just the other week you came out telling us how it was going to be. We had to behave, submit content that is marginal, over our head or otherwise exceptional -- and only vote if we don't see people voting we generally agree with.

Fine.

Then you pull the rug out from under us.

What have you got scheduled for next week Wednesday? The announcement that due to too many crap submissions Sphinn says goodbye to submissions themselves and that going forward the editors will pick the stories?



Avatar
Desphinn from mercylivi 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Wrong decision and blaming facebook, twitter for the decline in traffic!

Avatar
from davidiwanow 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Can't you just use a simple metric based on what receives the most clicks while still allowing for the ability to unsphinn those that have risen up and aren't quality...

Won't it just mean the rise of a new power circle of sphinn editors that will only choose to promote those they know or what to carry favour with in the community?

So Sphinn can't work out how to limit gaming the system with all their understanding of our industry is moving the platform to a pure editor only platform may drop the importance of the platform.



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Rudd, was writing my comment while you were doing yours, it seems.

We're going to disagree on keeping votes, that's clear. Sorry.

It doesn't matter who's voting this up. In a week or so, there won't even be a voting number. But that's also the point. Who wants to have discussions about how many votes a story gets rather than the content of the story?

There was no fall over hurry. We've have literally debated this type of move since the beginning of the year. We've deliberately made a number of changes to try and encourage voting. None of it works.

Last week's discussion about focusing on exceptional content wasn't even "new." It was just a reminder that that is what we wanted. But the debate over that, among a tiny number of people who actually use Sphinn -- about just following existing guidelines for voting -- made it clear we were beating a dead horse with voting.

Most people who come to the site do not vote, as I explained. They're looking for a colleciton of good stories and seem to trust that the site will give it to them. We think editors can continue to do this. We think the community can continue to happen through commenting and suggestions. And we think we get more community when we lose the "win/lose" attitude.



Avatar
Desphinn from AlanBleiweiss 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 6

This completely kills all the value I have found Sphinn held. Yes, I understand that there has been less voting, and challenges to quality. Yet I have consistently relied on Sphinn to point out high quality content, regardless of the issues of some of those articles not deserving the votes. Oh well - life moves on, things change. Just going to replace the Sphinn button on my articles with the Tweet button. < sigh >

Avatar
from Ruud 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Danny, I want to keep the voting on a voting site because it is a voting site. It's that simple.

Level of activity, participation? Like you point out, people vote all the time on Twitter and Facebook. Aggregrate those then instead of relying on your own voting mechanism.

But solving it by removing voting yet going on with Sphinn is ... senseless. Useless. You already have SearchCap http://searchengineland.com/searchcap-the-day-in-search-august-31-2010-49679

So to recap: Sphinn was special because it is "our" Digg ... if you remove that, why duplicate what you already do with SearchCap?



Avatar
from AlanBleiweiss 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 5

This completely kills all the value I have found Sphinn held.  Yes, I understand that there has been less voting, and challenges to quality.  Yet I have consistently relied on Sphinn to point out high quality content, regardless of the issues of some of those articles not deserving the votes.  Oh well - life moves on, things change.  Just going to replace the Sphinn button on my articles with the Tweet button.  < sigh >



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@mercylivi it's not a decline in traffic, it's a decline in participation. people still keep coming to sphinn. that's not the issue. the issue is about submission of quality content and voting.

@davidiwanow clicks can be gamed. anything can be gamed. i'd rather not spend more time trying to come up with the next technological fix when sharing, as I said, largely seems to us to have moved to facebook and twitter (where gaming is also less, because you generally follow trusted people).

Sure, editors could potentially only favor those they like. I don't think we'd last long, if that's the case. But that's true of any editorial site.



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Meant for the link to Rudd's story to be live, not sure why it didn't happen. Here it is again:

http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/sphinn-is-dead.html



Avatar
Desphinn from peteyoung 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Totally the wrong plan for Sphinn in my opinion and have to agree with Alan and Ruud. It plays particularly into the hands of the old boys network - and I can't help thinking is only going to help continue the decline in sphinn numbers. If you want the fully editored environment, we have SEL, surely Sphinn should stay as a community site?

Avatar
from rustybrick 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I love a big change to drive up some excellent community discussion.



Avatar
from Susan 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Mostly I'm commenting to prove that I do have a Sphinn account. (I lurk. Easy to miss.)

But having the conversation on Twitter was actually part of the point. I will vote for content that I like, I'll read content that I find intriguing but I don't use Sphinn to comment because I don't usually find that there's a reason to comment here. The point of Sphinn, in my mind, is to highlight and promote great content elsewhere and that's usually where I'd rather have the discussion.

If the goal of removing voting is increasing discussion and participation, it's missing the whole point of Sphinn, IMO. I don't think this is horrible and evil. I don't think Sphinn should die rather than removing voting. I just don't have an investment in it without the option at least. It's like the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button. I may never use it, but I like that it's there.



Avatar
from KristiHines 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 8

I hope my voting patterns don't get analyzed and publicized just because I decided to voice my opinion on this.

The difference between SearchCap having lots of happy subscribers and Sphinn getting complaints is because subscribers signed up for SearchCap under the knowledge that it is one person sending out their favorites.  People signed onto Sphinn to be able to vote for stories they like.

What was great about this network was the fact that, if you a story of yours does end up on the homepage, you can see how awesome it is by seeing which people outside of your network vote on it.  Sure somethings  make it based on your main base of fans voting for it, but you got to find out which stories of yours are outstanding because those were the ones that people you don't even know vote for as well.

And if the issue is "popularity voting," won't having only the editors select the front page items be kind of the same thing.  People who the editors know will likely have a better chance than newer, unknown writers in the industry.  Anyone who might have ticked off one of the editors somewhere else will have no shot even if their story is the most valuable, well researched information about SEO ever written.

Forums are a horrible, by the way.  One thing that was nice about Sphinn is if you thought your own story was good enough, you could submit it to the community to get their opinions.  You can't do that in most forums - if you are even remotely affiliated with a story you share, you get called a spammer, flamed, or banned.  Simple as that.

So in essence, the best part about this community - letting members voice their opinion about the latest news by voting - is being removed.  And we're supposed to be excited that our news is now going to be moderated by a small group of people and we get no say whatsoever?



Avatar Moderator
from MelissaF 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Danny, I don't know what to think. I love SearchCap and always have. I am thrilled when I am on it. I also like the new, "recently hot at sphinn" articles.

We know people Sphinn their friends and there are times that the articles aren't that great. Why not do something slightly different, like if an editor Sphinns an article it counts for 5-10 sphinns. If there is more value in the editor vote you still keep to keep voting, but you get to let the "experts" influence the front page and the best articles.



Avatar
from Ruud 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Wish I could vote your comment up twice, Kristi. Which begs the question: how much longer will we be able to do *that*...



Avatar
from MarkeD 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Sphunn so I can say to my grandkids "I voted on one of the last stories on Sphinn" ;-)

I think this is a bold decision breaking up some eggs to make a new Sphinn 2010 omelette (I hope) - all power to the editors now in pointing to the content that will keep Sphinn as a go-to place for search marketing news, their job as curators of search knowledge will be one of responsibility.



Avatar
from 0thelisa 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 6

Geez, make a comment and Danny will publicly display your voting history. Is that legal? :)

Danny's right in that I'm more of a lurker here.  I think I echo many of Susan's same reasons for doing so.  I'll vote on content that I find really exceptional (which isn't often, I'm picky) and, if I'm inclined to comment, I either do it on the blog the content came from or via Twitter.   Twitter is my preferred way to share content because I reach far more people that way and I feel more comfortable there. There's a definite "group" that hangs out on Sphinn and I've never felt part of it.  I've also been turned off by the unexceptional content that gets promoted and the fact that Sphinn is sometimes just a second news feed for Search Engine Journal authors.  So, especially in recent times, I've stayed away publicly. I get my content in other ways.

I'm not sure taking away the voting aspect and turning it into a living SearchCap is the right way to go, but I'm not going to bash it before I see it either.  I think the argument that no one gives Barry crap about SearchCap is flawed simply because Sphinn is no SearchCap. The marketers are more aggressive and I have to imagine that many of the editors are going to become inundated with requests. I don't think bias has been removed, it's just been concentrated. Hopefully their submission patterns will be as visible as mine. ;)

The bottom line is that while I understand Ruud's complaints, this isn't "his" community, nor is it "ours".  It's Sphinn's and they have to act as they deem right.  If I could offer anything, it's that I like to see some new editors added, people who don't write for the same old blogs that typically get promoted.  If Sphinn is going to be a place to find search content you would have missed otherwise, then the editors really need to be good about getting off the beaten path and finding those blogs that get ignored.  That's a hard thing to do for most people, but time will tell.

If you help me find content I would have totally missed otherwise, maybe I'll get louder here.



Avatar
from sithburns 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Bad idea. I'm sad to see sphinn no longer become useful or interesting to me. Ultimately it's the owner's choice as to what they wish to do with their site. As a community member it's my right to decide what sites I chose to invest my time on.

I hope your changes work out to your benefit. Maybe you all are seeing a big picture that I don't as a community member.



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@peteyoung, totally understand you think it plays into old boys network. of course, that's what people say now -- because low activity means those with friends willing to sphinn whatever can get onto the home page. end result -- no difference in accusations, though perhaps less hostile accusations.

Search Engine Land (SEL) also about search. Sphinn is about internet marketing. There are stories we feature on the home page of Sphinn that would never make SEL, because they aren't search. I think there's a place for both, in that they both have different editorial focuses (not because they have different content models).

@Susan I think the goal of Sphinn will remain to continue to highlight great content. We just think we can do it as well without all the time-suck that goes into managing a voting system that practically no one on the site actually uses. The point is to keep providing good stories to those who come to Sphinn. I've love to see more discussion, personally, but that's not the primary reason for making the move.

@kikolani I think few people sign up for SearchCap because they think only one person does it. We don't even explain how it is produced. We simply say it's Search Engine Land's collection of top stories from across the web. Barry does the vast majority of it -- however part of SearchCap are the stories on SEL themselves, important stories that sometimes the other editors find and choose to highlight in a post.

As for people signing up here to vote on stories they like -- they don't. Maybe that's why they signed up in their minds, some of them. But most simply do not vote. In fact, we have tons of people who come who don't even have accounts at all. They just want to see good stories featured about internet marketing.

So we have a voting system that gets ignored, or abused, and moderators who get called in to play referee constantly -- and then abused themselves -- it's the least attractive part of the site, yet it takes up the most of our time and generates the most pain.

That's the reality of voting here. It doesn't match the ideal that some might have. But we're dealing with reality, and we've tried and tried to make that ideal happen. It's just not.

Back to editor favoritism, I guess I'm just sad that there's this assumption that editors somehow all have to be biased to their friends. If someone ticked them off, well, that's it. Like there's also the possbility editors could do a good job. But sure, there's that possibility now. But there's also that already with moderation. And mods already come under fire for that, in a voting environment where a winners-losers mentality makes things worse. So we're going to defuse that so they can get on with their work and perhaps be attacked less.

Agreed, one of the things I loved about Sphinn was that you didn't have to try and not mention your own story as is the case with some forums. And you still can. You'll still be able to submit stories. I, for one, love looking at the new stuff that comes in.

I just came across a story a few days ago on Google and a site cashing in on a golfer's death. Tiny site, great story. Had all of 2 sphinns, including my own. I pushed that to the home page. It's there now. Voting would have never gotten it there. With only 12 sphinns so far, it still wouldn't have gotten there. Maybe that's a sign it's not a great story. But it is -- and people should have read it.

You'll still be able to submit stuff like that, and you might even have a better chance of your stuff being seen than now.

And again, if the best part here is that people can express their opinions about voting -- no one's doing that. The vast majority of people just do not do that. After three years, I think we've given that the good fight.

@MelisssaF, we thought about keeping voting going so that people could still vote on stories that were actually selected. But honestly, we're just done with the voting. We're done with out it encourages a keeping score behavior, second guessing, accusations that some voting gang is allowed to get away with something but someone else isn't kept in control, you name it. Done with people who disagree with a voting deciding dropping F-bombs, doing aggressive posts to attack mods and more. None of that has community in it. Community isn't helped by voting.

Ruud, we plan to still allow voting on comments.



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Lisa, thanks for indulging me on using you as an example, at least I hope after the fact.

The goal is to find unique and great content. People can still submit. We may find other methods. But the voting is an imperfect system that just gets worse. Editors aren't perfect, but I think that's a system that's easier to manage.

For everyone about to comment on what big loss this is, I'd encourage you to look at your own voting patterns first. I keep looking at those who are upset. I see big gaps in voting, few submits and so on. I'm not going to keep pointing these out, but that's what I see.

For voting to really work, you need a large number of people consisently voting, otherwise gaming takes over. You also need a relatively small number of pathfinder leaders consistently submitting good stuff for votes.

That's just not happening. That's the reality, and I think if more people took a moment to really look at how they use Sphinn, you'd better understand that.



Avatar
Desphinn from SEOcopy 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I'm not going to repeat whet everyone has already stated in here. My question is what are you thinking?

Avatar
from rickgalan 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 1

If you are getting rid of the voting aspect to sphinn, it seems a little redundant to have this and SEL be separate. Any thoughts about combining the two platforms? Kind of seomoz & youmoz-style?


--Edit - nevermind - saw that someone posted a similar question, and that Danny answered it already. Have to refresh the page! :)



Avatar
from markthompson 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I totally agree with what Kristi said about the differences between SearchCap and Sphinn.  To me, SearchCap is basically a round-up of industry leading blogs (SEL, SEJ, SEOmoz, Outspoken Media, Online Marketing Blog), not so much about finding the top daily search content.  I am not saying that I don't like the SearchCap, but what I liked about Sphinn was the ability to have a vote.  It was a way for "the average blog" to gain great exposure for producing great content.  If I write a great post, I have a better chance of gaining exposure on Sphinn, because its community driven...not editorially driven.

It seems that by taking away voting, it just will be just another SearchCap, where the people and blogs that are "well-known" will consistantly show up on the front page.



Avatar
from AlanBleiweiss 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Seriously Danny?

So what if so many fewer people vote?  No matter how much you think the 45 Sphinns or the 64 Sphinns or the typical 35 Sphinns my most noteworthy articles have gotten isn't worthy of you keeping voting in place, you're lost in a world of Facebook Likes.  Because THAT is a lot more about popularity than Sphinn voting.

Some months, as much as 10% of my traffic comes from Sphinn.  So while YOU may think it's not worth it anymore, some of us disagree.  Obvously none of us has the burden you do in this process.  Yet I for one need to be crystal clear in explaining why I so sincerely disagree with this move.  And while you generalized just now about the lack of participation from the most vocally opposed, I think you did so without including me in that generalization right?





Avatar Moderator
from Jill 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Agree with Lisa that more editors will likely be necessary. It would be great to have some from different walks of search marketing.

I'm sure that will be part of the plan for the Admins once they see how this first stage plays out.

Remember everyone, we still want you to submit your great posts. Now the really good ones will stand a better chance of going hot than before, however. Because you won't have to rely on having enough friends to vote for you.

Who this will hurt are those who submit every post they make on their blog whether they're good or bad. Those ones that pretty much get one sphinn (themselves) and maybe one more (their other selves). It's doubtful many of those will be made live. Or maybe they will. I stopped reading those ones long ago because I was sick of seeing their faces pop up 10 times a day in the what's new.

This will also hurt those who write crap but have a lot of friends. At least I certainly hope that it will hurt them. I think our editors are smart enough not to let crap through.

But if you write exceptional content and submit it, chances are it will show up. So in theory, this is a great thing.

We'll see what happens in actual practice.



Avatar
from Ruud 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 2

This is almost funny.

Danny: "For voting to really work, you need a large number of people consisently voting"

Sphinn's solutions: a small number of editors will vote...

Danny: "You also need a relatively small number of pathfinder leaders consistently submitting good stuff for votes"

But as we already have a small number of people submitting a small number of stories -- as per the indications of inactivity in this thread -- you already have what you want.

Just to be clear: I love your idea of an SEO editorial magazine -- but that has nothing to do with Sphinn. It's like Starbucks stopping coffee sales and making hamburgers instead; not a bad idea in itself but wholy inappropriate.



Avatar
from UtahSEOpro 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@Debra - perfect! that makes things very easy, thanks :)



Avatar
from AdamSherk 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Personally I think doing away with voting sounds like a good idea. Between Twitter, RSS and other social sites I'm bombarded by tons-of-stuff every day. In the end I just want to discover interesting content. So I like the idea of a dedicated staff sorting through tips/suggestions and curating it all. I don't think the communal voting aspect adds that much value.



Avatar
from warner444 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

That is a really really very stupid idea. What's the point of Sphinn without voting? I am going to submit stories so a select group of editors whom I don't even know can decide if they like them, asuming they haven't already submitted it? Not.

This reminds me of passing kids in schools who flunked so they wouldn't feel bad. They called it "Social Promotion" and somehow it sounded "Nice", and even made sence, but did not help anyone grow or learn.

Humans like challanges and grow to meet them. There is nothing wrong with that. Fix something that isn't broken if you want to. Maybe there will still be a sphinn and maybe Santa will bring everybody something nice. I hope so.



Avatar
from BrianL 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 4

I may be way off the mark with this, but I think there are assumptions being made about why the voting is down that may not really be all of the issue.  For me and some others that I have discussed Sphinn with, part of the issue has to do with the software itself.  There are times where for no apparent reason, we can't log in. I've seen widgets on stories that I wanted to vote on that gave an error when clicking to vote. That kind of problem is going to cause a loss of voters. It won't just be on those stories, but future stories as well. Who wants to go through the hassle of trying to log in or vote on something if their past experience with the system is not good?  Heck...even within the comments here, I've tried to give a + vote to a couple people but the system just hangs or ignores it. Anyway...that might be something to look into rather than just blaming social media.  There are enough people out there that would vote if it was quick and easy to do but my experience is that it's not.



Avatar Moderator
from Jill 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

To clarify--

Ruud said:

Sphinn's solutions: a small number of editors will vote...

We won't actually be voting. We'll just be allowing the good stuff through and also seeking out good stuff to add that the community didn't submit.



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Alan, if fewer people vote (and fewer do), then it's easier for a small number of people to push whatever they want onto the home page. Which happens. And when it does, another equally small number of people will loudly complain that the moderators should take some type of action against gaming. Which, when that happens, generates another found of loud complains from a small number of people that we've somehow violated the community by intervening.

So what has the voting gained us. A lot of wasted time by mods to play referee, a lot of abuse that comes with it, while the vast majority of people to the site (and yes, I'm speaking in general) do not vote.

Agreed -- votes here are dwarfed by Facebook Likes. Or Twitter shares. That's precisely why I said it makes no sense for us to try and maintain a voting system any longer. We think we can find great stories from large and small blogs using editor finds along with submissions without having to have votes. Maybe that won't work. But we KNOW that voting isn't working. It's worth trying.

Ruud, if you're going to allow public voting, and you don't want a small number of people dominating, you have to have a lot of votes in the pool. We don't. A small number of people can easily dominate.

Yes, editors are a small number of people. The difference is that they don't have a particular agenda to push. They aren't helping to make a story go hot because they jumped on IM and asked 15 friends to vote for a story that they haven't even read. The editors do read stories.

As I keep saying, they won't be perfect. They will make mistakes, and people will accuse them of playing favorites, no doubt. But that already happens here to the site -- mods are accused of that, or Sphinn itself gets accused of institutionally just favoring the same old sites because a small number of people can (and do) push things over and over.

So what do we really lose? An imperfect voting system that's little used but subjects the site to much abuse. We gain a chance to try an editorial model that at least doesn't bring the winners-losers attitude with it, in my view.

As for what you think Sphinn is. First, it isn't -- and never was supposed to be -- SEO focused. It's about internet marketing in general.

Second, it's not that we're Starbucks that's suddenly stopped selling coffee. It's more like we're Starbucks that was selling packaged coffee (stories on the home page) and cups to order (voting). People stopped bying the cups. They keep buying the packaged coffee.

We didn't force them to do one of the other. We offered both. But maintaining those coffee machines is a lot of work for the 1 person a day who walks into the shop, versus the 100 who do not want a cup. And that person sometimes yells at us that the coffee machine didn't work as they expected. Occasionally, they sip the cup, the throw the coffee in our faces.

Why do you want us to keep selling cups of coffee, in that situation? Why would we?



Avatar
from Ruud 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Jill ... that's semantics. Fact is: the editor team decides what will be exceptional front page material vs. the community decides that.



Avatar Moderator
from nickfb76 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 2

While i'm not exactly 100% on board with this transition I can atleast see Danny and Sphinns point of view.  I don't think its a question that sometimes this site can be a popularity content and the promoted materials are from blogs that already have a large reach in the market.

It's not too often you see an avatar or a blog url that you don't recognize on the front page. If it does make it to the front page then you know its really good.

It should be an interesting transition, and maybe one thats worth a shot.  But if it doesn't improve the overal goal then the idea of reverting back to the voting system shouldn't be out of the question.  I really hope that the Sphinn staff would at least keep that in consideration.. seems fair right?

just my two cents...



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@warner44 People submit content to Search Engine Land all the time for review. The point of that is to get the word out about good stuff. It works well. You'll still have the same opportunity to do that here.

Of course, if your goal isn't that you submit for coverage but rather submit because you're one of those people who just loves to find stuff and share, you still have that ability. Trust me, if you're putting in good stuff, we'll use it -- and you'll be credited.

@BrianL, I'm sorry for the trouble you've had with the system. Agreed -- the system has issues that add to the overall problem. But even when it doesn't and hasn't, voting has generally been down. There are easier ways for people to share -- and Facebook and Twitter especially seem to be those.

It's also not blaming social media. I mean, social media includes social sharing/voting sites. Some of those may continue to do well. But in our case, we think we're niche enough that there' just not enough people who want to submit and vote on a regular basis to keep that particular social media model going. That's all.



Avatar
from warner444 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 1

on thing I don't get is why I cannot reply to individual comments here. That would make it more a community.



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Ruud, yes, the editors will decide what's deemed important enough to go on the home page, not votes from a tiny percentage of people who come to Sphinn. If you want to consider that editor voting, that's fine. I think I was clear editors will be making the decision about what goes up.

Editors will review submissions, of course. I've said that also. Put in good submissions, we'd love that. Honest.

@nickfb76 we could always go back to voting if that seemed a better option. But I don't see that in the cards.

By the way, in the new format, rather than a spin button, we expect to use either a site logo for the favicon for the site. We think tht will help you understand if there's diversity in sources plus also spot if there's content from particular sites you like.



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@warner444 you mean threaded comments, right? where you respond to someone directly below their comment, then others can respond to that, and so on?

That's largely down to me. I hate that system. I find that people don't seem to go back up and see new replied to a particular comment, in a particular thread, so we haven't done it. But we could introduce it, if need be.



Avatar
from andrewsho 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I like the idea.  As an early user of Sphinn it seemed like a great way to get new perspectives, meet other marketers, share ideas and promote my blog.  After about a year I guess Twitter began to replace Sphinn as my resource for this kind of stuff and the SPAM/gaming issues were a lot less in my face.

Seems to me the new Sphinn will be to SEL like YouMoz is to the SEOMoz blog.  That system seems to work pretty well.  Perhaps with a bit tighter integration with SEL this new model could do well and provide a lot more value to readers and authors.

Looking forward to the evolution.



Avatar
from buckles 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Isn't this exactly opposite of what social media and two-way conversations are all about?

"the editors will decide what's deemed important enough to go on the home page, not votes from a tiny percentage of people who come to Sphinn"



Avatar
from AngieH 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Perhaps you've collectively come up with the best solution. Maybe Sphinn could consider rotating editors on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis? If it was done monthly, there could be a short post on SEL introducing them and giving back to them a little bit. It would add variety to the work they present because they're all from different walks of life, moderators/editors would get a break, unknowns would get good exposure, and there would be no concern about dominating the content. You could even just create a new team of editors each time from a large pool of them. Take it one step further and join it together with content you present on SEL...Just a thought.

Angie


Edit: Just wanted to add that a fresh influx of new editors and such would likely give your community the boost you're looking for as well. It would bring new audiences, people could blog about being one of this month's editors...dunno



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Yes, and it marks the departure of Sphinn from being a social media / social sharing site. It's becoming an editorial site.

That doesn't mean there can't be community. Plenty of editorial sites have community aspects within comments.



Avatar
from AlanBleiweiss 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Yes an editorial site.  Which can definitely have merits on its own.  Only time will tell on that note.


It just crushes me that the only system, as flawed as it is, that has been in existence for peer review (a perspective I've shared before), is going away.



Avatar Moderator
from Jill 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Alan, don't you think the peer review part comes more from the comments than the actual votes/sphinns?



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Alan, I'd hardly call what happens on Sphinn "peer reviewed." Both Ruud and Terry Van Horne, for example, both commented on Ruud's blog post that they sphunn stories that weren't that good but because they thought someone deserved exposure. I can appreciate that, but it's almost as bad as sphinning something from someone "known" just because that person is "known."

We're all busy. We don't have much time to read. I'd like to see Sphinn give you a list of good things worth checking out, especially with a strong mix of things you won't find elsewhere.

That's one reason I've loved Sphinn despite having SearchCap. It allowed people outside the SEL editors, in particular Barry, to help give stories visibility.

I'd love to keep the voting going to help preserve that, but it doesn't work. I know it's going to be a shock to the small number of people (and it is small) who actually voted, especially the even smaller number who voted not to push a particular story from their site but because they really thought something is great.

It's a loss. It's a loss like losing a friend, and you're suddenly thinking damn, what do I do now?

I'm sorry for that loss, and for having helped cause it. But it just wasn't working.

What I do hope, and think, is that plenty fo good stories will continue to show. That new people to the social media space may get noticed if Sphinn recognizes them, when others don't. I think we can do that better without voting.

I also like what John Bredehoft noticed, that you can still use a Facebook like button on a particular story. Like I said, we'd debated letting people decide if they want to still sphinn a story or not after an editor selected it and decided it would still cause confusion and some of the winners/loser stuff that's been so distasteful.

I guess I feel differently about the Facebook Like button. At the very least, I don't feel we have to police it. So people who like an item and tell folks they like it via Facebook.



Avatar
from AlanBleiweiss 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Jill,


Mostly, I think that's only when we're talking about stupid things I do and you call me out on them here or when it's a mega-hot-topic.  The vast majority of articles that get 40 or 50 Sphinns typically only get 1 or 2 comments on them.  Sure they get a lot of comments on the blog sites themselves.  Yet a lot of people whom I highly respect will most often Sphinn an article and NOT comment here or on the blog.

I routinely look at who Sphunn my articles for that reason.  When I see Andy Beard, Todd Mintz, or others who don't comment, but have Sphunn something I wrote, it counts for a lot in my book.

Will they leave comments now without having the Sphinn option?  Maybe.  Maybe not.



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I hope they do, Alan. I think it speaks volumes if someone has the time to at least say briefly something about a story they've read, or liked.



Avatar
Desphinn from clickfire 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Horrible and painful idea that utterly ruins my day. Call it trite, but I looked forward to doing my good deed for the day and helping a great story get recognition. It seems like you're letting software dictate (no pun intended) the outcome here instead of finding a creative solution to get users participating again. There is no way I can believe that someone is not going to click on a Sphinn button if they are moved by a story and trust that they won't be taken to another page or whatever usability fear is not being overcome. Why not let stories be voted to a top tier where editors can approve?

Avatar
from AlanBleiweiss 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Danny,


I do appreciate the issues you face, especially having been able to participate at Advanced in the user dialogue session.  And I don't envy you having to make such decisions as this.  I'm also a lot more aware today, thanks to this discussion, than I previously wanted to acknowledge as far as the issue of why people vote for some things.

How about this - if I stop griping about this change, how about you tell TopSEOs they're not welcome to sponsor or pitch their stuff at any SMX events any more?  Fair deal?  :-)



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@clickfire, Keep submitting, we'll keep reviewing, honestly. but we're not letting software dictate things. We're letting people. The community that many are worried about simply doesnt vote.

We have over 2,000 people per day here. We get nowhere near that many votes. The top story on the home page right now has 42 votes. 42 votes, out of 2,000 visits per day -- just on a daily basis, that's a 2% voting rate. The rate is far less to get to the point where a story is promoted. And plenty of good stories don't get votes at all, or even submitted.



Avatar
from Feydakin 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@Danny, as I told Debra a bit ago, the one thing I complained about when it comes to sphinn is the one thing you actually kept.. So now I'm telling you to NOT send me a check for $10,000..

I understand that participation and engagement are down.. But personally I have never seen any voting site as the place to comment on stories.. If I read a story worthy of commenting, I comment there, not here.. Same goes for Digg and SU etc etc.. Posting here would either be redundant, or taking away engagement from the creator of the blog post, story, article, what have you.. And I say this as someone with a fair number of comments here.. I would wager more than most..

That said, I intend to at least stick around and see what becomes of Sphinn.. I'm hoping that it doesn't turn in to DMOZ..



Avatar
from theGypsy 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 1

pssst.... Steve... think 'Salmon'... bringing the fragmented comments of the web together!! WOO HOO!!

Oh and I won't bother voting on this one... or anything else from here on out really. It seems rather redundant. We shall see what we have when it happens folks. Don't know what else to say. I know some folks were thinking I'd jump on the freak out bandwagon, but I don't feel that's productive. I've already written my 2c on the Trail... Now gonna settle in and see where we end up.



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Just got done responding to @JesperAstrom's open letter to me. Comments are moderated over there, so I'll post my response here, has well.

You'll find his letter here:

http://jesperastrom.com/bashing/teaching-old-dogs-to-sit-an-open-letter-to-danny/

My answers:

It's no longer a crowdsourced site. That's why the voting is removed. Thought that was clear.

Spam was less an issue, as I explained. The bigger issue was that people weren't voting, as I also explained.

Result? It's hard to crowdsource when the crowd doesn't source.Digg, you trot out as an example. Digg has seen declining traffic. Why? My best guess is that people are sharing more via Facebook and Twitter, as I've also explained.

But Digg has millions of users, where gaming -- certainly not impossible -- is certainly harder.

All these limits that you complain about have come out of user complaints. We started with no particular rules -- and then there was upset that people didn't want contest posts, didn't want birthday posts, didn't think such-and-such site's content was that good to be on the home page, you name it.

I mean, even here you seem to think Sphinn had posts that were nothing but people agreeing with me (or perhaps Sphinn, I'm not certain). Neither is the case.

You helped build the site through your activity and not feeling thanked? OK, looking at your profile, your last submit was 13 days ago, then 27 days before that. You certainly don't submit each day, much less each week. When you do submit, it is only your own posts. Every single post you've put in has come from your own site. It's fine to submit from your own site, but every single post? You've seen absolutely nothing in your travels across the web that you thought worth submitting to the crowdsourced community you're now so concerned about?

As for voting, you last did a bunch 13-14 days ago. Then 23 days before that. Then a few before that. You're not voting each day. Not even each week. Skimming the recent activity, you also seem to vote only when you've also come to the site to submit one of your own posts.

Those are drive-by visits that haven't helped the site in the whole. That's not crowdsourcing. But that's the system we're supposed to maintain?

It's also unpleasant when the few that do vote in turn constantly argue that so-and-so is somehow gaming the system, demanding that the moderators step in, which in turn gets another group upset. So upset that people start becoming abusive over the entire "winners-losers" atmosphere. Dropping f-bombs or, you know, declaring people to be pricks, as you did in your post today.



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Avatar Administrator
from MattMcGee 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I picked the wrong week to take some time off, didn't I?

As I was looking through Google Reader a night or two ago, I clicked on the section where my contacts share stuff and was floored by a stream of great articles that Ruud had shared. Ruud is pretty much the only reason I bother to click on that tab in Reader because there's always -- never fail -- interesting stuff that he's found and shared in Reader. After enjoying the content, I had two thoughts:

1. How come Ruud never submits any of this stuff to Sphinn?

2. I bet Ruud would make a great Editor when we switch to being a content curator/aggregator.

Sphinn is dead, Ruud? Well, voting is certainly dead. This article will be evidence: As I type this, there are 33 votes. 27 Sphinns and six desphinns. That'll be a tiny fraction of the actual unique users who are visiting Sphinn today. Tiny.

You may remember we did a survey a couple months ago. We got more responses than I expected, but it was still less than 100 responses. The survey was open for close to two weeks, and I'm sure if I logged the stats, less than 1% of our visitors cared enough to take the survey. The people who DID take the survey - thank you. You're the hardcore folks who care, and I loved seeing your feedback and replies.

But here's a telling thing from the survey results: On the question that asked "Which participation type best describes you?", you know what the number one reply was?

"I mostly lurk/read and rarely participate."

Almost 50% of the replies said that. And that's from the hardcore people who cared enough to bother with the survey. Only 13% replied with "I submit, vote, and/or comment regularly." In other words, only 1 in 8 of our most interested/caring users actually bother to submit/vote/comment regularly.

On the question where we asked "Why do you visit Sphinn?", the number one response was

"To find and read industry articles, but without voting."

So you talk about us hurting the Sphinn community ... what community? Whether we look at our analytics, whether we look at vote/submission quantities over time, or whether we look at survey results, the fact is that most people just come to Sphinn to read.

So, with that in mind, we're going to focus on curating the best content. I've been doing this for a couple years now with the SEMMY Awards. I do it every month on my own blog with a monthly "Best Posts of the Month" list. And now I'll join our Editors in doing it here. We'll continue to take tips/submissions from users who want to help.

Will we just promote our own articles and our friends' articles? Well, the irony that the Editors might create a voting group to help friends isn't lost on me, especially when the complaint comes from folks who are either A) already in a voting group, or B) argued last week that voting groups are okay and normal in social media.

But to answer the question, if we were interested in promoting ourselves and our friends, we would've done it before, when our "helping" would've been mixed in with other stuff hitting the home page. If we do it now, it'll stand out like a sore thumb. You may think we're dumb, but I can promise you we're not that dumb. In fact, months ago when we started having Editors other than me promote stuff to the home page, I specifically told the Editors to be exceptionally careful in what they promote -- be careful about promoting your own articles, your friends' articles, SEL articles, etc.

I think we've done that. You can choose to be skeptical or just assume the worst from us, but I can promise you that our focus will be on putting the best content we can find on the home page no matter the source, author, etc. I'm not sure that "a living SearchCap" is the best analogy. I think Sphinn will actually be more like a cross between Techmeme and, to some degree, the best parts of the old Threadwatch. Hmmmm. If we get a lot of comments, maybe it'll be more like the latter. If not, it'll probably be more like the former.

As always, Sphinn will continue to evolve. New ideas always come to mind, or get shared by users who care enough to contribute. I'm sure this won't be the last change we announce.



Avatar
Desphinn from joehall 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 2

So this is pointless. Sphinn is now just like every other edited list out there. Remember when it was supposed to be in response to over edited networks like Digg??? Digg >> Sphinn >> Sphigg

Avatar
from cre8pc 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

To clarify...there are approx. 2000 visitors per day for a global, 24/7 web "community news" site that reached out recently to get usage feedback to help them make decisions regarding usage patterns, and it got back 100 responses?

How many of you, who claim to be in the conversions business, would also put on the brakes and rework the whole party after stats like these?

Do you want your article submitted to a site that has low traffic numbers or poor community involvement (if so, try article submission sites), or would you prefer your article or blog post to be submitted in an environment that seeks out true quality pieces and has readers who are looking for them?

To those upset that "your" community site has been changed without notice or any warning, did you know about the survey? Did you care enough then to fill it out? If you didn't see the survey, what would it have taken for Sphinn to get your attention, as it does now?  I ignored the survey because I felt I had no personal stake in the outcome.  Did anyone else feel like that?

My feeling is that a true community is far more than a bunch of moderators and the readers' ability to "Sphinn" (vote) on submissions.  Taking away the vote option doesn't stop submissions.  Voting hasn't determined "Hot" in ages.  The moderators have been deciding for awhile, due to the lack of community involvement.

Traffic to ALL forum sites have seen a nosedive. This site suffers the same.  Many have told me it's because people want to talk in 140 characters or less these days.  That doesn't explain why voting here dwindled.  For me, it was the constant rehashing of the same topics combined with poor writing that led me to waiting for what Barry found, or sometimes Jill would Tweet or FB a good submission. I value their opinions.

Still, as much as I trust mods/editors to find quality material for me, I'm still not invested in Sphinn as a user.  This is what I feel is missing. It's not about the right to vote or not.

What's been missing is a reason to care.




Avatar
from Silver 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Wow - I feel some mixed feelings about the passing of voting capability. I don't like abrupt changes to services I like, but after reading these comments (and Ruud's blog post), I pragmatically recognize that removal of the voting is a direction I might've taken under the same circumstances.Before reading to get more context, I had a somewhat knee-jerk reaction that some sort of algorithms could've been developed to bridge the gaps. However, algorithms need sufficient data to operate well, and with a low rate of voting there likely isn't enough data to really base automated rankings upon (particularly if part of the mix involves automatically devaluing voting schemes and lower-quality voters). That is, unless you designate a group of super-voters -- which is essentially what an editorial team is.I'm a typically-busy marketer like so many others in this field, so I didn't have time to read so many stories before they'd risen to front-page status. However, I did make some effort to vote for other stories when I came through and when I submitted my own work or friends'. I've often been impressed with the SearchCap top stories of the day, and if Sphinn becomes a similar high-quality list of interesting posts from around the community, I'd definitely find it interesting and useful.One thing that might be interesting, though, would be to enable users to click on a link or select an option to rank the week's stories by their total numbers of Facebook Likes and Tweets. In this way, some elements of voting and community participation might be retained.



Avatar
from aimClear 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Most importantly of all, this is still a place to find people, news & hacks I love.  Thanks to Danny, Michelle, Matt, Chris, Chris, the Mods', friends and all those that make up our community. See ya' in the threads :)



Avatar
from Ruud 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Matt, thanks for the kind words: I won't kill you now :)

Yup. On Cre8asite Forums we have a couple of people who post but every moment there are ten times more lurkers. And yes, web sites have 100 visitors and only 3 buy a candy. So?

Yes, Sphinn is dead. It's dead the way Digg would be dead without voting. Dead the way YouTube would be dead without video upload.

Can it change? Sure. The same way Digg could become a great site about Excel tweaks. It can -- but it's just something completely different.

Will there be awesome content you guys are going to curate? Of course! But if that's what the web was waiting for, another roundup site -- dunno.

But hey, despite fervently disagreeing with y'all, I'll stay in touch and see where this is going. No harm done.



Avatar
from AlanBleiweiss 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Marty, you're right on target with that - regardless of what this changes into, much thanks need to be given to the whole Sphinn team for all the good that has come out of Sphinn.  Nobody should ignore or discount that reality.



Avatar
from cosmiccarl 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I disagree, but don't listen to me. Remember, the customer is always wrong.



Avatar
from AndyBeard 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I am not complaining

I don't think it will be the same

I don't envy the editors - selecting from the diversity that isn't spam is still a tough call

I liken this to tipping on Techmeme but without the big sites that will almost always end up as the lead, no matter how poor their coverage is. (I have been slowly writing this all evening and with a few refreshes noticed Mtt has now mentioned Techmeme as well)

I am a big fan of Techmeme, it doesn't necessarily send much traffic to the stragglers on the tail end unless they can be fortunate to be the lead story... at least for a short while.

And they use manual editors in addition to algorithms.

But it could all be done by editors - I would like to think it is also possible to somehow highlight related posts with purely editors as well.

I am biased that I always think whatever I write on a topic is always good enough to appear (on Techmeme) when relevant, and it frustrates me sometimes that the automation allows stubs, just one sentence plus a link to also appear.

Editors would solve that problem - here are often many worthy posts on a single topic that are worth highlighting, which normally wouldn't see the light of day on the old Sphinn.

In some ways this is ideal - voting is geting complicated by things like activity streams and syndication at an alarming rate. Monitoring systems don't fully compensate when people sydicate a tweet of 5 different platforms.

In many many ways a Sphinn more most websites was a wasted vote, as an alternative to a real tweet to a Stumble, or a Facebook like/share. Every single mention you gain on Twitter can send more traffic.

With editors a smaller or less popular site can concentrate on the content, and can then submit. If an editor likes it, all trafic sent can be encouraged to tweet or like.

With Salmon, we may end up with comments flowing from a blog to Sphinn and back again. (which Dave has now mentioned - we both have a thing about Salmon)

I think lots of people will feel happier if more than 1 editor needed to "vote" for a story before it was pushed to the front page. I feel it should also be possible for the long news articles Danny writes should all go straight through.. I have no idea how anyone could judge them. This is especially true if there is a way to tag articles in some way to a lead story.

Does that put SEL best news articles on a pedestal? Yup - so what?

I would still like an equivalent to Hot or Not without votes.

That allows a conversation to start, and a reson sometimes for the submission to be highlighted on the front page.




Avatar Administrator
from Michelle 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Danny and Matt have covered well the many reasons - sound reasons, reasons based on objective analysis about the content and interaction at this site - for the changes. As Kim said, if all you marketers, analysts, and consultants were auditing for a client, you'd reach a similar conclusion for them and recommend changes. Or hopefully, you'd be replaced (I said that, not Kim). I won't rehash them but I will tell you, from a personal standpoint, how hard it was for me - and is for me, as I am the one reverse engineering it now - to have this change happen. I would have loved for the voting model to work, but it didn't.


Many are quite upset with us for reaching this decision, but please do not think it was done in a cavalier way. We've been at this for 3 years now, have put a tremendous amount of work, effort, heart and soul into this community and are proud of what we accomplished. We love this community as much as each of you do - and we want to see it thrive. The changes are the next step in the evolution of the community.


Ultimately, communities are what the members make of them.  That's always been the case. It's not the software, it's not the widgets, and it's not the mods - it's the content and the interaction that a community stands or falls on. For those that really do enjoy having a place to go and share tips and network - Sphinn will still be here for you. And Sphinn will continue to be precisely what you put into it. Find a great article? Submit it. Read something you like here? Drop a comment, add to a discussion. Communities are shaped around people, ideas and exchanges. Not buttons.



Avatar
from IncrediBILL 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 5

Not like I was asked, but here goes anyway.

You could leave the Sphinn voting intact, just not make the voted items automatically move to the front page. Leave the voted items under "Getting Hot" and then make the front page an editorial decision. That way members can see what other members think is hot vs. what the editors hand pick and nobody loses.

If the editors pick a "Getting Hot" article you make it "Hot" and credit the voters for bringing it to the editors attention with the sphinn count as-is.

If it's an editor hand picked and submitted article, the sphinn counter is replaced by "editors pick".

This way you still have the feeling of a voting community but the home page is strictly under editorial control, it's a win-win.

Just my $0.02 worth how to blend both voting and editorial control concepts together and keep everyone happy, but it sounds like the decision is already made.





Avatar
from trainsem 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I wasn't a daily visitor at the best of times (the early days) but I wasn't always logged in, so my stats won't show fully.

I don't know if my more recent submissions got lost in a server glitch or were moderated out, but that reduced my interest in making any more submissions. IIRC they were third-party sites, not self promotion, so I was expecting to see them. The old once-bitten, twice shy story.

When TweetMeme arrived, out went the Sphinn button in my blog. This was another reason for Sphinn not to remain top of mind.

However, the main reason is simply a lack of time to visit the site.



Avatar
from ogletree 1429 Days ago #
Votes: -2

To be honest there really are very few decent articles on any given day for any website including SEL.  Most subjects have been done to death.  There is very little new information out there. Even with editors posting articles there won't be much.  People say I’m not a good blogger because I don't blog much but it is hard to write something that has not been done on 50 other blogs that day.  Nobody has something new and exciting to say every day or even every week for that matter.

I would like to see real news posted where we can talk about it. I don't want to see any top ten lists or back to the basics, or how to maximize .



Avatar
from onreact 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 0

This is indeed sad. There are many solutions for the problem though. A good Twitter integration for instance. I'd do the following: Count every unique re/tweet with a Sphinn URL as a vote. That way you get the best of both worlds.

Digg-like social news are sooo 2005. They need to evolve to still matter. Just returning to pre social news times is not progress though.



Avatar
Desphinn from onreact 1429 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Desphunn for being voted up by a "voting gang" of editors, admins and other paid agents who want to overthrow a democratic voting mechanism.

Avatar
from NickWilsdon 1428 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@OnReact

Just returning to pre social news times is not progress though.

But isn't this Danny's point - that the time of voting has come to an end. We've both been around long enough to know that everything evolves. I've never been convinced that voting, as represented in Sphinn, really promotes the 'best' material, only the most gamed or well known.

From my point of view - without spending hours killing spam, I'll have more time as an editor to read articles and look for jems. That has to be a more positive use of time. Anyone can still submit articles, so this is not a closed system. Community still exists in the comments.

The goal of Sphinn was to be a central hub where our industry could come and read the 'cream' of articles in one place. To borrow the old TW idea - less noise more signal. The question you have to ask yourself is - does voting help or hinder that goal?



Avatar
Desphinn from Badams 1428 Days ago #
Votes: -4

Right, so you've built this community site, and then when you get tired of it you take away the community aspect (and in a way throw out all the hard work the community has done - not you, but the community - to make the site a success) and turn it in to just another editor-run news aggregator. That says a lot about what you think about the SEO community, Danny. It doesn't look good. Thanks for nothing.

Avatar
from NickWilsdon 1428 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@Badams

I remember when Threadwatch closed - I was gutted. Felt like all the time and effort I'd put into the site was for nothing. But this is not the case here - Sphinn is still going. Danny is not killing off the community.

We have to get some perspective. Yes there are editors here selecting the gems out of the material, but anyone can submit. Lets see if that helps improve the noise/signal ratio or not.



Avatar
from safcblogger 1428 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I think the solution is maybe already here within the comments.

If submissions are going to make it to the front page they are editorially reviewed, so whether they have 6 or 6k votes they still have to be scrutinized.

Reset the voting numbers to zero on promotion to the front page (if at all possible).

Yes you may well still have a number of attempts at gaming the front page voting numbers, but isn`t it easier to have a front page closely scrutinized after editorial review than playing a numbers game before promotion?

I understand that there may be users that will say "Why hasn`t mine.." etc but surely that opens up the opportunity for more commenting on the original submission.

I did comment on Ruuds` post with a comment that I would prefer a voting system "as voted for" as opposed to "as approved" and maybe this could be a solution.

Basically the voting stays, but gets reset on promotion to the front page? The logistics of that or the mangenent of it I have no idea, just a suggestion.




Avatar
from sockmoney 1428 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Jesus, I just wanted to comment and I had to re-upload my profile image.  Seems to be a bug of some sort.  It was showing me my profile image at the same time telling me to upload one to comment.  Anyway.

I wanted to chime in and say I think the site has great value without any voting or community.  I've been a newsletter subscriber for a few years.  I love reading the hand picked stories of the week.  If the homepage was simply a duplicate of the newsletter, I'd probably actually visit the site occassionally as well.

Sphinn to me has never been about voting or community.  I love the articles that I get in the newsletter.

Keep up the good work!



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1428 Days ago #
Votes: 4

@badams Or to quote you on Twitter, am I really this "much of a dick?" Thanks for that.

Let's back up a bit, Barry. I somehow don't give a damn about the SEO community? Really?

Do you have any idea how many times I've stood up for the SEO community since 1996 when someone's written some piece putting across that SEO is just a waste of time, not a skilled profession, snake oil, you name it?

Do you have any sense of what it was like before the search engines offered tools to the SEO community, before they even came out to speak, when no matter how "bad" people may think Google is with webmasters today, it was worse. We live in a paradise of support for SEOs compared to how it was -- and I was one of those in beginning advocating loudly that SEOs needed more support.

I've run nearly 50 conferences over the years, for SEOs and featuring SEOs who speak. I've gone out of my way to try and spread the speaking opportunities around, to have some diversity there, to give new people a chance to talk. And I've kept the focus on search, because you know, I think SEOs deserve a place where they can talk about search and not have a bunch of other stuff also tossed in.

I've run two separate editorial sites focused on nothing but SEO. I haven't tried to use the to push some SEO service. Not to try and push some SEO tools. Just to try and educate and spread information about SEO around.

I've run two separate forums, including Sphinn, to help give voice to SEOs who want to speak out or to each other.

I started Sphinn in the first place because I was tired that SEOs kept getting beat up on Digg and couldn't get visibility there.

I've watched the SEO community morph from actually being a small community where everyone knew each other to multiple communities centered around various forums, or web sites. I've been a first generation SEO that has consistently welcomed newcomers like yourself into the space, given them support as they've launched their own sites or blogs.

All that in your eyes adds up to me being a dick and a thanks for nothing?

Barry, if we had a community here that I started, that was really strong, that was really important to you, that's how you'd act toward another member of the community?

I'm "tired" of the community and just threw it away? You've been a member for a year and a half, January 2009. I've been here from the beginning. I've watched us launch, try voting, have no rules, add them one by one as the community wanted, added things like desphinn as people have asked, tweeks things to fight spam, tweeked other things to try and improve participation. Over three years we've been working and working the voting model.

I'm not tired of Sphinn. I love Sphinn. But the voting model doesn't work. I haven't taken away the community aspect of voting. The community has -- they don't vote.

Go back and look at your own voting. You're more active than many people I've looked at who have complained that we've somehow killed the community, but even you don't vote each day. You have gaps.

You want life support for a system that practically no one uses, with the assumption that having some buttons like that represents community. I'm sorry, that just makes no sense. All that system has done more and more is generate hostility that about who has supposedly won or lost. It has force us to view every submission with suspicion, because the incredibly tiny number of people who vote often have vested interests and stand ready to blast us if they feel something undeserving makes it out there. To abuse our staff. To be uncivil and act in a way they never would face-to-face.

I don't want to view all the content submitted to Sphinn with suspicion. I don't want people in a company to debate if they should vote for a piece or not, because if too many of them vote, they might seem like a voting gang. I want to find and share great content.



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1428 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@incredibill: We thought about exactly the idea you suggested. We decided losing voting made the most sense. It would be a clean break that would reduce confusion, and potentially hostility, over our picks.

@ogletree: I think you missed the 5 Ways 12 SEOs Can Write 22 Important Stories On SEO Each Day article that was on Sphinn :)

Seriously, there's good content out there. To me, it's not that Sphinn needs X number of articles each day. It should be spotlighting interesting stuff, in whatever amount there is -- and especially with a focus toward stuff you might not find elsewhere.

And the change, I think, will help. Much of what's been submitted has been done to death. But none of it violates the submission rules, so it sits out there. Some might gather votes, but much of it to me is noise that make it hard to find the really unique stuff.

While we'll still be taking submissions -- and believe me, we want them and will be reviewing them -- we'll spend less of our time debating whether the latest manufactured for social media sites blog post needs to be allowed to go hot or not and more time getting the unique stuff out there.

@onreact: We thought about Twitter integration. Maybe we'll do it in the future. But what if habits shift yet again. Then we have a platform that's once again tied to old habits. Once burned, I guess. What I know works is editorial selection. So that's what we ultimately settled on trying next.

As for your desphinn, it's not democracy when there are so few votes that anyone can swing the election however they like. It's a tiny pool of actual votes that happens here, and when anyone pees into that pool, the yellow is really noticable. And then we get yelled at to clean the pool. I want to swim, not spend time constantly cleaning a pool. How's that for extending a metaphor?





Avatar
from AlanBleiweiss 1428 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Danny if there's one thing I could request with this new change, above all else, is some sort of icon or label or categorization of articles.  Beginner, intermediate, advanced is a primary example.  I think a lot of great people in our industry who aren't really known write some great stuff that I, personally, or any long-tme reader would probably not find "interesting" in general and yet deserve to be made available.


Over time I could even see that leading to Sphinn becoming even more of a resource to return to.  As someone becomes an expert over time, they could come here and read articles that up til that point are above their abilities.  As it is now, I don't know of any site that does that for our industry.



Avatar
from billhartzer 1428 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Looks to me that Sphinn finally has given up on chasing all of the spam and 'gaming' of the Sphinn system.Rather than just give up and go back to an 'editorial' type of path (which will always smell of bias on which stories hit the home page), why not take the time to 'reinvent the wheel' and create another way to determine which submitted stories "go popular"?Sorry, Sphinn, but you're going down the wrong path here. As a reader, if I wanted to see the top stories in search for that day I'd rather just go on over and read "searchcap".

I still think "voting" and "liking" something is a valid means to determine whether or not a story or bookmark is worthy of being shared with others. And people still like to see the most popular stories. Sure, there is going to be the occasional "voting gang" out there. There are always going to be those who try to game the system. If you're going to run a site like Sphinn then you're going to have to deal with every submission and view it with suspicion.

Rather than simply removing the voting entirely, why not narrow down the list of domains that can be submitted (through some sort of editorial process) and automatically reject all of the spam that's submitted?

By removing the voting on Sphinn, you're going back to and editorial-like site, not allowing the community to truly decide which story deserves to go popular.

Don't just give up on voting, make it tougher to get something to hit the home page, add in some sort of custom algorithm based on traffic, mentions of the story on other sites, number of comments on the story, whatever you have to do. Make it so that you have to get 1000 votes before it goes popular.

Sphinn needs to be an innovator, not just some site that shuts down voting because they technologically couldn't deal with all the issues that comes with running a voting-type Digg site.



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1428 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I also wanted to add a mythbusters thing that I was thinking about last night, which perhaps might make some people concerned about voting going away more comfortable. Maybe not, but here goes.

1) You're Killing Voting

No, voting killed itself. People simply don't vote on stories here as much in the past. It's only a tiny, tiny number of visitors who do that.

2) All Social Media Sites Have Mostly Lurkers -- What's Your Problem?

A place like Digg can have lots of lurkers because even the "small" number of active participants is large, large enough that things like vote gaming or even people from the same company just honestly trying to vote for an article they like doesn't skew the figures.

Our pool is incredibly small -- and any skewing comes under sometimes hostile attack by others who insist the site take action. It's a no win situation

3) You're Unfairly Blaming Your Community

We're not blaming the community for not voting. I'm not blaming the community for not voting. I've seen some people say that -- but it is not what I've said.

Habits change. We think more people share these days through Facebook and Twitter. There's nothing wrong with that. It's no one's "fault" that voting happens less here. It just does. We're adjusting things to match that reality.

4) Sphinn's Failing

Sphinn's not failing. Our traffic is very stable. It's VOTING that is failing. We're removing voting so that we can better focus on the mission of spotlighting good content.

5) People Will Abandon Sphinn Now

I've read any number of people now who have said Sphinn won't have a unique reason to exist, since voting will be gone. Virtually all of those people don't actually vote that often. So clearly, if they've been here, it's not been to vote. In fact, only about 2% of the daily visitors actually vote.

Instead, people come here because they like the nice selection of stories that we feature. We think we can continue to do this without supporting a voting system that practically no one uses, and which consumes huge amounts of time and generates flame wars.

By the way, I expect we'll see a short term drop primarily do to people who come to us from various "submit your site" resources. I expect long term growth.

6) Little Sites Won't Get Featured

If little sites have unique content, they'll indeed be featured. Trust me. We love to see unique content from places that people aren't already reading. That's a feature, that's a unique reason for people to come here.

We've not even started the new model, and some are making this assumption -- and further assuming that little sites somehow already win here. The reality as I've seen it is plenty of really small blogs with great content never get noticed, because they have absolutely no one among the tiny number who vote that look out for them

There are multiple-person blogs that are smallish that do well here. If they have great content, they'll continue to do well.

7) Search Engine Land Content Will Dominate

We've already had the ability to push anything, including Search Engine Land content, to the home page. We could fill the entire home page with SEL. We don't, and we haven't. Why would we start now?

8) You're Killing The Community

To build on what Michelle said above, if you you measure community by the ability to push a voting button, that's a terrible measure.

Plenty of editorial sites have communities without voting. In contrast, all we've found is that lately, voting has caused us to have to be more suspicious of articles and has caused people to be more hostile to each other. That's not building a community. That's killing it.

9) Editors Will Favor Content & Be Biased

Sure, they'll favor content -- good content.

It's disheartening that some of the same people who accuse us of killing a community also assume that those who've been charged with managing the community only have self-interest as their motivation.

Editors are perfectly capable of looking through stories and picking out the golden nuggets without having to favor friends or disfavor supposed enemies. We'd ask that you give us a fair chance and actually see how it goes. After 3 years of diligently trying voting, which has died, it seems reasonable for us to try a different model.

10) Editors Won't See Good Sources

You'll still be able to submit. Submit good stuff, trust me, that's going to be the first point of call for editors. You want to be seen, want something really good to be seen. Submit.






Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1428 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Forgot to add (and I'll probably keep some going)

11) Sphinn Will Be Like SearchCap

SearchCap is Search Engine Land's newsletter that recaps all the top stories on Search Engine Land, as well as headlines from across the web from a variety of sources. It's compiled by Search Engine Land's news editor Barry Schwartz. It's great. Take it.

Unlike SearchCap, Sphinn covers all of internet marketing, not just search. Yes, SearchCap does touch on some topics related to search -- but not as much as Sphinn does.

More important, SearchCap's stories from around the web aren't featured on the home page of Search Engine Land. Sphinn allows stories to be put front and center in front of an audience looking for a round-up that's not search-centric.

12) Why Not Give Editors Super Votes

I've seen this suggested. We don't think it would help. Since the beginning of Sphinn, editors have been able to manually promote a story to the home page. When we do that, a tiny number of people yell loudly that we're somehow not being fair. If we go to supervotes, where an editor's vote counts for maybe 4 ordinary vote, we'll still face the same complaints. At its core, the voting system fosters hostility. We think everyone could use less hostility in their lives.

===

@alanbleiweiss: Practically no one drills into the exsiting categories we have here, so honestly, I don't see that it will help much. In addition, if people are looking to learn, we have Search Engine Land for that. Our Library compiles articles on all types of topics.




Avatar
from akarrer 1428 Days ago #
Votes: -1

Have you considered going to a different model for this?  Something more along the lines of what we are doing with sites like:

www.socialmediainformer.com

Basically take advantage of everything that's going on around the content to determine what the good stuff is.

Doing hand editorial seems like a lot of work.



Avatar
from ogletree 1428 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I forgot to put in my comment that I support this move. I think that the voting community on sphinn is too small to really do what sites like digg do.  I think the move will make this a better place. I plan to pay more attention.  I have not been around much because there was just so much crap.



Avatar
from Silver 1428 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Reading about the hostility and accusations in Sphinn administration/moderation reminds me heavily of my work in moderating an online community of goths for over a decade. Goths generally dislike and mistrust rules and authority, but I've seen over and over again how if there aren't some rules to provide structure and policing of the rules, such a community can turn into the Wild West and become untenable for all members. 

It's rocky ground to attempt to oversee a community of people who are naturally rebellious and anti-establishment.  

It's sort of funny to see some of those sorts of dynamics played-out in a forum for marketers, who could be expected to be much fonder of structure -- since much of what we do is played out in the framework of the business marketplace.  

In this case, it probably reveals a human commonality that we all tend to feel a little like bristling when something we've grown used to interacting-with and contributed-to abruptly changes. People are suddenly reminded that they don't own the service where they previously had been feeling somewhat like a part-owner. 

I think the really disheartening thing is hearing how often people leaped to react (in making complaints or issuing malicious accusations/insults) without attempting to get a much larger perspective. I've you've ever sat in the moderating seat or worked on considering the many requests that editors at these sorts of sites receive, you quickly realize that there are likely a lot more possible reasons why a decision didn't go your way beyond some imagined slight. It reminds me a little of traditional book publishing companies which receive stacks and stacks of manuscripts from people who have read relatively little, and who don't realize just how badly their work compares to other submissions -- then demand to know why their manuscripts were rejected. (I'm not saying my writing is all fantastic -- but, I'm aware of areas where I could improve, and I recognize good work from others out there.) 

It's disheartening that marketers would fall to complaining if their stuff didn't get promoted to the front page -- instead of figuring that one should maybe focus on doing even better work the next time around. Shouldn't we all have a better awareness of the wider context of what goes on in the marketplace around us? I always had some idea that there were business rules behind the scenes to help determine when something got enough votes to go hot -- and better or more unique content with better titles was more likely to get votes. And, similar to other voting communities, it helps if you "market" the article by asking friends to consider voting, etc. When something doesn't "go hot", it's a bit of a learning experience, and there's always the chance to develop something that might be better received tomorrow. And, sure, there's almost always other things that come into play as well, such as some people likely using voting exploits and politics to influence what happens.

But, as marketers, that should all be considered part of the challenge, shouldn't it? I couldn't imagine of complaining to Matt Cutts if my website didn't rank as well as I wanted it to in Google -- that's what I'm supposed to be good at figuring out. And, if my site doesn't rank for something, I wouldn't immediately start assuming it was because someone at Google had a personal disliking for me. In a like manner, it's surprising that Sphinn would've resulted in rancor at times.



Avatar
Desphinn from buckles 1428 Days ago #
Votes: 0

This is a horrible announcement with comments that aren't much better.

Avatar
from Burgo 1428 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I haven't submitted a topic in over 149 days, the next before that was 784 days.My last comment here was 405 days ago.

Part of that was because I was tired of seeing poor quality, and yes, tired of seeing people sphinn things up because of the author or circles.

But you know what? This change might bring me back. Nice work Sphinn team. To the rest of you saying "This is the worst thing you could do for the community", just remember... you don't speak for all of us, eh?



Avatar
from onreact 1428 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Danny, I don't know how bad it is behind the scenes but I have in no way the impression that the pool is all yellow by now. Sphinn is one of the best working niche social news sites. Only a few are ore frequented or have more impact, maybe DZONE or Hacker News but both are very anti-SEO. Basically SEO related topics are banned there.

Do I really have to back to Digg? This would be an "EPIC FAIL!!!"

Try to discount unnatural voting patterns (like too fast ones, or "only one vote" drop ins etc.) and it should work even without Twitter. Also lower the get popular treshold to 18 again like it was in the beginning so that not only huge "gangs" can make it to the fp.



Avatar
from lakhyaphukan 1427 Days ago #
Votes: 1

This is a very welcome change. Nothing can replace manual quality check by knowledgeable people in any niche.



Avatar
from TimDineen 1427 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Looking forward to it!

I left Sphinn after being very active that first year. I was one of the top commenters (probably still am) but I haven't truly participated here in a couple years. I left because of all the group voting blocks that would cause a birthday announcement to go hot while important news was over-looked just because the author or submitter wasn't popular or didn't game the system.

It was also extremely time-consuming to just find good news here. The Sphinn feeds were full of spam and self-promotional material. Finding something worthy of a vote became very difficult at certain times of day/night especially if you were actually going to read an article before voting on it.

Anyway, that's why I left. And this change is why I'll come back.

I look forward to seeing the most important news of the day as filtered by the opinion of the Editors here -- and hope some of those who are concerned are given the opportunity to become Editors as well.

Can't wait - and thank you for continuing to try to provide a useful resource for all.



Avatar
from xenus 1426 Days ago #
Votes: -1

pitty i see this only today.i feel sorry for Sphinn to discard votes.to me,from social to (professional) editorial is moving backwards.

yes there are all kinds of problems with voting but that does not mean you want to terminate it.this is an imperfect world,and when problem comes up,we solve it,right?we don't move backwards and hide.

danny,you said you ban voting because there are not people vote.what interests me is that if a online store finds that no body buys then they remove the "buy" button.sin't it a bit ironic?

people always complain.you are afraid of people complaining "super votes" and decide not to adopt it,but isn't the current discussion and desphinns about you banning "vote" complaints on the other side from all of us?i dare say,if you use super votes,and surely there will be complaints,but at least you can win some of us instead of all of us.



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: