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The reason I write this is that a story on Mixx from my website was receiving votes even while the page was offline. Users were voting for an article they didn’t/couldn’t read.

Do you vote without reading?
Do you cast votes for people you like no matter what they submitted?
Would a sort of article "captcha" solution work so that votes could only be cast by actual readers would count?
Comments37 Comments  

Comments

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from baiduyou 2567 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Credibility is the word. My opinion might not be worth a great deal, but I do at least read the articles I vote on. I don’t automatically vote for articles submitted by people I like, but I am definitely more likely to take a look at them. If it’s an article/topic I have no interest in then there’s no way it’s going to get Sphunn.

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from sphinndr 2567 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I would be embarrased for whomever had voted for an article without even viewing to see what the article was about.  There are definitely a group of people out that believe this is strictly a popularity contest.  Even though I might be new to the Social Network community, I wouldn’t think of promoting an article that I didn’t even take the time to read.

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from SearchBuzz 2567 Days ago #
Votes: 0

This is how my mind works on my favorite social sites:1)  I won’t even review a submission if there is no avatar. (sorry, this is my personal issue)2)  If I am scanning a social site quickly, I am looking for three things:   a) Catchy Title   b) Compelling description   c) Trustworthy submitters, whom I know are submitting quality content.I may sphinn an article based on those three factors and ’save’ the article or tag via delicious, to go back to read later.*this is also why by the end of the day I have 30+ tabs open!!!!   :P

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from seofactor 2567 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@SearchBuzzSo what you’re saying is that you don’t necessarily have to read an article to Sphinn it? I don’t mean to sound like an ass, but that’s pretty uncool. You’re pretty much voting on something, for which you have no knowledge. Like placing your name on a product that may or may not be of quality. Would you promote a product simply because it was made by a company that had made quality products before? Placing your name on it, stating that you stand behind it? What if that product had lead paint, or some other defect rendering it harmful. Your name is now on a crappy product.

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from SearchBuzz 2567 Days ago #
Votes: 0

<div>If I read a quality title, compelling description, and the submission is from a site that I visit every day, and the sphinner is a trusted source yes, I have sphunn and will continue to sphinn articles with the intention of saving and or tagging to finish at a later date.Not to offend ’you’ but if you do not think this is how this or other social sites work you may want to stick around for a little while longer to watch and learn.  If I did nothing but spent 23 hrs. a day on sphinn it may be different, but I have to work very quickly and if that means using a system that works for me, so be it.  I only sphinn, stumble, mixx, and digg quality content. (in my mind) - and if this is the system that what works for me then, to each his own.*seo --> check out the ’sphinn live’ area and I think you would be surprised at the rate which highly respected ’industry’ insiders will sphinn submissions. I actually took a screenshot one day, and was going to create a post about it, but I thought it would create too much unneeded controversy.  Not my battle to fight.I will let you pass your own judgment. </div>Good conversation....thank you.

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from seofactor 2567 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"Not to offend ’you’ but if you do not think this is how this or other social sites work you may want to stick around for a little while longer to watch and learn.  "Hmmm...a little defensive there, no? I was asking in the tone of conversation and debate, buddy. No reason to get cranky. "If I did nothing but spent 23 hrs. a day on sphinn it may be different, but I have to work very quickly and if that means using a system that works for me, so be it.  I only sphinn, stumble, mixx, and digg quality content. (in my mind) - and if this is the system that what works for me then, to each his own." That’s a little better. This is more like what I wanted. "*seo --> check out the ’sphinn live’ area and I think you would be surprised at the rate which highly respected ’industry’ insiders will sphinn submissions. I actually took a screenshot one day, and was going to create a post about it, but I thought it would create too much unneeded controversy.  "I wouldn’t be surprised at all. This has been touched on before, a few months ago I think. If this is your argument for actions, then I respond "If Danny, Rand, and Andy jumped off a bridge, would you?" As for the controversy, if it would make a good post, and it’s informative (which I would like to see it compiled and produced) then go for it. I wouldn’t think it would be meant to "out" anybody, but to create a conversation like this one. If someone gets defensive or cranky, then there may be some guilt issues they need to deal with. "I will let you pass your own judgment. "With a past like mine, you don’t get to pass judgement on anyone, so I certainly wouldn’t. Again, just like to hear other sides. I like discussion and debate.

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from SearchBuzz 2567 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@ seofactor  "You’re pretty much voting on something, for which you have no knowledge."*ummmm...no, if you re-read my previous two comments I have definitive information based on 4 very important factors to social media:a) TitleB) Description of storyc) SUBMITTERd) Site from which the story is being submitted.If I see a post on a social site,  Title: iPhone can handle Google Video as well  - and the website is www.engadget.comI am not sure I need to read the article beginning to end to decide whether or not i want to promote this story to the front page.The title is telling me the main point of the story and the website is one of THE most trusted sites online for technology news.  Do you feel me?

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from seofactor 2567 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Do you feel me?Yes I do. Guess you had to just make it a little clearer to get through my hat and into my brain. But, where does that leave the budding blogger, typing his little heart out, finalizing the pretty touches on the article he spent 3 weeks researching. He puts it on Sphinn, hoping to get the attention of the big boys, so that he may one day be considered a big boy himself? It’s a little known blog, from a new guy with little "name brand" association. But he gets skipped over because he didn’t have that name or known blog. I have an answer to that, but I would like to hear yours.

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from SearchBuzz 2567 Days ago #
Votes: 0

We are drifting a little....but that’s fine.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A) Great Content Always Wins Out!!  (if your blogger is writing compelling and unique content, it will rise to the top and get exposure)That is the beauty of this site and other social sites.  That budding blogger gets the exposure you describe, where otherwise he/she would not be on the radar.I can’t tell you how many sites I have discovered because a title caught my eye or someone asked me to check out their post, and it brought me to a site, which I then subscribed to their RSS.My example was a generalization, but I was trying to make a point.   That it’s not ’uncool’, as you put it, to Sphinn, Stumble, Digg, or whatever else to a story if you have not read the post word for word.  It’s very situational and I think we are making mass generalizations about different scenarios.  I didn’t mean to be defensive or to offend you.  Sorry if you feel that way.  :)

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from scottclark 2567 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I also visit and read every post before voting.  I may not read all the comments, but definitely the post.  Even if I’ve been "asked" to digg/mixx/sphinn, I will read it and make the call.I really do think that many votes are cast based purely on the author, the site, or sometimes a catchy headline. One way to handle this is like Amazon’s Askville for example.  On this system, you cannot see the comments or votes of others until you’ve provided an answer or clicked on a link that then prevents you from answering.  It’s a little frustrating, but I think it definitely works to prevent gaming that system.  If you did a weighted vote based on visit + discussion vs just plain votes, you could skew out some of the popularity bias.For it to change, the powers-that-be would need to consider this important.  Perhaps I’m just focusing on the wrong stuff.

Avatar Administrator
from MattMcGee 2567 Days ago #
Votes: 0

If I see a post on a social site, Title: iPhone can handle Google Video as well  - and the website is www.engadget.comI am not sure I need to read the article beginning to end to decide whether or not i want to promote this story to the front page.But what if the Engadget author added an update inside the post saying, "Whoops. This is wrong. We screwed up." but never changed the title? You’d be missing out, and you’re promoting false information. I update my own blog posts on occasion without changing the title (because I’ve already chosen the title I want for the SERPs).It’s a little known blog, from a new guy with little "name brand" association. But he gets skipped over because he didn’t have that name or known blog. I dare say that profile fits several of the people who are now considered "Top Sphinners", doesn’t it? It takes hard work, but going from unknown to known can be done.That it’s not ’uncool’, as you put it, to Sphinn, Stumble, Digg, or whatever else to a story if you have not read the post word for word. Maybe not "uncool", but I would say it’s problematic because every day there are posts hitting the front page that have absolutely no business being there. There’s one that went hot within the last couple hours which is little more than the right combination of Submitter, another well-known name in the headline, and that person’s domain. The post itself has so little value it probably didn’t even deserve to be submitted.And so what happens is that other people see this happening and think, "If I want to get on the front page, I just need to submit anything that the ’rockstars’ write" -- they stop judging the real merit of the submission, and the overall quality of Sphinn goes down, down, down......

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from SearchBuzz 2567 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I appreciate your perspective Matt and at some point I am sure Sphinn will  have a feature like Mixx, where you can vote down a story if you do not feel it’s worthy of exposure.We all know that is coming...But, I really find it hard to believe that yourself or others have never voted up a story based on the 4 criteria I mentioned earlier??  (without having read it cover to cover)a)  Catchy TitleB)  Great Description of the Postc)  Trustworthy SUBMITTERd)  Top site from which the story is being submitted.

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from onreact 2567 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I confess! I vote for stories before clicking the link! It happans often! As I use several social sites at the same time, Mixx, StumbleUpon, Sphinn and some other places where I will find articles from the same poeple and sources I will just click one link and then vote for the story at several venues.I might even spot you at my Netvibes frontpage and thus not click it at all!Besides I’m with SearchBuzz: Often enough a) to d) are enough to determine whether a post is a good one.I also practice altruism. I won’t read a post like "SEO for Newbies explained" but i will vote for it as it will beuseful for others.

Avatar Administrator
from MattMcGee 2567 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Mike, I’m sure I did do that in the early days. No argument there. I might’ve done that in order to make a potentially valuable member feel more welcome and appreciated -- grow the community as it were. But I can guarantee you I haven’t done it in a few months, when it became obvious that Sphinn needed more quality control than growth. What may (or may not) have been a good idea then, seems like a bad idea now. We should all expect there to be junk on the What’s New page, but I think we have a responsibility to do what we can to make sure the junk doesn’t reach the home page. And yes, when the Un-Sphinn button (or whatever it’s called) is available, I’ll use it as needed and will share my reasons for the vote-down. :-)

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from Burgo 2567 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@ SB:"check out the ’sphinn live’ area and I think you would be surprised at the rate which highly respected ’industry’ insiders will sphinn submissions. I actually took a screenshot one day, and was going to create a post about it, but I thought it would create too much unneeded controversy. "Yeah. I had the same thought one day, after noticing some of the top sphinners sphunn somewhere around 15 articles in 2 seconds... Pity both of us chickened out :P

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from DoshDosh 2567 Days ago #
Votes: 4

@Burgo and SearchBuzz Let me just jump in here about ’Sphinn Live’. It’s natural to correlate what is visible (fast sphinning) to what you think is reality (blind sphinning) but we all know that correlation is weak. I don’t know why people still insist on using that as a form of ’proof’ to show wrongdoing on the part of other users. People could be sphinning articles because they’ve read it already. You’ll be surprised to know how many feeds some people subscribe to and how fast they consume information.Sure, you can assume that they are up to something naughty if you really want to believe that, but I don’t see a point in creating an article just to call out the top sphinners/industry insiders. Have read way too many of these playa-hating posts lately.

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from Burgo 2567 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Heh. Hence why I didn’t go with it. I didn’t want to contribute to the "playa-hating". And this comment is really left here, because I always wanted to use the phrase playa-hating, while trying to keep a straight face :P

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from DoshDosh 2567 Days ago #
Votes: 0

OK who downvoted my comment? Own up!  :)

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from SearchBuzz 2567 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Very valid point.....(wasn’t me - promise)  :)Though, I wouldn’t say it accounts for 100% of the ’speed sphinning’ that is seen.

Avatar Administrator
from MattMcGee 2567 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I voted your comment up, Maki. Well said.I tend to go through the 200+ Bloglines feeds I read in the late afternoon. I rarely bother checking if any of them are on Sphinn or not. Then during the evening hours, like right now, while I’m going through several pages of "What’s New" with my moderator hat on, I’ll Sphinn the good stuff I read earlier in the day -- rapid-fire sometimes, like 5 Sphinns in 15 seconds.Any questions?

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from SamFreedom 2566 Days ago #
Votes: 1

HEY, I sphinn stuff I don’t read all the time.  It helps get some of it out of the way on the Top 10 What’s New List so that mine can move up.Well, whether what I just said is really true or not, do you expect anyone who games the system is going to come out and just say so?  I CAN talk about this stuff without worrying about blowback from various "white knights" because, frankly, discussing these things is my very specific niche.See, I sphunn part 2 of one of Nanny’s articles because I liked Part 1 but didn’t have time to get to part 2 right away.  But it was sphinn 21 and caused it to go hot.  I probably would have sphunn it later when I can get to the article but why not make it go hot now since it’s def going to go hot very shortly or by then?So many reasons why people do this... best we try to understand this and take care not to judge or vilify.  The sense of community is really just an illusion.  It’s not like you’re really going to come bail me or anyone out in a pinch so people are just going to do what they need to do to get ahead, period.

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2566 Days ago #
Votes: 1

"Yeah. I had the same thought one day, after noticing some of the top sphinners sphunn somewhere around 15 articles in 2 seconds"I’ll give you one reason this can happen where stories are read. That’s if someone has been doing their blog feeds first, then comes to Sphinn and sees an article.This happens to me all the time. I read a lot of feeds. Then I hit Sphinn, see an article that I’ve already read and give it a vote.I’m not denying that some people will just vote based on the rep of the person sphinning and the title/description of what’s there. And that IS tempting an easy to do. Personally, I almost always look at the article first. I pop things open side by side, the Sphinn page about an item with the item next to it.

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from scottclark 2566 Days ago #
Votes: 1

So, stepping back... What is the purpose of Sphinn.com?Is it to give eyeballs to the best search-related content independent of author?Is it to improve the shared knowledge of the search community?Is it a marketing channel for Seo/SEM/SMM companies to get attention?Is it a headline-writing competition?Is it a place to find breaking search news?Is it a popularity contest based on who goes to conferences?Is it a contest for the coolest avatar?I think the real answer is "all of the above."  The longevity / credibility of Sphinn will be determined by how the answers gel with the needs of the large-scale community.In most reasonbly diverse systems in a common environment, the laws of natural selection will bubble the best to the top.  But what is a level playing field in a social network?   Is there such a thing?If you agree that diversity and natural selection make sense here, what would be required for selection based on the qualities of the content - which requires you read it - versus meta-qualities such as past Sphinn-numbers of the person doing the submission.  As Danny and others have mentioned, recent changes to Sphinn have helped, yet, as @SamFreedom points out, even those shortlists are subject to ’king of the mountain’ tactics.

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from SpostareDuro 2566 Days ago #
Votes: 3

I Sphinn for different reasons altogether. But yes I read what I Sphinn. I have Sphunn things that I knew noone else would Sphinn even if I have read it and didn’t particularly agree with what I read! I give A for effort and the responsibility of taking what I read and drawing my own conclusions is what matters. I may agree or disagree with a topic, or the submitter, but it is usually Sphunn because it made me (the Newby) research further and learn from what I found from that point on...Don’t worry, if I Sphinn worthless crap, others take note of that too. It’s part of the process we all need to see how others work. Scottclark: I think you are valid in your assessment of what Sphinn is for. All of the above. Diversity is good. Everything has it’s place. Things come out in the wash. Allowing the natural flow without dictating who should read the articles before Sphinning them, or who should write comments designed to please others, or that one Sphinner is higher quality than another because they Sphinn for GP,  is actually counter-productive isn’t it? I mean, if I am new and following around someone that’s blind-spinning and they are busted because they Sphunn or Stumbled a blank, then that will eventually teach me something about who I am following. So let the web be Sphunn.

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from aimClear 2566 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Great dialog everybody.

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from theGypsy 2566 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Yeah Marty.. I see an award for; ’Post with Most Comments’ comming ... he he....I have not been around as much lately, but still read and Sphinn where appropriate, just because I read it does not mean I Sphinn it.... these days I am commenting more than anything... you know, being ’social’... everyone seems to have the ’media’ covered.Fun dialogue though peeps :)

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from Lodispoto 2566 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Bottom Line on it all, there are many people who Don’t read the articles but will vote for anything a certain author posts.  There are also others that are not real people, but clones of real people who vote just to do it and promote their stuff. You guys all call it gaming the system.  It is true and I’ve seen people gaming SU, DIGG, here the owner of the site has an IP list to see if the same IP is voting. I know as my own earthfrisk.com site uses Pligg, which this site uses.  So it actually is a populaity contest. The most votes = the most hype and the best linkbaiters know this as they use their ’connections’ to do even better for clients. Dosh though is right about readers. I am subscribed ot quite a few and read them, then sometimes vote all at once for the articles that I liked. So you really never can tell.

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from aimClear 2566 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@ Danny: to get through it quickly we open browsers with 5-15 Sphinn stories. It’s really easy to do by holding the shift key down while clicking :). Shift/click (on originating blog)Then I at least graze each of the posts, all the way to the originating blog, then Jam through the Sphinns voting process. I close stories which we don’t want to vote for. Voting is easy (back button, Sphinn, close browser, next). It takes about 10 seconds to vote for 5-7 posts.If I’m at the agecny I do it working with another person. Anyone who participates to the extent top Sphinners do needs to invest quite a lot of time in the community. Just like everything else we do here, we’ve got a process to get through it quickly and effectivly.

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from SamFreedom 2566 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Re: what Lodispoto said about sites with IP tracking:Even that’s a little dangerous - what if 2 Sphinners are married, under one roof, or in the same workplace or college environment.  I can understand if volumes of Sphinns for any given articles are coming from the same IPs but, in my opinion, a lot of site owners get into a "big fish in a little pond" mindset (not here) or a "good cop out to save the world" mindset and they start axing people without really thinking first.I had it happen to me with Paypal once over something else and even though they admitted they were mistaken, they made me sign an online affadavit saying I did it.  The rep hated himself having to explain that decision to me but its what his bosses made him do to protect themselves.  And I see the same possibility whenever owners try to stop anything... ...they start off meaning well, but all kinds of innocents end up caught in the gears.

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from onreact 2565 Days ago #
Votes: 0

People gaming the system? On a SEO forum? Scandalous! How come we didn’t notice them yet! I bet they hide under huge white sombreros! I’m a power user on several German and international platforms and what I see on most of them is a dangerous tendency of policing others for what some pople tend to call spam or other offenses along the line. Join your neighbourhood watch, police department, task force or the Digg bury brigade but do not seek publicity and authority here by policing others. I trust Danny and the moderators to know what they do and I rarely see any spam here. As I’m sick and tired of the SEO = Spam equation please quit it at least at Sphinn, a place for SEOs!

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from scottclark 2565 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Why not program Sphinn to scrape the blog in question and show the body it in a floating DHTML layer over Sphinn? Call it super-excerpt. This would encourage "at least skimming" - no?Any scraping experts out there? (scans room) No? Anybody? ;-)

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from streko 2565 Days ago #
Votes: 0

that would be tricky, just for the legal reasons.  it could easily be done, but i don’t know how some of the bloggers would feel about it...i personally think the system here is fine - at times a popularity contest, but for the most part i get what i need from this site.  I have also found some of the most useful information (to me) doesnt get past 10 sphinns. here is a wise thing I once heard on a techno radio station, they were interviewing a DJ from philli - they asked him "is the techno music scene dead and who will be the next big techno dj"  his response, "Yes the scene is dead, and its unfortunate because the names have already been made. So in turn the worlds best DJ could be out there right now, but he only plays records in his bedroom and will most likely never play for an audience"  The first part of that does not apply, but the second part does.  If you sphinn a story on avatar alone, your not doing good for the community - don’t go for the icons, go for the content and depth of the article.  The next big thing in internet marketing could be on this site, there could be an SEO post that could drive sites to the top of the SERPs fast.  But if its not posted by one of the "top 20 sphinners" - will you ever see it?  I read the high sphinns, but spend equal if not more amount of time on the low sphinns.

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from scottclark 2565 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@streko   Love your comment. .... especially the second part.Some people spend so much time on Sphinn, Digg, Stumble, Mixx and other sites pushing their own Avatars I wonder what they really DO for a living!  LOL!!!Still, I love Sphinn, and usually look to the fringes for the neato stuff.  I just wish newbies would stop posting the same-old-same-old and start injecting some real-world knowledge into the posts.  I don’t NEED another "10 reasons to start a Business Blog" article. 

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2564 Days ago #
Votes: 0

We do have a longer term plan, actually, to make it possible to quickly get the actual page loaded through AJAX so that you can read that.

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from streko 2564 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@danny how will that work? the entire blog will show in the ajax window? or just an section of it? If you were going to do the entire blog you mind as well just allow people to submit rss feeds to the site and have the voting that way.

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from scottclark 2564 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@streko, but many publish only excerpts in their feeds.

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from streko 2564 Days ago #
Votes: 0

that would still hold the substance of the blog, if it was only excerpts. still make people goto the blog to have to read the whole thing.if sphinn starts showing full blog posts in an ajax window, mind as well just make this into a site where you can have your own blog or autoimport your full blog.- but before jumping to conclusions i would like to see what danny ment by that comment.

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