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.

We’ve mentioned in various threads over the past few weeks a new feature we’ll be bringing on board in the next couple of weeks that will enable users to give a negative/thumbs down/disagree vote on topics submitted. We’re calling this "desphinn." In finalizing the functionality of this new feature, we’d like your feedback on how you would use it, and how it would affect stories.
Comments56 Comments  

Comments

Avatar Administrator
from Michelle 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 3

The ’Desphinn’ feature works like this:You see a topic on the What’s New page and you either disagree with it or otherwise think that it doesn’t deserve to go Hot - make it to the home page.  You click the "Desphinn" button, submit your comment (which is required and will be public) explaining why you disagree with the post. Then a negative sphinn is applied against the story.  For stories on the home page, that have already gone hot, the procedure is the same.  It’s not a 1 to 1 vote up/vote down situation, however.  The up and down votes are weighted differently.  On the What’s New page, it will take 2 desphinns to actually remove 1 sphinn. The threshold on the Hot Topics page is higher - 5 to 1.As for the inevitable scenarios where something is on the "What’s New" page and has negative votes - it’s going to take about 20 desphinns (or a net score of -10 Sphinns) to get the item discarded entirely. So yes, you could see an item with -9 Sphinns still visible on the What’s New page.  We want to be sure that there is a consensus about an item prior to it being discarded. Of course, moderators will still be able to requeue items that are discarded by desphinns, if needed. We’re interested in feedback in general, and specifically about whether or not an item can move back and forth from the What’s New page to the Hot Topics page. So if it has gone Hot but then receives enough desphinns to be removed from the Hot Topics page and is sent back to the What’s New page - should it be able to go hot again? Would you like to see topics have the chance to effectively jump back and forth based on user voting, or do you think that once it’s gone hot, been knocked back, no do-overs?

Avatar
from swags2804 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 3

@Michelle - Does the comment you make matter, or could somebody press desphinn and just say "I think this Sphinn is rubbish/ I disagree with this entirely". If that’s the case then I can forsee its abuse already by various factions and parties.Personally I don’t think I’ll be using it at all as I think such things only succeed in driving divisions through communities (Sphinn being one of the best) and creating elitist cliques and zealot behaviour. And I can’t understand some people seemingly champing at the bit to get their hands on such a feature as though they’re eager for the chance just to vote people down.That’s my thoughts, anycase. Not necessarily right, just a few misgivings in anticipation of a new feature.

Avatar Administrator
from Michelle 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@swags2804 - I’m inclined to agree with you on most of your points actually. I’d rather people just do the right thing and submit appropriate, useful, relevant, recent topics.  Unfortunately, we see a lot of things that fall outside those boundaries and for regular users, it can be frustrating to have to weed through half a dozen posts that, while not out and out spam, are really sub par, redundant, or just someone’s quick and dirty rehash of good original content.  We are of course cognizant of the potential for ’bury brigades’, and in no way want to start polarizing the community here.  Thus the required commment.  Also, we’ll be keeping an eye on the desphinns and comments - and if we see a problem, will suspend user accounts, reverse desphinns -  basically, be as draconian as is required based on how people choose to behave. But we’ve honestly not seen too much of that kind of thing here, and are hoping that people will self-police.  People haven’t gone nuts with the spam reporting tool (similar concerns were raised).  We believe that by and large, this community will not abuse the feature. 

Avatar
from AndyBeard 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 1

This sounds like the negative side of the already existing code that somehow takes comments into account for Sphinns going hot, though I have never seen evidence of that working, maybe that needs a lot more comments.Isn’t there some way it could be portrayed differently, whereby you have Sphinns, and then a modifer being displayed based upon the comments received, either positives or negatives.Thus a negative comment would be a down vote, and a positive comment would be an up vote that somehow counterbalances it.You would have it such that each person in a discussion only has one modifer applied, but that somehow can be changed between positive, negative or neutral.With the ability to counteract through discussion negatives, and change opinions, you wouldn’t need to have the ratio of 2:1 or 5:1 and it is probably just an interface thing rather than a major code change.I wouldn’t have this affect a story on the front page - stories that hit the front page for whatever reason I think should stay there

Avatar
from AndrewofNagy 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I agree with Swags in his fear of creating an elitist attitude. While I do think some things get blown out of proportion and over-sphunn, I’m worried more about the false positives here. The weight-ing does help, but it’s still likely groups who think alike will start desphinning just because they don’t like the writer/post/theme, not because it’s spam or not aligned with Sphinn’s overall story theme.

Avatar
from bwelford 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 3

I still think a ho/hum button would be better.  Desphinn is a two-edged sword.

Avatar
from SlightlyShadySEO 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I have to say, I’m really really not a fan of the de-sphinning concept.

Avatar Administrator
from Michelle 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@Andy - comments have no influence on whether or not a story goes hot - not at this point anyway. Right now, it’s a straight Sphinn count.  Also, we’re removing the comments in desphinns from having any influence at all - they won’t be factored into a person’s reputation standing (not currently being used either) nor will the comments themselves affect a story’s ranking. The required comment is to keep things transparent so that users can see who’s desphinning a story and why.  @bwelford - i like the ho/hum concept, but we figure a user’s silence (no comment, no vote) accomplishes the same thing :-)  Though ho-hum is a less inflammatory term than "desphinn" - we’d have it work the same way.

Avatar Administrator
from Michelle 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@Andrew - your concerns are valid, and that’s why the mods have the ability to reverse any damage that might be done by rogue smm gangs ;-)  @SlightyShady - are your concerns similar to those voiced above? Or are there others that you have?  We really do appreciate the input. Keep it coming!

Avatar
from DoshDosh 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 2

So if it has gone Hot but then receives enough desphinns to be removed from the Hot Topics page and is sent back to the What’s New page - should it be able to go hot again? Would you like to see topics have the chance to effectively jump back and forth based on user voting, or do you think that once it’s gone hot, been knocked back, no do-overs?I like the idea of a story moving back and forth between Hot Topics and What’s New because its similar to Reddit, another favorite social news site of mine. Some stories get to the frontpage quite rapidly, sometimes less than an hour. Thats what happens when you throw the link to a bunch of friends to vote it up. It’s not difficult to get a story to Hot Topics in order to make it safe from a desphinn penalty. In any case, I don’t think we’ll see too many stories moving back from Hot Topics to What’s New anyway... given the higher desphinn threshold for frontpage stories. I’m looking forward to the depshinn button. I understand the reservations of others, but its good to just launch it, monitor how the community uses it and then make the necessary adjustments from the feedback or actions.

Avatar
from SlightlyShadySEO 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 2

@MichelleMy [admittedly somewhat self-involved] concerns are essentially this: stories that are disagreed with are GOING to be voted down. There’s not getting around it. And for the few people on sphinn such as myself who tend to prohmote..riskier... material, this could very well be a death sentence. While the responses I’ve gotten to my material have been predominantly positive, there’s a couple vocal critics, and undoubtedly many that are not as vocal. And I’m quite worried about getting sphunn down because they dislike my overall topic, or think my point of view/subject matter should be silenced(regardless of how many might’ve enjoyed it, or the actual quality of the articles).While many like dosh will continue to thrive, I’m unsure as to how this will be handled for myself, and the (limited) others like me.Would it at least be possible to have something where a user can only de-sphinn the same user once or twice in a given time span?I dunno. I thought the system was working relatively well. I’ll be sad to see it change to a more digg-like setup. I may be over-reacting though. Time will tell I suppose.

Avatar
from aimClear 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 1

In a perfect world, the authority of the Sphinner who submitted the post would be taken into account by weighting the ratios for that user accoridng to participation. Andy or Dosh invest MUCH more time in Sphinn than most and their opinion could be more valuable to the community that some brand new shadow user who joined to vote things down...or up for that matter. This would create a sub-community of psydo-semi-moderators who really care and prove it by investment. It SURE should take more new users with no history to take a Sphinn down off the hot page.

Avatar
from SlightlyShadySEO 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I agree completely aimclear. I believe this would help(though perhaps not fix?) my issue with the whole thing. Bravo.

Avatar
from DoshDosh 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 1

And for the few people on sphinn such as myself who tend to prohmote..riskier... material, this could very well be a death sentence. While the responses I’ve gotten to my material have been predominantly positive, there’s a couple vocal critics, and undoubtedly many that are not as vocal.@SlightyShadySEO... From what I’ve seen, reception to your content and other ’blackhat’ stuff seems to be quite favorable, which shows the intellectual maturity of the whole Sphinn community. I don’t really see many vocal critics. Your stuff gets to the frontpage regularly. Might be a bit of an exaggeration to say that people want to silence blackhat stuff. But we’ll see about that. The requirement to comment before desphinning will show you who disagrees the article. If I wrote an article that was desphinned, I would take it as constructive criticism... perhaps even have a conversation with the user who did it...just to get a deeper POV.And de-sphinning is a feature which affects everyone, from new to established users. Nobody can submit crap/spam and not get some flake about it, especially in a social news site full of users who actually care about and read the content that’s put out there. I’m just curious to see how it’ll all work out... and how users will approach the new feature.

Avatar Administrator
from Michelle 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@SSS - I get where you’re coming from - and we’ll be watching for precisely that type of behavior. We don’t want factions forming and agenda-based voting/unvoting happening here. Which is precisely why we’re requiring a comment, making the information public as to who voted in which direction, etc. And we definitely don’t want anyone silenced, whatever their point of view.  All perspectives are welcome here.  We’re the ’big tent’ social media site.  But the flip side of that is that everyone gets a voice.  So if someone disagrees with your point of view, they are free to express it. Now having said that, if things get out of hand, petty and we see people behaving in mob-like fashion pushing an agenda vs. (more or less) politely having their say - we can pull the rip cord at any time.   We’re not looking to have an echo chamber here.  But we really are going to have to wait and see.  @Marty - Great idea about new users - agreed that brand new users should not be able to take down a Hot item, and will definitely put that logic in.

Avatar
from JohnWeb 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 5

On one hand..."In a perfect world, the authority of the Sphinner who submitted the post would be taken into account by weighting the ratios for that user accoridng to participation."On the other hand, If you’d like to take the popularity contest out of it and actually try for quality content, you’d consider, "In a perfect world, the authority of the sphinner would be ignored and the sphinn be judged solely on the quality of the story submitted."Who submits it and who sphinns it should have not bearing on the what get’s to go hot...but what fun is that?

Avatar
from Burgo 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Hey Michelle, side note here, but I wanted to give JohnWeb there a "+1" for such a great comment, but it returned:" Votes: ERROR: Incorrect key | Thank you for voting!"Just thought you might want to know.JohnWeb... +1 man.Now... back to discussing desphinn...

Avatar
from Halfdeck 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 3

If people are going to De-sphinn, they need to stand by that vote. "I disagree with this article" does not cut it. Not agreeing with an idea is not a legitimate reason for a down vote. I’d expect people to write constructive criticisms that will help a blogger write better stuff the next time around.

Avatar
from Gab 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I like Maki’s take: Do it and adjust. Just wait till my latest submissions go hot so I run up my network rankings before you implement ;). Shady has valid concerns too. And I’ve seen several times (not frequent, but not rare either) people who post unpopular ideas get their comment voted down to have it hidden. Like Mike Gray in the paid links debates. If you can’t handle an opposing view, don’t read the debate. Can’t take the heat? Get out of the kitchen! :D hehe I had to use that expression. I love it. First heard it on the bus one day with some pissed off woman bitching at some other guy then telling him that lol. Classic moment !  Getting back on topic though, there should be a flag for ’groupthink censor at work’ to signal mods that you have some tight-up people trying to shutup the blackhats or greyhats or bald people with orange wigs.

Avatar
from UtahSEOpro 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I guess I’ll play devil’s advocate here and say that I don’t like the idea. I think it’ll get abused (we’ve seen what happens with Digg’s bury brigade). If someone doesn’t like someone they shouldn’t vote for the post. The spam button already is a red flag alerter for garbage. Plus, quality is in the eye of the beholder.To Google, a link is a vote. Google doesn’t have a negative linking system. The link either a) gives value (of different measure) or doesn’t. But not an option for a link to pass negative value because that’d be highly abused. But ya, AIMClear’s right on the money with authoratative account voting.

Avatar
from SlightlyShadySEO 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@Michelle: I’m glad you guys will be watching for that. I hope it does work out in the end. And I’m not sure if you misunderstood and thought that I was saying peopel who disagreed with me should be silenced. On the contrary, disagreement and free speech is the only way my blog is allowed to survive. And indeed, I’d LOVE to hear from them. Just in the comments. I think disagreeing is not a valid reason to "unsphinn", but feel that will be the predominant use. Bad content? Sure. Spammy content? Even better.But not disagreement.Maybe we can have some way to discount the "unshphinn" or put it up for review? 20% of your "unsphinns" undone, and you lose the privledge?I’m not looking to kill others points of view. Just  looking to not have my own killed in return.

Avatar
from Kimota 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I have to say the idea of a Desphinn made me nervous at first. The worry I have is that such things can make it harder for new users to get themselves established.One of the reasons touted for the Desphinn is to vote down ’redundant’ or rehashed material. Now, of course such posts would never go hot in the first place, but Newbies, particularly new to the industry, may not actually recognise the post as redundant or rehashed when they submit it. They are still discovering the best blogs, still learning the politics and still formulating their own opinions on things. I know that was certainly true for me in the early days as I felt my way around what got Sphunn and what languished with 1 or 2 Sphinns.For a new person to see their submissions go negative would be very demotivating and could create an (incorrect) assumption that this is an anti-social media site, like so many others.The current system to me works perfectly well in giving everyone the opportunity to go hot on a logical basis.I was also nervous about aimClear’s suggestion that more weight should be given to established Sphinn power users for both Sphinns and Desphinns. Although I wondered whether that could also demotivate newbies as they feel their vote is not seen as important as votes from ’the clique’, in retrospect, I am warming to the idea. If I post a good solid post, and it gets four votes from, say, Dosh, Aim, Jeff Quipp and Nanny, the post is obviously more notable than another post with four votes from people with no history of submitting strong material.This would also encourage networking with the ’big guys’, cause you want them to read and like your stuff. And, let’s face it, that is what this site is - networking.

Avatar
from randfish 2530 Days ago #
Votes: -1

Brilliant move, Michelle - love it :)

Avatar
from MiriamEllis 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Just read Kim’s post about sour grapes and general nastiness in the industry and can’t help but feel that empowering people with further negativity will lead to...further negativity. I’m not sure if that will really improve Sphinn.

Avatar
from xpose 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I think its funny you had to come up with a term for a simple down vote, but it sounds sphinngenius of you. (giggles).  Anyway, I think its dumb to give away the secret formula. All you had to say was a down vote requires a comment to go along with it.  But expect to see a lot of comments such as "lame".

Avatar
from tnash 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I would much rather then see a desphinn, see simply another figure. So if you like it you sphinn it if you don’t you grumble it or what ever "ho hum" then on the up and coming and sphinn hot page both numbers are shown maybe with a second small figure being the number of your friends who sphunn it or grumbled about it. If the ratio between the 2 is very large then have it flagged for a moderator to look at it.Aim clear idea of varying the ratio of desphinns based on if your name is Andy while fine when its Andy but of course is open to total abuse. The people who lose out are the little guys and while Andy and Maki get around a bit they are not omnipresent and can’t be their to submit every piece of great content. Sphinn already is becoming to much of a popularity contest this would just reinforce it.Whatever happends you need total transparency so if you include a desphinn option then everyone should be able to see who desphinned it and why (a drop down list perhaps). You might also want to be able to reverse both sphinns and desphinns a number of times I have voted something up then thought about it and wished I could take it back.

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Catching up. Just to underscore, when Michelle says how the desphinn feature works, that’s how we’re currently envisioning it. But the point of the thread was to get thoughts on how we might alter it.As for the general idea if we should have it at all. Yes, I think we need it. Two reason. People have asked for it, plus without it, people who strongly disagree with a story are resorting to the spam button. That’s wrong -- spam is material totally off-topic and violating submission guidelines. Stories someone disagrees with aren’t necessarily spam.My preference -- and hope -- is that for the vast majority of stories that do nothing for someone, the action will be not to Sphinn at all. It is true that currently, there’s the possibility that desphinn could be abused, especially by a group that might want to prevent stories from a particular site from going hot. However, the opposite is true now -- you can have a group get together to push a story hot that maybe really doesn’t deserve it from an overall community perspective.It’s tough and tricky, but that’s why we also want to make it all public and require a comment. Sure, people could blow that off and just put anything. But I have a little more faith that being asked to comment will make people a more careful and thoughtful about desphinning.In terms of it impacting a home page story, Michelle and I talked at length about the issue that when a story goes hot, it should take a lot more to really knock it off. But here’s the issue for mods. What if there’s a story that goes hot, then a lot of people comment that it is lame -- not spam -- just really not deserving of that status. Do we wade in and try to determine if there was a group of people who gamed it up? And that’s harder if after it’s gone hot, it picks up more votes. A few of these cases are clear cut. Many of them, it would be easier to let the community itself influence something coming off -- but I think with an appropriately high hurdle.How we actually present it can help, too, I think. It’s likely to be a smaller button that the sphinn button, more like the spam button. Sure -- maybe we should call it "ho hum" to make it seem less antagonistic.SlightyShady, one of the biggest issues I don’t know about is whether people will desphinn stories because they disagree with the story topic. There have been many examples where I know people might not agree with what an article says, but they love the discussion that emerges or the issue overall. Will they now desphinn? I really don’t know.In terms of limiting users from desphinning the same person, that’s an excellent idea. Might not make it at launch, but we might evolve a feature so that if we see a consistent pattern of desphinning everything from a particular site or person, we might make it harder for that to continue. But right now, since unlike Digg all desphinns will be public, I think that makes a huge difference.@tnash, maybe. I can see the value in having both figures (actually, we should be able to do that pretty easily).

Avatar
from g1smd 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 3

I like the SEOmoz way...   "5 thumbs up, 1 thumb down".I feel that is better than seeing "4 Sphinns" and not kknowing if that was..."4 Sphinns""6 Sphinns, 4 Desphinns""10 Sphinns, 12 Desphinns"...or something else.

Avatar
from seofactor 2530 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I like the idea of showing 2 numbers. I’ve often found myself disagreeing with something, leaving a comment, and then Sphinning it in hopes that it reaches more eyes to induce discussion. That’s why I’m here anyway. Blogs, I can find on my own. The open opinions and talks from the people I normally only get to read on a one sided discussion, to me that’s the value of Sphinn. I didn’t know there was a problem with the abuse of the spam button as Danny stated, so I guess I can see the need for a DeSphinn to hinder that, but in the end, if I disagree with something, I’m more likely to Sphinn it. With the rate of new submissions, I don’t see myself DeSphinning anything. Just ignore it, and it will go down the list soon enough. On that same token, I’m not as active in Sphinn as most others so I’m not as familiar with a lot of the behaviors of others and their posts (except the "good" ones; more known names), so I think it would be a good test to see what happens.

Avatar
from AndyBeard 2529 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I certainly wouldn’t want any kind of preferential voting power - as more features for friends are introduced, you could easily argue for less voting power as per Digg, but not more.I think one of the negative aspects of the spam flagging is that it only takes a couple of spam flags for a story to get killed - most people won’t look at it.Even if moderators later remove the flags, the story has been killed

Avatar
from BradleyT 2529 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@Slightlyshady - I’d rather read your stuff any day than the 40th article about 22 ways to use Twitter that you may not have thought about.

Avatar Moderator
from toddmintz 2529 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I have to say I like things the way they currently are...but we’ll see how things change with the new feature.

Avatar
from aimClear 2529 Days ago #
Votes: 0

What ever happened to the "Dumb Ass" button :)

Avatar
from AmitN 2529 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Let’s go ahead with it.

Avatar
from DarkMatter 2529 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I like the idea (aimclear’s) of using "quality indicators" to scale the impact of a user’s sphinns or de-sphinns. Perhaps duration of membership, positive votes, and successful/popular submissions could be used in a calculation to determine the "strength" of a users votes. SphinnRank anyone?Or, perhaps a simpler way to do it would be to promote specific users with a history of quality submissions/evenhanded votes to a sort of admin status wherein their sphinns or de-sphinns have more impact than a new/less reputable user.

Avatar
from Gamermk 2529 Days ago #
Votes: 2

@DarkMatter: This type of system results in a few people’s opinions not only influencing, but literally controlling what content is important and is even more dangerous when they can determine what is not important. I think it’s best we let everyone have an equal say.

Avatar
from vangogh 2529 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I share a lot of the reservations people have above, but I think it’s best to try the desphinn button and see what happens. I know some people will desphinn just because they disagree, but I’d like to think the majority will be more responsible.I really like the idea of two numbers, which in all honesty gives a better impression of how people feel about a story. Two numbers minimizes the impact of people desphinning just for disagreeing and might give rise to a new polarizing topics tab.How easy would it be to show both the sphinns and the deshpinns and then perhaps a third number taking both into account to determine if a post should be hot?

Avatar
from Burgo 2529 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Two numbers gets my vote as well! With, of course, reasons still given for the desphinn.

Avatar
from NatashaRobinson 2529 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I love the idea! I actually really likle tnash’s version. And re: "elitist cliques and zealot behaviour" - that already exists in the stories that you see sphunn up that should never have been sphunn, but are because someone sent their friends an email to sphinn it.  I think a desphinn will help moderate that and theryby help submissions by newbies who don’t have that "friend’s clique" get more of a chance to make it hot.

Avatar
from TimDineen 2529 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I agree with g1smd - show how the Sphinn count is determined.  +4 sphinns, -2 desphinns, etc.

Avatar
from Burgo 2529 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@tnash:"You might also want to be able to reverse both sphinns and desphinns a number of times I have voted something up then thought about it and wished I could take it back."I know this is late, but I’ve just seen that part of your comment. As far as I’m aware, you CAN take back a sphinn on something that you’ve sphunn already. There is an "unsphinn" option on stories you’ve voted on.

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2529 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Right now, we’re likely to do this:The Sphinn button will show the overall Sphinn count, which is those that have sphunn a story with any desphinns also deducted.The Desphinn link, if anyone has used it, will show the number of desphinns castThe Desphinn link wll be next to the report spam link. It will also have a "What’s Desphinn" link next to that, taking you to a page that gives some guidance about when and why someone might want to use it.If you Desphinn, I see a page or a pop-up providing similar guidance, plus requiring you to show a commentAll Desphinns are public, as are associated commentsWhy not show total Sphinns in the Sphinn button without deductions. It’ll look weird. If you have a story with say 30 Sphinns and desphinns have pulled it back from the home page, people won’t understand why it hasn’t gone hot. I think the cumulative total is the important one to show, to avoid confusion.Again, we’ll watch this carefully. If it doesn’t work, we’ll adjust or drop. But there are some good reasons to try. We’re also being careful in that we haven’t brought this in deliberately from the beginning, so the community could grow and mature -- plus we wanted to modify how the standard bury works in the underlying Pligg software to make things more public.

Avatar
from bwelford 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

This is exactly the reason why I wanted to call such a feature a ’Ho-Hum’ button.  I didn’t want them to be subtracted from the number of Sphinns and thus remove something that was Hot. Let’s assume good faith here.  So a large number of people Sphunn it so thought it was worthy of being Hot.  Good for them.  If when you visit it, you see a large number of people thought it was Ho-Hum then you could take that into account as you decide how much time you’ll spend on it.The requirement of comments in desphinning makes this a hard-edged downgrading process for items.  That’s quite unlike the easy acceptance of items when you’re sphinning them.  I think there should be equal weight on both sphinning and desphinning (ho-humming).  After all this isn’t a court of law here.  It’s a social media site.  Loosen your ties, guys (and gals).  Have fun.

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Well, we have a ho-hum button, I’d argue. It’s called doing nothing at all. I think that will be part of the guidelines. This story doesn’t do anything for you? No need to Desphinn. Just don’t vote for it at all. But see a story going hot and you really disagree it deserves that attention. Don’t call it spam -- you can desphinn.

Avatar
from bwelford 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

.. but I’m not sure I want to be seen as a Desphinner.  Why would I rain on someone else’s parade?  I’d really have to be pretty irate to want to create the possible odium that desphinning an item might create.  After all this is a social place, and I really prefer to be sociable.So I sit on my hands and don’t indicate that this item really has been overhyped.  Perhaps lots of us will be doing that.  Who will ever know?  It’s all somewhat reminiscent of a current thread in the Cre8asite Forums on <a href="http://www.cre8asiteforums.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=58392&hl=">UX, Ugh!</a>.  So many things, online and offline, give very poor User Experiences because most of us don’t want to be seen as grumblers.

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I guess I’m a little more optimistic that Desphinn won’t get used that much. We’ll see. Like I said, if we don’t put it out there, we instead have people reaching for the spam button when they disagree with a story. To me, that’s worse. I also think that because we’re asking for comments, most people won’t use it unless they are really, really upset or concerned that something shouldn’t go hot.

Avatar
from bwelford 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

.. and I guess I’m more pessimistic that Desphinn won’t be used as much as it should be.

Avatar
from SlightlyShadySEO 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@bwelford: I’m with you.@danny: I hope you’re right. But do we want the de-sphinning a store they disagree with? Unless I misread you, that’s what you’re suggesting. That seems a bit wrong. Can you clarify about which motivations are ok for using this?

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

OK, I don’t know exactly why someone will want to Desphinn a story. For the same reason, I don’t know why people Sphinn stories. For example, sometimes I will Sphinn a story I totally do not agree with. But the discussion on the issue in general is good, so I’m sphinning the issue and the discussion. I have no way to communicate that, and I don’t know what the easy answer is.Take this thread. Is it popular because people want Desphinn, like that we’re asking for feedback or like the discussion?In terms of Desphinn, we’ve had in the past people request it. In particular, they see a story that starts to go hot and they think, hmm -- that totally isn’t write. The story isn’t that great, maybe there’s no supporting discussion. But they have no power to prevent it. They have to just sit back and watch, other than maybe commenting "why is this being sphunn?"Now I’ve seen those types of comments go, and they can work. But not always -- and the community as a whole has no way to basically stop a story from going hot if it is not spam or if the gaming isn’t so obvious that a moderator intervenes.What is gaming is hard to say, too. Is it gaming when someone submits, twitters to solicit votes. I’d say probably not. I mean, I’d hope those Sphinning will indeed read the story and only Sphinn if it is worthy.But gaming to me would be more like someone sets up 20 accounts, then sphinns themselves up top. Or they get two or three friends to run some puppet accounts.Anyway, I guess I could see the instructions like this:What Is Desphinn?Sometimes stories grow in popularity on Sphinn that you might not feel deserve to have the full attention of the site as a whole. Perhaps you completely disagree with the story and find no redeeming value in the associated discussion. Perhaps you see a story going hot which is old or passing along no real news, fresh information or important observations. These are cases when you might want to Desphinn. A Desphinn will take away some of a story’s Sphinn credit. It’s not one Sphinn removed for each Desphinn cast, however. All Desphinns are public and require some type of comment about why you are desphinning. If you want to Desphinn this story, please leave a constructive comment or reason for disagreeing below. When you submit, your Desphinn will be registered and your comment posted.Thoughts?

Avatar
from SlightlyShadySEO 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Ok. Thanks for the clarification. I suppose this will have to rely on the good of the community as a whole. I’m generally a pessimist, but whatever.Oh yeah, and people spinning accounts together to vote is pretty easy to detect against. While I have no doubt the people who run this site are better than myself, if you’d like any help with this, say the word and I’d be glad to offer what help I can in some ideas on protecting it.

Avatar
from sza 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I believe desphinn (or something similar) does have a place in a social site. "Social" is not equal to "let’s refrain from hurting anybody’s feelings".It will be good to have an opportunity to weight down things like:- stuff that’s shallow and regurgitated but rides a momentarily popular wave- a reflection on a reflection of a reflection kind of posts- posts with a teaser title and nice formatting but no substanceetc.Sphinn’s main page (Hot Topics) is a menu that gets served to, I don’t know how many but probably more than a thousand "guests".As long as I don’t care much about a certain kind of "meal", I won’t object to it. Tastes are different. However, if there is something I definitely don’t want to see on the table, why should I sit silently and politely while 21 people still serve it to me?I don’t even understand the 2:1 ratio. Is a negative opinion worth less than a supportive one?Is a buddy’s knee jerk support for a post more valuable than someone else’s reasoning against it?(A slightly off-topic remark: perhaps this site is too smart for its own good. It’s killing my browsers.)

Avatar
from SlightlyShadySEO 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I don’t believe we should play nice all the time either. I just believe it can be done in comments, and not voting down. For example, in my blog today, I got this comment: "Wow. You’re selling out humanity’s best chance of a truly balanced social frontier, and bringing the greed-spawned corruption to the internet! It’s exactly what we all need. Well done."Ok. See. He’s unhappy. I get it. I may even take it into consideration(or at least I would if he was more specific). and yet he didn’t get a "vote" on pushing down my article.Word are useful, and less prone to abuse.

Avatar
from xpose 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

dannysullivan, there are three things that Sphinn lacks in order for it to be a 2008 user generated website.Ability to vote against stories.  Add the desphinn, and people will get used to it.  If you can vote for something, you should be able to vote against it.To reply to someone elses comment, ie threaded commenting.  For sphinn not to have this is extremely dissapointing, especially since the concept is far from new.To be notified of replies to your comment.Here is a link to a comment system that I hope you will eventually add to your site.  Coded by myself of course :)

Avatar
from sza 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

SlightlyShady, it’s wonderful that they can’t vote you down on your own site. Should you receive too many dissenting votes, in the end you’d feel obliged to publish other people’s posts on your blog instead of yours :-)I honestly don’t understand why you’re concerned about desphinn. Your posts typically go hot with 30-40 sphinns. Do you really think there is such a huge invisible undercurrent of disapproval at Sphinn that could push you back if only it had the tools?Anyway, if desphinn gets used too often (which I doubt), all is needed to counter it is a bit more active sphinning. It could even have a positive efffect by galvanizing supporters and dissenters. And obligatory commenting would inspire discussion.

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@xpose, we tried threaded comments during the beta and found them confusing. In particular, when you have an ongoing discussion, it’s hard in threaded comments to see where the new ones are.In terms of replies, it’s on the list to have feeds for each story, but that won’t come soon. But you can take the general comment feed:http://feeds.sphinn.com/sphinncommentsI like the email reply thing you’ve got going, though -- are you running that against Pligg?

Avatar
from g1smd 2526 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I don’t like threaded comments. It often means lots of clicks just to read one thread. I much prefer to see all the comments in date order, all on one page. No clicks, just a scroll.

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: