[Update] Voting system and all sub-systems dependent on it
Hi everyone, there was/is a number of discussions on voting related feedback as well as functionality suggestions that have sprouted up as of late. Actually most of yesterday to be exact. I would have posted this update last night, but decided that it would be better if I had a chance to sleep on it and discuss it with the team before I went any further. Alright, lets get started.
The purpose of Voting & Reputation
The voting functionality is a big part of the underlying mechanics of Snapzu, and is here to stay. We will not be removing the ability for users to down vote content because a number of very important sub-systems are dependent on up/down votes to function.
The general concept of reputation is explained below, and I will explain why its important that we don't change the way voting works.
Your reputation score is the sum of collected votes that illustrates the dynamically changing feedback from your more recent engagements based on up/down votes received from the rest of the Snapzu community.
A good way to visualize reputation is to imagine a literal pool that holds a limited amount of up and down votes instead of water. As time passes incoming votes will replace (spill out) the oldest votes and thus change the ratio within the pool. Your reputation score is the number of up votes vs the number of down votes currently in that pool which changes daily.
Because reputation needs to be contextual, it cannot be a forever increasing number where the user with the most reputation has the highest score, this wouldn't really be considered reputation as there is no benchmark to compare it to and would be useless in the context of what reputation should represent.
Because reputation is calculated from a ratio (up vs down votes) and then converted into a number represented by a percentage it can never truly reach 100%. In addition, as Snapzu's community grows, the benchmark score (currently 99%) will decrease as the number of users and their general approach to down voting increases.
This means that a peak reputation today will not be attainable a few months down the road. Don't panic however, this is all relative to the benchmark score which is dictated by the ever changing landscape of the Snapzu community!
In order for our reputation system to work, our community needs the ability to place both up and down votes freely. Without that freedom the reputation system along with other sub-systems (anti-spam, xp, leveling and content management) based on it will fall apart. There are of course guidelines on when to downvote, and there are new limitations to how many downvotes new members have, but we cannot disable or convert the downvote into something else because it would break the system. Voting & reputation is the freedom for anyone to anonymously make a decision based on the content they see without the fear of witch hunts, downvote brigades and other unpleasant situations that would form based on other members publicly reacting to down votes which I'm sure we can all agree can happen.
As we continue to make improvements we will introduce additional functionality that will help educate new members on when is the appropriate time to down vote. We will expand the down vote reason functionality into all areas of our platform. We don't expect for the system to be perfect, but then again nothing ever is. We as a community need to mitigate and absorb incoming downvotes and accept them as a necessary evil brought in by our democratic approach and freedom to ultimately govern ourselves. Just like a small town accepts some level of crime to happen within their community, we should expect some abuse to the system.
Here is what we are looking to do over the next few weeks to improve the vote system as well as educate new members on how it works:
- We will update the prologue as well as other documentation to further stress the voting system as a moderation tool and not a disagree button.
- I will personally look through our sub-systems to make any improvements to vote algorithms to assure abuse is kept to a minimum.
- We will update the down vote reason functionality to be slightly more noticeable as well as accessible on all votable elements (Text Posts, Snaps & Comments)
- We will read all comments & suggestions in this post for ideas on how we can better improve the current system. Please note that we wont be changing the underlying functionality however, so if you do have some great ideas, please focus them on the system we already have in place.
We appreciate everyone that took part in yesterday's discussions it has really given us a lot to think about as we move forward. We are always looking to make improvements to this platform, so we keep our eyes open and ears to the ground to make sure that we are headed in the right direction!
Thanks all, I will keep updates flowing as we move ahead!