Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:01 am
Location: Central New York
Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:35 pm
It doesn't matter whether we're talking about gold/silver/bronze medals, or thumbs up or down. The basic issue between these two systems was that with the medals, only the author rewarded comments. With the thumbs, others can as well. plus, the thumbs has the added issue of "down," or subtracting points.
On the one hand, I really don't care that much as all it does is impact "reputation" points, and they aren't used for anything. I think if you eliminated points (for reputation) altogether it really wouldn't have that much impact as people with very good, or very bad reputations would be known anyway - by their reputations. Personally, if we have something that impacts reputation points at all, I think I'm partial to the old way of only having the author be able to assign it (whether it's thumbs or medals, or smiley faces or whatever). I think this for the following reasons:
First, only the author knows for sure if the comment was useful to them or not. I think it's silly for people to give points for things like "nice shot," or "good thinking," and I don't usually do that. But, if someone gives me a suggestion where I pause and think, "gee, I never thought of that. I'll have to give it a try," then I wouldn't hesitate to reward them with some positive feedback (give them a point, or medal, or whatever). Even if someone makes a suggestion and I try it and don't like it, it still broadened my horizons by making me try something I hadn't before.
Secondly, too many people give points based on (their perception of) personality, and not on the entry itself. "Oh, I like that person. They're really nice (even though I've never met them in real life and don't know they actually get squirrels drunk so they can abuse them), so I'll give them a point. Or, if the entry is by someone they don't "like," and a comment is made saying they don't like it, they'll reward them with a point too.
Thirdly, whatever system is used, I think points should only move in a cumulative, positive direction. Whether it's only the author giving them (like the medals method), or anyone giving them (like the thumbs method), the negative points aspect isn't working (IMHO). People subtract points because they don't like the person, for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with the entry. As described above, I won't hesitate to give points for valuable feedback. But if they suggest something I don't find useful, I'm not going to subtract points - I just won't do anything. Again, people use the "thumbs down" for personal vendettas. "I don't like you, so I'll give you a thumbs down no matter what you say. Your comment, regardless of content, simply gives me the opportunity to strike out at you." I made a comment recently where I simply said "Creative interpretation of the theme." That's 100% of what it said. I just liked how the author thought outside the box, it wasn't meant to be any earth shattering revelation. but, the next thing I know, a little while later it was at -2 points. Like I said, I don't paticularly care so I didn't cry myself to sleep that night. But I think it serves as a good illustration of what I'm talking about. What, under the sun, could have warranted an innocent comment like that to be worth a negative two points? None of the other, equally innocuous comments had negative points. I know this happens to others as well. I've actually had people go into my portfolio after interacting on running entries and leave negative comments on contests that were weeks old. WHY? I don't know. It just doesn't make much sense to me.
So, if we are to have any mechanism for leaving points for those who leave us feedback, I prefer that only the author give it on their own entry, and that it only moves in a positive direction. If you don't like their comments, don't do anything. if you like their comment, give them a point (or whatever).
"Remember what the Dormouse said..." Jefferson Airplane