Quite often I see posts pointing at a mistake in a post, correcting a previous post by the same author, or thanking people for their answers.

While the result of those post is to improve either the technical content of the site or its friendly atmosphere, I believe there are easy-but-often-overlooked ways to achieve the same result:

I think using these tricks would lower slightly the number of not-too-relevant posts and increase the signal/noise ratio of the site.

And if you are worried about XP's (more posts = more XP's) those kinds of post never get much votes anyway (I know, I know, PM experts will object that by lowering $NORM they increase the likelyhood of other posts to get XP's... let's not go there please ;--)

2006-04-14 Retitled by planetscape, as per Monastery guidelines
Original title: 'Increasing the Signal/Noise ration of PM'

  • Comment on Increasing the Signal/Noise ratio of PM

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(tye)Re2: Increasing the Signal/Noise ratio of PM
by tye (Sage) on Feb 08, 2001 at 00:19 UTC

    I just visited Nodes to Consider and found several "useless thank-you nodes" listed. I voted to keep all of them as did the majority of voters. All of them actually contained useful information about which solution worked and so I consider them valuable.

    Even if they hadn't, I will vote to keep even truely "useless" thank-you nodes. Deleting of nodes should be reserved for truely bad nodes. I really feel that we shouldn't be trying to clean house with Nodes to Consider and it appears that most monks who can (level 6 and above) and do vote there agree with me.

    I suggest that submitting such border-line nodes for consideration just ends up sucking up the time of high-level monks who are trying to help with deleting truely bad content.

            - tye (but my friends call me "Tye")
(tye)Re: Increasing the Signal/Noise ratio of PM
by tye (Sage) on Feb 07, 2001 at 21:45 UTC

    I guess I don't see the problem. ): I don't notice myself wasting a lot of time jumping to nodes that frustrate me because they are just corrections or thank-yous.

    I do agree that /msg is a better way to point out typos and just updating a node is a better way to fix many minor mistakes. But mistakes that seem likely to cause some readers of the post to come to incorrect conclusions might be better updated via a reply so the previous readers are more likely to see the update.

    I also enjoy the "thank you" nodes that mention which solution the person chose and how well it worked for them. I could certainly do without the "empty" thank-you nodes but my suggestion would not be to turn them into /msg's but to add more information to them.

    So I mostly agree. :)

            - tye (but my friends call me "Tye")
Re: Increasing the Signal/Noise ratio of PM
by mischief (Hermit) on Feb 07, 2001 at 22:44 UTC
    instead of posting a new message with an errata, just update the original node (possible in most sections of the Monastery). If the update consists in more than fixing a typo you can add it at the end of the post, prefixed by Update:

    Personally, I like the Update:s that people put on their posts - it means that I notice any updates they've made if I revisit the node (as I often do when I notice that a node has more replies than it did yesterday).

    And why not go "there" when talking about $NORM? Actually I don't think it would matter; $NORM just meant to be a reflection of people's output and input, so if people stopped posting as much as they do, then that would be the norm, so higher XP for everyone would be good (the fact that there's less "noise" would mean that we're all worth more XP in general). I'm confusing myself slightly thinking about this, so I think I'll stop here. Maybe I see why you don't want to go here now.

    Update: ok, mirod has just explained to me (in the chatterbox - see, if it'd been posted here, other people would be able to reference it too! :) that if I were to post lots of nodes, then $NORM would go down, so the chance that my next brilliant node would get lots of XP would go up (assuming more nodes means more noise). See the Voting/Experience System page for more info.

Re: Increasing the Signal/Noise ratio of PM
by arhuman (Vicar) on Feb 07, 2001 at 18:21 UTC

    I would post only to say how much I agree with your point of view, but I feel it necessary to add something to preserve the signal/noise ratio ;-)

    My 2 cents idea :why isn't each new node created by default with a sort of 'monk etiquette/tutorial' describing 'good behaviour'
    (with what you just said,node naming advices(kudra scheme?), advice to update their node/submit post,advice to first search in common places(perldoc, Faq,Supersearch...))

    Of course this good behaviour should be defined by our saints and other experienced monks.
    Or rather gathered from all over the site.
    (all those info are disseminated on the site, but man have to choose them and put them all together in the homenode)

    BTW It may make people personalize their node more often...
    (to get rif off this 'default tutorial')
Re: Increasing the Signal/Noise ratio of PM
by jepri (Parson) on Feb 07, 2001 at 20:24 UTC
    I rarely send thanks with a /msg because I feel my ++ is encouragement. That's probably because I'm a little shy at times :)

    I was reflecting on this the other day. I think the reputation/XP system cuts down a huge number of 'I agree posts'. Rather than having 30 'I agree' posts we end up with a node with a reputation of 30, which says the same thing and the author can feel chuffed about it. The XP boost is nice too.

    I didn't believe in evil until I dated it.

Re: Increasing the Signal/Noise ratio of PM
by extremely (Priest) on Feb 08, 2001 at 08:44 UTC
    "Thank-you" posts ARE signal. 'nuff said.

    $you = new YOU;
    honk() if $you->love(perl)