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When to --

by tcf22 (Priest)
on Aug 15, 2003 at 16:36 UTC ( #284196=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I was just wondering how other monks choose whether to ++ or -- a post.

I've recently noticed some of my posts, which I thought to be pretty good (as did some other monks because, because the post ended up with a decent rep) getting --. Even posts that were replied to by the OP, saying that it solved their problem. I think if you are going to -- someone, then you should tell them why, unless it is just such a bad post that it is blatently obvious.

My personal preference on voting, is if the post is helpful to the OP(replies) or is challenging and needs some thought to answer or invites good discussion, then I will generally give a ++.

If a post is not very helpful, or just posted because they are too lazy to mess around with the code for a little while, then I generally don't vote on it.

I only -- posts that are extremely bad, and show absolutely no effort. This is rarely the case. If they are at least trying, I don't think there is really a need to down vote them. I think replying to them and telling them how they are wrong is better, in that it makes them a better programmer, therefore strengthening the PerlMonks community as a whole.


Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: When to --
by rozallin (Curate) on Aug 15, 2003 at 17:54 UTC
    This is an issue that has been addressed many times before:

    -ve XP, node reputation, voting and learning
    Why is my reputation falling?
    Reasons for downvoting

    Everyone has their own individual and sometimes fickle reasons for downvoting, from personal downvoting or disagreeing with something a person has said to plain XP Whoring; people wasting their votes in order to gain just that bit more XP. If the downvotes are in the minority, I wouldn't give much thought to it; just remember that the XP system is essentially flawed in various ways, and after you reach Level 6 (Friar) most people begin not to pay much attention to XP anyway.

    However, if you really cannot see the reason why your post is being downvoted en masse and you are concerned, you can always ask the opinion of the CB; some people may give you advice on why it is being downvoted, but I think it should be the perogative of the voter to decide whether they should tell the person who is being downvoted why. A lot of people don't have that much time to spend on the site, and a lot of downvoted nodes (or the ones I downvote, at least) such as flames, personal attacks on people, completely irrelevenant replies etc. don't even warrant a /msg.

    rozallin j. thompson
    The Webmistress who doesn't hesitate to use strict;

      I looked at these, but the most recent one about this was over a year old, so I wanted to see if any newer monks had anything interesting to say about the topic.

      The reason I posed the original question(which by the way recieved a good number of downvotes itself), was because when I was going through some old posts I came across this one Re: Who am I? Who are you? Who are us?. I just thought it was a little extreme to down vote a post like that(it is at -1 rep).
Re: When to --
by sauoq (Abbot) on Aug 15, 2003 at 18:46 UTC
    I was just wondering how other monks choose whether to ++ or -- a post.

    I imagine some people won't want to answer this, but as I've publicly discussed my voting strategy before, I'll do so again.

    In technical threads, especially replies to SoPW queries, I tend to use my votes in an attempt to order the replies by reputation. In my user settings I've set the "Best First" option for note ordering, which causes the replies to be displayed in order by reputation. Therefore, my goal is simply to get the reply which I think is best to the top of the display. I do this by upvoting it first. If there are still nodes with a higher rep than it, I'll downvote them next.

    That's the idea, anyway. In reality, I often find two, three, or more nodes that I think are really pretty good at answering the question in which case I don't downvote any of them on principle. Also, I don't use this method on threads in which I wouldn't be comfortable answering myself. In other words, if I'm not real familiar with the subject matter I won't try to rank the replies. I will, in that case, upvote nodes which explain something to me.

    In threads which are opinion oriented, such as often come up in meditations and discussions, I usually just upvote nodes I agree with rather than downvote nodes I disagree with. There are exceptions, but that's the general rule I follow. An exception is that I will sometimes downvote a suggestion offered in Perl Monks Discussion if I really think it is a bad idea.

    There are some other factors. I upvote questions which I think are really good or which I might have asked myself had I discovered the need to. I upvote poetry, obfuscations snippets, and CUFPs that I like, but I very rarely downvote nodes in those categories. I downvote obvious trolls, requests for homework, and very poorly asked questions. I also sometimes downvote answers that consist of nothing more than "perldoc perlfoo" (unless the question specifically requested documentation) and I almost always downvote ones that consist of nothing more than "well golly-gee-whiz, I have an article on that too" with a link pointing off-site.

    I've recently noticed some of my posts, which I thought to be pretty good (as did some other monks because, because the post ended up with a decent rep) getting --.

    Don't sweat it. It happens to us all¹. A single anonymous vote without context means absolutely nothing²

    1. In fact, as I was writing this, it seems that someone came along and downvoted no less than 10 nodes of mine. In order to try to maximize the effect of their votes on my XP, they viewed all my write-ups, ordered by reputation (probably lowest first) and then downvoted my worst rep nodes. End result: I lost 2 XP... and I've gained it back already. Lesson: If several downvotes from a determined personality voter don't do any harm, a few random ones certainly won't. The system is actually much more robust than it appears.

    2. Some extrapolate that to mean that node rep itself means nothing. I disagree strongly with them. Node reputation has context and is an aggregate. What and how much it means are entirely dependent on context, though, and are open to interpretation (or perhaps "wild speculation").

    "My two cents aren't worth a dime.";
Re: When to --
by belg4mit (Prior) on Aug 15, 2003 at 17:41 UTC
    Please do a little research. There are no official guidlines for voting, however many-a-monk has outlined their algorythm in miscellaneous nodes afore. Note however, voting/rep is generally (I'm not conflating the two, rather they often are in discussions) considered a i) very private ii) over-rated thing and so many will not ever weigh in.

    I'm not belgian but I play one on TV.

Re: When to --
by naChoZ (Curate) on Aug 15, 2003 at 19:10 UTC
    I tend to be sparse with my -- votes. Generally, I only -- rude, non-productive posts or non-constructive criticism. Disagreeing with someone is not a reason that I --, whether I agree with someone or not isn't a measure of the quality of their post. Besides, sometimes the post that I may disagree with was the inspiration for some great discussion, in which case I will often give it a ++. Other than just good quality posts, I always ++ a node that I add to my PN, if it was worth remembering, it's gotta be good for something ;) and I will usually ++ the creator of a thread where I reply, too.

    "I just read perlman:perlboot," said Tom, objectively.

Re: When to --
by chunlou (Curate) on Aug 16, 2003 at 00:02 UTC

    You shouldn't be too concerned about a few -- votes. Sometimes you might get it just because of the natural variation among people.

    Something could get 100% positive responses only when no one actually read it. You're bound to have "outliers" or disagreement once a while in a free open community.

    I think a reason why many people may choose not to explain their downvotes is to avoid escalating flaming war. It's easy to happen when people get defensive.

    I would hesitate to establish voting guideline, let alone enforcing it, for the sake of diversity. The self-governing mechanism here seems to work fairly well so far.

Re: When to --
by Aristotle (Chancellor) on Aug 16, 2003 at 18:19 UTC
    I generally downvote for indignant tone when someone is wrong, or when a node is entirely incorrect. These are rare, though. I usually only downvote a significant number of nodes when there's a flamefest going on. Which is also rare, thankfully.

    Makeshifts last the longest.

      In addition what you've said, I generally downvote
      • entire off-topic threads (especially the "can you guys be my search engine" kind, or "can you be my man" -- I like to -- the answers first, cause the encourage posting to SOPW instead of issuing a `man command')
      • nodes getting off topic (like the beginning of a flamefest, or simply a discussion of how X really works)
      • lazy nodes (asking questions easily answered by "perldoc -f", especially by monks who how to use perldoc f -- it's not that they can't understand the manual, but they demand it be recited to them )
      • preechy nodes (the kind merlyn is known to write)
      • hypocritical nodes (merlyn is also known to write some of these, not practicing what he preeches)
      • ignore nodes (where a poster chooses to ignore the answers, continually reposts code he gets as answers untill the community essentialy writes his code)
      • ignorant nodes (where a monk, convinced he is right, continually argues a point disproved in the node he first replied to, all the while getting more frustruated and rude, dragging it out 10 nodes deep, and in the end not even acknowledging he was wrong, much less apologizing for being rude)
      • ideas I dislike (for example artist often comes up with feature suggestions that just don't make sense to me)
      • dumb jokes (especially those presented as answers to legitimate questions -- especially those of the religious war genre)
      Don't be fooled though, I do spend most of my votes ++ing good questions and answers (it's a good thing I got lots of them).
Re: When to --
by Theo (Priest) on Aug 17, 2003 at 03:48 UTC
    This may be a bit OT. I'm fairly new here, but I've noticed a few posts over time that seem to indicate that it's possible to tell how many downvotes one of your own posts has gotten. tcf22, for example, says his post ended up with a decent rep, but that along the way it got downvoted. How can you tell? A couple of my posts have ended up in the hole, (a post-hole??) but I have no idea if they got just a few more -- than ++ or if they were all --. I don't so much care who gave the -- as I wonder about the balance of -- to ++.


      You can tell by visiting frequently enough to see the rep go up and down. There's no other way currently.

      Makeshifts last the longest.

Re: When to --
by Preceptor (Deacon) on Aug 18, 2003 at 16:13 UTC
    I use ++ and -- almost like bookmarks. If I think something that's been written is worth referring back to, I give it a ++. Also, if the person responding has, in my opinion, taken some time to write something worth reading, I'll click the lil' ++ button.

    If it's rubbish, flames or a 'do my homework for me' question, then I give it a --.

    The latter I do much less frequently than the former.
Re: When to --
by jdporter (Canon) on Aug 26, 2003 at 02:21 UTC
Re: When to --
by Anonymous Monk on Aug 16, 2003 at 04:13 UTC
    Sometimes when I feel crabby I just downvote everything. I get a real chuckle when I downvote nodes on the worst nodes list. Also a lot of "Front paged" nodes get a lot of ++ votes just because many monks just want something quick to vote on to increase their XP. I try and balance this out by --ing "front pages" nodes >:)))) Ha Ha! Feel the vengance of Professor Chaos!

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