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#1789 - 08/22/09 08:29 AM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: Gregg]
roger Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vermont
yeah, it's global. I guess it avoids the whole "number/quality" problem.

I'd still like to know who's online.
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#1942 - 08/24/09 11:14 AM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: roger]
donikatz Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Gotham
I'm disappointed to see the post counts removed without any alternative. It's detrimental that anybody who isn't an old vet won't be able to tell the difference between the reply of a newbie or veteran. Isn't the point of this place to be MORE user friendly than some other places? tongue
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#1949 - 08/24/09 01:00 PM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: donikatz]
Kevin M. Dean Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Florida
I agree. It's okay to see the post counts, just not rely on them. I personally like to know how many posts I have.
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#1973 - 08/24/09 05:04 PM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: donikatz]
dkmarsh Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

Since most of the folks here registered within the first week of FTM's existence, the distinction between "newbie" and "veteran" is a bit specious.

If your point is that as time goes by, that distinction will become more relevant, then registration dates, which are shown for all users, should be a way for newcomers to distinguish between newbies and veterans.

If you're worried that some folks will have been around for a long time without providing much troubleshooting help, well, they're likely to continue not to do so, so guarding against their unproven advice by publicizing their low post count is unlikely to be an issue.

The point is to guard against the assumption that newbies are inclined to make that those with the highest post counts know the most—an assumption which is very difficult to temper when those with the highest post counts are statistically the most likely to reply to any post!
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#1975 - 08/24/09 05:38 PM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: Kevin M. Dean]
dkmarsh Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

Problem is, how do you tell a new poster not to rely on post counts?
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#1991 - 08/25/09 04:03 AM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: dkmarsh]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> The point is to guard against the assumption that newbies are inclined to make that those with the highest post counts know the most [....]

That's not the world's worst assumption when you consider that those with the highest post counts have, at the least, done the most reading and are, therefore, likely to have the most background (if not necessarily the most knowledge). (That, of course, hinges on post counts not including Lounge and Forum Feedback posts.)
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#1998 - 08/25/09 04:47 AM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: artie505]
cyn Online

Administrator

Registered: 08/03/09
Originally Posted By: artie505
those with the highest post counts have, at the least, done the most reading

IME that's not a given.
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#2001 - 08/25/09 06:04 AM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
That's not the world's worst assumption

Your assertion is, IMO, open to serious question.
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#2002 - 08/25/09 06:14 AM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: knoodles]
Gregg Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Milwaukee, WI (USA)
Thought this thread from another Forum would be of interest to those following this discussion. Responses are pretty even on both sides of the question. It seems what we're always left with is familiarity only. If you frequent the Forums, you learn who are the most knowledgeable posters. If you're new, you just don't know. Thus, any type of "clue" is bound to be at least somewhat misleading.

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#2015 - 08/25/09 09:32 AM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: Gregg]
Kevin M. Dean Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Florida
New members likely don't even care who the knowledgeable posters are. They're not looking for those people. They're looking for answers. Whoever chooses to reply to them are fine with them. I seriously doubt they're going to ignore a response from someone just because they're not one of the "official" knowledgeable people... post count or otherwise. If someone posts a mistaken response, someone more knowledgeable usually comes along and corrects them.

The whole thing is rather irrelevant to anyone other than long term members and we know who the knowledgeable people are.
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#2024 - 08/25/09 10:35 AM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: Kevin M. Dean]
donikatz Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Gotham
Quote:
New members ... [are] looking for answers


Which is why I'm at least still in favor of post/thread ratings, so folks can see what the questioner found to be the most helpful and/or solution to the problem. Poster ratings are similarly useful, so people can see who has been found to be the most helpful by the rest of the community. And it encourages people to help others by offering them some self-gratifying tribute.

As for post counts, they encourage people to post more and to be more involved. It's human nature to be competitive or to want to feel part of an elite niche group. While high post counts may or may not be relevant in the real world, they're a badge of honor for veterans and allow others to recognize them and to respect their posts. And I'm not specifically referring to my experience at MFI/FTM, I'm referring to how forums work in general. Why do you think almost every other forum has such things? Why do you think people rush to add "friends" on social networks or to build giant buddy lists? There is an online social cache to being a "VIP" or "Power" user and to take that away is only detrimental to online community building. This is not being petty, it's being a realist.

Is showing the count resource intensive? If not, why change the status quo? Change for the sake of change goes against systems management 101.
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#2026 - 08/25/09 11:20 AM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: Kevin M. Dean]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Originally Posted By: Kevin M. Dean
New members likely don't even care who the knowledgeable posters are. They're not looking for those people. They're looking for answers. Whoever chooses to reply to them are fine with them.


I differ with this view. I'm not a good giver of advice, but I'm a very experienced consumer of advice. Not being trained in IT, I care very much about whether or not I get a correct answer. In other forums, I've been given a pack of baloney from time to time. Fortunately, I can usually "smell" it. However, it is very useful to know who the knowledgeable people are. Right now, any baloney posted on this forum will be pounced upon and set straight right away. However, as the word spreads, the demand for advice from the experts will greatly increase. They may tend to be spread thin. If so, the chances for error to be perpetuated will increase. At that time, the names and Avatars of those who give trustworthy answers will become "brand names" and I will wait to act until I've heard from one of them. On the other hand, a newbie arriving for the first time will not have my experience with the brand names and may be exposed to less reliable answers with no way to evaluate them. In the past, I've used the number of posts as a presumptive indicator of competence, but have still been careful to determine whether the person is a doer or a talker before following his or her advice. I give a cautious endorsement to the number of posts. Exclude the Lounge if you want, but right now some very important substantive stuff is going on there. That may decrease when we collectively get on our operational feet.
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#2044 - 08/25/09 12:33 PM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: dkmarsh]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: dkmarsh

Since most of the folks here registered within the first week of FTM's existence, the distinction between "newbie" and "veteran" is a bit specious.

If your point is that as time goes by, that distinction will become more relevant, then registration dates, which are shown for all users, should be a way for newcomers to distinguish between newbies and veterans.


Er, to be a tad pedantic, "within the first week"? I didn't find this place for at least a couple of weeks. And that was only because I'd emerged from the mists to post a Mac question on what used to be MacFixit.

Regarding "newbies" and "veterans", I'd been using MacFixit since about 1995, how's that for a "veteran"? In those days (brrrr......) when a posted-question hadn't been replied-to within a couple of days the case was closed and marked SOLVED.

shocked

Quote:
If you're worried that some folks will have been around for a long time without providing much troubleshooting help, well, they're likely to continue not to do so, so guarding against their unproven advice by publicizing their low post count is unlikely to be an issue.


I don't agree with this either: just because I don't post much does NOT mean that I do not know what I'm talking about when I do, frankly.

Quote:
The point is to guard against the assumption that newbies are inclined to make that those with the highest post counts know the most—an assumption which is very difficult to temper when those with the highest post counts are statistically the most likely to reply to any post!


Sorry, don't agree with this surmise either. Some people have plenty of time to hang around messageboards and just love posting. That does not necessarily make them the best sources of technical advice. Not on post-count alone. Others (like me, for instance) have a full time job and other things to do in life. They only appear when in need of advice OR have time to spare and look to see who needs advice on a topic which they know about from experience. Low post counts are indicative of nothing in particular and certainly not indicative of a lack of interest or expertise.

Sometimes, the poster with the lowest post-counts provides the most cogent advice and is the most eagerly-sought after, in my experience elsewhere. IMHO. FWIW.

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#2053 - 08/25/09 12:48 PM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: donikatz]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: donikatz

....... Poster ratings are similarly useful, so people can see who has been found to be the most helpful by the rest of the community. And it encourages people to help others by offering them some self-gratifying tribute.


I couldn't disagree more. For clarity, I completely disagree.

On ProBoards forums (Number of boards hosted: 3,079,999) there is an Admin option to enable Karma. This is a system of saluting or dissing your fellow members. It always leads to grief, if not outright wars between members. Karma, which is more or less what you're advocating, turns into a way of exalting perceived friends and spiting perceived enemies. I've seen it over and over again and by GODS is it tedious.


Quote:
As for post counts, they encourage people to post more and to be more involved. It's human nature to be competitive or to want to feel part of an elite niche group. While high post counts may or may not be relevant in the real world, they're a badge of honor for veterans and allow others to recognize them and to respect their posts. And I'm not specifically referring to my experience at MFI/FTM, I'm referring to how forums work in general. Why do you think almost every other forum has such things? Why do you think people rush to add "friends" on social networks or to build giant buddy lists? There is an online social cache to being a "VIP" or "Power" user and to take that away is only detrimental to online community building. This is not being petty, it's being a realist.


Either you have never been on the same forums as me down the years, or you live on a different planet. I have no intention whatsoever of joining social networking sites and creating so-called buddy lists. Elite niche group? Social caché? VIP or Power user? Oh for heavens sakes. Don't people have a LIFE in the REAL WORLD? Like, earning money, running a business, having a social life with real live human friends whom they've actually MET, having a sex life, looking after the house, going on holiday? <rolls eyes>


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#2055 - 08/25/09 12:52 PM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: cyn]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: cyn
Originally Posted By: artie505
those with the highest post counts have, at the least, done the most reading

IME that's not a given.


I agree. And since I have no post-count I'm not posting "I agree" to up it. Neither am I agreeing with an Admin to appear to suck up to him/her.

I just happen to agree and that's it and all about it.

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#2065 - 08/25/09 04:37 PM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: Bensheim]
ganbustein Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Bensheim
On ProBoards forums (Number of boards hosted: 3,079,999) there is an Admin option to enable Karma. This is a system of saluting or dissing your fellow members. It always leads to grief, if not outright wars between members. Karma, which is more or less what you're advocating, turns into a way of exalting perceived friends and spiting perceived enemies. I've seen it over and over again and by GODS is it tedious.

I've seen that, too, on Craigs List forums.

I've wondered if it could perhaps be made gentler by making it a single-edged sword. Allow people to mark a post "helpful" but not allow negative votes. I think it's the possibility of smacking someone down more or less anonymously that feeds the mean streak in some raters.

But then I remember that the other problem with rating systems is voter fraud. People will try to game the system by opening multiple accounts so they can get multiple votes and/or vote for themselves. There are complex methods of detecting this (for example, watch for users who always log in concurrently or sequentially), but the effort required quickly exceeds any possible return.

I think we're on the right path, not trying to evaluate posters at all. If you hang around here long, you'll learn who gives good advice and who doesn't. If you haven't been here long, well, like Archimedes said to the king, "There is no royal road to Geometry." So be it. Advice to newbies freely given, but asking us to rate the advice too is maybe asking too much.

Bad advice will be corrected anyway, if they check back in a few days. (OK, maybe that's asking too much. How many times have you seen someone post a question and then to all appearances never come back to look at even the first answer?) If they do check back, the thread consensus is almost certainly more useful to them than individual ratings anyway, especially as it's focussed directly on their problem.

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#2132 - 08/26/09 06:55 PM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: Bensheim]
cyn Online

Administrator

Registered: 08/03/09
Bensheim, it looks to me like you misunderstood dk's post.

Perhaps his reply in a different thread will shine some light here.
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#2144 - 08/27/09 03:31 AM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: Bensheim]
donikatz Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Gotham
Quote:
I couldn't disagree more. For clarity, I completely disagree.


Actually, you couldn't misunderstand more. Did I say anything about silly "karma" points? That's one option. A better one is where questions marked as such give the original poster (only) the ability to assign credit to helpful and correct answers. These points tally into ratings. That way, the more helpful posters are found, the more points, the better rating.

Either you have never been on the same forums as me down the years, or you live on a different planet.

From such an answer, I think I'd be quite content to live on a different planet than you. Can we keep things civil? I'd think you'd be better off learning more about psychology, group dynamics, and internet usage trends than just scoffing and belittling. This is about realism, human nature, and the trending of internet usage, not about you or me or what some old-school geek users do. As Macs have become more mainstream, wider audiences and newer trends have to be catered to, like it or not. Some need to get lives, others need to get real.
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#2168 - 08/27/09 09:34 AM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: donikatz]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Don,

You posted your opinion (which is valid) about badges of honour, respect, competitiveness, elite groups.

I posted my opinion (which is equally valid) disagreeing with you.

Then you came back (apparently angry) and said that I need to learn about group dynamics, just because I disagreed with you? It seems to me that people don't disagree with you much in real life?

Pot-kettle-black, Don. And what an advertisement for group dynamics to anyone who may be lurking and thinking of joining this forum which needs more new members.

LOL. (That's laugh out loud, not lots of love, in this instance.) Best laugh I've had all day. Thanks, mate!

Edited now that I've finished work for the day to add: Are you a Mod here, Don? I don't see your name on the list. (Checks...alternaut, dianne, dkmarsh, cyn, joemikeb, macmaniac...) I see no donikatz and I see no admonishment/s from the listed Mods. Therefore your attempt to tell me how how to post here, or what to post here is just another opinion and not one I should take any notice of whatsoever. Cheers!


Edited by Bensheim (08/27/09 12:29 PM)
Edit Reason: Further thoughts

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#2188 - 08/27/09 03:06 PM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: Bensheim]
donikatz Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Gotham
Sigh... Years ago I would have taken your purposely obtuse bait and launched into a retort that would have escalated this into a multi-page Lounge thread and warnings from the mods, but I've been there, done that. No thanks. Suffice it to say, if you read my retort I clearly thought you were taking an overly aggressive, attacking, and mocking tone, rather than simply responding to the (valid or otherwise) points made. At least that's how it came across. If I misinterpreted your response, I apologize. If I didn't, well, there's always the Lounge. I don't need to be a mod to opine proper etiquette; you're free to do as you like. Can we agree to move on now, please? Thanks.

Back on topic and to my previous suggestion: How do you feel about points awarded by the questioner to helpful/correct responses? A good example of this is @ the VMware forums.


Edited by donikatz (08/27/09 03:08 PM)
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#2200 - 08/27/09 05:03 PM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: donikatz]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
I share your opinions but this is not going anywhere, I'm afraid. The old MacFixit forum had post counts (total) and titles, and it moved along well, without any negative impact of these on the quality or content (at least, IMHO). Here, the Mods (the same as before) suddenly decided to remove everything in that domain, and I don't see a possibility to convince them otherwise. Having heard many pros and cons, I would say that both systems may have some flaws and advantages at the same time. However, the present situation is unconventional and does not resemble the one in many other forums. Which should be food for some thought because this forum is striving and needs audience. On the other hand, since this part of the forum is not actually open for a vote, I would leave it as is without much further discussion.
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#2230 - 08/27/09 09:28 PM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: macnerd10]
donikatz Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Gotham
Well put. As we know in the IT world, there's a difference between explaining the risks to the business and becoming a nag. I've rested my case, and what goes goes. For now. wink
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#2283 - 08/28/09 08:56 AM Re: Why am I a stranger? [Re: donikatz]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Don, thanks for that great response and I apologise to you too. Like you, I've been there, done that, elsewhere, way too many times too.

I've just written a paragraph explaining further but then deleted it. Yesterday's papers, water under the bridge etc. I agree, let's move on.

How do I feel about points awarded by the questioner? TBH such a system would depend on questioners routinely/consistently remembering to come back and do that. Some people post thanks afterwards, some just go away leaving the rest wondering if it did work, were they helped? (As in the top topic here, the Blue Screen one - did she ever get her Mac fixed, I wonder?)

Regards from me smile

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Moderator:  alternaut, cyn, dkmarsh