2017 Aug 4, 12:08pm
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Dan and Patrick were discussing the rating system on another thread. It seems like a potential spot to improve the site, and there might be some good ideas for doing so.
I don't know if most of the liking / disliking is being done by the same people or is spread out among users. What I do notice is that there is a bias towards Trump supporters, and that probably reflects the number of Trump supporters on the site. Generally, likes can be tribal with people just upvoting views that reflect their outlook. Or they can be based on the quality of the content, whether they agree or disagree with the general conclusion. Ideally, the votes would be in the latter category. So, the question is how to identify which category they fall into.
I would suggest a couple of things.
1) Right now, each vote gives 1 point. Another system could be such that each person gets 10 points each day. Each vote would split those points among the number of votes that person used. So, if a person only 'likes' one post on a given day, it will be worth 10 points, but if they like 10 threads, each vote would be worth 1 point.
2) There could be an amplifier if someone likes a post by someone that they don't share a lot of views with. For example, if I like a post by Thunderlips, it's clearly because I thought that the content was good rather than just being in the same tribe with him. That could be worth more than my agreeing with someone that I usually agree with.
3) Another issue is that when only the net votes is shown (rather than the number of likes and dislikes), you lose some information. I'd probably rather view a post with a lot of votes than one that didn't inspire any votes one way or another.
These ideas could be useful, but have problems, so I'm curious to see if other people have ideas. One big issue is how to get people to vote. It's a simple task, and has the potential to help improve the quality of stories on the front page. But most people probably don't bother with it.