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Nuke

Forum User
Chatty
Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 35
Well, I've spent a few days looking at various CMS/Blog/COmmunity systems. I've been through every exhaustive list of software packages in this category that I could find. Most packages seemed great on the outside, but what you download is either a huge mass of graphics and code, most of which you dont want and can't use, or a great idea with a horrible implimentation. I also have the problem of having to work on IIS/NT, which axed a couple great packages from the list. So now I sit here with my test GL site, and I've actually found I can do everything I need, with the exception of the content rating system. I really want users to be able to rate each other's content. It's a major driving force behind my site. As you all know, this feature is not yet part of GL. I see that somebody has attempted to hack one, but when I visit the site referenced in his post, I see no "Karma" system. What I'm asking is if this feature is on the development list at this point, or if anybody is truly actively pursuing this. If so, I'd love to alpha/beta your work. If not, I need to know, as I'll have to look elsewhere. Thank you in advance for your time!
Nuke...
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Anonymous

Anonymous
What is the subject matter of your site that makes a content rating system play a major role? Frankly, I find this feature useless. On sites which have this implemented, most visitors either don't use it or it's gamed. I get far more out of reading people's comments than seeing an 8 out 10. I'm curious what your content will be that you think it's so necessary.
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Anonymous

Anonymous
Flightsimguy had a pretty nice karma/rating system that he was using on his site. I just checked it out and it doesn't seem to be there anymore. Also, the latest update of his site was in december. I emailed him a few times and tried to get a copy of the code but haven't received a reply. Here is the url of his site where he talks about it. http://www.ibnerd.net/staticpages/index.php/20021130233738783 Originally he said he planned to have the code done in a couple of weeks and make it available. So, maybe you can contact him.
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Nuke

Forum User
Chatty
Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 35
Well, my vision is to have the site self moderate itself. I will provide some featured content from my staff writers, but the rest will come from the users of the site. By implimenting a rating system, I can then have the system bring the "good" stuff to the top, even featuring articles that are "hot". Slash does this very well, but you have to use Apache to use Slash, so, I'm out of luck there. Honestly, GL is great, and this is the ONLY thing I need. I'm a Perl hack with little PHP experience or I'd just mod the darn thing myself. I may have to go that route anyway, but I'm hoping to find a great package that ISN'T a *Nuke dirivitive. I like to tinker, and would be happy to contribute to the GL project, but I really would like to avoid having to jump right into modding PHP code when I'd have to be learning the language at the same time. (I admit, since I know C and Perl, PHP should be a snap, but I'm still concerned...) At any rate, that's the situation. I guess I'll take a look at the GL source and make a decision if I want to get my feet wet in that pond. If I decide to do this, is there anybody out there who would be willing to participate in creating this plugin? Nuke...
Nuke...
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richschmidt

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Junior
Registered: 11/12/02
Posts: 32
Location:Valparaiso, Indiana
There are dozens of popular sites out there, covering all sorts of different "content" areas, that use karma-like moderation systems, for the very reasons he mentions. So his/her content is pretty much irrelevant. It's responses like the one I'm replying to that make me feel less and less hopeful about running Geeklog. When I have a problem, are people going to ask, "Why would you want to do that?" or are they going to help?
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Tony

Site Admin
Admin
Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 405
Location:Urbandale, Iowa
Rating/Karma systems are, IMHO, over-rated features that truly provide little value. However, this topic has reared it's head more than once. Here is how I would address this. If someone out there is interested in producing a *quality* implementation of this for Geeklog that can be configured (read: can be turned off) then I am sure we'd be willing to include that hack into the base code. That's the beauty of this open source work ;-) I don't want to sound like a playa-hata, but if you are basing your CMS solely around rating systems then you aren't considering the half of what makes a good system. I truly believe (for better or for worse) that ratings and karma features bloat the database, add quite a bit of new code and, in the end provide little return on the investment of time (which is why I spend more time on The Register than Slashdot). However, I do realize and appreciate that many of you out there in GL-land want this. So, again, for GL 1.3.x if somebody wants to sign-up and take a stab at this we'd be happy to help (again, we are in irc.freenode.net in #geeklog). For GL2 I am stubbing out the necessary API calls for this for eventual inclusion. We haven't really decided if this is necessary for the first release or not. If somebody builds a quality lib-ratings.php package for GL 1.3.x I'm sure it would fit nicely into GL2. Any takers? ---The reason people blame things on previous generations is that there's only one other choice.
The reason people blame things on previous generations is that there's only one other choice.
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Nuke

Forum User
Chatty
Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 35
To tell you the truth, Slashdot wasn't the site that I feel really inspired me to want to pursue this. I've participated at www.perlmonks.org off and on, and I've been really happy with the way the ratings system has worked out. People really like it. If you want to see a site where it works well, check them out. At any rate, I'm not sure I'm qualified to write the final word in ratings systems for GL, being a PHP noob, but perhaps my other progamming experience will help me through... Once again, I'd love to have the help of an experienced guru in doing this, but I might be willing to go it alone... First things first I guess... Time to go get the O'Reilly book... Definately the first place to stop when taking on a new language, eh? =) Nuke...
Nuke...
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Anonymous

Anonymous
I love and respect the rating system and would very much appreciate anyone take on the task... I love webattack and it is usually my first place to go when seekign a download because I like to see whats 5 stars there... Here is an idea I think would go cool with content ratings... Have an automatic content rating system for large content... It should take a reader I think 5 minutes to read 500 words... When a user stops to read an article that should take 5 minutes to read, automatically add one star for every minute the reader stays on the page... In other words having an automatic content rating option like that "I said option" would and should prevent shills and dishonest people from trying to boost their ratings... I think a system like that (variants included) would make some nice ratings really nice... Just my opinion Smile
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Anonymous

Anonymous
..what GL sets apart from other blogs is that you can use it as an CMS as well, if you know what you're doing. Imagine you have a site where you review games, cds or whatever, you could insert some karma/user-rating for that particular article (or game/cd for that matter). So you would have like a top-10-list of your users ... (clan/MUD-sites could use this too). It could be done in the 'whats releated' block, a site would greatly benefit if this block would be user-definable... or if you merge the blocks that are by default in the upper right into one and let users assign some related links etc to it..
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Anonymous

Anonymous
I realize there are dozens of sites using this. Well, more like tens of thousands. That is why I asked the question because the way many use it adds no real value. Nuke wants to use it to help float good stories to the top. If the code is written to allow only login persons to vote and only once it should eliminate gaming. Many of the current rating schemes used would not even fit Nuke's requirement. People are always asking for different features and customizations. Many are never filled because those with programming skills either don't have the specific need for it themselves or don't see it will help more than just the one requester. It also gets down to what is perceived as being more important and easier to develop. People only have a limited amount of free time to devote to this "hobby". What you perceive as being a threatening question is quite normal in the software business. I ran a software programming outfit, and we always asked these types of questions. If a user can't articulate why he needs something and what specifically he needs it for, then a programmer often ends up developing software that falls short of the user's "real" requirements. Nine times out of ten users either don't know what they really want or can't communicate it. If you need some help Nuke, I'll send you an email.
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Nuke

Forum User
Chatty
Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 35
The problem with that is that how can you tell the difference between a user that spent 5 minutes reading the article, and the user that decided to run to the restroom? Rather than try to guess what a user is doing, I think it best to let real humans indicate if they liked or disliked an article. Nuke...
Nuke...
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Anonymous

Anonymous
Of course you can have both a manual and automatic rating system but while most people wont manually rate something you can still have a way to rate it... By automatically rating an article that should take 5 minutes to read based on the number of minutes a user stops at the article might sound funny at first but it isn't... I would trust a time rating more than I would trust a hit or clickthrough rating if possible... One story gets a thousand clicks and should take the average user 5 minutes to read... yet the average user is spending less than a minute at the article... Get my drift? I think its a wise idea... let me get my change back Smile
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Anonymous

Anonymous
Just because someone is spending longer on an article doesn't mean they are more interested in it. These people may take longer because they have reading problems due to poor eyesight, the language is not their primary one, unfamarility with words requiring a dictionary, and unfamiliarity with the subject matter. For many, technical info usually takes longer to read than non-technical of equal length. Some read slower on screens than in print copy. People, and many do, could have multiple browsers open and be switching back and forth on what they're doing. They could have left in the middle to take a break. If someone spends a few seconds on the article that doesn't necessarily mean they didn't like it. Many people are speed readers who can easily digest a book page in a couple seconds. Many people are click hounds who will quickly look at a page and click to the next and maybe or maybe not go back to that article repeatedly. Some save articles rather than reading them right at that point in time. Without knowing each person's habits, it's tough to determine if the length someone is spending really reflects their interest. You may be getting the impression an article was great because the average time spent is 15 minutes on what should take 5. When the reality might be, it's one of the few technical articles on your site which is written poorly and visitors had to look up the meaning of many words. If a person sends an article to a friend, that shows they were so interested they wanted to share it. If they want to use the print feature, the likelihood is they are also interested in it though many will save electronic copies instead. If the vast majority are spending only a couple seconds on a lengthy article, then it's probably safe to assume it's not well received. These and the length of time spent on each article can be captured. However, tracking this for all your visitors will slow down your site. The more visitors you have at one time the slower it will be.
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Anonymous

Anonymous
Anyone who stays at a page for more than one minute regardless of what it is their doing there are showing an interest in it whether it be for study, pleasure, or even flat out decyphering what is written... Think about this for a second... Do you really stop to decypher another language when the information you're most likely looking for is almost certainly written in your language? Why besides decyphering an article if you have an eigth grade average reading want to read something written for twelfth graders? My point is if something is beyond someone yet they stick to it they're showing a genuine interest which in turn means the article is most likely doing its job... If it takes 5 minutes to read the article but the user spends 20 minutes on the page no problem... cap the time at 5 so if someone stays their for 20 days the article still gets a real simple 5 star rating for that one user... As for those who stop at the page and print it out quickly spending only less than 15 seconds on the page... Hope they vote manually... For those who click, bookmark and leave, try to somehow keep track of them... theirs many ways to track someone so keep adding the time for that person until that reacj the time limit for that article... It might be beyond programming but I believe the time rating is one the most successful rating schemes available because in a sense it tells more than a click and tells more than those who dont vote... Its just an Idea... I respect ratings and would like to see a rating enhancment regardless of how the Geeklog staff decides to work with it... Wheres my change? Smile
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amckay

Forum User
Full Member
Registered: 03/23/02
Posts: 180
Just tonight I started working on a 'rating engine' which should be as flexible as the 'comment engine' built into geeklog so it should be easy to program to rate anything you like. With some luck (and motivation) I may be ready with it in a month or so. cheers, -Alan
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Anonymous

Anonymous
The majority of people still have dial ups. Some webpages may take 30 seconds or more just to load completely especially for those with poor connectivity. [Insert all my other previous examples of why someone would spend more than a minute or so but not show a true interest.] You must be an American, because you think exactly like one. You go only to websites written in English right? I bet you refuse to use a piece of software unless it already has an English interface right? You don't read good books in other languages do you? People from other countries are not afraid to venture onto sites that are not in their primary language. In many cases, it probably takes them longer to read than if it was in their native language. Yes, I often stop at sites not written in my primary language and will spend time translating especially unfamiliar words. That is one way I maintain my proficiency in my secondary languages. Hey if you want to waste CPU time computing every single person's time spent on every single article just to place little gold stars next to it, then go for it. Since this is so near and dear to your heart, why don't you volunteer to program that section of the code? If you don't know PHP, then at least lay out all the logic for whomever is coding.
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Nuke

Forum User
Chatty
Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 35
I don't know who you are, but your response was not appreciated. Your response was clearly an attack. I suppose you never thought that perhaps many "Americans" don't go to foreign sites because they can't read the language, or, if it IS in English, they are on dialup and sites from other countries are hella slower to access. You have chosen to make an attack in your response, and revealed yourself as a prejudiced, bitter person. Not surprising you were anonymous. At any rate, if you can't critique without flaming, don't critique at all... (Yes, I'm paraphrasing Thumper... :] ) At any rate, I still maintain that real humans submitting a form or clicking a link to say they liked or disliked the content they are reading is the best way. Yes, some folks won't participate, but, most folks who have a genuine interest in participating in your community will. Nuke...
Nuke...
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Anonymous

Anonymous
Oh, get real. My response was not an attack or a sign of prejudice. I was born and raised in the U.S. I've lived and traveled in a number of countries and know six languages. The subject was on why people would spend time on an article. The other poster wants to cling to a narrow focus that it must be because the visitor has an interest. Even after I gave detailed examples of other reasons, he didn't want to accept them. That is very typical of an American -- MY fellow countrymen. Most cannot put themselves into other people's shoes. This is mainly because they won't venture outside their own little world. Most high schools in the U.S. require students to take a foreign language to graduate. Only a very small minority ever maintain this skill. The exception being recent immigrants or their immediate descendents who are often shunned by MY fellow countrymen when they try to converse in their native languages in the US. People in other countries are the complete opposite. They are quite proficient in their secondary languages and try to maintain proficiency. It's a real shame that this site is only in English. If it was multilingual, then you and the other poster could see what it's really like for non-English speaking people having to decipher articles and comments on a site like here. This is only one area why someone would spend longer on a site. Try looking at it from the eyes of someone who is losing their eyesight or other perspectives. This is why sofware cannot accurately determine interest unless it is able to measure people's normal behavior. As for criticizing my using "Anonymous", look in the mirror buddy. You signed up as "Nuke" which is clearly an "alias" not a real person's name. Here is your profile: User Name: Nuke () Member Since: Sunday, January 26 2003 @ 02:33 AM EST Email: Send Email Homepage: Bio: PGP Key: There is no real name, no homepage, and no bio listed. You are posting anonymously. Go look down your nose on someone else.
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Anonymous

Anonymous
I think I should clarify better what I mean by "Most" Americans. There's a good percentage who are new immigrants or try to maintain an appreciation for the customs/language of their previous country of origin. I do not include these people in the "Most" Americans group to which I wrote about.
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Anonymous

Anonymous

I had to come back since you're the one who wrote the long post about asking nicely for help. Read your own article. Then, reread your comment here. You jumped to a wrong conclusion about the meaning of my post and instead of following your own advice of acting nicely you started personally attacking me. You showed your true colors.

Nuke's motto: Do as I say not as I do

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