[Meta] Are we using PaleoHacks VOTING system appropriately?

by 18236 · May 18, 2011 at 12:04 AM

I recognize full well that this could be viewed as a highly subjective question. Everyone has their own opinion and perspective. Rock on.

But from what I'm observing in the voting patterns with regards to questions specifically, it seems that the 'fun' questions, or those that whet the intellectual appetite of our readers, get the most attention and the most upvotes. I can't help but notice that most people seem to vote based on whether or not they "like" or "agree with" a specific question's premise. That certainly holds its own place of importance and there's nothing necessarily wrong with that... other than maybe this.... that many of the questions that pose direct and valuable intrigue into some of the most important aspects and nutrition related topics of eating Paleo are getting sort of 'ignored' and fall into the black hole of PaleoHacks too quickly.

I ask a question about the horrible things we all ate Pre-Paleo, and people go nuts with it. Ok cool. Fun stuff, right? But when I ask if the Vitamin E in almonds protects against oxidation (of which I did not find a substantial discussion elsewhere on PH), doesn't it seem that this could be quite an important thing to consider when deciding whether almonds are to be feared as much as many people do, given the attention we place on PUFA combined with so many peoples' love for almonds/almond butter/almond flour? (btw I'm just using that Q as an example... as it was just posed an hour ago). But the manner in which I pose the question insinuates my personal "stance" or answer because of the power of suggestion, meaning that people will naturally think that "obviously Jack Kronk believes the Vitamin E in almonds DOES protect against PUFA oxidation". So then if you upvote the question, you are "agreeing" with Jack Kronk or saying YES to the question.

How about upvoting a particular question based on the value of the question itself, and therefore its potential for valuable answers that people will be able to draw from, regardless of what your personal stance may be? This way, questions that hold a high or even moderate importance will get upvoted and encouraged more, even if not many people necessarily "know" how to answer them. This might also encourage people to dig in for a good sound answer too, because if people see a question upvoted 5 times, yet there are no answers, you can bet your bottom that when someone does come up with a good answer, it will be voted up according to the perceived value of the question.

What do you think of this?

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9 Replies

13928 · March 21, 2011 6:10 PM

How you suggest we use 'voting' is how I have been using voting. I can't speak for others.

I do think we, as a community, could vote on answers more prolifically. Good answers don't get nearly as many votes as they could, or as I hope they would.

Also, for the record, few people seem to be using bounties.

387 · March 21, 2011 6:42 PM

I think I'll use my voting power to +1 this question purely on its merits :^).

I have felt that some people do read WAY too much into a question and assume a lot without any basis, but that is merely a function of how well (or not) they use critical thinking and how emotionally biased they are.

Then there are people who toe their particular sub-Paleo tribal line with almost religious fervor. I wonder if they ever stop and reflect that most of us have become some kind of Paleo by questioning and being open-minded, and not by forever blindly accepting assertions as universal truths? But seeing as most humans have evolved to be very susceptible to the lemming effect and to trying to maintain a fixed and comfortable world-view, I doubt that any new site policy would change this, short of turning Paleohacks into an elitist and hand-picked bunch of rational-thinking people. This would probably defeat the purpose of having Paleohacks in the first place.

Instead, I say use the downvote button on answers that preach too much and reveal too little real information, in order to make people think twice before clicking that post button. Again, your bringing this topic of emotionally biased voting out into the light is much appreciated.

3142 · March 22, 2011 at 12:04 PM

The only things I can think of to remedy this are:

Perhaps there could be a 'like' tab near each post and/or thread in conjunction with the up-vote button. Thus, members could choose to merely 'like', or as you (Jack) pointed out, 'agree' with the response rather than up-vote merely for that reason.

There could be a limited number of 'up-votes' allowed per day (maybe even on an increasing scale in respect to one's reputation) and it would make members more sparing of clicking that lovely little triangle.

Also, there could be a prompt upon clicking the up-vote button reminding members what the up-votes are for and if they are using them accordingly. I think this would get annoying, but an idea nonetheless. It could always be a one day only thing.

And Jack, I understand where you are coming from. I agree in some instances (e. g. important physiological, biochemical, toxin related questions) where threads are not up-voted where it would be a benefit to the paleo community if they were. Maybe just by making this question you've helped elucidate that.

Hmm, and one last idea. For the questions you mentioned, that seem to lack sufficient attention (when it seems like they should), maybe there could be one more tab on the question home page for such questions. Thread starters could enter the question, and if it isn't getting sufficient attention, they could make a comment to the moderators explaining why they think it should and ask if it can be put in that special tab? Just an idea.

Oh, or maybe there could be a tab for such questions for a limited amount of time to draw attention to them ...?

Alright, I'll end my brain storming. Paleo makes my noggin feel like it's on steroids. XD

I like paleo hacks the way it is, but I'm new here, so perhaps I don't have as good an idea of the inner-workings as y'all do.


1377 · March 22, 2011 at 12:22 PM

I confess I am sometimes surprised at what gets a lot of votes. But I don't find votes or lack of votes puts me off from the general usefulness of the site or any particular question and set of answers.

78 · March 22, 2011 at 11:04 AM

i'm new here, 22 days on 30 day paleo challenge.

i found found this site and the users invaluable to my learning curve and i guess i read questions of relevance to me and vote on the answers according to whichever one i feel answers the questions is the most relevant/valuable way (to me and to what i assume the questioner is asking in the first place).

i try not to weigh in on things that i have little to no knowledge about but when i do find something new/cool (usually about diet, lifestyle and the historical evoltuion of both, not the 'silly/fun' food Q's) i do vote, albeit only occasionally. i don't think i realised i can vote on the q's themselves, so will start doing this now!

25197 · March 21, 2011 6:09 PM

Value Jack, is in the eye of the beholder. To see the true value of a comment one has to understand the 3 ft view and the 30000 ft view and be able to be mentally facile to move amongst the layer of chaos and complexity. Some of the more interesting stuff on this site is not well read and infact dies on the vine way too often.....but I think it happens because many dont realize how germaine it is to what they are trying to do. I think the more one reads and asks questions the more one will come understand what is important. As Paleohacks evolves I believe "its" species will too

77338 · May 18, 2011 at 12:04 AM

I have also experienced and thought upon this issue. It is my opinion that those questions that are more UNIVERSAL in scope are not answered as often despite their value for all people not simply:"check out what I ate Yesterday DUDE(pardon the 80s vocab)." Maybe the PALEOs should focus on addressing things that can reach the most amount of people and orient their voting in this direction: ie. greatest good for the greatest number.

340 · May 17, 2011 5:53 PM

Good point, Jack, and agree need to upvote substantial questions.

Still, good to upvote fun stuff, since it draws eyeballs from latest Numa-Numa video, might bring people deeper into the scene.

3428 · March 22, 2011 2:17 PM

The way voting is being used combines several different things: if you think the question is relevant, often if you agree with the point of view that is being expressed or suggested, sometimes if you think the question is deep or kind of fun, or even very well written. Yes a question could be very deep and attract few votes, perhaps because it is too technically loaded, perhaps because it suggests a potential flaw with something that is agreed by the majority here. Anyway I think the same may happen with any voting system.

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