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Idea for improving this forum

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Hi all!

Whattaya say to this:

How about each post on each thread on the forums have a "thumbs up/thumbs down" or "how many out of five stars" click-on rating system?

Sort of like on youtube or yahooanswers where users can "rate" other contributers' content.

While I am reading folks' posts I am sometimes tempted to chime in on or "second" what they say, but frequently don't have anything urgent to add. I don't want to compose an entire post of my own just to say, "Yeah I agree with this guy." Even when folks do post such responses, the responses can become lost down the page among other posts and replies.

If I'm reading a post I find dubious it would be nice to see how most of the other readers react to that post. Sort of like a straw pull on each post.

Okay, lemmee have it. Whattaya think?

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Hmm... I can see what you are saying.

How about if you hover or right click your cursor over the thumbsups/stars then a little dialog box shows up showing who rated how?

Then you still get your quickie mood check on how people feel about the post and if you are interested then you can hover and see who rated how.

Each user could even select whether they want to see the amalgamated ratings or have them hidden.

Not trying to complicate my own suggestion, but it's a nice way to get info across in a neat little visual package. Anything to unclutter the internet, right?

Programming something like this couldn't be much more difficult than programming a hits counter or one of those little animated emoticons.

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This place is--primarily . . . my own posts are recent exceptions--more about the exchange of information than giving someone a thumbs-up because they say TGIF or something similar.

As for thumbs-down, I don't think anyone should have the right to criticize, or disagree with, another without the onus of explaining why.

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I have seen this work on other sites like the programming forums I visit. But with that it is always a problem and a solution and the correct solution can be identified in the reply (usually a line or two of code). The other type is where you count and say how many found a reply useful. I don't think that works that well here as this isn't always a one reply that answers all questions. I would more inclined to make a MVP status so you knew who you should listen to.

The veterans here try and discourage the members from giving out misleading information. If you are giving advice here that is incorrect... well... you will be corrected and it may not be nice! Besides you learn more having to wade through the replies.

Programming it isn't that hard (more than a hit counter though), but I can totally understand where Jim is coming from as we don't want members that are still learning giving weight to the wrong conclusions.

Michael Brown

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I definitely enjoy some of the hotter "debates" that flourish on the forums, but I'm always curious how many of our colleagues tend to agree with the various views. It's not a matter of criticizing or attacking someone; it's about illuminating how much controversy any particular view actually has. Written exchanges have a tendency of obscuring some of the nuance of discussion. Because this is the internet we lack many of the cues that are useful in non-verbal communication and its nice to restore some of those non verbal cues.

But, what can I say?

Thanks for the discussion about it!

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I read (almost) every post, every day. I trust several of the brethren in here, but given the vagaries of this biz, and the amount of stuff one has to know, there's no way to come up with a standardized review of any particular post.

And, I completely agree with Jim's opinion on the "no anonymous posts" thing.

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I see no need for a rating system for individual posts. One with any common sense can quickly begin to identify which participants' posts are worth reading. They're usually from the folks that fill out their profile, use their real name and regularly post facts that can be substantiated. The rest are usually an annoyance at first, then soon get ignored, get bored and get gone.

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I find that posters who post "Me too" or "I agree" are only posting that kind of post and are not adding any real information. Maybe it makes them feel like they are participating but they are not adding any value.

This is a forum. Often times the discussion is more valuable than the definitive answer. Knowing why the answer is the answer and why some HIs want to overlook the letter of the law are usually just as important or more important than the answer (42).

I have yet to see a post where if someone posted something out of line, someone with specific references did not post a correction rather quickly. Then the debate begins. Usually you can check the total number of posts and have an idea of who is blowing smoke up your skirt and who is knowledgeable.

Thumbs up and down have always seemed like a gimmick to me and I never use that function on other forums. The person providing the thumb may be a complete dufas and only serves to muddy the water.

I say [:-thumbd] on the thumbs up/down request.

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