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Thread: Thanks Ratio

  1. #1

    Default Thanks Ratio

    We all like Stats here right? I think it would be neat if there was a top 10 list or some other posting that was updated every month or so showing which members have the best thanks to post count ratio--as could be easily calculated from posts in our stats. I personally think this is the best measure of how good a poster is for the community, within the rules. It would be fun and encourage good behavior and rule following.

    Sorry if I should have posted in the sticky. Doesn't seem like there is a ton of traffic here so I thought this might be a better place to discuss this or similar ideas.

  2. #2
    Grumpy Old Man (PD host) able's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    London UK

    Default Re: Thanks Ratio

    We can show those stats any give second, we can also setup ladders and scoreboards, but we feel (and we as in we administrators) that it takes away from what PD is, you write to share an opinion, discuss a matter or share happiness or sadnress but not to get the best grade of the class or to be the best debater on the board, so we stay away from any and all types of score keeping, sorry

    So Long And Thanks For All The Fish.

    If you've done 6 impossible things today?
    Then why not have Breakfast at Milliways!

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Thanks Ratio

    Really? We don't try to see who is the best or most popular? So we don't have PD awards? We don't allow some longstanding posters to start their own post-game/commentary threads separate from "THE" postgame thread simply because they've earned some credo? Showing the "thanks" in itself is score keeping. Showing post counts is score keeping. I didn't say anything about making this a contest of who can be the best debater or doing anything connected to the content of the posts to see who is the "best." I think the quality of the board has gone down as of late. I don't think I'm in the minority in having that opinion. With thread after thread reminding people "well you can set a user to ignore," and we didn't have the need to point that out continually in the past. We all know that the ignore option is a bit silly anyway. You ignore people and threads stop making sense...then you have people quoting ignored users and you have to make that tough I reveal the post or not?

    Maybe a "Top Ten" is too much and too competitive and potentially another thing to divide the board or make people mad, I hear that. But if these stats are so readily available, why not put something like a thanks ratio under the post count? Or even simply a total tally of thanks? I would MUCH rather see that than a post count.....or an avatar...or a quote or a location or someones favorite teams (although I'm not rallying against any of those features, I only think THIS feature would be more helpful) Would posters be less likely to start "beef" with a poster who clearly brings many appreciated posts to the table? I think so. Also, if someone has 10k posts and 3 thanks...maybe that will make it abundantly clear WHO we should be putting on ignore.

    I'm sure policing the board is tough, and recently the rules have been "emphasized" but I still see threads full of borderline situations going unaddressed where posters are being repetitive, antagonistic, thread-jacking, name calling, opinion bashing, and simply starting fights. Everyone here is a fan of competition...we've all got some degree of competitive spirit as sports fans...I don't think there would be anything wrong with keeping score on politeness and positive contribution to the board under the rules, and the thanks is an imperfect but close way to measure that. Absolutely nothing about the board encourages polite behavior, coherent intelligent contribution, or discourages trolling, other than the threat of a ban or various degrees of wrist slapping. But you don't typically see posts that break the rules getting more than 1 or 2 thanks TOPS. But displaying the post count encourages every kind of post we DON'T like, and people take advantage so they can get above a 4 digit post count and be seen as someone who contributes enough that their opinion MUST mean something. Posters seem more entitled the more/longer they've abused the board. And we have so many intelligent basketball minds here! It's frustrating.

    And I'm not saying the mods do a terrible job at recognizing when a regular contributor should be cut some slack for toeing or stepping over the line, I think they do their best. But this kind of feature might make it easier for EVERYONE on the board to recognize when someone is here to start problems and when someone is generally a legitimate contributor but has gotten a bit over emotional, etc. I think it'd help the board police itself.

    For the posters who are so focused on getting in their two cents, and then ramming it down everyone's throat 15 times in a thread to raise their post count...maybe this would be a nice little disincentive. "Oh I see you have 5,000 posts but you're only thanked in 2% of them....or you only have 20 thanks in 8,000 posts." It would make it a lot easier to identify those who are quality members of the community but who post less. The people who maybe don't even feel the need to chime in with their two cents but consistently bring interesting and relevant articles, tweets, etc. to light. Why not implement something that rewards that behavior more than a post count that encourages verbal diarrhea and repetition of identical opinions and statements made by other posters?

    Quite frankly, I think the mods don't always have a lot to go on when they're deciding if they are going to reprimand a poster or remove a post. It seems to me that under the rules they could be doing it a lot more than they do. And I think that the posters who have high post counts, are highly vocal in EVERY thread, and who have signatures, avatars, etc (because their posts stand out) are more easily recognized as regular contributors on the board and they are given more leeway with what they can get away with. I don't blame the mods for's a natural reaction. But I think that causes a cycle where quality posters would rather lurk instead of get into the mud with the pigs. We have tons of great regulars but also several not so great regulars. We have people who clearly never read the threads but always have to chime in, even if what they're saying has been said 43 times verbatim. It's a bummer that because I don't take the time to waste bandwidth with a signature, avatar, and a "me too" post in every thread I read that I'm not allowed that same leeway. But I don't want to make this about me. I don't feel victimized (lately) but I know the community could be improved...and this idea or a tweak on it seems like an easy thing to at least try out.

    Your opinion is your opinion and I know this is your board and you'll do as you see fit. Respect that. But I do think that you've been a bit dismissive of what could be a helpful idea. Maybe a top 10 was a bad idea but to have some kind of thanks stat or tally shown by the post count would be nice. I'd love to hear what others think about this. Able I know we've butted heads in the past, and I have with Hicks too, but I'd still like to hear what you both think of my "revised" proposal as well as any other mods. I feel like I can't be alone in my sentiments here. Is there a way to summon Hicks? Would love his two cents even though dude probably doesn't like me. I haven't always been a model citizen here, and I'll admit that. And I got privately called out for it. But I very much love and appreciate the community and I'd like to improve it.

    Maybe posters could choose to display these stats INSTEAD of their post count, favorite teams, avatar, etc? If you're trying to reduce clutter, that would be an idea too.

    While I'm at it...showing how often someone GIVES thanks is helpful too. (I realize this is all on the profile pages...but that is so many clicks away). I for one have MUCH respect for posters who simply click "thanks" rather than quoting a long post and saying something along the lines of "Yeah me too!!!1!!" So many threads with 10 pages of posts have only 2 pages of content...

    Rant over. Soapbox dismount.

    Appreciate the consideration.
    Last edited by Lurkster; 02-22-2014 at 03:57 AM.

  5. #4
    Member Hicks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004

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    Default Re: Thanks Ratio

    Personally, I saw the forum awards (I don't think they even happened the last year or two?) as a bit of (mostly harmless) fun that carried over from the Indy Star forum days, but yes they were essentially a popularity contest.

    When the Thanks button was added however many years ago, it was meant as a way to simply show support of a post without having to actually reply with a 'yeah I agree with PosterX' response (usually quoting some long post to do it, as you say). The statistics side of it just didn't really matter in the spirit of why it was added, and when displayed (we tried it once early on) it actually did have (IIRC) score boards/leader boards those kinds of things built into the way they were displayed, now that I think about it, along with number of thanks given/received (don't recall if it had a ratio of posts/thanks or not; it might have).

    In my opinion, it won't be nearly as good for the board as you think that it would (I just don't see too many people treating the stats the way you did, and that leave it as a net-zero for the rest at best, or adding another layer of cliche around here at worst), so I feel like it should stay as it is. But I see why you would want it differently; I do.

    That having been said, there is a bit of stats left over in each person's profile page, under the 'About Me' tab. You can see total # of times they were thanked, as well as links to posts they thanked or posts where they were thanked. So there's that.

    As for enforcement of the rules, it's never going to be done in a way where everyone goes 'yep, they're doing it right!'. To you, we under-moderate. A month or two ago, there were cries of over-moderation. So there's no satisfying everyone with how that's handled, but with that having been said the overall goal is to make posting here be about sharing opinion, having conversation without being hostile, and showing at least some respect (preferably friendliness), while we (the admins) try to make a point when we feel we need to while at the same time not being too nit-picky, either. And yes, we do weigh reputation into that, in both directions. So it all adds up to a method that mostly works, but is admittedly flawed as well. If there's a perfect method, we'll do that. I doubt it exists, though.

    P.S. if it's as bad as you say with how people are treating one another right now, and you want to see a difference, consider rounding up some examples of who/what/where you're seeing it, bring it to our attention, and then we can review and discuss it to see if there's something we feel should be done. It won't get better if no one notices or says anything.

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