Thread Rating System

Discussion in 'Message Board Help & Notices' started by Tom McIntyre, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
    Staff Member NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Ruby Member Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2000
    81,991
    1,414
    176
    Male
    retired SW dev
    Boston
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    We are currently trying out the vBulletin reputation system, which is intended to provide newcomers some guidance on which posters are more likely to give accurate and helpful information when they do not always agree on the answer.

    vBulletin also has a rating system for discussion threads to provide a visual indication of which threads are particularly good and which are not so good. The thread rating is about the entire discussion, not any particular post in the discussion.

    At the top of each thread display is drop-down window labeled Rate This Thread. You can pick one of 5 ratings from Excellent to Terrible. Once 20 votes have been cast on any given thread the reputation is displayed in the forum thread listing.

    The minimum number of votes is a parameter and I will change it to 5 temporarily so that users can experiment with the system. It will be changed back to 20 in a few days.
     
  2. FDelGreco

    FDelGreco Registered User
    NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Aug 28, 2000
    1,881
    52
    48
    Male
    Retired chemical engineer
    Novelty, OH
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Tom:

    Maybe this is a good place to promote an idea.

    If you subscribe to the AHS journal, you would see that there is always a section called, "For Your Further Reading." It summarizes interesting articles in other horological magazines (usually a paragraph or two on each article) with the reference so you can locate the entire article if you wish. I've attached a page from the September journal as an example. That page happens to summarize a number of interesting articles from HJ.

    I got to thinking that it might be beneficial if NAWCC did the same thing for highly interesting threads from the MB; in other words, summarize in one paragraph each thread that is particularly interesting or especially educational and put 6 - 10 of them in each issue of the C&W Bulletin or the MART, with reference to the original threads. There are advantages: It adds educational content; the summaries can create more interest and use of the MB; and registrations for the MB may allow NAWCC to collect more email addresses.

    Although I thought of the idea before I knew about the thread rating system, that system would simplify the selection process and might be an easy way to pick out the good ones.

    I would foresee each moderator checking out the highly rated threads in his area each month or so and summarizing each in a paragraph – with the appropriate reference – for submission to the Bulletin or MART.

    I can see the series called, "For Your Further eReading." I suppose these summaries could be added to the "Horologica" section of the C&W Bulletin instead of creating a new series, but I don't see this as exactly the same thing.

    Anyway, I had sent this idea to John Hubby, as he is listed as the “principal administrator” of the MB, whatever that means, with a copy to Diana De Lucca, the editor of the C&W Bulletin, back in December. Diana responded almost immediately and thought it was a terrific idea. John did not respond. Probably the wrong guy to ask.

    So…do any of the moderators who would have to do the work think this is an idea to pursue? Diana and her staff would edit the summaries, so those creating the summaries don’t have to make them look perfect.

    All comments welcome.

    Frank
     

    Attached Files:

  3. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
    NAWCC Member Deceased

    Nov 4, 2002
    40,850
    143
    63
    Male
    deceased
    Whitby, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Great idea, Frank. Although some threads that are real good may need to have some editing done to remove off topic responses, we could allow our membership to nominate "thread of the month" or "thread of the week", and perhaps make use of the "timely topics" area.
     
  4. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
    Staff Member NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Ruby Member Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2000
    81,991
    1,414
    176
    Male
    retired SW dev
    Boston
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Thanks for the input. I had hoped to implement Harold's version of the idea shortly after we released the vBulletin V4 software, but have never had the energy to do it.

    I am concerned about doing too much authoring on my own since I think that tends to put others off from doing their own authoring.

    Kent has done yeoman duty gathering knowledge and putting it in the Encyclopedia but we really do not have anyone yet who wants to be the journalist of the Message Board. All of these jobs are, of course, best if many hands are involved.
     
  5. FDelGreco

    FDelGreco Registered User
    NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Aug 28, 2000
    1,881
    52
    48
    Male
    Retired chemical engineer
    Novelty, OH
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Well, so much for my idea.

    It amazes me that the reputation rating thread is getting so many posts but an idea that would provide the reader with great whole threads – each giving him a range of responses and different techniques – is getting nothing.

    The problem with the reputation rating is that people with high reputations may give advice in areas in which they aren’t competent. The thread rating system can give readers an overall view on a subject from several “competent” people with differing opinions. And also as a difficult problem slowly develops to an ideal solution.

    Frank
     
  6. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
    Staff Member NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Ruby Member Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2000
    81,991
    1,414
    176
    Male
    retired SW dev
    Boston
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    If we could interest more people in actually rating theads, it would help.

    I could lower the minimum posts requirement to 1 and quite a few would show up with ratings. That might kick start things. I had thought that 5 ratings was a low enough hurdle but our people seem very focused on whatever their interests are.
     
  7. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    21,151
    718
    113
    Male
    Ne’er do well
    Here and there
    Country Flag:
    So, what are we actuallY discussing here, thread rating system, Frank's suggestion (for further reading), or Harold's suggestion (which may be the same as Frank's but actually seems to involve the not often used Timely Topics section)? They may have some relationship, the one with another, but are not exactly the same.

    One observation I have about thread rating. And correct me if I am wrong. The rated thread started in Practicing and Learning shows up with 4-5 yellow stars on the forum page. Searching for "awesome," (from the thread title), I found mention of that thread, but no stars showed up. If the stars do not show up in the search results, one would have no idea whether any particular thread had been rated good, bad or indifferent.Thus a newbie looking for info. on, say a Kienzle clock, would have to do a forum by forum search to get some idea of a thread's rated usefulness (if the rating does, in fact, reflect usefulness).

    Speaking of thread ratings, there is a category called "Average." What is one to make of that term? Seems kinda useless.
     
  8. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
    Staff Member NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Ruby Member Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2000
    81,991
    1,414
    176
    Male
    retired SW dev
    Boston
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    It would be good if the rating appeared in search results. I will need to talk with Anthony about that since I don't know how to do it.

    The starts are intended to represent a coarse spectrum, so average is midway between excellent and terrible. I would guess that no one would bother to give a rating of average, but there might be both an excellent and terrible on the same thread which would average to average.
     
  9. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
    Staff Member NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Ruby Member Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2000
    81,991
    1,414
    176
    Male
    retired SW dev
    Boston
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I have not solved the search issue but here is the current state of thread rating

    ratingvotesviewslastpostforumthread
    5.0029402009-11-28Just Practicing and LearningCheck Poll intrusion
    5.0021902013-03-25Message Board Problems/CommentsThread Rating System
    5.001508642013-03-16American Pocket WatchesIllinois private-labels
    5.001331002009-04-23American Pocket WatchesHamilton Watch Co. threads
    5.001310582010-11-17American Pocket WatchesIllinois Watch Co. threads
    5.001274042011-01-07American Pocket WatchesPast Pocket Watch threads
    5.001197042012-10-30American Pocket WatchesHamilton 992B (Beginning to End)
    5.00177312013-03-28European & Other Pocket WatchesWm Robinson
    5.00171242012-06-21Horological MiscNAWCC FY Budget & Dues Announcement‏
    5.00130162012-01-11Clock RepairButter bearing test and install
    5.00127042009-08-31Reverse Glass and Dial Painting.Restore a dial or leave it alone:???:
    5.00115622013-03-29Clock RepairRSM Regulator
    5.00115202012-08-09Just Practicing and LearningCreate a thread and copy the first post to a diffe...
    5.00114102013-03-27Message Board Problems/CommentsCan't press Enter to insert line breaks when typin...
    5.00110852013-03-24European & Other Pocket WatchesNeed Help Determining Authenticity of possible Rob...
    5.0017002012-04-30Clocks General.Identification of Ingraham Clock Please
    5.0016272013-03-27Electric HorologyMy First Standard Electric Master Clock - Now What...
    5.0015612012-05-15NAWCC BusinessNew Unrelated Advertising on MB?
    5.0014322012-10-31American Pocket WatchesWaltham Grade 15 signed PS Bartlett
    5.0013792013-01-13Watch RepairCan't Pull Out Crown (1923 Bunn Special 16s 21j)
    5.0013362005-11-08Horological Toolsunknown tools
    5.0011842013-03-23Wrist WatchesNeed an Elgin Crystal Part Number?
    5.0011842013-03-29Your Newest Watch AcquisitionGruen Curven or Curvex
    5.0011602011-09-19Message Board UpgradeStyle Choices
    5.0011182012-05-02What is this clock worth?New Haven 3-train
    4.5773372013-03-26Just Practicing and LearningAn awesome thread to test thread rating.
    4.0017582009-12-04Clocks General.The Next Generation to take up the baton.
    4.0015922008-09-25Watch Repairchronometer: how hard is it to snap one pivot and ...
    3.88835392013-03-30Message Board Problems/CommentsReputation System Discussion
    1.001122762011-10-05Reverse Glass and Dial Painting.Long-case clock dial-art and scripts
    1.00175752011-07-07Tower, Monumental, and Street Clocks of the WorldEn France
     
  10. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    21,151
    718
    113
    Male
    Ne’er do well
    Here and there
    Country Flag:
    This table doesn't tell much, but it does leave the impression that a midnight skulker has been sneaking around leaving single votes in the odd thread, some last active several years ago.
     
  11. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
    Staff Member NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Ruby Member Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2000
    81,991
    1,414
    176
    Male
    retired SW dev
    Boston
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    The votes were all entered in the last week. The Last Post date is when the most recent post was made. I don't have a good handle on when the thread was last read because that information is discarded when it is about a month old. I believe the software uses that for cache optimization.
     
  12. Kent

    Kent Registered User
    Gibbs Literary Award NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Silver Member

    Aug 26, 2000
    18,278
    1,466
    113
    Country Flag:
    I did a few, going back to some particularly informative threads and rating them. However, its almost a certainty that I didn't do it at midnight.
     
  13. MartyR

    MartyR Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    10,973
    273
    83
    UK
    Country Flag:
    Maybe you were sleep-posting, Kent?
     
  14. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
    Staff Member NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Ruby Member Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2000
    81,991
    1,414
    176
    Male
    retired SW dev
    Boston
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I finally got around to reading the FAQ on Thread Rating and saw that one can sort the forum display of thread by thread rating. The various sort factors are in a drop down at the bottom of the forum contents page. You can set up to display the page in several different orders.

    I am still thinking about getting it into search results.
     
  15. Thyme

    Thyme Banned

    Sep 18, 2006
    3,948
    2
    0
    metro NY area
    Now that democracy is the latest trend, it seems we are becoming obsessed with polls, ratings and popularity surveys. As seen on competitive television shows, you can now vote for your favorite contestant, or whatever... The fad is an offshoot of virtual empowerment and egalitarianism.

    I'm wondering what the validity of the ratings will be, considering that no thread is never really over unless it is locked. Since any thread is ongoing, of what value will ratings be if they are registered early in the thread as opposed to late in the life of the thread? Sometimes threads start out great and then deteriorate with irrelevancies or tangential bickering. What then? Do voters withdraw their approval?

    Can't people decide for themselves what is worthwhile anymore without constantly being influenced by what others might say? :confused:
     
  16. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
    Staff Member NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Ruby Member Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2000
    81,991
    1,414
    176
    Male
    retired SW dev
    Boston
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    The thread rating system allows readers to change their mind as time goes by and the thread changes. You can sort a forum by thread ratings, so the utility is that you can quickly look at the threads others think are worth reading.

    If, having read the thread, you disagree, you can give it a low rating to express your view.

    It is a lot of work to read every thread. Sometimes a thread with an unappealing title is actually quite interesting.

    As was mentioned earlier, a thread that contains many responses praising the thread appears to have content that it does not in fact have and the praise posts distract from the content posts that are there. If readers can be comfortable using the thread rating instead of posting their approval, the overall content is improved as well as flagging the thread as good.
     
  17. Thyme

    Thyme Banned

    Sep 18, 2006
    3,948
    2
    0
    metro NY area
    So do they get to vote more than once?

    I went to an estate sale last weekend, and upon leaving, someone just arriving called out to me "Anything good in there?" I replied, "You decide." With a house that has an abundance of trash and treasure, who could know what might interest him?

    I think it's a sad commentary on modern culture that people depend on others to direct their choices. I can see where this method might be useful for some applications (such as reviews containing commentary that are submitted on Epinions or Yelp, for example). But your thread rating system only indicates good or bad. It doesn't indicate what content might be good or bad in the thread. What happens when the content of a long thread might have one or two valuable ideas among a lot of other useless posts? The thread might garner a low rating, in which case it would be misleading.

    I really don't think newcomers (or anyone for that matter) come here to read every thread, or just the most popular threads. Newcomers probably 'subscribe' to threads that they initiate or that might describe their problem or interest. Regular participants subscribe to threads that they are participating in. The subscription feature helps people read what they want to read. So the thread rating system is just an unnecessary sop to those who are unable or unwilling to judge for themselves.
     
  18. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
    Staff Member NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Ruby Member Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2000
    81,991
    1,414
    176
    Male
    retired SW dev
    Boston
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I guess we have different views of people and how valuable their time is to them.

    If a member rates a thread 10 different times, the last rating he gives it is the one that is counted in displaying the stars. The presumption is that he has changed his mind, possibly due to changes in the thread content.
     
  19. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    40,812
    732
    113
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I think "rating" is opinion, the same as a post is opinion. In some cases it's not worth much, in others it is. Leave it for the reader to decide. It's not up to us to rate ideas or try to influence the gullible. I'm for leaving a good thing alone. If it ain't broke, don't fix it (please!)
     
  20. David S

    David S Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    7,169
    233
    63
    Male
    Professional Engineer - Retired
    Brockville, On Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Well from my perspective I would just like Tom to be able to finish his experiment, and then we can all give our feedback. I can't understand why there are so many people guessing and assuming. yah da yah da. I am still neutral.
     
  21. Thyme

    Thyme Banned

    Sep 18, 2006
    3,948
    2
    0
    metro NY area
    No one is stopping Tom. He will do it anyway, despite any commentary to the contrary. But everyone is permitted to comment in an open forum, including voicing questions and comments that may be negative or critical.

    So apparently you don't want to hear any feedback. "(Y)ah da yah da".

    This thread is appropriately located in the section titled "message board problems and comments". If you don't want to hear any adverse comments I suggest you use the "ignore" feature so you will not be disturbed by the discussion.

    BTW, if there were no feedback there would be no discussion... and that's not an open forum. :rolleyes:
     
  22. David S

    David S Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    7,169
    233
    63
    Male
    Professional Engineer - Retired
    Brockville, On Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:

    :whistle:
     

Share This Page