Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Announcing Post Voting

I'm proud to announce that KingSolomonsLodge.org now supports post voting. You can vote on your favorite posts, and vote down any posts you feel are counter-productive to the aggregator.

This data is saved even after the post scrolls off the bottom of the feed, so in the future, I may implement "all time highest ranked articles" or "best article in the last 30 days" or other things like that. This will allow us to help the creme of the crop rise to the top so that new users will find the best Masonic content possible.

Now, go vote!

P.S. You ARE allowed to vote your own posts. Please do so to help indicate when you feel you've written something particularly snazzy. #

10 comments:

M.M.M. From the North Eastern Corner said...

Hey Jeff,
I know this is a little nit picky but could the the thumbs up and down be switched. The first thing you see after every post is the thumbs down, even if it has a plus rating the thumbs down dominates your eye. Just a Thought.
MMM

Jeff said...

MMM,

I have faded out the unvoted ones a bit now. Try refreshing the page and tell me what you think of that. As for switching them, I am hesitant to do so, because Digg has theirs in this order, i.e. "+8 diggs (down) (up)" or "-3 diggs (down) (up)" and they are like the god of user voted content. I need to find some pretty good reasons to diverge from something so well established. On top of that, those who have already been voting could get confused if I change them.

I am up for changing the look of the thumbs if we can think of something that would make them more appealing.

M.M.M. From the North Eastern Corner said...

How about something a little more masonic like black ball(cube) and white ball? That would be cool.

Justa Mason said...

Maybe Jeff can explain to me the reason for the voting.

My only concern is someone will put a lot of effort into a post, only to have a bunch of brothers knee-jerkedly vote against it and thus insult him.

And that doesn’t take into account the remote possibility of anti-Masons coming here and playing games by voting against everything.

I’m not against the idea but just concerned a bit.

Justa Mason

Jeff said...

Justa,

The voting will help me to accomplish various things in the future, for example, develop a list of all-time favorite posts, so that the best Masonic writing stays readily available.

Remember, a single -1 vote isn't much of an indicator. If you see a post voted down unfairly, vote it up! That's what I do. (Yes, I vote too!) If it is getting a significant negative vote, that probably means the crowd here doesn't care for the subject matter. This should not be taken as an insult to the blogger, but as guidance to help the writer fine tune their presentation in the future -- if they want to! It's up to them, and being controversial is sometimes fun.

Also, rest assured that the Anti-Masons won't be a problem. A user must be registered (and pass the captcha test), and verify their email address before they are eligible to vote. Each user gets 1 vote per post. If a user is irresponsible (i.e. voting down every post without consideration, signing up for multiple accounts, etc.) I can simply delete the user, and guess what: All their votes will be deleted along with it.

I personally view a "thumbs down" vote as a way to push off-topic content out of the way, and it seems that some of the other users have been treating it this way as well. Others have been using it to vote down content they personally disagree with. I personally have tended to vote a "thumbs up" for one of two reasons only: 1) I see the post was voted down unfairly. 2) I recognize the post as particularly excellent Masonic material.

I will continue to fine-tune the system as we move forward. Who knows, the thumbs-up may eventually turn into a "star ranking," so that we can rate posts in a more detailed way than just good or bad.

bobbydale said...

Great idea - thanks for putting so much work into kingsolomonslodge.org.

The Millennial Freemason said...

Jeff,
Thank you for adding this feature. I have been pushing our brothers to be more internet savvy on my blog. I don't mean that we need to know programming (which I don't) but it is essential that we know the mechanics of user generated content. I want to applaud your efforts and I also want to thank you again for the creation of the fantastic King Solomon aggregator.
Nick J "The Millennial Freemason"

grailquest said...

How about keeping both ups and downs? (As UrbanDictionary)

(Also, OT: I am having some problems accessing posts from Bailey's Buddy directly.)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,

I have a question (see below) but first I want to thank you for both your aggregator site, and the voting feature. kingsolomonslodge.org has become indispensable for me, and is simply a wonderful masonic resource.

Now for my question:
I notice that in order to post a comment here, one has several 'identity' options, e.g.
- Google/Blogger
- OpenID
- Name/URL
- Anonymous

On the other hand, it seems that in order to vote an article up or down, one's identity options are more limited, e.g.
- Google account

So my first question is to confirm if a Google account is the only method of acceptable identification required in order to vote. If yes, here's my second question: I wonder if it would be possible, and if you would/could consider, implementing an option for 'OpenID' identification in this context?

More generally, I confess that I have always had quite a high sensitivity to (internet) privacy issues, and I am still reluctant to register with web sites run by rather large American corporations such as Google, particularly with the likes of recent legislation such as the so-called 'Patriot' Act (yeah right) which makes it possible for personal information to be ordered given from corporations to assorted government agencies. This is just a hypothetical example of course ;-)

Anyway, I hope this doesn't sound too 'paranoid' for y'all; I suspect that most folks here have some degree of awareness of privacy issues, and how they are unfortunately under fire in this Internet day and age. For those who share my concerns, I think that the OpenID method would be a better compromise for both those who have privacy concerns, and also those who feel that anonymous voting would be abused, and therefore believe that some sort of registration process is needed.

Thanks for listening...

~ Vitruvius ~

Jeff said...

Vitruvius,

I think you got a bit confused. Let me explain. KingSolomonsLodge.org aggregates blogs from several blog systems (blogger, wordpress, movable type, yahoo 360, etc.) and is entirely agnostic to the type of blogging system being used. Each blog therefore has their own login options and policies for posting comments. I happen to use Google's blogger on this "Lodgical" blog. But KingSolomonsLodge.org has its own internal account system for voting, which is unrelated to any other system, and the data for it is held privately on my own server. Also, rest assured that your passwords are stored as encrypted hashes, not as plaintext. So, signing up for KingSolomonsLodge is the way to gain voting privilege, and requires no interaction with Google or any other large corporation at all.

I hope this answer satisfies your privacy expectations.