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Posts relating to UFELTA:

5 years ago

Rating System Improvements (Again)

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: Features The SiteUFELTA
A while ago, I talked about making changes to the UFELTA system... but I haven't done yet because I've been busy with other things.
It's something that I want to have done before I make this version of the site properly public though.

I'm not satisfied with the system as it is. I mean, I like how it works, but the letters themselves are a problem. I usually don't know what to rate posts because none of the letters seem appropriate.

So I want to keep things generally the same, but to change only the letters and their meanings.

I'll repeat, since people in the chatroom and previous threads and such about this seemed to misinterpret for some reason, thinking that I wanted to add letters to the current ones, or use a different system entirely:

I only want to change the letters. So rather than being 'UFELTA', it could be 'ABOTS', or anything... With proper meanings for each letter, of course.

I don't yet know what the letters could be. I want them to be things that could apply easily to many posts, rather than being narrow and easily misused. Ideally, I'd want to find the criteria that people assess posts on in their minds anyway, so then they can use the rating system to show what their mind is doing without struggling to fit round pegs into square holes, or something like that.

I have some ideas at the moment, but all they are are ideas. I can't stress that enough. What I present here isn't a 'right, these are the new ones' sort of thing. Instead, it's 'here are some I came up with, but do you have any ideas? Then we can use find the most popular criteria through brainstorming'.

I repeat, since again, this seemed to be misunderstood before: I'm not presenting a set of decisions; only a set of vague, preliminary possibilities.

If people don't like them, then they can change. That's why I'm writing this rather than just implementing them.

Anyway, here are some letter ideas, not to add, but to make a whole new set, starting with a blank slate:

E - 'Emotionally stirring'.

I mentioned this one in the chatroom, and it seemed to be less clear to people than I though it would be.
Basically, we are emotional creatures, not robots, and we rate posts based on how we feel about them; we are not 'grading essays' as teachers or anything.
This rating would be a way of telling the poster 'your post made me experience positive emotions' - like posts that make you smile, which are 'touching' in some way, which amuse you, make you laugh; any positive emotional response - or 'your post made me experience negative emotions' - things like anger, frustration, fear, feeling upset, etc.

This really shouldn't take a whole lot of thought, but the exchange in the chatroom showed me how it can be overcomplicated.
Ratings should be a way of essentially telling the poster something without having to use words,
Keeping that in mind, this letter would be a way of saying things like 'your post made me smile/laugh/happy inside' or 'your post really frustrated me or made me mad or upset'.
Some posts may make you annoyed or happy, but you want to keep that to yourself. In that case, don't give a rating. It really is that simple.

This is obviously a very subjective thing, but a very valid one. You may write a very good post, which nevertheless angers people due to the views expressed in it. They'd be angered whether or not there was a rating for it; the rating would just allow us to see how people responded rather than not knowing. Or something.

I - 'Interesting'

This could be used instead of the 'thought-provoking' thing currently, with elements of 'useful' or 'engaging' too.
It's easier to use in more situations, and it's a word that people would naturally use to describe posts anyway.
Posts would be marked as 'interesting' if they were interesting to you. That's really all there is to it. It's just a way of compressing the message 'I found your post interesting' into a single click of a button.

The negative version could be used for posts that might now be 'Thoughtless' or 'Useless'; basically spam that doesn't contribute in any way.

A or T or G? 'Appreciate' or 'Thanks' or 'Gratitude'

This would be sort of like the basic Like/Dislike thing common to other sites and things. I don't know what letter to use though because I really want it to mean 'appreciate' rather than 'like', but A might be used for Agree/Disagree, if that continues to exist.

I might 'appreciate' bug reports even if I don't exactly 'like' them, because they make me aware of things, but also give me more work. I may not be 'emotionally stirred' by them, so that wouldn't fit; if anything I might be mildly annoyed, but marking them E- would be horrible and stupid.

Similarly, you might 'appreciate' receiving advice or criticism even if you don't 'like' it. It may even 'emotionally stir' you in a negative way, meaning you could give a E- and G+ (or whatever letter this may use).

It could also be used for what 'U' was meant for in the current system, to say 'thanks for solving my problem'.

Importantly, it would mean 'I personally appreciate this' rather than 'in an objective sense, this is a good post, and it may help someone'.

A negative for this could be given for things like unwanted advice, etc, but that might just be 'negatively emotionally stirring', so I don't know... Maybe the negative version of this letter could have a totally unrelated meaning, rather than being the 'opposite' of the positive.

L or F or P - Language/Length/Form/Presentation

These would all apply to the way the post is written rather than its content as such. Mainly they'd be used negatively, for posts with bad language, or which were tediously long, too brief, hard to understand, full of unnecessary fluff, etc. (A post like THIS one in the forum would certainly deserve a negative in this category!)

Again, though, the positive is difficult; it's harder to rate a post for 'good form' than it is for 'bad form'... So what I could do instead is see the different positives and negatives for each letter as unrelated 'slots'... So that, say, L+ could mean 'appreciate' while L- could mean 'bad form'...

But that's probably a bad idea.

A for Agree/Disagree

I may or may not keep this... It gives a way to show support, but the other ratings might be good enough for that anyway, so it may be unnecessary. I don't know. Not including it would mean I could use the A for something else.

Those are some of my ideas, and I want to stress that they are just ideas that you could pick apart, expand upon, dismiss, improve upon, or you could just come up with entirely new suggestions of your own. They are certainly not intentions or decisions.

So, that's that. Congratulations if you read this far. It's irritating writing about this at such length, since I've been getting rather annoyed at long posts lately...

Something that I really want to stress is that this rating system is less about 'this post is...' and more about 'I feel'...
So rather than things like 'I will rate this post up because it is a good post that will be useful to people', instead ratings should be more personal, like 'I will rate this up because I personally appreciate it; it helped /me/'.
You're not grading essays robotically. You're expressing your feelings towards the post and the person that posted it.

(I'm also tempted to add a 'Pretentious' rating which would be negative, and given to all the young people who put on an air of Being Intelligent And Deep And Philosophical without any actual depth to what they say... o_O)
5 years ago

Alternatives to UFELTA

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: Features The SiteUFELTA
I've been thinking at length about what to do with the rating system, and it might be worth giving it an overhaul.

I want to keep the general concept the same, but the actual letters could change, maybe. I mean, I thought of the UFELTA criteria fairly quickly one day and didn't really refine them very much, and now I find that they may not be the best way of rating a post's qualities.

I could do 'FLUTEGA', where 'G' is a gratitude rating as mentioned before, which basically just shows whether you thought the post was overall worthwhile or worthless. The FLUTE ratings would be a way of positively or negatively pointing out specific aspects of the post that you liked or disliked.

Or I could change the letters completely... One idea that I had was tying them to how the post made you feel, emotionally, with aspects like...

The post made you:

...for example. The problem there is that the negative emotions all seem fairly similar, and/or vague, even though they're not meant to be. There's a difference between a post that really angers you and one which you merely think is annoyingly lacking in worth.
Of course, better emotion categories could be devised that would work better than those. ('SLAT' sounds amusing though.)

If you have any ideas for what criteria posts could be judged on, which would apply more widely than the UFELTA ones, suggesting letters would be appreciated! Not as additional ones to what we have now, but entirely new sets of them.
5 years ago

UFELTA's U rating

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: Features The SiteUFELTA
I'm going to be updating this blog regularly, perhaps multiple times per day, making short posts on single thoughts rather than lengthy reports at the end of a week, so once a new post is added, it doesn't necessarily 'replace' the ones before it.

As such, it might be prudent to check the Blog page, and look at all the recent posts, to see if you miss any, or something.

Anyway, I've been noticing that the UFELTA system has mainly been used so far to give U ratings, many of which seem unnecessary to me, or 'undeserved'.

I mean, even if a post is lengthy and says a lot, that doesn't make it *useful* if all it does is express an opinion, such as how someone feels about the new site, in the case of recent comments.

'Useful' is meant to mean pragmatic usefulness, such as answering a question, solving a problem, or giving you some knowledge that you didn't have before. It could also be for reporting bugs; I'd rate posts as U+, for example, if they reported a bug in detail such that I was able to locate and fix it.

I myself have given U- ratings so far to posts that say essentially nothing, that seem like they were posted only for the sake of posting, but I wonder whether instead they could just be 'thoughtless'? I suppose this system will take some getting used to for us all.

I've been thinking that perhaps there could be an extra letter added, which basically means 'thanks', or 'I appreciate this post'? Basically a like/dislike button, which it seems at least some people are seeing the A rating as now, when it isn't.
"Agreeing" with a post isn't the same as liking it; the A rating was mainly added for the sake of arguments and debates to see how many are on each 'side' or something.

T for 'thanks' is already used for 'thought-provoking', so maybe G for 'gratitude' could be used?
This leads to ugly words though... I need for A, and perhaps G to be isolated from the rest at the end (would these G ratings count towards the orb or not?), meaning that things like 'UFELTAG' or 'UFELTGA' may be the only options... Or 'FLUTEGA', something like that?

Anyway, I'll need to think about it some more. Adding an extra letter won't be a trivial exercise.