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6 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)
6 years ago

Broken Passwords

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: The SiteBugs
I recently added the ability to change your password from the Settings page... However, I did it badly, and it ended up changing your password to whatever was in the 'new password' box, even if that box was blank.
Meaning that a few accounts now have blank passwords.

It seems that it was impossible to log in even if you knew that though, because the password box is automatically filled with the word 'password' if it's empty.

So, I've made it so that anyone who had a blank password due to this bug now has the number 0, just that one character, as their password.

If you can't log in with your old password, try using the number 0 in the password field. Then, once you've logged in, change your password.

About 22 people have had their passwords altered by this, so perhaps all of you should edit your password from the Settings page even if you're already logged in, just to be safe and sure.
Or you could just wait and see if your password doesn't work, in which case use the number 0.

I'm so sorry about this... It's annoying that I coded that so sloppily. It's fixed now, of course.
This is a good reason though why it's a good idea to only have a few people here at the moment...

(Now, will anyone even see this?)
6 years ago

I'm busy

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: The SiteExcuses
There's a lot that still needs doing on this new site, but I've made very little progress since it was released.

I've been busy working on a game that I've still yet to talk about, but which is almost done now, so that's good.

Anyway, I'm just writing this to say that I am aware of the things that need adding or fixing and I have still been reading posts and messages here, but the stress of releasing this site was rather draining, and for the moment I'm rather enjoying just not worrying too much about this place...

I'll probably get back to it in a few days.