Improving the Voting procedure on Indivine

C. Suresh
C. Suresh
from Bangalore
6 years ago

There is no gainsaying the fact that there needs to be some procedure to find good posts among the sea of posts in Blogosphere. It is impossible for the organisers of any blogging platform to actually read all the posts that come in every day and categorize them, leave alone the endless acrimony that such necessarily subjective categorization can cause.

Voting for posts by bloggers does appear to offer an option of categorization of posts, at least on the basis of popularity. This option, however, has been thoroughly vitiated by the fact that it is possible to vote for a post without even waiting for the blog to open and has put in place a system of I-scratch-your-back-you-scratch-mine as far as voting is concerned. Personally, for me as a blogger, it has also made it impossible to find how many actually trouble to read my blog without exhaustive analysis of stats.

To be fair to Indiblogger, the system here is better than in other platforms where it is not even necessary to open the post before voting for it. I think, maybe, if Indi also introduced a time-lag between clicking 'View to Promote' and clicking 'Promote this post', it could help in reducing mindless promotions. I know that such a time-lag may well be too long for say Photo-blogs or Haiku but, hey, it may reduce your bounce rates and, who knows, the reader may use that time to comment :)

I had earlier given an alternative suggestion - to put up all posts of contest winners in a separate tab (in addition to Latest, Popular etc.) for a certain period, which could well act as an additional incentive for competing.

Would love to hear any suggestions in this regard. 

Replies 1 to 19 of 19 Descending
TF Carthick
TF Carthick
from Bangalore
6 years ago

I don't know if indiblogger can control and track what you do outside Indi. But probably what can be done is -  Indi can restrict that user can promote a post only once every 15 minutes. 

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
6 years ago

What I meant, TF, was that there is, say, a 1 minute time lag after you click 'View Post to Promote' and only then it changes to 'Promote This post'. And, if in the meantime the person clicks on another post, status gets re-set to 'View post to Promote'.

 

TF Carthick
from Bangalore
6 years ago

Good idea. But should make it at least 10 minutes. Or if we keep one minute, there should be restriction that a person can not promote more than 10 posts within an hour. I am sure nobody will read more than 10 posts within an hour.

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
6 years ago

I think 10 minutes may be too long, especially considering that another click anywhere else on Indi would revert the status to 'View Post to promote'.

The idea of limiting the number of promotions per hour certainly merits consideration.

TF Carthick
TF Carthick
from Bangalore
6 years ago

Giving special importance to contest posts may not be a great idea as you know better than anyone else how sponsors select winners. 

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
6 years ago

Quite agree TF that the criteria used by Sponsors to select winners may not be the same as the criteria readers use to select their best posts. Maybe, Indi could run contests - a la Writeup Cafe - periodically and the only prize being that the contest winners' posts shall be carried on that separate tag till the next contests results get declared. Maybe with a periodicity of 6 months?

TF Carthick
from Bangalore
6 years ago

The challenge of running talent contests is judges. Who will read so many posts and select the winners? Even companies doling out money are not willing to read all the posts. Who will read all the posts for free contests. Unless one of us volunteers to be judge for every week and gives top 10 posts.

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
6 years ago

Quite right, TF! Which is why I was trying to optimise on the time that is already being spent on judging contests.

This suggestion will require a lot more debate and may even prove unworkable. I only put that in to indicate that other suggestions could also come in on this thread.

Given that the basic idea is to have some means of highlighting good reads/views, Voting is but one option. Assuming that there are sufficient non-members who read on Indi, they could well be selecting posts on the criteria Indi chooses to highlight posts. So, any option that helps highlight good reads/views on a more credible basis is a welcome suggestion here.

DS
DS
from Mumbai
6 years ago
I love the idea of time lag. Tagged the Inditeam!
Abdullah Shaikh
Abdullah Shaikh
from Pune
6 years ago

Another suggestion for the tabs - it would be good to have tabs similar to IndiVine on 'Posts from my network' too with not just one page (limited entries) but multiple pages!

And +1 for the time-lag idea. It makes sense...

Not quite sure for the 'contest-winners' tab... they are already highlighted on the contest's page, so it would be kind of repetation.

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
6 years ago

I would love that multiple tabs/pages for 'Posts from my network' too. I think this was suggested on some other thread as well.

About the 'contest winners' suggestion, I was not suggesting that only the posts written for the contest get featured on that tab. My idea was that all posts from those contest winners (and, maybe, the other top contenders) get featured on that tab for a limited period of time. The basic assumption is that if they write well enough to win a contest, all their posts may be considered at least better than average. That assumption is debatable, of course, since the criteria used for selecting contest winners may vary from the criteria that readers use. The point was that Indi may be unable to read all posts and grade on quality so it might as well apply the results of the time spent on judging contests to also 'judge' blogs.

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
6 years ago

* all fresh posts

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
6 years ago

The thread link relating to 'posts-from-my network' is here. Hope i am not transgressing any rules against providing lnks on forum topics :)

http://www.indiblogger.in/forum/topic.php?id=12759

TF Carthick
TF Carthick
from Bangalore
6 years ago

Another suggestion is to keep the voters hidden. That way there will be no back scratching because the person getting votes will not know who vote for him and so can not vote back. 

Because whatever system you device, I will anyway vote for any post I read if I find the post to be completely useless because having wasted time on the post, I could at least get a vote back by voting for him/her. If the voters ids are hidden, then that incentive will be taken away.

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
6 years ago

That's a great suggestion, TF!

Animesh
from Mumbai
6 years ago

I agree with this suggestion. This will, I'm sure, add some value in the voting here.

indu chhibber
from Kota
6 years ago

A very good sugestion TF.Smile

Hi Suresh

Hiding the voters seems to be a good idea that will prevent voting without reading the post...

I am not sure if a time lag will help...Coz One clicks on View Post To promote, waits for Promote to appear while doing something else and then clicks...Ta Da!! I mean if the purpose of voting is purely to get back votes, this would definitely happen rt?

As someone else said, Genuine people who read the posts before promoting will keep on doing it irrespective of any procedure.

 

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
6 years ago

Yes, Jaish! But U hv to do that something outside Indi - if you click on anything within Indi, back it goes to "View to Promote"! And, if you have only a couple of hours to spend on it, it certainly limits the number of votes you can cast per day! As I have said when I started the thread, this is not supposed to be a fool-proof solution - only an improvement and the improvement will be to the extent of ensuring that fake votes get reduced.

I agree that hiding voters would be a great help! But that would also ensure that you do not ever know who liked your post -even genuinely, unless they also choose to comment. So, I am assuming that there may be counter-views on that if Indi chooses to go ahead with it.

Yes! Genuine people would read and promote - but then we are not trying to find solutions for them, are we? :)

Animesh
from Mumbai
6 years ago

Suresh, one can right click and select open in new window/tab option

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
6 years ago

There are always ways Ani! For example, you could all actions on the entire site for that 1 minute till 'Promote this post' appears on the tab. You can selectively disable right click for that 1 minute. You can revert status to "View to Promote" even on right click. After all, if the person is really reading the other post, he needs be performing no action on the Indi site.

Even assuming none of this can be done, there is time lost in the opening of the new window/tab - unlike now where you can just click on the next button in the same view.

Like I said, the idea is not going to entirely do away with such fake votes. It is only going to restrict. I do not see the point in not doing anything because you cannot find an absolutely certain way of avoiding all fake voting.

If the idea of hiding voters can be implemented, I am fine with that. If that faces opposition, I'd like to see if at least this much can be done by implementing a time lag.

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
6 years ago

Correction : you could *disable* all actions :)

TF Carthick
from Bangalore
6 years ago

@Suresh - Knowing who liked your post creates an obligation to like back even if they write shit and eventually ends in back scratching. Isn;t it enough to know lot of people liked your post. As you said, people who want to make themselves known can always come and leave a comment.

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
6 years ago

I have no problems with having the votes hidden, TF! If that can be implemented, then it would be great and, certainly, far better than what a time lag could do.

I am only saying that if there is opposition on those grounds, I do not want us to merely revert to status quo. If there is a problem then at least implement a time lag.

Too often I have seen that people oppose the best possible solution and, as a consequence, any intent to improve the system is abandoned.

TF Carthick
TF Carthick
from Bangalore
6 years ago

One of the sites I was a member of had a story writing contest. They gave readers options to rate from 1 to 10. And the ratings given by readers was hidden, only aggregate ratings was considered. A short list of 15 was created based on the ratings and then judges judged from these 15 to select the top 3. Due to limited entries to go through judges gave comments for all entries. And any post getting ratings from less than 5 readers was not considered to avoid an entry winning just because of 1 or 2 friends giving top ratings. 

DS
DS
from Mumbai
6 years ago
When votes are hidden things become redundant after a point of time. People lose interest in voting and the system eventually dies. There was a site called Indli where I observed this. Also voting is hidden on Blogjunta and Writeupcafe I guess so no one votes... People just submit their entries and leave.
C. Suresh
from Bangalore
6 years ago

Mmm! That, probably, can be an issue! Could we think of the rating in addition to the votes? And a tab listing posts by rating?

And, as I said, if we find hiding votes or adding rating unworkable, maybe we can think of implementing the time-lag at least as a small measure of improvement.

TF Carthick
from Bangalore
6 years ago

Voting is not hidden in blogjunta and writeup cafe. You can see who voted. No one votes there because those sites are not popular. If voting happens only for backscratching, we can as well do away with the whole voting system.

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
6 years ago

Maybe the issue there is that posts are not being listed using the ratings/votes a la Indivine. If that is the reason why voting does not happen there, then hidden voting could well work on Indi while it does not work there.

TF Carthick
TF Carthick
from Bangalore
6 years ago

Ideal system would be where it is visible who voted but not what ratings they gave. Ratings to start becoming visible only after 5 people have voted for you so that you do not know who gave what rating.

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
6 years ago

We are now talking of a system where (a) People vote on a scale (1-10; 5 star, whatever!). (b) As and when someone votes, u get to know that they voted but not what rating they gave you (c) Average rating gets displayed after 5 people have voted and updated average rating is shown from there on. (d) Posts get listed on the basis of rating and not on number of people who voted. I hope I have got what you had in mind TF.

If votes become visible, we are right back at not knowing whether they were genuine :) So, I will again harp about time lag :) The moment we depart from hidden votes, we fall back into the morass of mindless promotion and the need for some measure to mitigate/curtail it. I'd hate to get a low rating from someone who did not bother to read my post more than I hate a vote which came my way without reading :)

DS
from Mumbai
6 years ago
Rating's can be dangerous too, people can give low rating so that their post gets bumped up. That is if who gave what rating is hidden. Time lag seems to be the best option to me at present.
Kappu
Kappu
from Chennai
5 years ago

Whoa Suresh, what has been gnawing at the back of my mind has been beautifully put to words by you. It is a i scratch your back and you mine situation only. I see some users who write nothing much but get a 100 over votes, as they mindlessly try to vote for a 100 others. 

People,

My worry is I get close to 10 likes a day but no one comments. Why is that they would take all the pain to read the whole post not even leave a comment - 'nice' 'good' 'hopeless shit' or anything AT ALL?? Why does the blogger only show a token of appreciation by promoting my post?? what good it does to me??? Similarly, there are beautiful posts which are not being given good recogonition, lovely fellow writers who get lost in the wave of voters. Hmm, yea so this is the problem yes, and I have no ideas to tie the bell for the cat - at least Suresh tried to offer one!

Lets do mindful criticism, thanks! :)

SanGee
SanGee
from Bangalore
5 years ago

Hi Folks, Indiblogger is a great place!

But for the contests put up here, I would have not been writing quite as often. Even if it is just some inane post for pleasing Kyra or some titbits for feeding the Dove, it is still an avenue to exercise some grey cells.

I also discovered some great bloggers through this site, some of whom I sincerely follow and enjoy... especially those who specialize in light hearted and satirical posts.

But of late I seem to be seeing only a set of familiar faces on the first page, day after day after day after day... Frankly, the home page is getting quite dull now. I just take quick look at the contests slider before moving out to other things on the net.

A couple of days ago I did glance through the top posts and found a couple of blogs that had been voted right to the top of the list... posts which did not seem to warrant so many votes.

So I spent a few minutes in clicking all the top 20 posts, just to see who has been voting for them. And as has been pointed out by all the folks in the previous comments, there are common faces there too. For example, one blogger had voted for 18 out of the top 20 posts... (I did not check beyond 20, but I am sure I would have found the same face in the voters list for most of the top 50 posts too.)

By the way, of the two posts that the blogger had not voted on, one was the blogger's own post :-) and one probably got missed out by accident… else it would have been 20/20!

Anyways, to cut the long story short, the voting system has clearly degenerated into an "I scratch your back and you mine situation". Top voted posts do not mean quality posts or great content... it probably just means that the blogger voted for every other post and got voted back as an obligation.

I know the suggestions below have already been posted in the previous comments... just summarizing them. Hoping that Renie & the Inditeam will take some action...

Option 1: Change the default settings for the first page to show latest posts first, users can choose to sort by ratings if they wish. (It is the other way round now.) Else great posts are getting buried deep down in the list.

Option 2: Ensure some time-gap between votes. Since it takes at least 10 minutes to read a post, the system can be tweaked to allow users to vote again only after a 10 minute interval from previous vote. (While short posts / Haiku / Photo posts may not require more than a couple of minutes, I don’t think they consist of more than 5% to 10% of the posts put up on Indivine... so it should not matter.)

* Enforcing a 10 minute interval between votes may also act as an incentive for Indibloggers to actually read the post they are voting for.

Option 3: Limit the number of votes per day. 10 votes? 15 votes? Setting such an upper limit will ensure blogger use their votes a little judiciously. If you are voting for every post you read, what is the point in voting at all? :-)

Option 4: Hide the voter's list. If bloggers can’t see who voted for them, they won’t feel obligated to vote back right? In any case, if they genuinely like a post, they will anyways vote for it. Right?

Also, for posts submitted for any particular contest, voting should be totally disabled. Even if in theory voting does not matter since it is not used for deciding the winner, as The Fool rightly pointed out in his comment above, the judges can probably get influenced by the fact that a particular post seems to be quite popular... since it got a lot of votes. OR the judges may be tempted to just read the top 20 or 30 posts (sorted by number of votes...)

TF Carthick
from Bangalore
5 years ago

Votes and previous contest results definitely do influence judges. In an activity that is important to business like campus recruitment, companies get influenced by other companies short lists. So in an activity like contest results, which is totally unimportant to companies in terms of business impact, they will be only too glad of any criteria that saves them the trouble of reading 300 entries. The companies would want more entries to ensure product promotions but lesser entries to read to select the winner. So any filtering criteria that helps eleminate a huge chunk of participants is only too welcome.

Richa Singh
Richa Singh
from Pune
5 years ago

Firstly i really must congratute suresh for bringing out a concern looming in my mind for a really long time...this activity of insanely giving people votes without judging their merit troubles those who are interested in reading actually. Without naming posts but a zillion times i find posts have over 100 votes and hardly any content worth.

this makes life a bit troublesome for someone like me whos trying to figure out how to reach to the good ones. Of cousre in process i do stumble in plenty, but still its a random process.

As for contests i can say from personal experience that this might not be compeltely true when i was selected as one of the winners for love marriage ya arrange marriage almost everyone who was selected had at least 100 or mroe votes while i had only 9!! so i sort of believe in the credibility of these contests.

TF Carthick
from Bangalore
5 years ago

I know you must be excited to have won. Congrats on the same. However one person's experience or even one single contest has no statsitical significance to come to any kind of conclusion.

Richa Singh
Richa Singh
from Pune
5 years ago

thats right thats right it is a perspective and i fully agree that we must not negate the effect of votes on judges or anything else for that matter..

Rahul
Rahul
from Kolkata
5 years ago

If I understand correctly, the issue is determining which are legitimate votes prompted by an actual liking for the content and which are the votes just done for....whatever... 

Keeping this in mind, I suggest forcing the voter to put a minimum 100 words justification why he/she is choosing to promote the post. So this justification serves a dual purpose of feedback on the post as well ensuring that a voter actually reads what the post is all about. Sure.People can scribble nonsense in that justification box, but anyone who browses through them will be able to make out what is a genuine justification and what is not. 

I think this is better than the time lag option. This proposed method will actually force the voters to read to at least get an idea of the post they are promoting. 

One thing is, this kind of measure might actually bring down the no. of votes drastically...coz any potential voter might be put off thinking it is too much work..But then again, maybe it is slightly better than the time lag option..

Prasad Np
Prasad Np
from Delhi / Gurgaon
5 years ago

I like these things as suggested by others

  • Ration on upper limit of votes per day this will make people use there vote wisely
  • Some system that till x no of days they can take  the forward but after which it expires. ( so if you can post 5 a day, and yesterday used only 3 you can take 2 forward for next 7 days before it expires.. not sure how complicated the programming part would be as i am totally zero in that)

But honestly I am not sure what the big fuss is all about. i do konw a lot of people vote without reading ( including yours truly is guilty as accused at times)... so I would  prefer a way that some kind of socail sharing button is used to share the post in your network. Because this way we will get more readers outside of the Indinetwork from people who may not be bloggers but would be our readers without any compulsion to vote back and that in my opinion will benefit the blogs more as you will get new readers outside of your current circle.

Kappu
Kappu
from Chennai
5 years ago

Option 3: Limit the number of votes per day. 10 votes? 15 votes? Setting such an upper limit will ensure blogger use their votes a little judiciously. If you are voting for every post you read, what is the point in voting at all? :-)

Wow, extremely sensible! :)

Renie Ravin
Renie Ravin
from Chennai
5 years ago

Update: we've throttled the voting - you can only vote for a certain number of posts in a certain period of time. Also, the homepage now shows the top posts from a 24 hour period, as opposed to 48. (These changes were implemented yesterday)

Leo
from Bengaluru
5 years ago

Renie, you are wanted on the thread immediately after this. SOS. Emergency. Etc. 

Renie Ravin
from Chennai
5 years ago

I'm here. Smile

Leo
from Bengaluru
5 years ago

Not here... on the blogs validated or not thread!!!!

Renie Ravin
from Chennai
5 years ago

Ah, I just ran through the concerns on that thread as well - all those profiles in question have been checked and dealt with accordingly. A few have been sent to the moderator to double-check.

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
5 years ago

Renie! How about the pagination of 'Posts from my Network' ?

Renie Ravin
from Chennai
5 years ago

Done! However, for the time-being, pagination is active for the first 100 posts only.

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
5 years ago

Thanks! 100 should be good enough!

Deepa Duraisamy
from Mumbai
5 years ago

Much needed change! Thank you Suresh for the initiative and IB for the implementation! Would it be communicated as to what the certain is in 'certain number of posts' and 'certain time period'?

Jay
Jay
from Mumbai
5 years ago

I think the method of Promoting the posts is quite good. In fact, IB should now start moving towards qualitative analysis of blogs and their posts. A look at the comments or the pageviews a blog is getting could also be considered for the IndiRank.

All these are suggestions which would finally serve the bloggers who painstakingly write each post and invest so much of time.Innocent

Cheers to all bloggers out there. Cool

Tomichan Matheikal
Tomichan Matheikal
from Kochi
5 years ago

Perhaps the change is for good.  It prevents people from voting without even reading the blog.  But a still more efficient system is required to identify really good posts...


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