What's killing off "gameified" communities (yes I made a post of my tweets, suck it)





  • @blakeyrat said:

    "Moderation via copy/paste of condescending blurbs" is the WORST. It's destroyed all fun in Wikipedia, and working on StackOverflow now.

    Can anyone post an example of this?


  • sockdevs

    sure:

    @boomzilla said:

    Thanks for letting us know. We're looking into it.

    or is that not copy paste?

    :laughing: i kid, i kid.



  • @accalia said:

    or is that not copy paste?

    Not by me! It just...like...happens!



  • I saw one that prompted the tweets, but I'm at lunch now so no computer.


  • mod

    Easily.

    A bunch of users also have userscripts that put blurbs like that into the comments, but it's easiest to find closed questions where it gets moved to the close reason.



  • Thanks. Are those WTFs? Would it be better if they typed in "off topic" instead? Maybe the wikipedia examples are better?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    "Moderation via copy/paste of condescending blurbs" is the WORST. It's destroyed all fun in Wikipedia, and working on StackOverflow now.

    [citation needed]


  • mod

    As someone who participates significantly in a lot of the smaller SE sites, there's a lot of really stupid questions and answers that come around from new users. I don't blame people for wanting to copy and paste well-written, mild statements rather than try and customize moderation messages to each question. Moderation on smaller SEs seems to work well. I don't even touch SO with a ten-foot pole.



  • I think the correct term is "cite your shit".



  • @antiquarian said:

    [citation needed]

    I have a special rant for that one.


  • BINNED

    @blakeyrat said:

    I have a special rant for that one

    Well? Don't leave us hanging.


  • sockdevs

    indeed. we wish to bask in the radiant glow of your rant.

    /me gets out the SPF 50



  • I'm at work, fuck you.


  • sockdevs

    Pass, thanks. I don't know where he's been.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I'm at work, fuck you.

    3/10
    Short and to the point, but not much effort, and the low degree of difficulty cost Blakey points on that one.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Yamikuronue said:

    I don't even touch SO with a ten-foot pole.

    SO is all about industrial scale moderation, in order to deal with a significant fraction of the world's lazily-asked poorly-thought-out unresearched questions. The canned moderations/comments (which are actually generated by the review system) are just one of the more visible parts of that.

    I don't like 'em very much, but they've improved the standard of moderation and greatly reduced the backlog.



  • No, it's about people doing the bare minimum to get Forumpointzzz. Which is why any question that's even slightly complicated or takes any real thought goes unanswered, while any question that can even vaguely, potentially, be answered with "use JQuery!" has 46,324 answers.

    Because you don't get the big Forumpointzzz by taking your time and being thoughtful. You get them by answering 47 questions a minute with lazy bullshit.

    So while SO might have a problem with people asking lazy questions, the far, far bigger problem is with people asking thoughtful questions that never get answered.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    So while SO might have a problem with people asking lazy questions, the far, far bigger problem is with people asking thoughtful questions that never get answered.

    So try to answer your own questions. That's what I do with mine when a satisfactory answer isn't forthcoming. I'm very happy if someone comes up with a better answer, but I'd rather get an answer by my own effort than be stuck with nothing forever.



  • @dkf said:

    So try to answer your own questions.

    I don't have enough Forumpointzzz to answer my own questions. Or even comment on them. And if you put the answer in by editing the original question, you're in violation of the "rules", even though there's no other way to do it.

    I start a new StackOverflow account each time I start a new job, so I've never in my HISTORY of using the site, earned enough Forumpointzzz to answer my own question. (I'm also, BTW, like 1-for-5 on questions actually receiving useful answers.)

    There's also the whole, "if I could answer my own question, why the fuck would I be posting it here?" thing. The last one of these I experienced, I eventually gave up and just worked-around in a shitty, non-optimal way.

    (Which reminds me, there's HUGE, HUGE WTFs in WebAPI when dealing with multipart/form-data content. I should post those if I ever get enough free time.)



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I start a new StackOverflow account each time I start a new job, so I've never in my HISTORY of using the site, earned enough Forumpointzzz to answer my own question

    So... you don't have Forumpointzzz, so you can't get answers to your questions, so you can't keep your job, so you get a new job, so you don't have Forumpointzzz, so you can't get answers to your questions....



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I start a new StackOverflow account each time I start a new job, so I've never in my HISTORY of using the site, earned enough Forumpointzzz to answer my own question. (I'm also, BTW, like 1-for-5 on questions actually receiving useful answers.)

    Wut? That might explain the rep shortage -- is there a reason you don't ask to have your SO account pile consolidated?

    @blakeyrat said:

    So while SO might have a problem with people asking lazy questions, the far, far bigger problem is with people asking thoughtful questions that never get answered.

    And part of that is people not ever seeing the thoughtful questions for a long time because they get buried amidst the noise of the 47000 lazy questions. You have to hunt for the thoughtful questions, because many of them don't get a ton of views or upvotes.



  • @NedFodder said:

    So... you don't have Forumpointzzz, so you can't get answers to your questions, so you can't keep your job, so you get a new job, so you don't have Forumpointzzz, so you can't get answers to your questions....

    Correct.

    No, but seriously, it's usually because I'm either on the cutting-edge of something (like the WebSocket work I was doing back when it was so prototype that browsers only barely supported it, or the Firefox add-in I was making using their AddOns SDK, a.k.a. Jetpack, which was a huge mistake on my part because it's utterly broken shit) and I'm hoping to find the 3 people on Earth who have actually encountered the problem before.

    Or because I'm working on "weird" stuff (remember that topic on the old forum about needing to send a HTTP request on a BeforeUnload handler?) that few people have come across before.

    Sure I can get cheap and easy Forumpointzzz by posting dumb questions I already know the answers to, but I don't care enough.

    @tarunik said:

    Wut? That might explain the rep shortage -- is there a reason you don't ask to have your SO account pile consolidated?

    Is there a reason I should?

    Look, I keep my personal stuff separate from my work stuff. Similarly, I keep my work stuff separate from my other work stuff. I also create a new Skype account when I get a new job, a new Google account, etc. I honestly don't understand people who don't do that and let all their past co-workers mix-in with all their current shit.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Similarly, I keep my work stuff separate from my other work stuff.

    Well, that's your problem -- you're starting over from scratch often enough that it's keeping you from accumulating rep over time.

    It also sounds like you aren't going hunting for questions to answer -- there's a nice "Unanswered Questions" facility in SO (that can be filtered by tags!) that's handy for this.

    (I actually find myself answering a mix of C++ language-lawyering/compiler-behavior and low-level machine-weirdness questions...)


  • area_deu

    I think you're missing the point.
    blakeyrat wants to get rewarded for the things he'd normally do. Not for playing games, like answering questions he doesn't care about.



  • @aliceif said:

    blakeyrat wants to get rewarded for the things he'd normally do. Not for playing games, like answering questions he doesn't care about.

    You mean he's never come across a case where he reads someone else's question and goes "Hmm...that's interesting, maybe I should dig into it further?" Because that's what has motivated most of my SO answering so far...

    Also, it takes all of 15 rep to self-answer...which leaves me seriously scratching my head at how he's not getting practically any upvotes whatsoever


  • sockdevs

    @tarunik said:

    Also, it takes all of 15 rep to self-answer...which leaves me seriously scratching my head at how he's not getting practically any upvotes whatsoever

    it's not that hard to imagine... really it isn't.



  • Well, using jQuery, all you have to do is

    $(".blakeyrant").hide();
    

    or better yet, using raw JavaScript:

    window.close();

  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    Which is why any question that's even slightly complicated or takes any real thought goes unanswered, while any question that can even vaguely, potentially, be answered with "use JQuery!" has 46,324 answers.

    Assuming the question doesn't get closed as "not constructive".



  • Whatever's causing it - I can never find any answers on SO because I find myself wading through a dozen almost-but-not-quite-the-same questions with a dozen bizarre responses each. If I do find something useful, it'll be the third-ranked response, never the first.

    The answers you do find are almost always - "here's the answer to your homework problem!" - instead of "this is how to figure this out, and this resource or that resource will go into more depth."



  • I get it, but people are a materialistic bunch. Without some incentive to answer questions, you'd be looking at a site with nobody to answer. And e-peen, while a flawed concept, is arguably the easiest way to provide that incentive.

    I think SO is a horrible Q&A site, but it works well as a knowledge base of questions that actually did get the answers.



  • @ijij said:

    The answers you do find are almost always - "here's the answer to your homework problem!" - instead of "this is how to figure this out, and this resource or that resource will go into more depth."

    That's one thing that always bugged me about SO. Far too many people go directly to the answer instead of trying to figure out why the question is being asked in the first place. Or, if they do give the correct answer, never explaining how/why it works.

    Part of this is due to the Fastest Gun In The West problem. New users in particular have the tendency to try the first answer and if it works, they never look at anything else. Even if there's a better solution further down the list.


  • mod

    Compare:

    A simple, straightforward question from someone new to the ecosystem of node: 0 answers.

    A simple, straightforward question from someone new to panini cooking: 3 answers.

    A simple, straightforward question from someone new to Savage Worlds: an entire essay



  • @Yamikuronue said:

    Can I use a waffle iron as a Panini press?

    How about the other way round?

    Can I make something waffle-ishy with a Panini press?



  • @tarunik said:

    you're starting over from scratch often enough that it's keeping you from accumulating rep over time

    So? It's a Q&A site. I ask a question, I (in theory) get an answer. I give no shits for anything else.



  • @tarunik said:

    It also sounds like you aren't going hunting for questions to answer

    And I would do that... why? Just to get Forumpointzzz so I could use the site? Ridiculous.

    I'm already using the site as intended, it's not my fault that the site is basically broken for its intended use.



  • @tarunik said:

    Also, it takes all of 15 rep to self-answer...which leaves me seriously scratching my head at how he's not getting practically any upvotes whatsoever

    I don't think I've ever gotten above 10. But, again, I post difficult questions which nobody reads because they're always looking to score quick Forumpointzzz.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    And I would do that... why? Just to get Forumpointzzz so I could use the site? Ridiculous.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that questions some people want answered might not be questions you would answer for shits and giggles. But maybe you'd do it for the points.

    Then there would be less for clueless assholes to whine about in other corners of the web.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    I'm already using the site as I intended, it's not my fault that the site is basically broken for its my intended use.

    I don't like the site any more than you, but at least be honest and don't claim it's broken when it isn't.



  • If my success rate were higher than 20%, I might agree with you.



  • @antiquarian said:

    I don't like the site any more than you, but at least be honest and don't claim it's broken when it isn't.

    Well, yes, it is. I used to enjoy using it. I have 30k reputation (but had less when I left it; some of my answers are still accumulating upvotes). But I don't any more.

    For one thing it is now too busy for it's own good. The front page is always swamped in questions that I either know nothing about, questions that are too trivial and questions that were answered zillion times already.

    But the worse thing is that the moderation did indeed fail. Back before SO I was trained on various mailing lists to be passive-aggresive to people who didn't do their homework. A question that could be readily answered by reading the manual, searching the web or, if the complexity of the question warranted it reading the source, should have only ever received RTFM, STFW or RTFS (or some variation on the theme) as answer and answering with actual explanation was considered faux pas until the asker actually showed they read the relevant resources and pointed what specifically they didn't find there.

    But on SO this kind of questions gets quickly answered by other noobs who just happen to know it and are after forum pointzzz and then the noobs upvote each other and they get the forum pointzzz and then the forum pointzzz no longer identify the hackers and the moderation system stops working because the noobs create too much shitty content for the hackers to close and downvote and when they do it does not help because getting closed and downvoted does not hurt anyway.

    Perhaps if there was some penalty, or at least no reputation, for asking and answering questions that get closed it could help, but I am not really sure.



  • If they're going to gamify it, they need to tie the scoring system into the difficulty somehow. In a RPG, if you kill a giant rat, you get +5 exp, but if you kill Mongar the Black Dragon you get +50,000 exp. In StackOverflow, you get the same amount for answering, "just use jQuery!" as you do for a 40-paragraph explanation that required personally interviewing 4 of the original codebase's developers.

    Actually you get more for answering "just use jQuery!" because idiots who need answers like, "how do I put a event handler on a HTML field?" will always outnumber the people asking, "how do I write a custom widget for ObscureLibrary that allows multipart/form-data input but also makes use of the existing object serialization function, so as to avoid pointless code duplication?"



  • @blakeyrat said:

    If they're going to gamify it, they need to tie the scoring system into the difficulty somehow.

    I don't see how that could be possible with an automated process.



  • I don't have any solid proposals either. But there could be at least some slight recognition of the problem.



  • I've never been terribly active on SO, though I end up there a lot when searching for stuff, and it's often very helpful. But now that I'm thinking about it, wasn't that the point of the bounties? Are those still a thing?

    Obviously, you had to get some rep first, but I think that at least counts as an acknowledgement of the issue.



  • Bounties are a way to pay for more time on the front page so more people get to see the question and there is higher chance some of them may actually not be a noob and be able to actually provide useful answer.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I'm already using the site as intended, it's not my fault that the site is basically broken for its intended use.

    Wrong. The intended use of the site is to ask and answer questions. What would happen to SO if everyone treated it the way you do?

    @Bulb said:

    A question that could be readily answered by reading the manual, searching the web or, if the complexity of the question warranted it reading the source, should have only ever received RTFM, STFW or RTFS (or some variation on the theme) as answer and answering with actual explanation was considered faux pas until the asker actually showed they read the relevant resources and pointed what specifically they didn't find there.

    Works in some cases, but not for others -- being passive-aggressive to someone who's asking a simple DIY electrical question (yes, there is a diy.SE) that turns out to lead into a murky swamp in the National Electrical Code goes nowhere fast.

    @blakeyrat said:

    If they're going to gamify it, they need to tie the scoring system into the difficulty somehow. In a RPG, if you kill a giant rat, you get +5 exp, but if you kill Mongar the Black Dragon you get +50,000 exp. In StackOverflow, you get the same amount for answering, "just use jQuery!" as you do for a 40-paragraph explanation that required personally interviewing 4 of the original codebase's developers.

    Sadly, as Boomzilla explained already, question/answer difficulty isn't automatically measurable -- upvotes are supposed to correlate with it, but don't always do so. And sometimes a short answer is the hard one: I have personally seen SO questions where the correct answer is "this behavior is compiler bug 123456, here's why it's buggy" with a couple paragraphs of mostly-standard-quotations explaining what the bug is, or even self-answers that point at the bug (works well for clear rejects-invalid cases that have a MWE etal in the question).



  • @Bulb said:

    Bounties are a way to pay for more time on the front page so more people get to see the question and there is higher chance some of them may actually not be a noob and be able to actually provide useful answer.

    Right, which is pretty much what blakey was asking for, though not in those words. I mean, it's a way of the asker saying that the question is worth more to them and is difficult, so they're willing to pay.



  • And that's the point. There really isn't anything you can do to incentivize people to play fair and not try to game the system.

    I think it would be a good idea to separate the noobs into a different SE site - it worked for English SE, which spun off English Language Learners to keep banal questions separated from more exotic ones. But seeing how SO is the flagship community, it's not very likely - and would probably result in a mass exodus to the new site for quick rep.

    Aside from that, people will always go for the easy points above hard ones.



  • @boomzilla said:

    I've never been terribly active on SO, though I end up there a lot when searching for stuff, and it's often very helpful. But now that I'm thinking about it, wasn't that the point of the bounties? Are those still a thing?

    So I'd have to pay money to get my question answered? Pass.

    @boomzilla said:

    Obviously, you had to get some rep first, but I think that at least counts as an acknowledgement of the issue.

    They even lock-out paying them money with a reputation gate? Idiots.

    @tarunik said:

    Wrong. The intended use of the site is to ask and answer questions.

    Right. I want to ask. And other people who are not me want to answer. I don't see how what you typed has anything to do with what I typed.

    @tarunik said:

    What would happen to SO if everyone treated it the way you do?

    Couldn't possibly be more useless to me than it is now.

    @tarunik said:

    Sadly, as Boomzilla explained already, question/answer difficulty isn't automatically measurable

    I get that, but that doesn't make it not a problem. That just makes it a very difficult-to-solve problem.

    @Maciejasjmj said:

    And that's the point. There really isn't anything you can do to incentivize people to play fair and not try to game the system.

    Correct. Gameifying a site and adding Forumpointzzz practically guarantees that the only activity on the site will be earning Forumpointzzz. (Any other activity will be discouraged-- for example, look at all the reputation gates StackOverflow puts up to do very basic tasks, like writing a comment.)

    At least with Wikipedia the Forumpointzzz were kind of invisible and so people could pretend. But with SO they're right there on the fucking page, making it all ten times worse.

    Look at this goddamned mess of a forum. Some people who will remain unnamed but everybody knows who they are because they're fucking irritating as shit, talk about literally nothing except the little pointless baubles you can get from this stupid forum software. Half the threads are full of nothing but that.


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.