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Subject: Eliminate thumbs! (and other thumb related ideas) rss

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Re: Eliminate thumbs!
This thread is pure insanity !

Help us Tickman Fan !
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Re: Eliminate thumbs!
I'll give up my thumbs when you pry them off of my cold, dead hands.

I like the popularity contest aspect of it. It feels nice when a post that I think is clever gets a bunch of other thumbs.
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Re: Eliminate thumbs!
Mulligans wrote:
Help us Tickman Fan !


Have a thumb.

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Re: Eliminate thumbs!
Sometimes a thumb is just a thumb
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Re: Eliminate thumbs!
Orangemoose wrote:
Sometimes a thumb is just a thumb

On the Internet, nothing is what it at first appears to be.
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Re: Eliminate thumbs!
I don't like that we can only give out just one thumb. I have two thumbs but I can only thumb once. What gives? Who's with me on this?


Thanks Roger.
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Re: Eliminate thumbs!
tickmanfan wrote:
I don't like that we can only give out just one thumb. I have two thumbs but I can only thumb once. What gives? Who's with me on this?


Thanks Roger.


Why restrict us to thumbs? I've got eight more fingers in addition to thumbs. I think we should be able to give two thumbs, and up to eight fingers.
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Re: Eliminate thumbs!
frumpish wrote:
tickmanfan wrote:
I don't like that we can only give out just one thumb. I have two thumbs but I can only thumb once. What gives? Who's with me on this?


Thanks Roger.


Why restrict us to thumbs? I've got eight more fingers in addition to thumbs. I think we should be able to give two thumbs, and up to eight fingers.



What? You can't come up with an eleventh digit? That's two thumbs, eight fingers, and one "digit" up.
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Re: Eliminate thumbs!
hskrfn822 wrote:
frumpish wrote:
tickmanfan wrote:
I don't like that we can only give out just one thumb. I have two thumbs but I can only thumb once. What gives? Who's with me on this?


Thanks Roger.


Why restrict us to thumbs? I've got eight more fingers in addition to thumbs. I think we should be able to give two thumbs, and up to eight fingers.



What? You can't come up with an eleventh digit? That's two thumbs, eight fingers, and one "digit" up.


No need to stop there, I've got ten toes as well!
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Re: Eliminate thumbs!
sgosaric wrote:
I'm okay with thumbing threads and geeklists as a whole.
It's a way for more interesting content to find itself on the front page and be read.

Doesn't an ongoing discussion keep a thread on the front page?

Quote:
Now I'm against thumbing the posts themselves because it turns the discussion into a popularity contest
(the degree of this depends on the topic).

1) In the forums with no thumbs you have to defend what you say and you have to explain your approval of what other people said. That I believe develops the content of whatever the thread is about and makes the discussion better.

2) In forums with thumbs it's common to leave your comment as it is, because the response on it has less thumbs, meaning your wisdom is proven beyond doubt. It's fun, but not in the smartest of ways you can have a discussion.

3) In forums with thumbs trolling can be easily awarded. What? Yes, jokes with no connection to the topic and other types of smartassery. Of course these happen all the time, but I feel the thumbing system encourages it. This is actually what bothers me the most.

4) Thumbing encourages lurkers to remain lurkers while influencing
content. I'd prefer if people participated with a bit more dedication.

5) But should posts become unrewarded? Yes, I think they should. It's about developing discussion and rewards come from exchange you have with other people.

I agree with all this.
Much of the same can be said of forums that count how many posts members make. Some person who posts drivel all day long and ends up with 10,000 posts after a couple of years thinks his opinion is worth more when it really isn't.

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What about tipping posts?

I think the GeekGold system should be heavily revised. There is way too much garbage being uploaded, especially in terms of pictures, by people who only do it for the GG.
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Re: Eliminate thumbs!
russ wrote:
E.g. I have seen discussion groups about subjects that don't have as many objective methods of establish truth where nonetheless there is not a lot of joke/meme noise and the discussions stay on track. So it's not clear to me that having relatively objective "hard" subject matter is the primary factor here, instead of simply having an intentional policy.


I see policy as symptomatic and non-causal. This is a question of social norming, collective behaviour and the establishment of shared expectations which drive that norming and shared behaviour. It is culture. There are a lot of things which go to make a given group's culture, almost all of it intangible and indirect.

Why doesn't that poster of the hater's image instantly get several replies in the thread and by geekmail telling them (essentially) "Please don't do that" and "We don't do that sort of thing here." The answer is simple: That's not the culture of the BGG userbase. Why was the traditional and thoroughly established routine of handling inane freshmen homework posts in comp.arch (Usenet) to reply with thoroughly well thought and crafted replies which convincingly and helpfully misled the poor reader into ridiculously self-contradicting but seemingly plausible positions -- that were only clearly so ridiculous and thus resolvable if the reader actually did the work and gained the understanding required by the original homework assignment? Because that was the culture of that group at that time.

There are a lot of things which go into the establishment of a group's culture. Mostly a lot of little things. At my current $employer I'm pushing putting comfy couches and a big screen projection TV with a computer input (no TV tuner/cable) into one of the larger open spaces instead of a formal conference table and hard chairs. My goal is to create an informal meeting space for business meetings which encourages walk-ins and passer-by contributions, most especially for core/platform engineering (which the space is immediately beside). If this happens, I expect it to have a significant effect. What exactly will the effect be? I'm not sure, not exactly as the details depend heavily on many individual people's choices around participation and use, but I expect it will push the culture of the company in a direction I like.

BGG's thumbs are such an environmental encouragement. They don't dictate that BGG's culture will whatever, but they instantiate a set of rewards and encouragements such that BGG's userbase culture is likely to trend in certain directions.

Quote:
... which also seems arguably the most obvious factor by Occam's razor, i.e. "Why does forum X stay on track? Is it because of the presence or absence of thumbs, or of the specific subject matter being more objectively analyzable, or some other such indirect reason? Hmm, wait, maybe it's simply because Forum X has an explicitly stated policy goal of staying on track!" :)


I don't believe in the salutary effect of policies. They're cheap post-facto theatre and happen so long after and are so irrelevant to the situation they describe as to be silly. Behaviours like keeping a forum on topic happen because the users of that forum believe that they should, that staying on topic is The Right Thing, and that they have a personal obligation and desire to encourage that. This doesn't happen because they are told to. This happens because they want to, and that happens through social acculturation, norming, implicit and tacit expectation-setting etc.

But that doesn't mean that the culture of a group can't be watched and monitored and substantive deliberate efforts made to move it in desired directions.
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Re: Eliminate thumbs!
tickmanfan wrote:
I don't like that we can only give out just one thumb. I have two thumbs but I can only thumb once. What gives? Who's with me on this?


The green button clearly shows a left thumb. To thumb twice you need to convince the mods that you have two left thumbs. (Or enter the cheat code that enables the right-thumb button.)
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Re: Eliminate thumbs!
sgosaric wrote:
...

EvanMinn wrote:
Why assume the worst in other people when there is no evidence to support it?


That's what americans have been asking us europeans for ages.

Ok, honestly, when I'm confronted by US related internet jokes as a response to a sensible post, yes, I am assuming I'm interacting with a mob. Doesn't happen that often though. Any advice what to do, if it does? Ignore it? Ignore it after it gets the most thumbs of any posts on the thread. Ignore it as the aim of the thread is derailed?

Example:

I post a reasonable (meaning backed up with reasoning and arguments) critique of this or that gaming phenomenon. I don't say it's the universal truth, but it's my statement and am willing to debate it.
But what can I do when somebody posts "hater's gonna hate" pic?
It's not only a case trolling, but asking for a negative emotional response, without any arguments why or what' wrong with my reasoning (apart from aparently being "negative"). Not imagine this post gets 10x more thimbs that the original one, and you're alone against the mob. (Not a lot of people will thumb critical posts, they're not popular, but I think they're useful and necessary in the shiny happy BGG land to balance it a bit).
So what do you do?


That is dodging the point: that there is no evidence the motivation of the poster is thinking "I doing this because it will get thumbs and if there weren't a thumb system, I wouldn't do it" as opposed to "I am doing this because I think it is funny" without the thought of thumbs entering into it.

What you describe happens on EVERY forum I have ever participated in regardless of whether they have had a thumb system or not.

My question was not what to do about it, but why are you assuming what they are thinking? You are looking at the fact that it gets a lot of thumbs and trying to present that as evidence of motivation but fail to demonstrate causality.

If you really think that without thumbs, no one would post a meme they think is funny to your critique, you need to visit more forums because it happens even on forums without thumbs. You assume people are doing it for thumbs without any evidence to support it. Just showing an example where someone got a lot of thumbs is not evidence the thumbs are the motivation. You either need to show people explicitly saying they are only doing it for the thumbs (otherwise you are mind-reading) or show that most other forums without thumbs don't have this problem.
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Re: Eliminate thumbs!
EvanMinn wrote:
That is dodging the point: that there is no evidence the motivation of the poster is thinking "I doing this because it will get thumbs and if there weren't a thumb system, I wouldn't do it" as opposed to "I am doing this because I think it is funny" without the thought of thumbs entering into it.

I don't need evidence of personal guilt. It' what J C said two posts above: thumb system shapes certain groupthink (in this case empowers instantaneous emotial responses) and that groupthink allows such events as I described to happen.
EvanMinn wrote:
What you describe happens on EVERY forum I have ever participated in regardless of whether they have had a thumb system or not.


On forums I participated on, this would get a warning from the mods.
As I said: grouthink.
On related note: I think it would be wise given the current demographic of BGG that there would be international group of mods wathing over forums (1 US, 1 European, 1 Asian, maybe 1 south american)

EvanMinn wrote:
If you really think that without thumbs, no one would post a meme they think is funny to your critique, you need to visit more forums because it happens even on forums without thumbs. You assume people are doing it for thumbs without any evidence to support it. Just showing an example where someone got a lot of thumbs is not evidence the thumbs are the motivation. You either need to show people explicitly saying they are only doing it for the thumbs (otherwise you are mind-reading) or show that most other forums without thumbs don't have this problem.


I never said they're doing it for the thumbs, my attitude troughout this thread is: thumbing encourages this and this behaviour.

My main problem is not the sole idiot who violates what I consider to be normal code of conduct, but those chiming in: this is encouraging group irresponsibility. I can deal with a sole idiot or take it to the mods, I can't deal with a mob without a flamethrower and I don't feel like flaming all the time...

So to recap what we said on thumbing on this thread:
it encourages: emotional behaviour, groupthink, instant gratification
does not encourage: individual response, thoughtful comments (I claim it discourages them).

-------

Sigmund Freud: Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego wrote:
I will now let Le Bon speak for himself. He says: ‘The most striking peculiarity presented by a psychological group 2 is the following. Whoever be the individuals that compose it, however like or unlike be their mode of life, their occupations, their character, or their intelligence, the fact that they have been transformed into a group puts them in possession of a sort of collective mind which makes them feel, think, and act in a manner quite different from that in which each individual of them would feel, think, and act were he in a state of isolation. There are certain ideas and feelings which do not come into being, or do not transform themselves into acts except in the case of individuals forming a group.


‘The first is that the individual forming part of a group acquires, solely from numerical considerations, a sentiment of invincible power which allows him to yield to instincts which, had he been alone, he would perforce have kept under restraint. He will be the less disposed to check himself from the consideration that, a group being anonymous, and in consequence irresponsible, the sentiment of responsibility which always controls individuals disappears entirely.

Moreover, by the mere fact that he forms part of an organised group, a man descends several rungs in the ladder of civilisation. Isolated, he may be a cultivated individual; in a crowd, he is a barbarian—that is, a creature acting by instinct. He possesses the spontaneity, the violence, the ferocity, and also the enthusiasm and heroism of primitive beings.’

The most remarkable and also the most important result of the formation of a group is the ‘exaltation or intensification of emotion’ produced in every member of it (p. 24). In McDougall’s opinion men’s emotions are stirred in a group to a pitch that they seldom or never attain under other conditions; and it is a pleasurable experience for those who are concerned to surrender themselves so unreservedly to their passions and thus to become merged in the group and to lose the sense of the limits of their individuality.

The greater the number of people in whom the same emotion can be simultaneously observed, the stronger does this automatic compulsion grow. The individual loses his power of criticism, and lets himself slip into the same emotion.

http://www.bartleby.com/290/

It's an old text and I believe there's been since many others relating the specific nature of internet herding related to anonymity. My main problem with thumbs is that with anonymity within a group they offer empowerment to certain ideas with minimal risk or responsibility. Sure, you can check who thumbed a post, but mostly you only do that for your posts. Person who posted can be challenged, you can argument against them - what can you do about the mob who gave them thumbs, challenge them? How? If they would be posting stupid +1 post, you can at least take it to the mods.

Of course as we said, thumbs offer many interesting advantages, but I can't get over the impression 8which I believe to be correct) that they empower emotional responses over the rational ones, hence empowering a group over individual (individual is always less so, while in emotional discourse, which is why the advertisers are doing this for ages). So your claim that I didn't prove individual intent is aimed at the wrong problem, I don't have any beef with an individual, but when same individuals behave less individual within anonymity of a group.

I like the F:AT system a bit more, they don't have thumbs which show a number, but have "thank yous" which list people with their usernames. This I find better, as it still gives the benefit of thumbing, but with less anonymity. Of course, I'd prefer neither.

Just let us think about the thumbing from a different viewpoint. You see a post that angers you, you have 3 options:
a) thumb a post that agrees with you (takes 1 second)
b) write +1 to a post that agress with you (takes 5 seconds)
c) write a comment (takes from 30 seconds, to 2 or 5 minutes)
The only option from experience that helps you to chill and rethink your emotional response is option (c). Many times I've deleted such a post before posting, composed myself and didn't add to mass hysteria.
 
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Re: Eliminate thumbs!
I feel serious topics generally stay on topic and I ignore the ones that go off topic and I don't feel it happens nearly enough to create a need to reshape the groupthink that exists around here.

But hey, each can lobby the admins for what they want, and I've been convinced that eliminating thumbs may help shape BGG into something you would prefer. But this BGG you envision is not one I would prefer.

Cheers and thumb on!
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Re: Eliminate thumbs!
sgosaric wrote:
EvanMinn wrote:
That is dodging the point: that there is no evidence the motivation of the poster is thinking "I doing this because it will get thumbs and if there weren't a thumb system, I wouldn't do it" as opposed to "I am doing this because I think it is funny" without the thought of thumbs entering into it.

I don't need evidence of personal guilt. It' what J C said two posts above: thumb system shapes certain groupthink (in this case empowers instantaneous emotial responses) and that groupthink allows such events as I described to happen.
...


Seriously? 'I don't need evidence because someone else offers an unsubstansiated hypothesis of how it could work in some cases.'?

I haven't read that Freud but I have read the Madness of Crowds and I doubt Freud was saying 'it always works like this' but 'it sometimes works like this'.

You can say 'I don't need evidence' all you want but all one needs do is look at the notorious 4chan forums to see that even without thumbs, people exhibit that kind of behavior. It has always been like that even going back to Usenet's heydey or even farther to BBSs. Same thing went on then.

Obviously, a thumb/like systems' encouragement is NOT the cause no matter how many people assume it or come up with reasonable sounding hypotheses.

The empirical evidence shows the prevalance of 'haters gonna hate' type posts is not dependent on whether there is a thumb/like system but on whether there are moderators that allow it. People will do it whether encouraged by thumbs or not as along as it is allowed simply because that's the nature of forums and people.

I roll my eyes at the 'without thumbs, people would offer more thoughtful responses!' premise because I have been on online forums since long before the consumer internet was available and long, long before there were thumb/like systems and it has always been like this and always will be.

The only thing that cuts down on it is heavy moderation. Thumbs, no thumbs, likes, no likes, that's not what matters but whether the moderators allow it or not.

That's what the evidence shows.
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Re: Eliminate thumbs!
EvanMinn wrote:
Thumbs, no thumbs, likes, no likes, that's not what matters but whether the moderators allow it or not.


Right, but the moderators don't have to be official or appointed or backed by corporate policy. They can be the members of the forum acting in concert with the mores of the group to which they have normalised. And yes, I've seen this many a time on mailing lists, Usenet, BBSes, etc given the presence of enough coherent strong alpha personalities to set the initial core.
 
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Re: Eliminate thumbs!
clearclaw wrote:
Right, but the moderators don't have to be official or appointed or backed by corporate policy. They can be the members of the forum acting in concert with the mores of the group to which they have normalised.

Yes, that's how SE works. In addition to the small number of official moderators, high-reputation users are effectively community-appointed moderators, with powers based on the ranking the community has given them.
 
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Re: Eliminate thumbs!
EvanMinn wrote:
sgosaric wrote:
EvanMinn wrote:
That is dodging the point: that there is no evidence the motivation of the poster is thinking "I doing this because it will get thumbs and if there weren't a thumb system, I wouldn't do it"

I don't need evidence of personal guilt.


Seriously? 'I don't need evidence because someone else offers an unsubstansiated hypothesis of how it could work in some cases.'?


He didn't say that he didn't need any evidence at all. He said he didn't need evidence of personal guilt.

Quote:
Obviously, a thumb/like systems' encouragement is NOT the cause no matter how many people assume it or come up with reasonable sounding hypotheses.


You're right. It's NOT the cause. Nobody is saying it's the cause. NOTHING is the cause. There is only a sum of contributing factors, of which thumbs are but one. But they're the one we're talking about here.
 
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russ wrote:
Sort of the anti-RSP - a strictly moderated "purely serious talk about games" type forum. I wonder if it would be popular or wither away.


If this site was about a serious topic to begin with I think it would actually work, but don't we all play games to have fun??
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Aenea wrote:
russ wrote:
Sort of the anti-RSP - a strictly moderated "purely serious talk about games" type forum. I wonder if it would be popular or wither away.


If this site was about a serious topic to begin with I think it would actually work, but don't we all play games to have fun??

Having fun doing something and being serious about something are not mutually exclusive. (Contrary to surprisingly (to me) popular opinion.)

E.g. if I recall, you are a programmer, and I believe you have fun programming, and I suppose you also sometimes talk seriously about programming and seriously study it.

(If I'm misremembering, and you're not actually a programmer, then substitute some other person into that example.)

If you're thinking, "Yeah, but programming is different", then let's look specifically at games: as you know, there are plenty of people who have fun playing certain games and also seriously study them to improve their playing skills (e.g. chess, go, shogi to name some classic examples), or who seriously study game design, for example.
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russ wrote:
Aenea wrote:
russ wrote:
Sort of the anti-RSP - a strictly moderated "purely serious talk about games" type forum. I wonder if it would be popular or wither away.


If this site was about a serious topic to begin with I think it would actually work, but don't we all play games to have fun??

Having fun doing something and being serious about something are not mutually exclusive. (Contrary to surprisingly (to me) popular opinion.)

E.g. if I recall, you are a programmer, and I believe you have fun programming, and I suppose you also sometimes talk seriously about programming and seriously study it.

(If I'm misremembering, and you're not actually a programmer, then substitute some other person into that example.)

If you're thinking, "Yeah, but programming is different", then let's look specifically at games: as you know, there are plenty of people who have fun playing certain games and also seriously study them to improve their playing skills (e.g. chess, go, shogi to name some classic examples), or who seriously study game design, for example.


Yeah, well, programming is different!

Seriously, I do think it is, I also see your point, but even though programming can be fun for me and many others, for a lot of people a lot of the time it is their work and thus a serious business, so having many comedic comments in a serious thread about coding seems way more off-topic than it is here, on a site about a hobby that is supposed to be all about being social and having fun!

Granted, there are serious topics even here, but if you check out the Game Design forum or the DIY forum there is a lot less comedic content around!

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Part of the problem is the unique perspective we each bring to the argument. Everyone has different things they use the site for and different expectations of the site and the site's users. Some come for the serious articles, some just lurk and perhaps participate in the auctions and marketplace, others just hang out and crack jokes with friends. It's really easy to be unintentionally inconsiderate when projecting our own expectations upon others. Generally speaking, it's easier for each user to take this into consideration and adapt to the fluidity, making whatever adjustments and consolations necessary to maintain our sanity in as civil a way as possible.

While I personally find the thumb system kind of silly at best, and downright disruptive at worst, I wouldn't even think of suggesting that a feature others enjoy should be removed. Well...I've done just that with RSP, but I swallowed my pride and apologized for my hypocrisy. While there are aspects of BGG I can't stand, I don't particularly like it when others disrespect me by suggesting my own likes, norms and values are inferior to theirs, so I shouldn't be so quick to criticize others. In the end, thumbs are a relatively insignificant thing on the site. They very well may shape and mold many things on the site, for better or for worse, but I'm trying to have enough humility to coexist with everyone else on the site and the preferences and opinions of my fellow users are just as important as mine. As a result, I usually just ignore the facets of BGG I don't like. It's just so much easier than getting all worked up and irrational, only to end up making so many logical fallacies.

ymmv
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jasonwocky wrote:
EvanMinn wrote:
sgosaric wrote:
EvanMinn wrote:
That is dodging the point: that there is no evidence the motivation of the poster is thinking "I doing this because it will get thumbs and if there weren't a thumb system, I wouldn't do it"

I don't need evidence of personal guilt.


Seriously? 'I don't need evidence because someone else offers an unsubstansiated hypothesis of how it could work in some cases.'?


He didn't say that he didn't need any evidence at all. He said he didn't need evidence of personal guilt.

Quote:
Obviously, a thumb/like systems' encouragement is NOT the cause no matter how many people assume it or come up with reasonable sounding hypotheses.


You're right. It's NOT the cause. Nobody is saying it's the cause. NOTHING is the cause. There is only a sum of contributing factors, of which thumbs are but one. But they're the one we're talking about here.


But that's just it: there is not even any evidence that it is a even a contributing factor. Some sites without thumbs have that happen even MORE of those types of posts.

Just a single example (and I could come up with literally hundreds more), look at this thread on Gizmodo - a site that has no thumb system:

http://gizmodo.com/5902109/please-dont-live+tweet-your-12-ho... (click All so you can see the comments)

It has exactly the kind of posts that the OP complains about.

So the evidence is:

Sites with a thumb system have plenty of posts of the 'haters gonna hate' type posts.

Sites without a thumb system have plenty of posts of the 'haters gonna hate' type posts.

And as far as I can tell, they are no more prevalent on one type of forum than the other so the evidence seems to show they are not even a contributing factor.

The point is blaming blaming the thumb system is misreading what causes those types of posts. The evidence shows thumbs or no thumbs has absolutely nothing to do with those types of posts - even as a contributing factor. There is not a single shred of evidence to support the premise that thumbs affect the number of those types of posts and plenty of evidence they are completely irrelevant.

If you want to reduce those types of posts, going after the thumb system is completely misguided. It is moderators that affect the level of those types of posts, not thumbs so it is completely pointless crusade.
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