[Zope-PTK] [Re: [Zope-PTK] PTK II]

Michael Bernstein webmaven@lvcm.com
Sat, 29 Jul 2000 10:34:21 -0700

Chris Withers wrote:
> "Dan L. Pierson" wrote:
> [snip]
> > Adding Slashdot level moderation and/or karma would
> > probably be a good test of Membership and Workflow configuration.
> > What do you think?
> Yup, yup, I guess you mean a 'voting moderation' system rather than the
> current rigid 'approved, not approved' Squishdot model?
> What's the karma bit about?

Ok, I guess a bit of background is needed for some of the
people in this discussion, so I'm going to probably give you
more than you (Chris) need, ignore the information that you
already know:

Squishdot is basically a *very* simplified copy of a site
called Slashdot. The appearance is almost an exact copy when
you have the rounded corners and drop shadows turned on.

As for the functionality, Slashdot has a fairly
sophisticated moderation system where logged in members get
'karma points' when their posts are moderated up, and lose
points when they're posts are moderated down. Members get
'moderation points' depending on a number of criteria, which
I won't go into here.

Users of the site can filter and sort the visible posts
according to how the posts are rated (on a linear scale)
from -1 to +5. This allows them to select their 'quality vs.
completeness of experience'.

Members with moderator points are not allowed to use them in
discussions that they participate in.

To avoid abuse of 'moderator status' (which is temporary
anyway, as you only get 5 points at a time, and unused
points go away after 3 days), Slashdot also has a
'meta-moderation' system, which can be used once a day by
any and all logged in members.

The 'meta-moderation' system presents ten random moderated
posts from the past week or so, along with how it was
moderated (duplicates are fine, as posts can be moderated by
more than one member, the score is cumulative), and the
member gets to rate *the moderation* as being 'fair',
'neutral', or 'unfair'.

This keeps members with 'moderator status' honest, as
members whose moderation of postings are rated unfair too
often are *much* less likely to receive 'moderator status'
in the future.

As you can see this is all a little complex, but it serves
as a rather efficient and self correcting system for
consensual and collaborative filtering of the content that
users contribute to the site, and is an example of what
Jakob Neilsen would call a 'reputation manager'
http://www.useit.com/alertbox/980208.html .

One last point: The reason that members would want to
accumulate 'karma' in the first place is because when your
karma is above a certain level your posts receive an
additional +1 rating (in addition to the normal +1 rating
just for being logged in. Anonymous postings are rated
initially at 0). This makes your posts more visible.

More information (as well as the historical evolution of
this system) can be found here:

I hope this helps,


P.S. If you're interested in how I think this system could
be further improved in it's implementation for Squishdot, I
have several ideas... :-)