Something Websites Need

You see this at Amazon when reading reviews — the ability to rate the review as useful or not.

Blog posts are followed by comments, and far too many of them are inane. We have nice tools for filtering spam, but what about just plain useless comments? If you want to say something useful, and there are already 200 some comments, it’s about impossible to READ them all to see if what you want to say has already been said.

So, what would be great is a tool that would let you, as a reader, rate comments. If a comment is voted inane enough times, it disappears into the “inane comments” pool that is expandable UNDER the area where you’d leave your comment.

Alas, that means reading inane comments in order to rate them.

Maybe you only NEED to rate the comment before yours, before you’re allowed to post. Or you only NEED to rate 25% of the comments, or something.

Maybe the algorithm gets complex — if somebody is rating too much stuff as inane, their votes count for less. But if they have voted for a lot of stuff, and are within a standard deviation of what other folks are voting for, then their comment gets some bonus protection from being voted inane.

The problem is that a liberal voicing themselves on a conservative board, for example, is a likely target for unfair inanity votes. How do you protect against that? Maybe “dissenting opinions” mark themselves as such, and get bonus protection, too.  “I’m gonna disagree here — please shield me.”

*sigh* It’s looking complex. Maybe websites don’t need it at all. Maybe we just need to ignore juvenile posting areas, like on YouTube, and enjoy the more mature communities we can find elsewhere.

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