Facebook Likes

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Main Question or Discussion Point

Facebook "Likes"

So, facebook has ruined me.

Probably because I've been away from this forum so long, and definitely because I'm on facebook too much... But I've realized that when I go around reading various threads on here, I unconsciously try to "like" posts that I agree with. Someone explains a homework problem in a particularly approachable way, "like." Someone ruthlessly corrects a raving crackpot, "like." Someone responds to a post with the sort of funny, intellectual humor that can only be found on PF, "like."

Sometimes I just don't have anything to add to the conversation, but I just agree so much that I feel the need to make my agreement public. Of course, there's no such option on here, (and I'm not even implying there should be,) but it just goes to show how much facebook has infiltrated my thought process. Sometimes... even in real life, I want to "like" statements people make, and sometimes its almost sad that I can't. I suppose I could just spontaneously applaud after really awesome remarks, but it's not quite the same. Anyone else get the same urge?

Incidentally, I tried to search the forums to see if anyone else has had a similar issue. I found a lot of embarrassing old threads in which people didn't even know what facebook was! Back then it was also only for college students. My how times have changed...
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
phinds
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I DO now know what facebook is --- it's a high-tech IPO that lost a HUGE amount of money for everyone except the initial investors. What's to like?
 
  • #3
Pythagorean
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Yeah... they didn't go public until the money was made, really. No reason to invest in something like that. You have to invest in things before everybody knows it's a great idea that will catch on.
 
  • #4
russ_watters
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People have asked for this before. Not sure if the forum software can do that.
 
  • #5
658
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People have asked for this before. Not sure if the forum software can do that.
I'm not even saying I want to be able to do it. But it's become such a habit that it feels weird to be on the internet and not have the option. You know?

Besides, maybe the people on here are so brilliant and comfortable with their intelligence, they don't need the validation of a thousand likes to know that what they said was clever/funny/profound or whatever.
 
  • #6
dlgoff
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If there was a "like" button for the poster, I wouldn't use it. Instead, if I'm really impressed by the poster who has taken a lot of time helping another, I might send a PM expressing my feelings.
 
  • #7
Evo
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If there was a "like" button for the poster, I wouldn't use it. Instead, if I'm really impressed by the poster who has taken a lot of time helping another, I might send a PM expressing my feelings.
I think that means a lot more. Yahoo has an "ignorant comments" section at the end of news stories and has likes and dislikes. :rolleyes:

Resist Gale, resist!
 
  • #8
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I think that means a lot more. Yahoo has an "ignorant comments" section at the end of news stories and has likes and dislikes. :rolleyes:
Hahaha. I would NEVER want to see PF degraded to that... Ugh!

Resist Gale, resist!
I know, I know. Funny enough, I don't even "like" things on facebook much. But there's just this weird compulsion, especially here when I actually like so much, to "like" things. No one else suffers from this? Really??
 
  • #9
Ryan_m_b
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If you do a search in the feedback forums you can find many discussions on this. It would be bad for the site because a like feature is only good for judging the popularity of subjective statements. On a site dedicated to the teaching and discussion of objective subjects at best it is useless and at worse it would detract by giving pseudo-credibility to posts that are popular but may be wrong.
 
  • #10
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Great thread.
 
  • #11
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No one else suffers from this? Really??
I feel similarly, but not to the 'suffering' extent.
 
  • #12
Borek
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Have you seen a movie The Nines? Especially end of the second part?

In the past it happened to me on several occasion that computer games infiltrated my dreams. In some RTS games selected units have a frame over them, or just a bar, showing their health/power/whatever. When I was playing for living (which sometimes meant 30 hours non-stop, or even more with just a 2-3 hours sleep breaks) all people I was dealing with in my dreams had such bars/frames.
 
  • #13
658
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If you do a search in the feedback forums you can find many discussions on this. It would be bad for the site because a like feature is only good for judging the popularity of subjective statements. On a site dedicated to the teaching and discussion of objective subjects at best it is useless and at worse it would detract by giving pseudo-credibility to posts that are popular but may be wrong.
This actually reminds me of a discussion we were having in class the other day regarding whether science was democratic. Or if not, how science ought to interact with and relate to democracy. It brings into question how popularity affects science, positively or negatively.

Though my point was just that it's interesting that facebook has managed to create a mental habit in me of "liking" things, despite my dislike of "liking".
 
  • #14
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I'm not a member of facebook any more but still experience liking other's posts in some forums
That's good but here its different
You know,it just gives me a good feeling about here's people who just come and help you and only a thanks in your first post is OK for them.
Also when I help someone(which happens rarely,but I hope it increases)and there is no like,I feel good that its only the fact of helping people which is making you feel good
You know,I think PF has its own style :wink:
 
  • #15
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  • #16
Pythagorean
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If you do a search in the feedback forums you can find many discussions on this. It would be bad for the site because a like feature is only good for judging the popularity of subjective statements. On a site dedicated to the teaching and discussion of objective subjects at best it is useless and at worse it would detract by giving pseudo-credibility to posts that are popular but may be wrong.
Newer sites (such as the stack exchange sites) use upvoting/downvoting with thresholds so that, at first, only moderators have up/down vote privileges. A user that receives upvotes for a post will also get reputation. Once reputation reaches a certain threshold, the user gets up/down vote priveledges (sometimes not at the same threshold). Then once you reach another threshold, you start being able to vote on closing threads. And so on.

You can also increase/reduce the efficacy of a particular persons voting power (so, say mentors would have +3, science advisors +2, approved members +1). There's also algorithms to find out when people are petty downvoting or joy upvoting (based on the user instead of the content).

You could also (never seen this, but it's codable) build in a system that requires justification for downvotes so that you can see if there was a good basis for downvoting.
 
  • #17
Ryan_m_b
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Newer sites (such as the stack exchange sites) use upvoting/downvoting with thresholds so that, at first, only moderators have up/down vote privileges. A user that receives upvotes for a post will also get reputation. Once reputation reaches a certain threshold, the user gets up/down vote priveledges (sometimes not at the same threshold). Then once you reach another threshold, you start being able to vote on closing threads. And so on.

You can also increase/reduce the efficacy of a particular persons voting power (so, say mentors would have +3, science advisors +2, approved members +1). There's also algorithms to find out when people are petty downvoting or joy upvoting (based on the user instead of the content).

You could also (never seen this, but it's codable) build in a system that requires justification for downvotes so that you can see if there was a good basis for downvoting.
Sounds like a cool system but still not something I think PF would benefit from. Aside from the responsibility that would place on mentors there is still the question of subjectivity and a bigger issue is compartmentalisation. A member may earn reputation and privilages for their work in a technical forum and abuse that power by downvoting positions they disagree with in the politics forum. That would require even more work by moderators to ensure that votes were being given fairly and if we have to deal with votes from high rank members it all spirals out.

To add another dimension to this; I don't use other forums that much but often flick through some and one thing that always strikes me is how much better PF is for its simplicity. The colour scheme is good, font size/colour/type is standard, nameplates aren't cluttered, avatars and signatures aren't oversized etc etc. I think keeping the forum simple keeps it accessable and aesthetically pleasing.
 
  • #18
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To add another dimension to this; I don't use other forums that much but often flick through some and one thing that always strikes me is how much better PF is for its simplicity. The colour scheme is good, font size/colour/type is standard, nameplates aren't cluttered, avatars and signatures aren't oversized etc etc. I think keeping the forum simple keeps it accessable and aesthetically pleasing.
As a member,I'm strongly agreed with this one

Here the main thing is learning(and the mainer,learning physics :biggrin: )
This simplicity really makes us focus only on the subject at hand and that's really good
That down-rating/up-rating system seems nice but doesn't worth the price of that complication I think(Well,maybe I'm not that much a member here to see places where it is more useful)
 
  • #19
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Nothing better than writing a appreciating reply.
 
  • #20
Pythagorean
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Sounds like a cool system but still not something I think PF would benefit from. Aside from the responsibility that would place on mentors there is still the question of subjectivity and a bigger issue is compartmentalisation. A member may earn reputation and privilages for their work in a technical forum and abuse that power by downvoting positions they disagree with in the politics forum. That would require even more work by moderators to ensure that votes were being given fairly and if we have to deal with votes from high rank members it all spirals out.

To add another dimension to this; I don't use other forums that much but often flick through some and one thing that always strikes me is how much better PF is for its simplicity. The colour scheme is good, font size/colour/type is standard, nameplates aren't cluttered, avatars and signatures aren't oversized etc etc. I think keeping the forum simple keeps it accessable and aesthetically pleasing.
Well first, recognize, I only entertain the idea; I'm not seriously expecting change from physicsforums.

To the first point, I think it would reduce responsibility if it's carried out right (controversial threads would be flagged right away) and you certainly wouldn't employ the system in a politics subforums. Currently, post count doesn't increase in any of the GD forums, and for good reason. You would likely want to carry that exclusion over. Our current system of reputation is basically post count and badges, so the problem already exists that if mentors or science advisors make a questionable post, their badges already lend more perceived credit to them to unread readers. So that problem already exists, it's just implicit (which, I think, is more dangerous than explicit).

I don't know if you've played with your settings, but all the formatting issues are customizable. I personally use the defaults, so I know what you mean, but in a new coding process, most of the difference would not be noticeable (it could be a simple as little +/- in the corner of each post along with a number). So the aesthetics wouldn't have to change at all.
 
  • #21
cobalt124
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...how much better PF is for its simplicity. The colour scheme is good, font size/colour/type is standard, nameplates aren't cluttered, avatars and signatures aren't oversized etc etc. I think keeping the forum simple keeps it accessable and aesthetically pleasing.
Agreed (not "+1"). The lack of bells and whistles and likes and star ratings and the rest is a plus.
 
  • #22
Evo
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Newer sites (such as the stack exchange sites) use upvoting/downvoting with thresholds so that, at first, only moderators have up/down vote privileges. A user that receives upvotes for a post will also get reputation. Once reputation reaches a certain threshold, the user gets up/down vote priveledges (sometimes not at the same threshold). Then once you reach another threshold, you start being able to vote on closing threads. And so on.

You can also increase/reduce the efficacy of a particular persons voting power (so, say mentors would have +3, science advisors +2, approved members +1). There's also algorithms to find out when people are petty downvoting or joy upvoting (based on the user instead of the content).

You could also (never seen this, but it's codable) build in a system that requires justification for downvotes so that you can see if there was a good basis for downvoting.
All this would do is create a huge, uneccessary burden on the mentors to vote on every post. If we miss some really good posts by a member, is the rating system fair? There is no way with the volume of posts on this site that this could be practical or useful.

This is why we developed the SA and HH "medals". It allows us to recognize a member for their "overall" accuracy, attitude, willingness to help, and activity.
 
  • #23
Pythagorean
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All this would do is create a huge, uneccessary burden on the mentors to vote on every post. If we miss some really good posts by a member, is the rating system fair? There is no way with the volume of posts on this site that this could be practical or useful.

This is why we developed the SA and HH "medals". It allows us to recognize a member for their "overall" accuracy, attitude, willingness to help, and activity.
Every system has their strengths and weaknesses. I've actually found that the members govern themselves pretty well and appropriately flag troublesome posts. It's seldom that there's a bad post that gets upvoted, and when it does, a concerned member will generally flag it. If a good post doesn't get upvoted, that's fine (no loss!). This does happen sometimes because not enough people know enough about the information so they don't know how to vote. The post doesn't get lost to oblivion though, because it generally doesn't get down-votes either.

The weakness of poster medals is that they're binary and focus on the poster, rather than the content itself.
 
  • #24
Evo
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Every system has their strengths and weaknesses. I've actually found that the members govern themselves pretty well and appropriately flag troublesome posts. It's seldom that there's a bad post that gets upvoted, and when it does, a concerned member will generally flag it. If a good post doesn't get upvoted, that's fine (no loss!). This does happen sometimes because not enough people know enough about the information so they don't know how to vote. The post doesn't get lost to oblivion though, because it generally doesn't get down-votes either.
I still don't get what the benefit would be, but aside from that, we don't have the ability (hours of needless judging of every individual post) to do something like this.

When I go to sites like yahoo or wiki answers, I am always finding crackpot or completely wrong answers being voted "best answer". I've been to too many sites where people with the highest rankings are posting absolute nonsense. Now I just ignore whatever nonsense title or rating they have. Unfortunately people that are used to this kind of worthless ranking don't realize how our SAs and HHs are actually vetted now.

The weakness of poster medals is that they're binary and focus on the poster, rather than the content itself.
Actually, the content is the main criteria. The content involves accuracy, attitude, and ability to post in a helpful manner.
 
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  • #25
Pythagorean
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yahoo and wiki answers aren't properly moderated. I was thinking of the stack exchange, which covers numerous different subjects, each moderated by their own experts. It also has a question/answer format which is a disadvantage. On physicsforums, posts don't have to be formal questions. Some of the subjects even require that you do initial research before asking your question.

I like both places for science outreach, I'm just saying that the stack exchange format isn't really so terrible after all. Like any system, it still has weaknesses but the members of the community are surprisingly cooperative. There's also no GD type posts allowed, so I think that cuts back on character flavoring and keeps the posts more technical.
 

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