Straight Angle™: Couple of quick bites!
Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Couple of quick bites! 

So, there was a news item some days back that, Google might be considering buying Slashdot! Yeah, I understand that it is rumour, but the thought itself is not something that ought to be rubbished on!..Slashdot, as I had understood, has one of the most effective moderation logic[PDF File] built into it and is in someways similar to the page ranking algorithm that Google uses.

Each posted comment has a current score, from –1 to +5. Initial scores range from -1 to +2, with the default set at +1. Posts from Anonymous Cowards start at 0. Users achieve reputation, or “karma”, though a number of activities, including moderating comments, reading comments and posting comments that get high or low scores. Comments from users with especially high karma can start with a score of +2, and comments from users with especially low karma can start at 0 or –1. A moderator reads as he or she normally would but can click to moderate any comment up or down from its current score.
A moderator chooses from a list of descriptors for the comments, such as “Offtopic”, “Troll”, “Insightful”,“Funny”, or “Overrated”, each corresponding to a -1 or +1 moderation. The official guidelines encourage moderators to “concentrate more on promoting, rather than on demoting.” Slashdot users achieve moderator eligibility by having high karma. A moderator is given five moderation points at atime, to be used within three days. Slashdot assignsmoderation points based on the number of comments in thesystem, so there is some scarcity of moderation points available and not all comments can end up with +5 scores. Paid staff editors have an unlimited number of moderation points.To “remove bad moderators from the M1 (moderator)eligibility pool and reward good moderators with more delicious mod points”, Slashdot developed a meta-moderation system.

Meta-moderators are presented with aset of moderations that they then rate as either “fair” or“unfair”. For each moderation, the meta-moderator sees the original comment and the reason assigned by the moderator (“Troll”, “Funny”, etc.), and the meta-moderator can click to see the context of comments surrounding the one that was moderated. Readers can use the scores associated with comments to guide their reading in several ways, including sorting and filtering. Slashdot’s default presentation of content is as a threaded list, showing all top-level comments rated +1 orabove and response comments lower in threads being displayed if they are rated +4 or above. Users may change these defaults in their preferences, change them dynamically for a single session, or click to see responses to particular comments even if they are below the threshold. - Reproduced from the Pdf File
Now, the page ranking technology too is a modified version of this "Mob-Moderated" logic, where in I call Social Ranking!!. I know, Google had been trying to perfect this technology, but what I see them going towards is, starting off as a fun, then slowly moving towards a more user moderated search engine, that would be very near to the context specific search that is the Holy Grail of the search engine wars.

Let us take the example of this fun at Googleplex! What is this, but Slashdot style Moderation? and I don't think Googlers are so much without work to try working on this hard-to-build system, without planning something big!

Think how Google can use this moderation with personalised search...The user can moderate the search results- just like the "Remove Result" option that personalised Google search offers now, and as this option gets used by more and more people, there is a way to control spam in the search results!

And as an after thought, will leave you with a couple of links that I thought would be worth sharing!

Does belief in God Bad and Injurious to health? [Via Metafilter]
If you are interested in Market Research, then I guess you need to take a look at this one![Via O'Reilly]
Just a sequel read to my earlier posting on the Tagging phenomenon. This one deals with the Cognitive Process of Tagging!


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