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Show/Hide Public Comments

awnlee jawking

Could someone explain the effects of these settings, accessed via the story manager facility.

Thanks,

AJ

REP

I have recently seen comments appearing in stories. I looked for the controls you mentioned but could not find a show/hide feature. Where do you see it?

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@REP

Authors/Editors (next to Home on the SOL home page), Manage Stories (second row of buttons in my browser), click on a story name, the Show/Hide public comments is a toggle button (on the third row in my browser).

There may be other ways of getting there.

Can you point me to an example of comments in stories?

AJ

Ernest Bywater

I just tried amending the setting while I had a story open in a second window. When I made it to show public comment and refreshed the page, there was a window at the end of the story with the title Reader Comments - change the setting and refresh and the window goes away.

Probably a new option we've not noticed before. Best wait for Lazeez to say something about it.

I did notice the choice displayed is the one you can go to - so if it says 'Hide Public Comment' then the comment option is displayed, while the opposite is true. Thus the toggle box shows what you can go to, not what is current.

It would seem the default is to hide the window - since my last new story is set that way.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

Interesting. I guess it's a halfway house between voting on a story and posting a review. My initial inclination is that reader comments shouldn't be anonymous.

AJ

Replies:   Bondi Beach  REP
Bondi Beach

@awnlee jawking

Interesting. I guess it's a halfway house between voting on a story and posting a review. My initial inclination is that reader comments shouldn't be anonymous.


On the "Show" setting the comment or "Feedback to Author" box appears by default. On the "Hide" setting, there is no Feedback link or box for the reader to comment. I don't think the resulting comment is any more "public" now than it was before.

bb

REP

@awnlee jawking

halfway house between voting on a story and posting a review


Actually, it's the same thing as feedback with the exception that the public gets to see the comments.

The trolls are going to have a field day with this feature.

I recall a conversation not too long ago about writers getting angry about hate mail sent to them as private emails. This will be far worse for the trolls will have an audience of all readers who read the story.

I for one will not be enabling public comments! If any of you want to do so, be my guest but don't gripe here if you don't like what you get.

ustourist

Not being an author I can't comment on the operation from that end, but reading the comments by Ernest and bb it could also be construed as purely a way to submit feedback to the author, with nothing being available visually to the reader.
It seems to be directly relevant to the 'feedback to author' link below opening and most recent story page.
Incidentally, Ernest's "Life is Change" shows it as being open, not hidden, so the default may not be hidden.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@ustourist


Incidentally, Ernest's "Life is Change" shows it as being open, not hidden, so the default may not be hidden.


I only checked a couple, now I have to check them all, and see if there's something there. Thanks for the info.

edit to add - just checked, and it's set to Hidden - - interesting.

Replies:   ustourist  Dominions Son
ustourist

@Ernest Bywater

I will submit some feedback on "Life"

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

edit to add - just checked, and it's set to Hidden - - interesting.


Note: If the button on the story details and states page says hide comments, then comments are open.

If it says show comments, then comments are hidden.

ustourist

@ustourist

No verification requested, it went straight out, but that is presumably your settings.
It may be different with anonymous, but I am set for automatic inclusion of email address.

Ernest Bywater

@ustourist

I will submit some feedback on "Life"


The link 'Feedback to Author' is different to the box labeled 'Reader Comments' - for the link you click on it and it opens a box you can type in, for the Comments the box is already there.

If the comment box is active it is above the link Feedback to Author and below the scores.

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist

@Ernest Bywater

Thanks. I obviously still haven't come across the comments in anything I have read so far.

Personally, I can't see the value of both. If it is public and it is on the final page then it is a bit late to read what other people thought - and that does seem to be asking for trolling.
It may also skew readership figures more if people go to the last page before returning to the start to read if it has good comments.
I can't see many authors using it for long.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

Over the years I've received many many requests for public comments on stories, mostly from authors. Way back when, more than ten years ago, I added public comments to stories and the results were disastrous. The whole experiment lasted no more than a month and I removed comments from stories.

Recently, few authors asked for it again. So we're experimenting again.

The system is opt-in on per story basis. You can toggle the comments with that button in the story info/stats box.

For now it's very rudimentary. Authors can turn ON the comments and if they're on they can turn them OFF again. That's as far as author control goes at this point. If the author turns off comments, the existing comments remain, they just get hidden. If you turn them back on, nothing is lost, or gotten rid of.

Readers can post comments. Can't edit them and can't delete them. And no anonymous commenting.

At some point when I have the time, I'll implement some kind of view for authors so that they don't have to go to the end of their stories to see the comments. If we get a trolling problem, I'll implement more controls for authors to moderate comments or even block specific users.

A sample of a story that has comments already:

https://storiesonline.net/s/13463:183478

Crumbly Writer

If all the comments are as positive as those, they'll be great. As far as limitations, I'd assume, as long as you don't allow anonymous comments, we should be OK (though there's no guarantee of that, since most of my Trolls have signed their names when they first told me what they didn't like in my stories).

It'll be interesting to see what kind of responses we get, but I can't see many authors leaving public comments on for long.

Ernest Bywater

Oh well, I'll give it a try, and see how it goes - trouble is, when will I remember to check it out later.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

Who knows maybe it will confuse the trolls who seem to delight in cutting a new storyteller(writer) to pieces. Just because commends are available doesn't always mean the writers have to read them. Maybe that will narrow feedback messages to those that really mean something.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

We'll see, Doc. I just enabled the comments on all my stories as Ernest Bywater, now to see how they go. I do tend to go against the trends in that many of my stories get reactions from readers both for style (they don't like present tense or first person) and for some of the content due to some of my views being different to some of theirs.

Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

Who knows maybe it will confuse the trolls who seem to delight in cutting a new storyteller(writer) to pieces. Just because commends are available doesn't always mean the writers have to read them. Maybe that will narrow feedback messages to those that really mean something.

Except ... Trolls don't care who they attack, which is why they so often go after anyone who doesn't agree with them: authors, readers, reviewers, other commenters, people with a different phone, left handers, left-wingers, right-wingers, Muslims, Protestants, Catholics, whatever. Essentially, they're equal-opportunity abusers. It really doesn't matter what they hate, it's the vile they're interested in spitting out. (That said, my Trolls are some of my most loyal readers, so taste really doesn't enter into the question.)

Replies:   PotomacBob
awnlee jawking

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Thanks for the explanation.

That's a very good story so I'm not surprised the author has received so many positive comments. It'll be interesting to see what sort of reactions my 'experimental' stories get. I don't care if they're negative provided the authors are honest.

AJ

Ernest Bywater

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

At some point when I have the time, I'll implement some kind of view for authors so that they don't have to go to the end of their stories to see the comments.


In the long term, it would be nice if the story stats page (where we have the stats for all the stories) had a column to show the date of the last comment made on a story. That way we'd know if a new comment had been made since we last looked.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

In the long term, it would be nice if the story stats page (where we have the stats for all the stories) had a column to show the date of the last comment made on a story. That way we'd know if a new comment had been made since we last looked.

That's especially true for the older stories many of us don't review very often. A currently posting story will get noticed right away. One that posted years ago, not so much.

Bondi Beach

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

For now it's very rudimentary. Authors can turn ON the comments and if they're on they can turn them OFF again. That's as far as author control goes at this point. If the author turns off comments, the existing comments remain, they just get hidden. If you turn them back on, nothing is lost, or gotten rid of.


Thanks for this. Is the author notified (as with a comment on a blog post) when someone posts a public comment at the end of the story?

bb

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Bondi Beach

Is the author notified (as with a comment on a blog post) when someone posts a public comment at the end of the story?


No. For now, the only way to know about the comments is to visit the end of your own story.

docholladay

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

No. For now, the only way to know about the comments is to visit the end of your own story.


As a reader that is understandable. Several writers are quite proliferate with their stories. A special link to go to the comments for each of their stories would be kind of hard to do. In fact I can't see how you would do that without major headaches.

Bondi Beach
Updated:

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)


No. For now, the only way to know about the comments is to visit the end of your own story.


Got it, thanks.

bb

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

Readers have a catch-22 situation. They have to download the story if they want to read any comments, of which there may be none, to see whether it's worth downloading the story.

If the current trial is a success, some sort of comments count would seem desirable, but visible to both readers and authors.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

If the current trial is a success, some sort of comments count would seem desirable, but visible to both readers and authors.

I could see listing the number of comments on a story's title page (for readers), possibly with a link, but I'd think a separate notice (if possible) for authors so they'll be notified if there are new comments on older stories would be beneficial.

I doubt many readers would care about NEW comments, while authors would only care about new comments.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

I'd think a separate notice (if possible) for authors so they'll be notified if there are new comments on older stories would be beneficial.


That will take a lot of work and processing. Earlier I suggested have the date of the latest comment as an extra column on the Author stats page, that way the author need only look down the column for a date since he last checked, a lot less work and easier on the everyone.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

If a reader wishes to send feedback to an author, there's the feedback form. Comments are meant to be seen by other readers, and I take that to imply comments are primarily intended for other readers.

AJ

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

If a reader wishes to send feedback to an author, there's the feedback form. Comments are meant to be seen by other readers, and I take that to imply comments are primarily intended for other readers.


True, but, as the author I have the power to allow or disallow them being viewed, so I'd like to know what's being said.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

I could see listing the number of comments on a story's title page (for readers)


If the number of comments is listed and the author hides comments it will look like he's hiding something.

Capt. Zapp

@Switch Blayde

If the number of comments is listed and the author hides comments it will look like he's hiding something.


If the author hides comments then I doubt the count would be displayed.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

If the number of comments is listed and the author hides comments it will look like he's hiding something.

I doubt it. Everyone on the net is well aware of Trolls, and after all the brouhaha on the site, if readers noticed abuse in the comments, I doubt they'd react badly if the messages suddenly disappeared. In fact, they'd probably assume Lazeez was responsible.

It's the wild west out here folks, we've got to monitor ourselves, because no one else is going to do it for us (no offense Laz). That means, as soon as someone starts spouting hate, for whatever reason, you've got to shut them down before it spreads.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

New capability added to stats page - a question and my answer to it, after confirming how it works.


Okay, what's the Cmnt column on the stats page?


A new capability made available in the last 24 hours or so - to compliment the ability to allow public comments enacted a few days ago. The column on the stats page shows blank if comments isn't allowed, if public comments are allowed it shows the number of comments lodged to date - 0 until 1 is made.

edit to add: Thanks for the quick work, Lazeez.

Ross at Play

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Well done with the change to the stats page to keep authors happy.
There still seems to be something missing for readers, as noted by Awnlee when he posted:

Readers have a catch-22 situation. They have to download the story if they want to read any comments, of which there may be none, to see whether it's worth downloading the story.

It seems right that comments should be after the latest chapter, because that is where readers who want to make comments will be.
I suggest they should also appear at the end of the story details page, because that is where readers who are considering reading the story will be.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

It seems right that comments should be after the latest chapter, because that is where readers who want to make comments will be.
I suggest they should also appear at the end of the story details page, because that is where readers who are considering reading the story will be.

I'm assuming, at this point, because of the work involved, this feature is only for adding comments to stories/chapters read, and for authors to review, not for story selection. That might be a future addition if Lazeez can manage it.

As it is, I'm not about to suggest more work for the guy, as I never expected this in the first place.

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

I suggest they should also appear at the end of the story details page


Except there could be a plot spoiler in the comment. Located at the end of the story is no big deal. Before the story is read... That's another matter. That's why I had reviews turned off for a while.

awnlee jawking

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Can't edit them and can't delete them


An unintended consequence of that was revealed by my one and only comment - the reader hoped the story would be continued. I can never satisfy that hope, because however much more I write, that comment will still be present hoping for more ;)

AJ

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking


An unintended consequence of that was revealed by my one and only comment - the reader hoped the story would be continued. I can never satisfy that hope, because however much more I write, that comment will still be present hoping for more ;)


Two other options exist:

1. a comment about extra being added to counter the comment.

2. Switch the comments to hide so they can't be seen.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Crumbly Writer

Dumb question (because I haven't gotten any comments yet), are all the comments stored at the end of the document, or are they attached per chapter?

If you're really worried, Awnlee, I'd satisfy the request by writing a sequel, in which case the request for more would be satisfied by the later posted story, regardless of how long the sequel is.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

2. Switch the comments to hide so they can't be seen.


The rest of the comment is rather complimentary - a significant boost to my fragile ego ;)

AJ

sejintenej

@Ross at Play

I suggest they should also appear at the end of the story details page, because that is where readers who are considering reading the story will be.

Surely they could look at the reviews. At least reviewers seem to be vetted for competency whereas the hoi polloi could write anything as a comment, in rare cases to deliberately put people off a story.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Dumb question (because I haven't gotten any comments yet), are all the comments stored at the end of the document, or are they attached per chapter?


end of the story on the ones of mine that have been commented on;

No Names No pack Drill - chapter 3

https://storiesonline.net/s/13862:177482

Always a Marine - single chapter

https://storiesonline.net/s/65660/always-a-marine

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Few points:

• Comments are only at the end of stories. Will never be at the end of chapters that aren't the end to avoid spoilers.

• Comments are limited to 30 per 'page', if the story has more than 30 comments, then a page navigation display will show up.

• If abuse becomes a problem I'll add the same abuse reporting facility as in this forum.

• For now the comments section will always be displayed by default. I'll keep them ON for now to encourage reader to comment. The site now has a large data pipe that I don't have to worry about bandwidth. If in the future I face an issue with comments section being too processor hungry I may do something like hide them by default until a link is clicked to fetch them.

Crumbly Writer

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Thanks for the clarifications, Lazeez. It sounds like you've set it up to handle most circumstances. My one critique, though, is that for those of us with a LOT of stories, it'll take a while to turn off each story we don't monitor often. Thus I'd suggest leaving the default "off". Though you'll have to decide how many of us 'writing hacks' there are verses authors with only a few stories to decide who'd benefit the most.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ross at Play

@sejintenej

Surely they could look at the reviews. At least reviewers seem to be vetted for competency whereas the hoi polloi could write anything as a comment, in rare cases to deliberately put people off a story.

My impression is the reason for this change was there were so few competent, impartial reviewers, and this is intended to provide a kind of 'half-way house' (based on an assumption than any information is better than none).
I expect you are right about what some will end up like - rat-infested cesspits like the other kind of 'half-way house'.
Still, I think it is a good feature to have added to the system. The safeguards, authors can turn comments off and comments cannot be anonymous, seem adequate. I trust reasonable readers to learn to dismiss occasional damning comments among otherwise generally positive ones.

Ross at Play

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

If abuse becomes a problem I'll add the same abuse reporting facility as in this forum.

What will happen if (when?) there are not enough hours in a day for you to deal with all the reported abuses?
I suggest you keep open an option of someday delegating determinations on when readers' comments are abusive over to a select group of 'moderators'.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Thus I'd suggest leaving the default "off"


I've checked, the capability is default on, but for it to work on a story the author has to 'opt in' by enabling the capability on a story by story basis. If you don't want it, don't turn it on for the story.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

My impression is the reason for this change was there were so few competent, impartial reviewers, and this is intended to provide a kind of 'half-way house' (based on an assumption than any information is better than none).


I assumed that it was like Amazon reviews, for the benefit of readers. But Lazeez said it was something requested by authors. I'd be interested to know their reasons for asking for it.

AJ

Michael Loucks

I'm tempted to turn them on, but I'm having a bit of trepidation. For the most part, the denizens of SOL are wonderful people, but it only takes a few rotten eggs to spoil everything. I think I'll wait to see what happens before I turn them on.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

My impression is the reason for this change was there were so few competent, impartial reviewers,...


I guess I could add my ratings as comments. At least readers would know that I approved. But I can also see pitfalls.

In my system, 3 stars (top) means excellent, 2 stars means very good, 1 star means worth reading, 0 stars means only if you're bored. D means the story was so poor I stopped reading.

So, for example, if I publicised any ratings less than 2 stars, I'd attract opprobrium from authors wanting to know why I didn't rate their stories, especially if their stories attracted 7s and 8s whereas mine get 5s and 6s. And, lacking anonymity, there'd be nothing to stop them joining my fan club of 1-bombers.

AJ

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist

@awnlee jawking

That makes a good case for reviewing and writing under different names.....though you should refrain from giving excellent reviews to your own stories in that case (even if obviously warranted!).

REP

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

For now the comments section will always be displayed by default


I agree with CW's comment about the default state should be OFF. As I said earlier in this thread, I think this feature is a Troll Magnet and I do not care to make myself a Troll's target.

I suggest that you add a prompt to the Posting Wizard that allows the author of a new story/chapter to set the feature to display or hide Public Comments.

Switch Blayde

@REP

I suggest that you add a prompt to the Posting Wizard that allows the author of a new story/chapter to set the feature to display or hide Public Comments.


with the default "hide"

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)
Updated:

@REP


I agree with CW's comment about the default state should be OFF.


To clarify, when I said that the default would be ON, I meant the display of the comment if the author enables them would be to actually be displayed at the end of the story and not hidden behind a link to show them.

Reader comments for the foreseeable future will be on opt-in basis for authors. If the authors don't specifically enable them through the story management page for each story then they're disabled by default.

Replies:   REP
richardshagrin

@Ross at Play

My impression is the reason for this change was there were so few competent, impartial reviewers

Ouch. As a sometime reviewer I'd like to think I am competent and impartial. Maybe not totally impartial, like most reviewers I tend to review stories I want to recommend to other readers. I admit we aren't all Celeste who as far as I know is the all-time best reviewer ever on this site and many others, but we try. Sometimes are very trying...

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@richardshagrin


Ouch. As a sometime reviewer ...


I meant not enough reviewers ... responding to "Surely they could look at the reviews."

REP

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

If the authors don't specifically enable them through the story management page for each story then they're disabled by default.


Glad to hear that Lazeez. I got the impression from your earlier statement that the default was to show the comments. Glad to hear I misunderstood.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@REP


I got the impression from your earlier statement that the default was to show the comments.


You confusing two different defaults.

Authors control whether comments are allowed at all on a per story basis, defaults to comments not allowed.

If author turns comments on, they are visible by default on the user end.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

On 1/1/17 Lazeez posted the following about Reader Comments:

For now the comments section will always be displayed by default. I'll keep them ON for now to encourage reader to comment.


On 1/2/17 he posted:

Reader comments for the foreseeable future will be on opt-in basis for authors. If the authors don't specifically enable them through the story management page for each story then they're disabled by default.


It appears to me that he is referring to the same reader comments. I went through my stories and found the setting for all stories was to hide Reader Comments. So, it appears Lazeez's second post is the default state.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

It appears to me that he is referring to the same reader comments. I went through my stories and found the setting for all stories was to hide Reader Comments. So, it appears Lazeez's second post is the default state.

His second statement was a correction, since he realized the first could be (and was) misinterpreted.

Ross at Play

@REP

It appears to me that he is referring to the same reader comments.

As I understand it, authors have control over two switches for every story.
One prevents readers making new comments. The initial setting is OFF.
The other also prevents new comments and hides any existing comments. The initial setting is ON.
Readers can only make new comments and see existing comments when BOTH switches are ON.
***
The system lets authors try allowing comments, but back out whenever they want to.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Ross at Play

As I understand it, authors have control over two switches for every story.


Not correct.

Public comments wise, a story has one switch. The other switch is for voting.

If public comments are enabled, then they're visible and anybody can post a comment.

Authors have another switch, but it's not on by-story basis, it all or nothing for private comments (the yellow link).

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Got it. Thanks for clarifying that.
You've done well ... we'll wait and see how well readers "behave" themselves.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

we'll wait and see how well readers "behave" themselves.

So far they seem to be behaving quite reasonably (no public complaints so far), though that might just be because the handful of 1-voters haven't discovered the comment section yet. (Maybe I'll post a notice with my next chapter post, just to see how my own loyal 1-voters respond.)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

So far they seem to be behaving quite reasonably (no public complaints so far), though that might just be because the handful of 1-voters haven't discovered the comment section yet. (Maybe I'll post a notice with my next chapter post, just to see how my own loyal 1-voters respond.)


most 1 voters don't get to the end of the story, which is why few will comment until they learn about it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


most 1 voters don't get to the end of the story, which is why few will comment until they learn about it.


You'd think that, but I haven't found it to be the case. Most readers who abandon a story either don't vote, or vote it as a 5. 1-bombers typically have an agenda, they're trying to influence the author, or chase away their loyal readers.

I've noted before, my 1-voters, and I have several, are some of my most loyal and dedicated readers. They read each chapter within days of it's posting. However, they objected to one character in one of my first stories, insisted I write what they wanted, and when I balked they started voting down each of my stories, which they continue to do, years later.

You won't change their minds, nor can you expect to reason with them, but that doesn't mean their mindless or can't recognize quality or good storytelling.

What's more likely, 1-bombers don't read the forum, and only read stories on certain days, so may miss the site announcements.

Crumbly Writer

@Crumbly Writer

Well, it took my readers a while to discover the story comments, but when I looked today, I had six (in 2 days). They seem enthused, and it gives them a chance to comment on various aspects of the story (longer chapters, more chapters, more books).

However, my FS and Sci-Fi readers haven't noticed it yet, which makes me think, authors really need to tell their readers that it's an option, as it's not immediately apparent to readers.

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

I've noted before, my 1-voters, and I have several, are some of my most loyal and dedicated readers.


Yesterday one of my 1-voters discovered that I had activated voting on 'Man Bitch'. Their single vote wiped out most of the Premier Qualifying Text credit from my latest 'Shaggy Dog Story' excerpt. When 1-voters vote on a largish story with few existing votes, they can have a disproportionate effect.

AJ

Replies:   REP  madnige
REP

@awnlee jawking

When 1-voters vote on a largish story with few existing votes, they can have a disproportionate effect.


That would only be true if the number of 1-bombers exceeds the number of low end votes that Lazeez's algorithm excludes from consideration. I seem to recall that the algorithm is not implemented until the number of votes registered exceeds a specified threshold. I don't recall the threshold value.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@REP

That would only be true if the number of 1-bombers exceeds the number of low end votes that Lazeez's algorithm excludes from consideration. I seem to recall that the algorithm is not implemented until the number of votes registered exceeds a specified threshold. I don't recall the threshold value.

I believe the number is 10 (it takes a while to reach that threshold on Sci-Fi, so I always note when it kicks in and my scores drop).

Replies:   REP
REP

@Crumbly Writer

my scores drop


Yep, so per the algorithm you would lose 1 vote on both ends. However, there was some discussion of only losing a low end vote if it fell in the range of 1-3. If you had no low end vote in that range, you would only be losing the high end vote and that would drop the overall score.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@REP

Yep, so per the algorithm you would lose 1 vote on both ends. However, there was some discussion of only losing a low end vote if it fell in the range of 1-3. If you had no low end vote in that range, you would only be losing the high end vote and that would drop the overall score.


All incorrect.

The vote dropping starts at 20 votes, as there has to be enough for the 5% to be at least 1 when rounded.

There is no consideration how low the votes have to be to be dropped at the bottom. The algorithm isn't designed as some sort of punishment to authors you know. It's designed to eliminate outliers.

If you only have 10s you'll lose 10s from the top and the bottom, even if there is no real top or real bottom.

If your votes are 6 and up, you'll lose 6s at the bottom. Whatever the bottom is, the bottom 5% will be dropped. And whatever the top is, the top 5% will be dropped too, including if your highest vote is a 7.

Awnlee's story has only 8 votes so far, so nothing is being dropped. Once the story gets its 20th vote, that bomb will be eliminated by the system.

Replies:   awnlee jawking  REP
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

However, my FS and Sci-Fi readers haven't noticed it yet, which makes me think, authors really need to tell their readers that it's an option, as it's not immediately apparent to readers.

I'm surprised Lazeez has not announced it with an entry in Site News.
I'll send him a copy of this post.

awnlee jawking

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Once the story gets its 20th vote, that bomb will be eliminated by the system.


Although I refer to it as a 'bomb', I should point out it's perfectly legitimate vote. The story is not an easy read, even if you realise it's meant to be allegorical.

It will just take me a little longer than I hoped before I can access a new comment on one of my stories without using up one of my sixteen a day.

AJ

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@REP


Yep, so per the algorithm you would lose 1 vote on both ends.


Sorry, I wasn't clear. What I was referring to is the number of votes before Lazeez's score adjustments kick in, rather than when one low score modifies a vote. That's a bigger change than a single vote typically affects, though they both kick in at the same 10-vote point.

Edit: Sorry, Lazeez's 'adjustment' score adjustment kicks in around 10 votes, his 'trimming of outlier votes' kicks in at 20 votes.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I'm surprised Lazeez has not announced it with an entry in Site News.
I'll send him a copy of this post.

I don't think it's a matter of the site news, but rather the many readers who don't visit the main page, instead spending their time in either the "New Stories" or "Series Updates" pages. They'd be unlikely to see any system-wide posts, and even if they did, they wouldn't likely know who's using it and who isn't.

The reason, I expect, why I got 6 at once is because the first comment triggered a rash, once readers realized the comments were a possibility.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Ross at Play

I'm surprised Lazeez has not announced it with an entry in Site News.
I'll send him a copy of this post.


I'll only announce it once I decide to keep comments and finish implementing the rest of the features.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@awnlee jawking

It will just take me a little longer than I hoped before I can access a new comment on one of my stories without using up one of my sixteen a day.


You don't need to. You can access comments and even reply to them from the stories stats page.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

authors really need to tell their readers that it's an option, as it's not immediately apparent to readers.


I've posted a blog entry to address this and stated:

New Site Service for Readers

The site has a new reader function where they can add a comment at the end of the story for other readers. Authors can turn this on or off for each story. I've turned it on. This is for readers to make comments for other readers. I do not track them or read them, so don't say anything there you expect me to respond to. If you wish to communicate with me, send me an email via the Author Feedback link or my site email link.

Thank you.

......................

I've also included virtually the same comment in me story end notes. I don't get enough time to write as it is, so I don't need another distracting element to keep an eye on. They've been warned, questions there will not be answered by me.

awnlee jawking

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

You can access comments and even reply to them from the stories stats page.


Aha, there's now an underline to non-zero comments counts and they're active links. Thank you.

AJ

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

The reason, I expect, why I got 6 at once is because the first comment triggered a rash, once readers realized the comments were a possibility.

If authors are permitted to comment on their own stories (to respond to comments made by readers), they could start things off with "Hi folks, check out this new feature" comments.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ross at Play


If authors are permitted to comment on their own stories (to respond to comments made by readers), they could start things off with "Hi folks, check out this new feature" comments.


That makes sense, as my readers seen delighted to discover they could comment on my stories. Rather than waiting for them to discover it themselves, or potentially missing a system announcements, having the author kick it off would help since it stays in place.

Just be careful in your wording, as there's currently no 'edit' feature.

REP

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Thanks Lazeez. I don't recall the details of the algorithm ever being explained before. If they were, I missed it.

It is clear to me now how the function is implemented.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@REP

I don't recall the details of the algorithm ever being explained before. If they were, I missed it.
It is clear to me now how the function is implemented.

There was another relevant fact mentioned by Lazeez when he explained it fully last time.
I don't recall the exact numbers he gave. It was something like only 3% of scores are in the range from 1 to 3.
I do recall having doubts whether the top and bottom 5% was large enough to eliminate prejudiced voting, but I became satisfied it was once I saw the figure he quoted. :)

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Up until Lazeez pulled the raw scores, I was playing around with curve smoothing algorithms. It seemed obvious that a bigger problem to the scoring system was caused by readers dishing out 10s just because they liked the author, irrespective of the story quality. The scores of typical story might form a smoothish curve peaking around 7 or 8, tail off down through the 9s then present a 'false peak' of 10s.

Having seen the response of some authors to a few low scores, I think you could imagine the mayhem that would ensue if their false 10s were removed, even if it resulted in a more accurate appraisal of their stories.

AJ

REP

@awnlee jawking

curve peaking around 7 or 8,


Not surprising when Lazeez's scale defines 7 as Good.

When a writer's reader base likes the type of story the writer produces, you would expect most of their scores to be higher than Good (7).

I know that when I look at the Histogram of my stories' votes, I tend to think of 5 as Good, which distorts my view of the votes. I have to consciously say to myself Good is 7.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

I would correct my last statement to: I became satisfied one end of the prejudiced scores was adequately addressed once I saw the 3% figure for raw scores of 1 to 3.
I would be interested in seeing the total percentages of all raw scores, or all scores after the elimination of outliers.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
richardshagrin

Enough already. Lets stop messing with the scoring system. It has evolved, (been perfected?), over a relatively long time. Six is average, which is a passing score.

I do want to say authors that turn off scoring but want people to read their stories anyway are leaving a lot to chance and how they write their story description. I cruise through previously posted stories looking for old ones to read, and find a lot of stories that might be good, but with no score posted I decide not to take a chance on the story.

madnige

@awnlee jawking

Their single vote wiped out most of the Premier Qualifying Text credit from my latest 'Shaggy Dog Story' excerpt.


Just for you, I've offset that 1-vote with a 10-vote. When the threshold is reached, they'll both be dropped.

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

The vote dropping starts at 20 votes, as there has to be enough for the 5% to be at least 1 when rounded.

Nitpicking here, but 5% of 10 is 0.5, which rounds to 1, as does 5% of 11, 12, ... 29, as unless specified, rounding is to closest integer. I'd just add 'down', implying the floor function or integer arithmetic.

Actually, I'm not really fussed about the imprecise language (after all, there's plenty in the stories), I just wanted an excuse to do the ersatz post reply link thing to a second post.

Ross at Play

@madnige

Nitpicking here, but 5% of 10 is 0.5, which rounds to 1

The method uses truncate, not round. 0-19 votes, nothing dropped; 20-39 votes, 1 at each end; etc.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

It seemed obvious that a bigger problem to the scoring system was caused by readers dishing out 10s just because they liked the author, irrespective of the story quality.

Duh! That's what the score is all about. Lezeez has never said a thing about using it to score 'story quality'. Instead it's all about 'personal appeal'. If it appeals to you, then it deserves 10s. There is no Olympian 'no one can be perfect' scoring curve (other than what Lazeez applies after the fact). Thus, due to his course corrections, a score of 10 adjusts to a 7 or 8, meaning a score of 5 ends as a 5. That's hardly a "tremendous story" score!

Now if you want to vote based on 'story quality', that's fine, since that's what 'personally appeals' to you, but it's NOT the selection criteria most readers use!

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Crumbly Writer

@REP

I know that when I look at the Histogram of my stories' votes, I tend to think of 5 as Good, which distorts my view of the votes. I have to consciously say to myself Good is 7.

It's NOT a bell curve, with 5 being "average". Instead, 5 is "not especially good", or at best "only so-so". Good would be 7, "decent" would be 8, "outstanding" a 9, and "excellent" (in our opinion!) a 10.

Again, this is a highly opinionated scale. Frankly, in my opinion, a 5 or below rates as "not worth reading", which makes scores of 1 - 4 effectively meaningless!

Replies:   REP
awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

That's what the score is all about.


I don't understand that. Why score individual stories, why not just score the authors?

Lezeez has never said a thing about using it to score 'story quality'.


Have you read footnote 4 on your story stats page? Although I think you're right, it should reflect how much a reader enjoys a story.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@madnige

Just for you, I've offset that 1-vote with a 10-vote.


I kind of wish you hadn't. I'd prefer the score to reflect the story's enjoyability and, to be honest, it's not a story for fluffy bunny lovers.

But intellectually, it's interesting that my qualifying text jumped by 2. That was a powerful vote! Thank you.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I think a change to the scoring system is not desirable and probably impossible. I was pursuing applying mathematical methods to the problem as an intellectual exercise.

Besides, it wouldn't work. Readers would quickly learn how to game the new system by eg voting 9s for their favourite authors.

AJ

PotomacBob

@Crumbly Writer

You left out vegetarians and fans of the Yankees.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

I don't understand that. Why score individual stories, why not just score the authors?

Believe me. If an author, ANY authors, writes something they don't like, those scores will drop like a stone. Certain writers have readers who consistently score them high, because they've learned they can depend on them for consistent, well-crafted stories. You may not agree, but clearly, they do. It's not the name they're rewording, but the quality of the work the author churns out over time.

Note: That even includes authors who routinely get low-marks, review-wise, concerning their writing. There's a vast difference between storytelling (knowing how to tell stories, rather than knowing how to formally compose a sentence) and writing. You can find thousands of 'writers' on any given college campus, but few of them can publish successful stories.

While no one on SOL has been terribly 'successful', those of us who self-publish seem to be doing a LOT better than the 'typical' self-publisher who only sells 20 - 30 copies, tops.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@Crumbly Writer

It's not the name they're rewording, but the quality of the work the author churns out over time.

The fact is many people are stupid, some incredibly so, and there's nothing that can be done about it other than blocking people that are recognised idiots from voting.

If some idiots use the score for a story to boost or cut-down an author, it's a reflection of them. No more, no less.

The scores on a story should be for that story, regardless of who wrote it.
The majority of people are (hopefully) smart enough to score the story, not the author.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
REP

@Crumbly Writer

It's NOT a bell curve,


I never thought it was a Bell Curve. My comment was relative to AJ's comment about using a smoothing algorithm that created a curve that peaked at 7 or 8.

I also mentioned that when I look at a scale of 1-10, I think of 5 as being the Good/Average value. On Lazeez scale: 5=Some Good, Some Bad, 6=Not Bad, 7=Good, 8=Very Good, 9=Great, and 10=Most Amazing Story.

Your terms - decent, outstanding, and excellent are not used.

Replies:   richardshagrin
awnlee jawking

@Grant

If some idiots use the score for a story to boost or cut-down an author, it's a reflection of them.


Established authors will get a lot more 10s which represent a vote on the author rather than a vote on the story. As such, newbie authors are at a disadvantage because their equally enjoyable stories will attract a lower score. There are consequences to the idiots' voting patterns.

AJ

richardshagrin

@REP

For some reason they let me state my opinions here. I think the school grades of A, B, C, D and E (or F if your school was old fashioned) are a help in understanding what the numbers mean. I am under the impression Lazeez normalizes scores so that the average story gets a six. So I think of it as a C (average). That makes seven a B, eight an A and nine an A plus. Ten is an outlier that (perhaps fortunately) no story on SOL has accumulated. I just call it "very rare". I try not to give more than one ten a month. On the bottom end, a five is a D (low passing) and four and below are not passing. E or F or whatever letter your teachers used when they didn't like your work. One tends to be a statement of outrage, not so much about the story but the subject matter, or possibly a squick that wasn't disclosed as a tag.

It might be interesting to find the lowest scores among the 37,000 or so stories here. Not that most of us would want to read it, but to see if the tags were hot buttons, or if important tags were omitted.

John Demille

@richardshagrin

It might be interesting to find the lowest scores among the 37,000 or so stories here.


That's very easy to find. It's Jimmy Smart by GreenTea. 42 votes resulting in a 1.59 score.

Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

Established authors will get a lot more 10s which represent a vote on the author rather than a vote on the story.


That's why the author's name is not listed with the story for SOL contests.

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

Established authors will get a lot more 10s which represent a vote on the author rather than a vote on the story.


which doesn't explain how they get the 10s for their early stories.

Ross at Play

@richardshagrin

It might be interesting to find the lowest scores among the 37,000 or so stories here.

There is one story with score of 2.05 on 188 votes.
They didn't even wait for story tags in their quest for 1-votes.
The story is called White Extinction - Infiltration.
The author's with pen name is White Extinction.

Grant

@awnlee jawking

If some idiots use the score for a story to boost or cut-down an author, it's a reflection of them.



Established authors will get a lot more 10s which represent a vote on the author rather than a vote on the story. As such, newbie authors are at a disadvantage because their equally enjoyable stories will attract a lower score.


It could be established authors have better story telling abilities, editing, layout etc than another authors first attempt? If the first timer was to have a story with an interesting plot, well developed characters & minimal errors, they'd score as well as an established author.
G Younger's original "Stupid Boy" comes to mind.

There are consequences to the idiots' voting patterns.

And as I mentioned, not much can be done about it other than removing the voting rights from such morons.

Being able to vote, or express an opinion, is not a right; it is a privilege.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Grant

G Younger's original "Stupid Boy" comes to mind.


Actually I consider that an example for the prosecution. Only 8.66 for such an excellent story?

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Established authors will get a lot more 10s which represent a vote on the author rather than a vote on the story. As such, newbie authors are at a disadvantage because their equally enjoyable stories will attract a lower score. There are consequences to the idiots' voting patterns.

You keep insisting that people voting for stories they prefer reflect "idiots' voting patterns". Personally, this is beginning to sound like sour grapes (i.e. 'It's unfair that my own fans aren't rewarding me the same way.').

There's nothing wrong with preferring a particular type of story, and if the author's works are dependable (always enjoyable and appealing to you), then why shouldn't they vote consistently.

However, as someone who has a lot of those same 10s, my scores vary considerable with any given tale. So the same consistency will turn on you for any given story. I suspect many of those consistent 10s shift for each story, but since you can't differentiate one from the other, it looks like the great mass of votes 'are the same idiots', when they simply aren't.

@richardshagrin

So I think of it as a C (average). That makes seven a B, eight an A and nine an A plus. Ten is an outlier that (perhaps fortunately) no story on SOL has accumulated.

While i object to awnlee's description, your is also out of line. While it's rare for any story to reach a 10 (how many stories have you read which didn't have at least a few people disliking the subject matter?). Even my stories that score in the sixes have a majority of 10 votes, but it's the outliers which tend to bring the scores down, despite the positive comments/reviews. Thus I tend to suspect the outlier (lower votes not reflecting the more common view by voters) as discrepancy. As long as most of my fans are happy, I'm satisfied I'm doing a good job.

By the way, in your analysis, I'd consider a score of 4 an "F", while scores ranging from 1 - 3 account for a traditional "0" grade in school. Since the protest votes tend to vary based on context (for exciting chapters, most 1 votes change to 3s, and then drop back to 1s as soon as the action slows again), I consider them all the same vote. Few readers I know will score any story below a 5, as they simply won't read any more of it. The only people who score lower are those trying to either punish the author or convince others to not consider the story (generally based on content such as scat, homosexuality or other squicks).

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Crumbly Writer

@John Demille

That's very easy to find. It's Jimmy Smart by GreenTea. 42 votes resulting in a 1.59 score.


@richardshagrin

It might be interesting to find the lowest scores among the 37,000 or so stories here. Not that most of us would want to read it, but to see if the tags were hot buttons, or if important tags were omitted.

It's easier to find than that. Check anything by Rache. Though largely considered a damn good writer, shy typically tried to provoke readers, tackling unpleasant topics. As a result, her stories often scored quite low, despite the quality of her work.

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

You keep insisting that people voting for stories they prefer reflect "idiots' voting patterns".


No. I think that people voting for the author rather than the story are making the story scores a less reliable indicator than they could be.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@John Demille

the lowest scores? ... It's Jimmy Smart by GreenTea. 42 votes resulting in a 1.59 score.

I was surprised at how well written this one was.
It seems to an attempt to create a magical universe, but with no explanation of the what, how, why, etc. of the magic.
I found the repeated unexplained mentions of "venomous koalas" and similar confusing, to be kind.
If I wished to be unkind I would mention I've had bad trips on LSD that made more sense.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

No. I think that people voting for the author rather than the story are making the story scores a less reliable indicator than they could be.

Face it, story scores have NEVER been reliable indicators, either of quality of popularity. Picking fights over which select groups of individuals 'deserve' to vote is pointless.

I object to the voting system because of the many minority authors they chase away (how many gay, black or brown authors do we have on the site), rather than how 'deserving' the scores are.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

If I wished to be unkind I would mention I've had bad trips on LSD that made more sense.

That's not being unkind, it's being truthful.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

I gather you tried reading it too.

Crumbly Writer

Wow! Just finished posting another story, and the feedback from the reader comments is terrific. On a negative, readers are more likely to complain about mistakes in the comments section, rather than notifying the author directly so he can fix it (warning to fellow authors). On a positive, you get an immediate response before the readers have time to consider it and compose a police, considered opinion. (That's not a negative, as it's a more unfiltered response to the story.)

Not a single negative response, though I'm sure some authors won't appreciate being criticized before their story is complete.

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