Forums: Dropzone.com: Suggestions and Feedback:
Identity Status Suggestion

 

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flighty  (C License)

Feb 7, 2004, 7:39 PM
Post #1 of 65 (2802 views)
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Identity Status Suggestion Quote | Reply

Recent issues with people lying about their identities or their qualifications and ratings has compromised trust in these forums. Unfortunately it has made a generous and helpeful group of people turn skeptical. This situation has made me think of something that might be useful.

What if everyone had an identity rating that only the moderators could alter. It could go next to the Newbie/OldHand Status
0=Suspect
1=no info
2=vouched for by a 3
3=known

Everyone would start at 1 when they sign up. Then moderators could change the number to 3 if they knew the person was who they said they are, 2 if a known person vouched for them, and 0 if they were thought to be a troll.

Having an identity verified would be great when you want to trust advice or information. For example you would know that billbooth is really Bill Booth when he posts and not just some wacko who registered the name.

Newbies would have an additional tool to evaluate advice if they could know that a person is real and does have a rigger's rating or whatnot.

Just an idea


pccoder  (A 43773)

Feb 19, 2004, 1:12 PM
Post #2 of 65 (2703 views)
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Re: [flighty] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Here yee Here yee, sounds like a good idea!!


Premier sangiro
Head Honcho
Feb 23, 2004, 4:42 AM
Post #3 of 65 (2692 views)
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Re: [flighty] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Conceptually I like that kind of thinking. I'd have to think about how that would be feasible (in terms of managing it) with more than 800 new people joining every month. Sounds like a maintenance nightmare....


flighty  (C License)

Feb 23, 2004, 5:48 AM
Post #4 of 65 (2692 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

How about if you are only eligible for numbers after a minimum number of posts? I know a lot of people sign up, but how many have over 50 posts? I'm just sick of not having any basis for determining who is a troll and who isn't except for my increasingly poor memory.


Jimbo  (D License)

Feb 24, 2004, 3:06 PM
Post #5 of 65 (2666 views)
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Re: [flighty] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

 
Quote:
Recent issues with people lying about their identities or their qualifications and ratings has compromised trust in these forums.

Why trust anyone? Take everything in and make decisions for yourself.

Honestly, if you saw good advice about how to care for your gear would you immediately discount it because you clicked on someone's profile and saw that they weren't a rigger? What if you got good advice about how to exit a new 4 way chunk, but the poster wasn't a coach? Would you care? Conversly, if you saw what you thought was bad advice about how to care for your gear, but someone's profile said that he was a rigger, would you give it more credence than it deserves?

I guess my point is that ratings and certifications mean nothing. Evaluate everything on its own merit, ask lots of questions. There are so many knowledgable people here that the crap is usually called out for exactly what it is. Ratings mean nothing.

-
Jim


foobar

Feb 24, 2004, 8:52 PM
Post #6 of 65 (2652 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Sangiro

This is off the top of my head but i've been thinking about this recently too, for other reasons but...

Run a poll. Get everyone to vote for the top 25 (or however many you need) people on the site they trust. Not the most pofieint experts but he most trusted (yeah it's open to interpretation but so what). Give those 25 the power to bless anyone else's post as trusted. The more cumulative blessings you get from trusted posts the better you are. Your trust quota needs to be visible, But you also get negative marks for being an asshole.

All votes/bessings are public not anonymous. and each member of the 25 must make at least 3 votes/blesing a week or they are stipped of thier position and the next person with the highest number of trust points that is not already in the 25 guardians gets the job. Sme of the 25 could specialize in hunting down trolls and others in finding cool newcomers etc

There are only ever 25 trust guardians. Probably make Sangiro and the moderators (nice band name!) trust guardians as well.

Just to keep things honest have elections every year.

There are probably all kinds of reasons this does not work, but trust is a tricky thing. it is closely tied to identity and the problem with this site is that the identites are weak. Any way to make the identities stronger by getting other users to bless them would help. The trick is avoiding the gaming aspect where users cheat to gain advatage,

It will take some work from Sangiro to setup bu i don;t see why he has to police it.It should be a self policing system.

Of course this site has a more extreme definition of trust than say a website on bowling. So you might need caveats. Maybe these are not trust points at all. How many of people on this site would be willing to unconditionally express trust in another user (maybe its enough) but most trust networks are built from frequent small transactions not big all or nothing tansactions. Maybe by voting on individual posts each transaction will be small enough. That way individuals can redeem themselves over time.

The best book i have read on this is called The Evolution of Cooperation by Robert Axelrod. I am just reading his second book The Complexity of Cooperation which is even better, but don't get it unless you have read the first one.


flighty  (C License)

Feb 24, 2004, 9:10 PM
Post #7 of 65 (2649 views)
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Re: [Jimbo] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

 
Quote:
I guess my point is that ratings and certifications mean nothing.
I sure as hell will look at advice differently from Bill Booth or John LeBlanc and the like differently than I would skyguy434. And I never said having any sort of a ticket makes a person suddenly less of an idiot, but it will give you an idea of where they are coming from experience wise. There was recently a thread about people with false profiles in the rigging forum, And it does make a big difference if you lie about your qualifications.

My point really was more about distinguishing the anonymous from the real people. Anonymity (god it just took my brain way too long to drag that word up) almost always brings out the worst in some people. I don't think I need to give examples of that, do I?

There are a lot of instances on this site when trust matters even if it is just whether you respond to a question or not because you suspect it is a troll.

Let's say Joe Smith says that his sister has cancer and is blind, but she wants to do a jump. Are people going to put more effort into researching options for this chick if they know that Joe is a real guy than if they don't?

It is just a little way of taking some of the anonymity out if you wish to. I still think it's a good idea, but I can't argue with sangiro that it would be a lot of work to set up and maintain. Maybe with a little tweeking we could come up with something worthwhile. Hell, thats why this section is called "suggestions and feedback", not "do this now".


JohnRich  (D License)

Feb 25, 2004, 9:45 AM
Post #8 of 65 (2634 views)
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Re: [foobar] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In reply to:
Get everyone to vote for the top 25 (or however many you need) people on the site they trust. Not the most pofieint experts but he most trusted (yeah it's open to interpretation but so what). Give those 25 the power to bless anyone else's post as trusted. The more cumulative blessings you get from trusted posts the better you are.

I disagree. This would allow some people to use this new-found power to create negative marks for those they disagree with in personal debates. It's prime territory for abuse. We should not have a star chamber that judges each member here.

Just let everyone decide for themselves, using their own judgement, as to who can be trusted. When we see Bill Booth, we know we can trust him. When we see someone with no profile information at all, we can be suspicious of their comments.

If someone is spouting junk or bad advice, others can call him on it, and set matters straight.

Leave it up to each individual to decide for themself!


(This post was edited by JohnRich on Feb 25, 2004, 9:47 AM)


Premier sangiro
Head Honcho
Feb 25, 2004, 10:45 AM
Post #9 of 65 (2632 views)
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Quote:
Just let everyone decide for themselves, using their own judgement, as to who can be trusted. When we see Bill Booth, we know we can trust him. When we see someone with no profile information at all, we can be suspicious of their comments.

Everyone seems to use Bill Booth as an example. It's a poor example. Bill Booth and the likes of him is not the issue. Everyone knows him so a system like this would do very little for how people read his posts. The problem is the 25,000 "unknown" users on the forum.

I don't necessarily want a "judging" system, but the issue of authenticating user input and confirming credibility on the internet is worth discussing.


Tinkerbelle  (D 272)

Mar 2, 2004, 1:05 PM
Post #10 of 65 (2593 views)
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Re: [JohnRich] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I am in complete agreement with you, Mr. John!
Have a nice day!
Tink
Wink


foobar

Mar 2, 2004, 10:16 PM
Post #11 of 65 (2568 views)
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Re: [JohnRich] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

You are of course entitled to disagree. But I think you mis-represent some of my suggestions. The term "star chamber" is rather emmotive and not at all what I had in mind. The process I described has been used by ICANN to govern the internet for many years. It can be made to work for defining governance policy. It may need some tweaking to make it effective at enforcing that policy. In addition this process is essentially the foundation of democracy. We elect representatives to make decisions on our behalf. But the mandate is given once every couple of years. Between each election our representatives do whatever they want. Our power only returns at the next election. Sometimes politicians do bad things in our name. Yep! such is human nature, but what is the alternative?

Letting everyone make decisions for themselves. I would agree with you completely in the real world. But in this world (online) there is a problem with identity. It is weak. I can change who i am by merely creating a new userid. Also my voice carries much further. I can address my message to a much larger community than i could offline. Merely by being a prolific poster I can have a greater influence than might be possible in the real world. As has been seen many times in these forums idiots with big mouths have much greater impact online that they would off line.

You, and many of the other people on this site may be fiercy individual and not given to having the wool pulled over your eyes. But it is a fact of human nature that most people tend to follow community norms. Even in unusual communities like this one. Those norms are set and enforced by "leaders" in the community. Leaving aside my election suggestion. The real question is what can be done to encourage the "best" people to step forward as leaders and start setting and enforcing norms. And what can be done so that other less independent or confident people can identify the leaders more easily. This is not just a matter of moderators enforcing the norms but also a matter or leaders being identifiable within the community. They may be leaders in matters of theory, fashion or any other subject the important point is they are respected by the community as a leader in something. This is really a matter or labling.

Clay Shirky wrote a great article called A group is its own worst enemy that deals with many of these issues. I would also recommend reading The Evolution of cooperation by Robert Axelrod for a more academic approach to the problems of groups and cooperation. This is a link to a summary i wrote that may be useful to read if you don't want to buy the book.


Premier sangiro
Head Honcho
Mar 3, 2004, 9:15 AM
Post #12 of 65 (2546 views)
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Re: [foobar] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

John,

How about this for a suggestion. Lay down a set of requirements that a user have to meet to be flagged as a "validated" user. I wouldn't mind if these were rather stringent. At least we'll know that people who've been flagged as validated has met those requirements and it may keep the group of applicants smaller.

It could include things like:
  • Entire profile completed with real name and verifiable email address

  • Upload scans of your ratings, licenses and certifications. (USPA card scan or certificates from your country acceptable)

  • Provide proof of your number of years in the sport (again, number of USPA
  • membership years, scan of your logbook etc could do)
  • Provide proof of your jump experience including the number of jumps in the past year. (log book scans?)

  • Provide the nicks of at least 5 Dropzone.com members who can vouch for your identity.
A user may not be able to provide all this information but we'd expect to see most of it. This attempts to make validating your identity simply a by-product of actually proving your skill and experience levels.

It would be very easy to flag these users in the forums. It's a bit more out there... but I think the problem is on the one hand with anonymity, but more so with trying to figure out "who knows what they're talking about"...


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
Moderator
Mar 3, 2004, 9:47 AM
Post #13 of 65 (2539 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I like the suggestion Sangiro, but would this be just optional or required? I'm just afraid that if tight restrictions are put into place then we might have some of the more knowledgeble, but time limited people seeing their potential value decrease to the point that its not worth them to "jump through the hoops" to post. I'd hate to see Brian Germain or Beezy Shaw having to chase people down to verify his time in the sport or finding people to vouch for him.


Premier TomAiello  (D 22400)
Moderator
Mar 3, 2004, 9:57 AM
Post #14 of 65 (2540 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I think there might be multiple separate (but not necessarily unrelated) issues here:

1) Finding a way to "filter" some of the discussions on line for the useful information. Obviously, a precondition to such filtering would be establishing which posters actually knew what they were talking about.

2) Linking the real world community of DZ.com users with the virtual community on line.

Ideas like requiring scans of log books, ratings, etc, verifying email are probably good (if a little over the top) for issue #1 (filtering for useful information).

Asking for "vouching" for people is probably more related to #2 (linking the IRL and virtual communities). The reason I don't see it as very relevant to #1 is that there are going to be people who are posting good, useful information who simply haven't been able to travel and physically meet enough (or any) other posters to vouch for them.

A few other random thoughts:

What if you allowed people to rate posts individually (small transactions) and had the ratings of someones posts reflect back into some kind of "overall" user rating (larger trust)? That way, if someone regularly posted good information, their user rating would climb, and vice versa. It's probably a programming nightmare, but hey, I'm sure you haven't got anything else to do with your time. Tongue

If a good, workable rating system can be instituted, perhaps allow filtering when viewing the forums, based on ratings. So you could set a filter to "only view posts that have 10 points or more" (considering any post made by a person to start at their "user" rating, until/unless that specific post had been rated by other users), or perhaps only allow filtering out of negative posts (a simple check box, say that read "don't view posts with negative scores").

As far as scans of ratings/logbooks, what about BASE jumpers who have no ratings? Since there is no standardized rating issuing authority in BASE, it's going to be hard to "validate" people based on issued ratings.


foobar

Mar 3, 2004, 10:58 AM
Post #15 of 65 (2536 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Sangiro

Thats a little more than I had in mind but its interesting. I had not thought about transfering off line qualifications online. That makes sense if those qualifications are trusted in the real world. I think there are lots of ways ways users can increase the "value" of their identities incrementally. The important point is that each incremental piece of information a user supplies should be reflected in some way by a change in a visible label that is associated with their account.

Axelrod suggests that cooperation works effectively where "players" can recognize each other and remember how a given player behaved last time they met. Recognition and memory can be improved in several ways. Labels, stereotypes, status and reputation can all play a part (think ebay and slashdot). Labeling players and categorizing them into stereotypes can help make large numbers of players manageable and make it easier to make fast decisions. Reputation is an emergent property of social groups. Players are generally recognized by the group as being reliable or unreliable. This is both a form of labeling and of collective memory.

So for dropzone, Certification is a form of status labeling. Which is good but your problem is with imposters lying about their certification. All you can ever do is make it difficult for imposters you can never prevent it. But it should be possible to make it very difficult.

Another thing Axelrod suggests is that trust is built most effectively by many small (low value) transactions . So the suggestion from another post to "vote/grade" other users posts is a good one, but it is open to gaming. So I would suggest that only validated users can "vote/grade" posts. Everyone can still post and comment on posts but if you want to help shape the community you have to give up a bit of your anonymity.

Your factors for becoming a validated user are good, But I would say that there are other factors that could be included. For example if someone provides a paypal account or other verifiable online identity that required them to have more than an email account. They don't need to give you any money just the existence of the account proves they exist from a financial point of view. It does not have to be mandatory it just adds another layer of proof. Its like a validated email account but slightly more complex to acquire.

The issue of workload is a significant one. Assuming people can upload thier certificates. Who reviews them and says they are valid? Is it the 3/5 (validated) DZ.com users who can vouch for them. If so you will need to seed a group of validated DZ.com user in each country and have a mechanism to deal with clan/dropzone rivalries. (www.syndic8.com does something similar to validate RSS feeds, they have a large backlog of feeds waiting validation but the process does work)

I general I think uploading scans of your ratings is a good idea. If you can overcome the workload and storage issues. The question then is how do you label a "validated" users and what extra privileges do they get. Also how does a validated users get repremanded for not pulling their weight (this is a big point in Axelrods second book) and for being an imposter if they are found out to be one.


Premier sangiro
Head Honcho
Mar 3, 2004, 11:14 AM
Post #16 of 65 (2526 views)
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Quote:
but would this be just optional or required
Totally optional. I actually think taking it a little "over the top" as Tom said (and I think it may be as well) could be an incentive for people to actually try and get it done. It's always cool top be one of the "few users who've actually been validated". May add incentives like a forum for validated users only etc....

Just some thoughts....


AndyMan  (D 25698)

Mar 4, 2004, 12:08 PM
Post #17 of 65 (2493 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

One thing I've seen is the notion of certain users getting flagged as "topical experts", or something. Simply a group of people who're said to know what they're talking about - and manufacturers, plus known experts in their field (like Kate for big way) would have this flag set. Moderators could choose to canonize people who've shown good judgement...

_Am


mr2mk1g  (C 103449)

Mar 5, 2004, 3:13 AM
Post #18 of 65 (2472 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

With a system where you are either "verified" or not, any voluntary system will still run the risk of becoming defacto compulsory if people want to have any credibility.

How about a points or percentage based system where the most you can be is 100% verified, but there are several ways to get there (read more than 100% points available.

Just as a complete example: 20% for filling out the profile, 40% for proof of ratings, 40% for proof of jump numbers and currency, 20% for verified paypal account, 10% for verified email etc etc... (with weightings as HH feels appropriate). You should be able to see what details about a person are verified.

This way anyone can become "verified" with out finding if compulsory to open a paypal account or dig up 5 people who can vouch for them... if there ever was a concern about someone though posters can still hit their profile and see exactly what is verified and what is not.

I'm not sure I like the idea of being able to rate people... just imagine someone being pissed off in an argument (must happen many times a day on here). All the aggrieved party has to do is spend time going through Mr. X's back posts, rating each one as "appalling" and instantly Mr. X has a very very bad rating. Where loads of people have 500+ posts you would give renegades far too much power to instantaneously bring down the trustworthy. (a time expiry on the ability to rate a post could overcome some of this but would not prohibit vendetta's... Imagine if everyone could rate Ron... he has a lot of excellent advice, but who would listen if he had a rating of -50?)


JohnRich  (D License)

Mar 5, 2004, 12:06 PM
Post #19 of 65 (2459 views)
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Re: [mr2mk1g] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In reply to:
I'm not sure I like the idea of being able to rate people... just imagine someone being pissed off in an argument (must happen many times a day on here). All the aggrieved party has to do is spend time going through Mr. X's back posts, rating each one as "appalling" and instantly Mr. X has a very very bad rating. Where loads of people have 500+ posts you would give renegades far too much power to instantaneously bring down the trustworthy.

Bingo! That's why I think this is an unworthy idea. It will create ill will, and constant bickering and puffery. There's enough of that already. <grin>

Just let everyone decide for themselves who they think is trustworthy. There's no need to micro-manage. It's too wild and wooly to ever get than kind of a handle on it.


Lolie  (C License)

Mar 6, 2004, 4:09 PM
Post #20 of 65 (2438 views)
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Re: [TomAiello] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In reply to:
What if you allowed people to rate posts individually (small transactions) and had the ratings of someones posts reflect back into some kind of "overall" user rating (larger trust)? That way, if someone regularly posted good information, their user rating would climb, and vice versa.

I really like this idea! But like you said, it's addressing a separate issue than the one that started this thread, which was making sure people were actually whom they claimed to be.

The kind of rating system you suggest would make these forums a more useful tool for information exchange, which I think, overall, is more important than who's spreading what gossip in TalkBack and what information can be trusted (People should know to take anything they read on a public forum with a handful of salt!). The two issues are related, but perhaps, in true Tom fashion, these posts should be split off into a new thread... LaughWink


foobar

Mar 6, 2004, 11:19 PM
Post #21 of 65 (2432 views)
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Re: [JohnRich] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In reply to:
Bingo! That's why I think this is an unworthy idea. It will create ill will, and constant bickering and puffery. There's enough of that already. <grin>

Ill will, bickering and pufferey are a fact of life in any human community. They will be there no matter what. They exist now in every dropzone forum and they will never go away. It is certainly possible to make it worse, but it just may be possible to make it better. The fact is that these negative social issues are worse online than they are offline. Opinion carries further online than off, identity is weaker, and it is more difficult to judge if someone is trustworthy online than off because we cannot see them and judge them by their actions we only have their written word.

In reply to:
Just let everyone decide for themselves who they think is trustworthy. There's no need to micro-manage. It's too wild and wooly to ever get than kind of a handle on it.

The point is everyone will always decide for themselves anyway no matter how many "point" schemes are put in place. The question is this. Is it possible to design a scheme that can help people by redressing the balance. By making the online world more like the offline world where we can easily identify our friends and enemys. I believe it must be possible. But I admit most of the attempts (ebay, slash dot, amazon) are crude and have produced undesirable, unintended consequences.

Clay Shirky has a point when he says a group is its own worst enemy. As the dropzone community grows it will either destroy itself or devise a way to help individual users manage the scale.

I believe this community must engage in a discussion about these issue or it may not last in its current form.


Premier TomAiello  (D 22400)
Moderator
Mar 9, 2004, 9:14 AM
Post #22 of 65 (2404 views)
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Re: [mr2mk1g] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In reply to:
How about a points or percentage based system where the most you can be is 100% verified, but there are several ways to get there (read more than 100% points available.

Just as a complete example: 20% for filling out the profile, 40% for proof of ratings, 40% for proof of jump numbers and currency, 20% for verified paypal account, 10% for verified email etc etc... (with weightings as HH feels appropriate).

I like that idea, but I wonder if it would create too much work in verifying. It's definitely a way to create a "small transactions => big trust" interaction in the verification process, though, by breaking verification up into multiple smaller transactions.

In reply to:
You should be able to see what details about a person are verified.

And I really like that. If someone is verified to have a paypal account and email address, that doesn't tell us they know anything about skydiving. But if someone is verified to have D-14, and 20,0000 skydives, that's a different story. I wonder if there might also be some way to "verify" jumpers primary areas of skill, so that a 5000 jump freeflyer would be identified as less expert on CRW than a 3000 CRW jumper?

In reply to:
I'm not sure I like the idea of being able to rate people... just imagine someone being pissed off in an argument (must happen many times a day on here). All the aggrieved party has to do is spend time going through Mr. X's back posts, rating each one as "appalling" and instantly Mr. X has a very very bad rating. Where loads of people have 500+ posts you would give renegades far too much power to instantaneously bring down the trustworthy. (a time expiry on the ability to rate a post could overcome some of this but would not prohibit vendetta's... Imagine if everyone could rate Ron... he has a lot of excellent advice, but who would listen if he had a rating of -50?)

Only allowing 100% verified users to rate posts would probably solve this--especially if post ratings were kept in a database accessible to all (or perhaps just to verified users, or post raters, or moderators). If a mod saw that a post rater had gone on a crusade against a particular poster, they could remove the negative ratings, and potentially also revoke the post rating privileges of the crusader.

I think that most of these issues can be addressed by creating a smallish pool of "trusted" users who provide all of the ratings. Another idea would be to allow only a certain number of rating points to be given by each rater, or some other mechanism in which the act of rating fed back and effected the rater, as well as the ratee. In the real world, if you go around constantly telling people that Mr. X sucks, eventually they wise up and realize that it's really just you. Perhaps we might create a system that mimicked this in the virtual world?


(This post was edited by TomAiello on Mar 9, 2004, 12:04 PM)


flighty  (C License)

Mar 9, 2004, 11:39 AM
Post #23 of 65 (2392 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Here are two ideas on this topic I've just had.

Many people may not want their identities public, but it would be nice to have their status as a real person verified. In other words, the moderators would have their name and info, but their public profile would only have what they wish to show. I have noticed many people, for example MakeItHappen and myself, who have chosen to not put their names in their profile.

Secondly I think a modest fee or required donation for identity verification (for lack of better term) would be a reasonable way to help prevent overwhelming demand, and provide compensation for the work done to check info.


Premier TomAiello  (D 22400)
Moderator
Mar 10, 2004, 7:19 AM
Post #24 of 65 (2367 views)
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Re: [foobar] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In reply to:
Run a poll. Get everyone to vote for the top 25 (or however many you need) people on the site they trust. Not the most pofieint experts but he most trusted (yeah it's open to interpretation but so what). Give those 25 the power to bless anyone else's post as trusted.

It occurs to me that you'd need "regional" trust blessers. So, with this type of system, you'd need to have, say, 1 person designated for each forum, plus a dozen or so "floaters". Or perhaps each blesser would have a "home" forum designated, in which they agreed to read each post and bless as they saw fit.

I guess what I'm driving at is that you might end up with all the "blessings" and hence all the future "trust" concentrated in one or two forums (like TB or General) with little or no useful activity in lesser used forums like CRW, or BASE.


Liemberg  (Student)

Mar 13, 2004, 10:43 AM
Post #25 of 65 (2327 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Identity Status Suggestion [In reply to] Quote | Reply

After reading the different suggestions here about the problem we are plagued with ‘since the usenet days’ I would like to ad my 0,02$

Who is who and who to trust? As Sangiro mentioned, the likes of Bill Booth are not the problem and maybe even the likes of me are not (if I dare to be so bold).
You read my profile, find a clicky, end up on a DZ-advertisement page in a language you might not understand but the pictures suggest that they do skydive there. My name appears somewhere on the site as being the local ‘alpha-male’. My avatar picture is genuine in al likelihood – or I would have gone through an awful lot of trouble to create a fake identity on a forum. Probably I have to think before I speak here because I know it can bite me professionally.

Like every one else I have opinions. And opinions I have about the day-to-day running of a small DZ come from the day-to-day running of a small DZ for over forteen years. Opinions I have about the do’s and don’ts of tandem jumping come from over a thousand tandemjumps (which isn’t much but enough to form an opinion). But: opinions I have about wingsuit flying come from looking at other people doing it. Opinions I have about swooping and freeflying ditto. My opinion about basejumping? “Never! No-f**king-way! At least for me not – and most of you should be doing something less hazardous to your health. Besides you give skydiving a bad name”.
I think they might meet some resistance if uttered in the Base forum.Wink

I have a nice camerasuit, a velocity camerahelmet and a Sony pc105 to replace the Sony pc6 that was stolen last year. My profile reads that I’m a freefall photographer but last year I made for various reasons exactly ONE camerajump. And on a per year basis it isn’t much more in the last decade. (Eager young cameraflyers who are less rusty than me combined with enough other work on the ground). Last two years I bought about $ 3500 worth of videorecorder, DVD burner, camera, computers etc – mainly for others to play with (and hopefully give me a return-on-investment by sending every tandempassenger and every student home with a truly kick-ass video that shows ‘prospective buyers’ what a nice place to jump we have here…). Should I change my profile? Should the camera flyer profile have an extra option (retired)? Am I allowed to voice my opinion in the camera-forum? (I know how most of this stuff works, more-or-less…)

One personal experience is from more than 15 years ago. In case you are wondering what you would look like, should you land with virtually nothing out and be killed by the impact –

Ask me. I was the first skydiver on the scene then.

I have a vivid memory which makes me somewhat reluctant when it comes to discussing all my POV’s with every 100 jump wonder that just walked in.

That event changed my perspective on skydiving more than anything else did and I KNOW that on these forums here there will be others “with the same T-shirt”.

Sooo… my identity status falls apart in several different categories. And the first and foremost one (do I really exist?) seems the hardest to solve on the internet. I could get a fastmail.fm account free of charge within an hour and therefore could have a fake DZ.com ID up and running within the next hour. (If I was a bit more childish and had more time on my hands I would like to see how long I would be tolerated here disagreeing with Billvon on every opportunity, before I was kicked of the premises – just for the heck of it… Wink)

I could scan my licenses and AFAIK Sangiro might be able to read what is said since he has some comprehension of the dutch language. But what if I were what I am, but doing it in Russia? “This one is in Cyrillic Alphabet...”. Scan logbooks? “OK mr. Hathaway – show us proof that you actually made more than 10.000…” “You want me to WHAT?”

(Then again, my conservative approach might have taken the better of me. The ratings are in Dutch, but are ‘subtitled’ in English. And I could scan the first logbook entry ‘08/08/1979’ and the last ‘17/10/2004’. But would Sangiro and the greenies want to wade through 75000 scans mailed to them?)

However - I have a gut feeling that in 95% or more of the cases I am listening to and speaking with real people who actually made so-and-so-much jumps, actually fly skydiving aircraft, actually design and build parachutes and containers, et cetera, et cetera.
And just like on a real DZ it just takes a while to find out who is who. "See that young hotshot with brand new RW suit and full face helmet? Just of student status. See that unimpressive character helping out at the tank platform? Chief pilot with over 5000 hours PIC."

One last thing though (since you have all these neat buttons).
Wouldn’t it be a nice idea if right next to the 'typing window' there was a ‘noise to signal’ button that would send you back to the thread you were reading with just one click? Or a standard windows nag screen making you click twice before you actually post? Just a thought...

O well, am I glad this isn’t a democracy…Smile


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