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Identifying Top Contributors to LET
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Identifying Top Contributors to LET

raindog308raindog308 Administrator

IWe've been evaluating ways to award a Top Contributor tag on a monthly or quarterly basis to those who contribute the most to the forum. There isn't a Vanilla plugin for this - I'm just doing analysis in the DB via SQL.

Vanilla provides the following metrics that we could use:

  • number of threads started by the user

  • number of comments by the user

  • amount of text the user posted. This is just a raw statistic - it doesn't differentiate between quoted text, posting a long command output, etc.

  • number of comments in threads the user started

  • number of views of the user's threads

  • number of thanks the user received

The first three are more quantity; the last two are more about quality.

The question is what formula to use to compute a score using these statistics. A few filters would be used:

  • moderators, admins, banned people, etc. are not eligible and their scores are filtered out, though their comments in threads, thanks given, etc. would still count towards other eligible users' scores.

  • flag reports, dumped threads, etc. are filtered out

  • threads, comments, and thanks in Offers and Shared Hosting Offers categories are filtered out. This is to prevent providers from dominating the results. Yes, providers' posts are valuable but their reward is business...we're trying to acknowledge people who participate for non-commercial reasons.

I have some ideas for a scoring formula but I thought I'd ask the community for their advice. Thoughts? To me, the number of thanks, number of views generated (divided by some scaling factor, otherwise it will outweigh everything), and number of comments in discussions are the most important factors, though this does weigh things in favor of those who start discussions.

Some statistics (with the above-mentioned filters applied) based on August + September 2021.

                               MIN       MAX      AVG     STDEV
num_comments                    0        342      9.5      25.4
num_discussions                 0         13      0.3        .8
num_comments_in_discussions     0        611      5.7      26.4
num_views_generated            33      61200    786.8    2947.5
num_thanks                      0        271      5.2      19.9
total_length_of_posts           0     292738   3674.8   13476.2
thanks_per_comment              0          8       .3        .6

«13

Comments

  • edited October 2021

    @raindog308 said: To me, the number of thanks, number of views generated (divided by some scaling factor, otherwise it will outweigh everything), and number of comments in discussions are the most important factors, though this does weigh things in favor of those who start discussions.

    If you really want to prioritize usefulness to the community, the number of thanks should have the highest priority being the most useful indicator. Views and comments are important, but it's useful to avoid over-prioritizing these metrics so as to avoid the creation of drama/snide threads and being unfair to those who only comment.

    I've been playing around with this formula, I think it clearly expresses the concepts above:

    score = thread_score + comment_score
    thread_score = thread_thanks_count + log_10((thread_char_count + thread_view_count) * thread_comments_count)
    comment_score = comment_thanks_count / 4 + log_e(comment_chars)
    

    To help people reason why the formula works, here are some examples for posts:

    And some examples of comments:

  • Quantity != Quality. There is comments which has 10x worth reading than the ordinary spam/troll. Especially when the drama unfolds. Those comments has insane dedication, real time consume and logic. If person has 10 000 comments, only 1 comment could make him top contributor. Address the quality.

    Thanked by 1omeongth
  • edited October 2021

    @LTniger I agree, this is why my formula is designed to prioritize the thanked count and should bring up the most useful threads.

    @raindog308 while at it, can we also make the XSS filter at Cloudflare a bit more lax? It's hardly encouraging of community members who write a long tutorial (look at @yoursunny's tutorials for example) only to be blocked and lose the changes to their post.

    Thanked by 1TimboJones
  • BlaZeBlaZe Member, Host Rep
    edited October 2021

    How about using the filters you're considering & then having a vote on the narrowed down results/contenders? because sometimes, its about quality rather than quantity.

    Taking an example, @Francisco 's comments are usually short & useful. So less in quantity but more of quality.

    Similarly, @DP is quite the helpful guy around. If one needs to learn how to write an elaborate argument to prove one's point & that too without cussing but presenting it in a civilized way, then @jsg

    Don't know about rest but @jsg surely qualifies (heck, he will win it) as a top contributor for LET.

    The man puts so much of his time in writing long ass essays to prove his point - which fuels any drama & invokes the souls of past extempore winners to counter him.

    So, @jsg should win it by default.

  • @BlaZe said: Don't know about rest but @jsg surely qualifies (heck, he will win it) as a top contributor for LET.

    Gotta restore the king's broken ego.

  • King Contributor ?

    Thanked by 1BlaZe
  • jsgjsg Member, Resident Benchmarker
    edited October 2021

    @stevewatson301 said:
    If you really want to prioritize usefulness to the community, the number of thanks should have priority since it is the most useful indicator of usefulness to the community.

    No, because "thanks" can have diverse meanings, ranging from "haha, funny" (but worthless in terms of relevant information content) over "Yeah, I dislike XYZ too, so I click "'Thanks'" (worthless except maybe for drama and/or emotions) to "Good content/information/solution/advice", of which only the last one indicates relevant quality.

    @raindog308

    I think that a forum like LET that is, more or less centered around tech and selling/purchasing VPS, needs a (1) friendly or at least halfway polite attitude, (2) constructive intentions/approach, (3) relevant knowledge and experience, (4) a good measure of humor/fun/laughing. Unfortunately none of these is easy to measure.

    As someone already said, 2 lines may be just the right thing (e.g. @Francisco) - or they may be worthless chatter, driven mainly by social aspects and/or emotions. Similarly a 100 lines post may be useful/good quality content/entertaining/educating - or just rumbling or ranting. "Thanks" may mean a lot and be well deserved - or they may carry virtually no (relevant) or even negative meaning.

    One criterion that probably is valuable and useful is whether a given user is obviously aiming to actually contribute some content of value or whether (s)he is basically just out for laughs or "Thanks". Hard to measure though.

    At the end of the day @jbiloh, you, and the team will have to define what they want LET to be because that also defines what is valuable here on LET and what is not.

    @stevewatson301

    Are you an idiot or simply nasty? I've already said it multiple times and jbiloh has clearly confirmed it that I never asked for the "King" tag or a tag with "king" in it.

  • @jsg said: @stevewatson301

    Are you an idiot or simply nasty? I've already said it multiple times and jbiloh has clearly confirmed it that I never asked for the "King" tag or a tag with "king" in it.

    Lack of reading comprehension strikes again! I talked about ego, and the title definitely stroked your ego:

    I'll certainly not complain about a man with friendly and good intentions putting a bit too much cream on top of the cake.

  • jsgjsg Member, Resident Benchmarker

    @stevewatson301

    OK, I take back the "or". You obviously are both, an idiot and nasty.

  • on another forum I've this summary under my profile.

    and then system give auto-badges like Enthusiast (if user visits for 7 days continuously and replies at least one post), Appreciated (received X amount of likes on x posts),

    Thanked by 2BlaZe stevewatson301
  • AndrewsAndrews Member
    edited October 2021

    I've got strange feeling that this mumbo jumbo magical formulas (instead of just asking and hearing community voices in matter of such things) is all about finding the way to make a paragon of virtues (like honesty, reliability, competences) from gang of crooks (Hostsolutions, iHostArt and jsg)

    it is continuation of three previous steps:
    1. unbanning HS scammer
    2. promoting his supporter in scam (and author of malicious pseudo "benchmark") jsg
    3. tolerating posting offer thread by his alter ego (without provider tag) with bunch of overwhelming red flags and past

    why???????????????????????

    didn't you learn any lesson with fuckup of false benchmarking king fail or six persons club unbanning uber scammer against community???

    just make use of POLLs...

  • jsgjsg Member, Resident Benchmarker

    @Andrews said:
    [vile and factually wrong BS plus a typical idiots demand]

    I was already expecting you

    Let me ask you a simple question: How often, say per 3 months period, do you and your nasty pals actually try to help someone here in a way that is recognizably constructive and a psychologically and socially halfway healthy human recognizes as a reasonably qualified attempt to help?

    I'm asking because that is a good example of a valuable contribution to our community. If you are capable and willing to do so you can add the criterion how often in terms of a percentage of posts a user is obviously trying to attack or smear another user vs. a generally calm and friendly attitude.

    My last such attempt - recognized by the user having a problem or question - is of today (before this thread was created). And there are many more examples to be easily found.

    Your turn.

  • @jsg said:

    @Andrews said:
    [vile and factually wrong BS plus a typical idiots demand]

    I was already expecting you

    Let me ask you a simple question: How often, say per 3 months period, do you and your nasty pals actually try to help someone here in a way that is recognizably constructive and a psychologically and socially halfway healthy human recognizes as a reasonably qualified attempt to help?

    I'm asking because that is a good example of a valuable contribution to our community. If you are capable and willing to do so you can add the criterion how often in terms of a percentage of posts a user is obviously trying to attack or smear another user vs. a generally calm and friendly attitude.

    My last such attempt - recognized by the user having a problem or question - is of today (before this thread was created). And there are many more examples to be easily found.

    Your turn.

    do not write to me as I do not intend to discuss with you any more

    me and community discussed with you for two months in thread about Hostsolutions scam, and later in thread about your pseudo "benchmark" scam

    what you presented there clearly showed us, that further discussion with your endless miles of blah blah blah is pointless

    you will not drag me in your level of discussion:

    @jsg said:
    @stevewatson301 OK, I take back the "or". You obviously are both, an idiot and nasty.

  • Identify me as the drive-by killa of internet-feelings aka the OG Internet Gangster / aka Keyboard Warrior.

  • edited October 2021

    @jsg said:
    @stevewatson301

    OK, I take back the "or". You obviously are both, an idiot and nasty.

    Do you have any comment about the concern which was raised, namely the tag and the subsequent ego stroking? I quoted you, of course, can't claim that I made that up about you.

    Thanked by 1drunkendog
  • @stevewatson301 said:

    @jsg said:
    @stevewatson301

    OK, I take back the "or". You obviously are both, an idiot and nasty.

    Do you have any comment about the which was raised, namely the tag and the subsequent ego stroking? I quoted you, of course, can't claim that I made that up about you.

    Many around here stroke more than egos.
    The ol' captain of the debate team is no different... probably strokes more than egos if we're talking about men. Tbh lmfao

  • DPDP Administrator, The Domain Guy

    @BlaZe said: @DP is quite the helpful guy around

    Why cheers mate, but I'm no where near a Top Contributor that's for sure.

    I'm just an ordinary member like everyone else here where we may or may not share the same interest, but at least we're part of the same community and livin' la vida low-end loca.

    But yeah, there are definitely lots of experienced, skilled and helpful members around here and everyone has their own ways of helping people - some do it briefly but precisely/accurately, some do it through jokes and memes, some do it through sarcasm, some explain elaborately, some gift-wrapped and some are just bold and blunt :joy:

  • @DP said:

    @BlaZe said: @DP is quite the helpful guy around

    Why cheers mate, but I'm no where near a Top Contributor that's for sure.

    I'm just an ordinary member like everyone else here where we may or may not share the same interest, but at least we're part of the same community and livin' la vida low-end loca.

    But yeah, there are definitely lots of experienced, skilled and helpful members around here and everyone has their own ways of helping people - some do it briefly but precisely/accurately, some do it through jokes and memes, some do it through sarcasm, some explain elaborately, some gift-wrapped and some are just bold and blunt :joy:

    A Google search of "the DP guy" has quite literally made you member of the year in my eyes. Congrats and enjoy!

  • defaultdefault Member
    edited October 2021

    Did mods just reached the "boring" point where they wonder how to measure monthly fun, monthly quality of jokes, monthly quality of thanks, maybe even quality of drama?

    The end is nigh, and this is not even the problem; the problem is I don't know if I should care about all this stress and brainstorming.

  • edited October 2021

    I have to take back my words, I should have spoken out against the practice instead of trying to work out formulae to score contributors.

    The posts by @plastik and @Lee describe the issue well, but there's going to be additional moderation burden spent on detecting multiaccounting even if thanks are counted.

    @raindog308 In addition to the post above, I should clarify that my calculation should apply only if a given comment or thread has been thanked once, otherwise a member with a barrage of low value or irrelevant comments can simply game the system and win.

  • @default said:
    I don't know if I should care about all this stress and brainstorming.

    Did YOU reach a "boring" point. You literally sound like such a fucking nerd when "stress and brainstorming" is what you get out of a forum like this.

    The bread is rye.

    Thanked by 1TimboJones
  • This is indeed pointless ego stroking, the people who have it in them to help others on online forums are not doing it to get a "Top Contributor" badge, they're doing it because that's how they are.
    Only thing this is going to do is make the regulars feel all high and mighty and when someone comes along offering a useful suggestion or piece of expertise they're going to be shot down because "Where is your medal, do you even have one?" It's not like we all don't have experience of such things happening in other online communities.
    If you want to reward the people that you think contribute to make this forum popular and relevant do it in a selective and "manual" way, give them a free VPS for a year or something, pinning tinfoil stars on their chest just creates division and elitism.

  • @grep said:
    The bread is rye.

  • LeeLee Member

    Sounds more like a play/incentive simply to get people posting more of any content.

  • jmgcaguiclajmgcaguicla Member
    edited October 2021

    @plastik said:
    This is indeed pointless ego stroking, the people who have it in them to help others on online forums are not doing it to get a "Top Contributor" badge, they're doing it because that's how they are.
    Only thing this is going to do is make the regulars feel all high and mighty and when someone comes along offering a useful suggestion or piece of expertise they're going to be shot down because "Where is your medal, do you even have one?" It's not like we all don't have experience of such things happening in other online communities.
    If you want to reward the people that you think contribute to make this forum popular and relevant do it in a selective and "manual" way, give them a free VPS for a year or something, pinning tinfoil stars on their chest just creates division and elitism.

    Good take

    image

  • @Lee said:
    Sounds more like a play/incentive simply to get people posting more of any content.

    Hence the reason to embrace uBlock for its powers to stop greed via annoying ads.

    Thanked by 3Lee BlaZe ViridWeb
  • as long as prizes are awarded by Racknerd for this, lets go!

  • raindog308raindog308 Administrator

    @stevewatson301 said: @raindog308 while at it, can we also make the XSS filter at Cloudflare a bit more lax? It's hardly encouraging of community members who write a long tutorial (look at @yoursunny's tutorials for example) only to be blocked and lose the changes to their post.

    This is a @jbiloh thing so I will defer to him. The challenge (from what I understand) is that Cloudflare only has a limited number of knobs and dials to tweak. I agree with you, though - it impedes technical discussion.

    @stevewatson301 said: If you really want to prioritize usefulness to the community, the number of thanks should have the highest priority being the most useful indicator.

    Yes, your formulae are very interesting and I will look at those deeper.

    @jsg said: No, because "thanks" can have diverse meanings,

    This is true.

    @JasonM said: and then system give auto-badges like Enthusiast

    So this is more where I was going with this idea. It wasn't about stroking egos as much as acknowledging people who put time into the forum.

    @Andrews said: I've got strange feeling that this mumbo jumbo magical formulas (instead of just asking and hearing community voices in matter of such things) is all about finding the way to make a paragon of virtues (like honesty, reliability, competences) from gang of crooks

    If you think the science of statistics is "mumbo jumbo magic" then I think we're on different planets.

    @default said: Did mods just reached the "boring" point where they wonder how to measure monthly fun, monthly quality of jokes, monthly quality of thanks, maybe even quality of drama?

    Actually it's more curiosity than boredom. Always looking for ways to improve things. Also, the LET data set is large enough to allow some analysis.

    @Andrews said: just make use of POLLs...

    In order words, have the community identify content and contributors that are valuable? You mean like the thanks button? :) My point is that we're doing exactly what you want already - people vote with their eyeballs (what they choose to read) and what they choose to thank.

    That's a far more accurate system than saying "here are 10 users, vote on them".

    @Lee said: Sounds more like a play/incentive simply to get people posting more of any content.

    I've noticed you generally start by assuming malice in everything, which must be a painful way to go through life. In fact, this "play" is obviously not what you say, otherwise we'd simply go by number of threads/comments. As you can see, I'm trying to put some thought into making this data-driven and fair based on quality as well, where quality is the relevance to/interest of the community.

    @plastik said: This is indeed pointless ego stroking, the people who have it in them to help others on online forums are not doing it to get a "Top Contributor" badge, they're doing it because that's how they are.

    The counterfactual here is that there are a wide variety of forums that have badge systems of different kinds so evidently they are popular. Unfortunately I don't think there is a Vanilla plugin or add-on for badges (happy to be proven wrong with a link), so tags are really all we have.

    In the grand future where I win the $545m Powerball and get tired of hookers and blow and seek meaning in my life and so go and hire a PHP guru to write a custom addon for LET...wait, that's so improbable it won't happen. Let me restart. If I could snap my fingers and will into existence any custom Vanilla add-on I wished, a badge system would exist. And I'm not saying that I won't get some wild hair some day and try to write one. But (a) barring that, I'd like to put something possible in place, and (b) it still requires metrics.

    Even this effort would be rather manual - I can run a report but would still have to go in and add/remove tags, etc. A system such as @JasonM displayed (or like IPBoard's Trophies system) where things are automated would indeed by better.

    @plastik said: If you want to reward the people that you think contribute to make this forum popular and relevant do it in a selective and "manual" way, give them a free VPS for a year or something,

    This has also been discussed (prizes in general) but that still asks the question of how the contributors will be identified.

    For those suggesting more of a manual approach, there are a couple challenges:

    (1) The sheer volume of conversation. In a typical month, LET generates 500-600 threads, around 11,000-12,000 comments, and (assuming an average of 5 characters/word) nearly 1 million words of text. No one moderator (and certainly not this administrator) reads everything.

    (2) Even if a small group did read the majority of that, there's a variety of biases. I may not be interested in some topics. I may not like the way a user writes, or like the user for that matter. I might like memes, someone else might hate them, etc.

    (3) Beauty contest voting is inherently problematic. If we're basing on thanks, views, etc. then those numbers are more natural than someone reacting to the most recent thing they've read, etc.

  • LeeLee Member

    @raindog308 said: I've noticed you generally start by assuming malice in everything, which must be a painful way to go through life.

    Yeah, go use that shit on someone else for likes, doesn't work on me.

  • @raindog308 said:
    (3) Beauty contest voting is inherently problematic. [...]

    I want an ugly vote. I am ugly, so I will most likely win.

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