I'm REALLY disappointed in @Ted for voting to reject my Niche topic. I'm wracking my brains to give him (and the others that have followed suit that I've had very positive interactions with like @Harj) some meager benefit of doubt.

Reviewing the brief instructions at the top of the Niche Ballot page are some instructions on how to approach Niche voting. One column for upvoting, and one for rejecting proposed Niches. 

Vote UP  if:
  • The niche is unique in some way. A niche can be a subset of another niche, however. For example, "Wireless Routers" is perfectly valid, even if "Routers" already exists.
  • You think some people will find the niche interesting, even if you personally have no interest in it.

The first bullet describes how similar two proposed Niches can be and still be considered "unique" and therefore equally valid.  

The second bullet literally instructs voters to exclude their own personal interest. This is why I have, up until this point, had no problem voting YES for every single Niche suggested... including Beach Life and News.

Since @Ted and others have rejected the idea, and it is by far receiving the most negative attention, I thought maybe the second column of instructions could help me undestand the hostility. 

Vote DOWN  if:
  • The niche is not unique. For example, "NY Giants Football Team" is not unique if "New York Giants Football Team" already exists.
  • You think the subject is morally objectionable or violates our Terms of Service. Political or religious differences should be given wide latitude. For example, if you are "Pro-Choice", you should not reject a "Pro-Life" niche. Political and religious differences should not be grounds for rejection.

Now, according to the first point, redundancy is a good reason to reject a Niche proposal. I was the fourth to submit a Niche to the list, so checking to see if someone else had already made the suggestion: New Parish was easy to determine. It had not yet been suggested!

The second bullet prohibits morally objectionable and ToS violating subjectsSince Narrative is an intentional effort, based on a set of shared values/ideals, to build community... and Niche for New Parish writings would function in the same way... I figured this couldn't be the reason why it was rejected by the Founder of the company.

The second bullet continues to explain a notorious example of extreme political/religious perspectives that might typically attack each other with suppressive voting—and discourages it.

Clearly, it is Narrative's position to give political and religious differences wide latitude. So... it isn't about religious differences, right? So, what could it be? Is it that they just don't understand the topic? I have a hard time believing this. But even if that is the case... what does it matter? Why vote?

If someone proposes a Niche, there's a good chance that they do so because they believe there is content to support it. (Incidentally, the potential for supporting content is NOT one of the voting criteria mentioned.)

I would love to hear a response from @Ted and/or @Harj.  @Harj has been here since the start, positively pumping up Narrative and I presumed he'd be motivated to band together and support everyone in "his Narrative family".

And, @Ted is in the lead of this whole parade. If he doesn't understand how Niche voting is supposed to work... what then?

 

 

Original Post

I noticed this pattern in voting.

What can I say.  Humans are fallible.  We must be extremely careful to include safeguards in our processes, and not leave them entirely up to the wisdom of moderators, or even tribunals of elected members.  We need something akin to a constitution that delineates that actions contrary to it can be overturned.

PS  I too have approved every niche so far.  They all meet the criteria.

Hi Bryan, I noticed this too. Seemed odd to me as well. But don't fret too much...When i voted for it, it popped you up into 63% with that one vote. There is hardly any members there yet. I am sure you will have more than enough votes from this small community as it begins to log on. 

Thanks @Emily Barnett I'm not too worried about the voting, just the Ted part of it. It's also surprising that @Rosemary's proposed Niche, Beach Life, is also getting some serious hostility. Just shows people are voting with their affinities and aesthetic preferences! 

I need to remember this is the very first Niche voting experience. The team will sort it out. 

@mrgoodsett Thanks. I tried to be as succinct as possible in the description. But, after getting downvotes, I pasted the text into a Flesch-Kincade text analyzer and it registered as an 19th-grade reading level. So, maybe the downvotes were really just confused votes? I dunno. It's definitely more complicated than Dogs. 

Bryan posted:

Thanks @Malkazoid, I think you're right. If Ted hadn't voted to reject my Niche, I think I would have just chocked it up as "confused voter syndrome"... But Ted did vote, and he's supposed to know this stuff. 

I didn't realise you could see how people had voted.  I looked and Ted is in the YES column now.  It is possible he clicked the wrong button, and went back to correct it afterwards?

Being the devil's advocate here: I didn't understand your niche, nor I had ever heard in my life the concept "New Parish". Had to google it now to understand what it was, and then after all the polemic here I decided to vote for it.  Maybe that's why people didn't vote for it?

Andreas Hauser posted:

I confess to also having downvoted Beach Life and "Oil or Life", however after reading this post I can see that we need as many niches as possible to accommodate as many different views as possible - so I have now changed my vote.

Thanks for changing my mind :-) 

Awesome - you've gained yourself a follower.

Few things are more impressive than someone who can change their mind and admit it.

Malkazoid posted:
Bryan posted:

Thanks @Malkazoid, I think you're right. If Ted hadn't voted to reject my Niche, I think I would have just chocked it up as "confused voter syndrome"... But Ted did vote, and he's supposed to know this stuff. 

I didn't realise you could see how people had voted.  I looked and Ted is in the YES column now.  It is possible he clicked the wrong button, and went back to correct it afterwards?

Yes, that is exactly what happened.

Sorry, I was so busy yesterday, I missed this topic.  Definitely just a mistake in where I clicked.  My apologies!

Currently, there are 44 Niches, and NO redundant proposals.

However, only 10 of the 44 have a 100% approval score. 

This means 77% of the proposed Niches have met with resistance by the voting community. Clearly we need some voter education

I have two solutions which are completely agnostic to the level of effort required to implement! 

  1. Force rejection votes to select WHICH reason they are using to reject a Niche. (a) Redundant, or (b) Violates ToS
  2. Exclude members from receiving community rewards generated by Niches they voted against.

I can hear the argument against this—"but then everyone will vote YES for every Niche." —Exactly. IF it is redundant, or violates the terms of service, it should be rejected, and there won't be any rewards to be had anyway. 

Bryan posted:

Currently, there are 44 Niches, and NO redundant proposals.

However, only 10 of the 44 have a 100% approval score. 

This means 77% of the proposed Niches have met with resistance by the voting community. Clearly we need some voter education

I have two solutions which are completely agnostic to the level of effort required to implement! 

  1. Force rejection votes to select WHICH reason they are using to reject a Niche. (a) Redundant, or (b) Violates ToS
  2. Exclude members from receiving community rewards generated by Niches they voted against.

I can hear the argument against this—"but then everyone will vote YES for every Niche." —Exactly. IF it is redundant, or violates the terms of service, it should be rejected, and there won't be any rewards to be had anyway. 

Don't know if I agree with this. I haven't voted for a few of the Niches because simply I do not think the subject is well described nor I fully understand what it is. If we vote "Yes" for every single Niche just because "We are a supportive community," then we should just skip the voting altogether. My 2 cents

If we vote "Yes" for every single Niche just because "We are a supportive community," then we should just skip the voting altogether. My 2 cents

I agree. Add my 2 cents.

I also am sure that I will never vote no on a niche that otherwise maybe I might because I don't wish to get called out and excoriated on these forums in any manner.  

I would have to disagree. Voting is not mandatory. If you don't feel like something deserves a Yes vote doesn't automatically mean you have to vote No. The 3rd option is to just not vote at all on that Niche. Just because I don't understand something or think it isn't properly described is not justification enough for me to cast a No vote. 

As always, just my thoughts.

Eduardo Hernández posted:
 
Don't know if I agree with this. I haven't voted for a few of the Niches because simply I do not think the subject is well described nor I fully understand what it is.

 

If we vote "Yes" for every single Niche just because "We are a supportive community," then we should just skip the voting altogether. My 2 cents

I think that is the problem. Just because someone doesn't know what Darning Lore is, doesn't mean the one who submitted it isn't deeply connected with content creators from the sock-darners subculture and the seedy back-alleys of underground knitters & stitchers. The Niche proposer is the one who sees its potential. The community is here to vet redundancy and violation of terms. 

Language is important—similar to the Niche "owner" fiasco... "voting" is presenting its own set of presumptions that are causing internal friction.

And @David Dreezer I don't think you'd be excoriated... exfoliated maybe, but never excoriated. At least, not right away. 

@EDUARDO HERNÁNDEZ

I totally agree. There are so far several niches where the description could be done better. The "oil or life" niche is a good example. Although I voted for this niche, since I suppose I know what the topic should represent and it is generally ok for me, I would really like to see some possibility to modify the niche description (only by its creator) after it was proposed and possibly discussed by other members.

At the end, there could be people who are also interested in a niche proposed by someone else and it can undermine their motivation to bid for that niche if the name or description are not done clearly. 

@Soňa, once you have won the auction for a niche, you can submit name and description updates, which are subsequently voted on by the community according to the same criteria used for new niches (not redundant and no TOS violations). Thus, the name and description is not locked in, so I wouldn't let it stop you from bidding on a niche that isn't quite phrased the way you like.

Brian Lenz posted:

@Soňa, once you have won the auction for a niche, you can submit name and description updates, which are subsequently voted on by the community according to the same criteria used for new niches (not redundant and no TOS violations). Thus, the name and description is not locked in, so I wouldn't let it stop you from bidding on a niche that isn't quite phrased the way you like.

Thanks Brian. The clarification about revisibility of both the name and description is helpful. 

In light of this,  I don't think it will depress niche or overall value to have some arguably (and arguable not) optically imperfect names or descriptions transiently hanging about pre-beta. Folks can just all help each other out with descriptions.

Even though we're just carving up an idea space, or perhaps precisely because we're carving up an idea space, descriptions and labels traditionally impact perceived value which is I believe the root cause of some of the negative votes. 

but revisibility on the near horizon I don't believe this is a concern.

I'll be flipping some of my votes with this in mind.

Don't think there's really a need to impose a justification menu.

 

Brian Lenz posted:

@Soňa, once you have won the auction for a niche, you can submit name and description updates, which are subsequently voted on by the community according to the same criteria used for new niches (not redundant and no TOS violations). Thus, the name and description is not locked in, so I wouldn't let it stop you from bidding on a niche that isn't quite phrased the way you like.

Hi Brian, 

thanks for your reply ! I understand that it is probably easier to solve the problem with niche names and description after the whole auction is finished and there is enough time and space to deal with that. 

On the other hand, what if I buy a niche where I am not really satisfied with the description and then I would not be able to change it... saying differently, I would be buying an unfinished product where I am not certain how it will turn out. Well I suppose that niche name+desc. alteration will probably not be a big deal after the niche is bought but still...It adds to my decision making whether to go for a niche which I am really enthusiastic about yet uncertain about its name or choose a safer option. 

Or maybe for me the real problem is, that it is not that hard to write down the name of niche and what it will be about. If you know it, you should be able to formulate it, and if you do not know it, you should not propose the niche in the first place. This is a platform where writing clarity should matter and writing niche name+desc. is in my view one of the easier tasks.

Just some thoughts...

I would be really happy to support all kind of niches. But I would be also glad to fully understand what I am voting for.

Brian Lenz posted:

@Soňa, once you have won the auction for a niche, you can submit name and description updates, which are subsequently voted on by the community according to the same criteria used for new niches (not redundant and no TOS violations). Thus, the name and description is not locked in, so I wouldn't let it stop you from bidding on a niche that isn't quite phrased the way you like.

Thanks for the clarification Brian. Very important piece of information. Worth communicating this as much as possible as it will undoubtedly influence voting 

Bryan posted:

Currently, there are 44 Niches, and NO redundant proposals.

However, only 10 of the 44 have a 100% approval score. 

This means 77% of the proposed Niches have met with resistance by the voting community. Clearly we need some voter education

I have two solutions which are completely agnostic to the level of effort required to implement! 

  1. Force rejection votes to select WHICH reason they are using to reject a Niche. (a) Redundant, or (b) Violates ToS
  2. Exclude members from receiving community rewards generated by Niches they voted against.

I can hear the argument against this—"but then everyone will vote YES for every Niche." —Exactly. IF it is redundant, or violates the terms of service, it should be rejected, and there won't be any rewards to be had anyway. 

I'd say don't worry about percentages. If your niche is appropriate, it will make it to the next round (you only need 50+% approval rate, after all). I was miffed myself at the beginning because my suggestion was CLEARLY unique but got over it once I realized it'll pass anyway. 

HI Bryan

I have been re-adjusting some of my votes and listening to the conversation here and like your point on If someone proposes a Niche, there's a good chance that they do so because they believe there is content to support it.

thanks for the better undertanding this really helps me and I can improve my voting approach.

thanks bro

 

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