Site feedback – healthy ticker, or ticked off?

The topic of comment ticking was raised (again) yesterday:

My opinion, which counts for nought, is that this site would be better off without up and down ticks. The Standard for example is not diminished by their absence. Please keep in mind that those who downtick you are not necessarily commenters here; there are likely many who read this site but never comment.

I’m open to whether the comment ticking feature should remain here, or should be removed. Things have changed a lot since it was first implemented – I can’t remember how many years ago.

First, the options available. This site has what is called ‘Nero Rating’ turned on, where comments can be up-tocked or down-ticked. This can be switched off. Another option is a star rating system instead – 0 to 5 stars can be given per comment. I don’t want to go there.

There ius also an option to allow either Nero ticking or star ratings on posts, I have never used that, and I don’t think I want to.

The ability to tick can be a useful form of expression. It enables people to quickly give an indication of whether they agree with a comment or not. It is a form of free speech. It gives people who don’t have the time to comment, or don’t want to comment (there are many more silent readers than commenters) an opportunity to participate.

But like everything online there are negatives. Ticking is open to abuse. It is easy to game – to multiple tick.

The Phantom Down Ticker has been mentioned a few times – there appears to be one person, or perhaps a small number of people, who for some reason sometimes down ticks every comment, or many comments. This is noticeable first thing in the morning. Is this a valid form of expression? It appears to be more than that, it seems like a concerted effort to try to trash the site. I don’t really care much about it, it’s obviously futile, it doesn’t stop me posting and it doesn’t seem to stop people commenting.

I think the biggest concern on Nero ticking is when it is used as a form of personal attack. While up-ticks may encourage people to comment, down-ticks can have a negative effect on some and may deter participation. Especially when a group mentality is involved.

This concerns me, because I want to encourage a wide range of opinions and arguments here. One of the biggest issues facing online forums is attempts to shut down discussion and debate by attacking and trying to discredit people.

It may be that most people think that ticking is ok and largely harmless and adds to the flavour of Your NZ.

Or ticking may be seen as not very useful and too open to abuse.

If there is strong support for Nero ticking to remain then I may just leave it on.

If there is strong support for removing it then I will turn it off, at least for a trial period.

If opinion is mixed I may turn Nero ticking off for a period, and then re-evaluate, possibly through another discussion.

I may support a minority view if there are good arguments that ticking deters some participation.

Your feedback is encouraged – and the first comment will be used as a measure of support or opposition to Nero being enabled here.

54 Comments

  1. Up-tick this comment if you want Nero ratings (ticking) to remain.
    Down-tick this comment if you want Nero ratings (ticking) turned off.

  2. Gezza

     /  March 6, 2018

    Turn it off, Pete.

    • Gezza

       /  March 6, 2018

      Ok leave it on, Pete.

      • MaureenW

         /  March 6, 2018

        The ups and downs on both of your posts are hilarious and show why they are irrelevant, other than providing an indicating of what others are responding to.

  3. Corky

     /  March 6, 2018

    Turn it off. I’m sick of prats whining about up and down ticks Fug me, they write an intellectual thesis then fall apart because they have more down ticks then up ticks.

    On second thoughts, keep upticks. It clearly identifies people who have ”issues.”

    • Removing an excellent blog feature because just some people can’t handle it is just kowtowing.

      • My suggestion, if there is a wordpress add-on that can identify logged in tickers rather than an ISP. You know how facebook show who likes this or that.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  March 6, 2018

      If anyone’s writing theses, these must be very short ones. I haven’t seen any.

      There seem to be a surprising number of both up and downsometimes, so I do wonder if people are block-ticking.

      The ‘like’ feature indicates the same thing – if nobody clicks it, one knows that the view is not shared by others.

  4. David

     /  March 6, 2018

    I quite like the quick up or down tick for when one is in a hurry or to offer support to somebody having a debate with 2 of the regulars, they need some moral support with their fruitless task.
    I say keep them Pete.

  5. Ray

     /  March 6, 2018

    I am easy on this but the down ticking is “interesting ” and it would be really interesting to know what drives it, your theory that it is a sabotage move strikes me as believable and not something I had considered.
    Though compared with some of the efforts in the past, a bit of a pathetic daily exercise.

    • My take is that they are just small world haters. Irrational and meaningless responses only demean the PDT in the eyes of the rational and we need to remember that their lives are very often narrow and it’s perhaps the only enjoyable thing they do all day.

      Be kind to mental health of keyboard warriors and hermits ‘Keep Downticking’

  6. NOEL

     /  March 6, 2018

    Arriving late to a thread it’s common that one’s point has been covered. Tick allows one to contribute further. Keep it.r

  7. artcroft

     /  March 6, 2018

    I’m all for keeping them.

    • Cork

       /  March 6, 2018

      Arty, since trading in the Colts for Italian iron, you have become as soft as hoof rot.

  8. Keep the ticks, they serve as an instant response when I agree with a comment but don’t want to add anything for whatever reason.
    I prefer this system than Disqus where downticks are not noted.
    I put very little weight on the negative impact of a downtick. An obvious consequence of expressing an opinion in an open forum is that some people might disagree with you.
    I do confess to having a quandary when I want to uptick a commenter for raising a negative subject.
    I would think the number of people gaming the system by using multiple devices is fairly low, I suspect the tick rate is far lower than the click rate, given PG’s remarks re silent readers.
    Ticks are better than harmless, they are beneficial.
    Tick complainers need to harden up.
    And a final response to the initial commenter which prompted this post, “My opinion, which counts for nought”, let me assure you, it counts.

    • “I put very little weight on the negative impact of a downtick. An obvious consequence of expressing an opinion in an open forum is that some people might disagree with you.”

      I agree downticks on posts are all good to me. I have to admit I actually delight in seeing a rash of downticks. I see deranged snowflakes falling all around me….

      • On that basis, we are going to have to introduce a Haha option 🙂

      • MaureenW

         /  March 6, 2018

        I agree entirely Trav. Upticks, downticks are of no consequence to me, although they provide some indication of the types of posts people respond to. My preference would be to keep them.

  9. duperez

     /  March 6, 2018

    Ticks, again by this post, serve a far greater purpose. He we are luxuriating in discussing them. Less troublesome than being in Eastern Ghouta.

    • Eastern Ghouta? Isn’t that for World Watch? This thread is about ticking on posts. Do you do it? Do you want to keep it? Is it better for this community to keep it?

      • duperez

         /  March 6, 2018

        Sorry for not living in a black/white world and making esoteric observations. Or should this be in under World Watch, Open Forum or Where’s Wally?

        • Bringing up Syria seems bizarre in this operational nuts and bolts thread for yournzers. Since you’re so esoteric, thoughtful and a cut above the common hoi polloi and their ticks or non-ticks are unworthy of your consideration – consider starting a Ghouta post in World Watch or consider volunteering to the refugee camps in Lebanon.

          It’s not about “esoteric” v “black and white”. Let’s remember who freely supplies this forum and kindly consults us on housekeeping issues.

          Question again. To tick or not to tick.

  10. Pickled Possum

     /  March 6, 2018

    I would like them to stay … gives a view of whoz on board or not. Gives some hope to carry on … for some multiple downticks …. it means to me … diversity a plenty. As we are anonymous and Unknown to most … who really cares … about the downticks.
    Debate is what its about …. Isn’t it? So don’t be shy …
    Does wordpress have the option of naming of tickerz?

  11. Alan Wilkinson

     /  March 6, 2018

    My preference would be to allow upticks but not downticks since if you agree with something that is straightforward but if you disagree with something you should say what and why.

    If that option is not available then I choose stay with both. For myself, I never downtick and I mentally add the ups and downs together on my comments as I am sure I have annoyed the right people.

    • Gezza

       /  March 6, 2018

      Only a couple of them, probably – mostly it’d be the left people I reckon.

    • Mefrostate

       /  March 6, 2018

      I’m impressed at your ability to convince yourself that every downtick must be because you’ve annoyed the right people, rather than because your ideas are bad and your rhetoric obvious.

      • Mefrostate

         /  March 6, 2018

        And if anyone downticks this comment, I’m just going to assume it’s because they’re all idiots. Couldn’t possibly be because I’m a smug prick.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  March 6, 2018

          Splendid, Mefro. I see I’ve successfully annoyed you again.

          • Mefrostate

             /  March 6, 2018

            Your inability to defend your own opinions actually brings me great satisfaction.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  March 6, 2018

              Your bitchiness does it for me, Mefro.

            • Mefrostate

               /  March 6, 2018

              Any interest in addressing the actual point, Alan?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  March 6, 2018

              Did that, then you arrived, Mefro.

            • Mefrostate

               /  March 6, 2018

              The point: writing everybody who disagrees with you off as “the right people to annoy” is a terrible system for assessing how your ideas are being received.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  March 6, 2018

              Silly pointless point, Mefro. As I said up the top before your sad and much lamented arrival, that’s the whole problem with downticks. So I conclude they are employed by idiots with nothing to say except a grudge to satisfy like you.

            • Mefrostate

               /  March 6, 2018

              When there’s an ongoing discussion, ticks for & against each side can be a useful gauge of how the passive observers are reacting to what’s being said.

              Considering you so-often trade in low-effort empty rhetoric & deliberate distraction, it’s unreasonable to expect us to constantly put effort into thoughtful critiques of your nonsense. Downticks are absolutely appropriate in that instance, and you should pay more attention to how tired everyone is with your drivel.

              Since you do prefer dissenters to explain themselves, on the odd occasions you post something salient, I’ll continue to counter. Most of the time I find your points pretty easy to dismantle.

            • robertguyton

               /  March 6, 2018

              “…on the odd occasions you post something salient…”
              Burn!

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  March 6, 2018

              Most of the time you indulge in pointless, humourless abuse – a tedious demonstration of your personality. I feel no obligation to provide you therapy.

            • Mefrostate

               /  March 6, 2018

              Humourless? Yes. I prioritize good points over comedy. You seem to prefer the reverse.

              Abuse? Maybe. I try to focus the abuse on your bad arguments, but it does stray into your tactics as well. I feel it’s important to expose the instances where you’re not engaging in good faith. I do try to avoid attacking your personality, despite you constantly calling me boring/unfunny when you’re backed into a corner.

              Pointless? Not at all. They always have a point, which is to expose the flaws in your arguments for the benefit of people reading. Now, if I was trying to change your mind, that certainly would be pointless. You’re clearly not interested in that.

  12. Zedd

     /  March 6, 2018

    I have not issues with this ‘feature’.. in fact I quite like seeing how many Downticks my comments get.. from the Tories/C-C deniers etc. ! 😀 😀

  13. Robert Guyton

     /  March 6, 2018

    A post, on ticks!

    • Gezza

       /  March 6, 2018

      No, it’s about PG offering to consider whether to keep the uptick/downtick feature or not. So commenters can have a say about their preference, if they have one.

    • PDB

       /  March 6, 2018

      Reading BobJ’s comment below Robert I think they may have given you a downtick…

  14. BobJ

     /  March 6, 2018

    Keep them for sure!

    I quite often uptick and down tick depending on the content, is fair to say that some of the more stupid, ignorant, simple minded, dim witted, block headed, unpleasant (and several more expletive descriptions) people that comment here get a down tick more often than not.

  15. PartisanZ

     /  March 6, 2018

    Pete, what a excellent topic for people to vent their spleen at downtickers and, if they want to, antagonize and deride their fellow commentors …

    They don’t realize what a hair-brained, dunce-headed, pig-ignorant bunch of bigoted half-wits they are!

    • Gezza

       /  March 6, 2018

      Well, sometimes they might just agree or disagree with a comment without necessarily being hair-brained, dunce-headed, pig-ignorant & bigoted. Maybe?

      What do you reckon PZ – keep the uptick downtick feature or not?

      • PartisanZ

         /  March 6, 2018

        My comment was meant to be humorous Gezza … sort of reverse irony or something … I am the same for saying that about them …

        Unless there actually IS SUCH A THING as commentors like that? How do we objectively measure half-witted, pig-ignorant, bigoted dunce-headedness?

        It’s a no-brainer IMHO, keep the upticks AND downticks.

        I’d be nowhere without being able to uptick myself!

        • Gezza

           /  March 6, 2018

          How do we objectively measure half-witted, pig-ignorant, bigoted dunce-headedness?

          I usually just have a quick read & it generally stands out. Sometimes I ask a question or two if I’m not sure just how badly they’re suffering from these deficiencies, & the response can help narrow down whether they have all of them or just one or two. 🙂

          • PartisanZ

             /  March 6, 2018

            But that is surely to say one of two things Gezza …

            1) That person’s opinion doesn’t count. They don’t deserve to be heard.

            But in a referendum or electoral ballot, that person’s opinion actually DOES count. Therefore they actually do deserve to be heard?

            2) That person is not expressing their genuine opinion, but is instead saying what they think you DO or DON’T want to hear?

            I don’t like either of those options.

            • Gezza

               /  March 6, 2018

              But that is surely to say one of two things Gezza …

              1) That person’s opinion doesn’t count. They don’t deserve to be heard.

              But in a referendum or electoral ballot, that person’s opinion actually DOES count. Therefore they actually do deserve to be heard?

              Of course they do. If it wasn’t for hair-brained, dunce-headed, pig-ignorant & bigoted people the rest us might never know how intelligent & open-minded we are.

              2) That person is not expressing their genuine opinion, but is instead saying what they think you DO or DON’T want to hear?”

              I can’t help these people. But if they’re agreeing with me, that’s probably ok. As long as they don’t sound like an idiot.

  16. robertguyton

     /  March 6, 2018

    46 comments! Up-tick!!

  1. Thumbs up for Nero rating | Your NZ