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Noise on RecentChanges [#141]

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ArnoHollosi: Noise on RecentChanges (2005-11-06 17:23) [#388]

(moved from main page) -- 2005-09-10

Tamsin: It seems SL is a victim of its own popularity. There are so many users now, and as with any large group of people there are going to be disagreements about policy, about what should be here and what should not. Let's stop arguing about policy, because if one side gets its way, then the other side will resent it, and that will only hurt SL in the long run. Let's move forward in three ways:

1) If it's a social thing, then please use "minor edit" as suggested below.

2) If there's still material appearing that you don't want to read, then first, don't read it, and second, filter it out!

3) If Arno has time, please would he consider refining filtering tools further?

This way, we can all live together and enjoy Sensei's in harmony.

ArnoHollosi: no riff raff!! (2005-11-06 17:24) [#389]

(moved from main page)

Arno: Now filters should work on subpages too. For the experienced SL deshis: you can set the default filter for your RC profile. That way you do not need to bookmark the filtered URL or change the filter setting manually each time.

ps: I also fixed AdvancedFindPage and the full text search from the top bar.

Bob Myers: Feature request--could the RSS feed for Recent Changes be made sensitive to my filter settings, perhaps by adding my username as a parameter to the URL for the feed?

DrStraw: PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! Allow us to make "no riff-raff" the default view for recent changes in our preferences. I am getting so tired of 75% of it being about clans I am about to stop reading SL.

MarkD: I have to agree with DrStraw. "No Riff Raff" and maybe a "no keyword = clan" option would be very useful. (How does "no riff raff" filter the pages? Sometimes the option filters interesting changes?) The RecentChanges page is full of clan edits, the really interesting edits are lost in all the noise. Furthermore, please make the "Minor Edit" box a default option.

Dave: One alternative would be to create a separate Recent Changes page for clan edits as we did a couple of years ago when the ongoing games were very active. If/when things quiet down on the clan scene, we can bring them back onto the main page. I think this is probably easier to manage than putting the responsibility on individual readers to manage the filters well and individual posters to appropriately use minor edits (obviously not working). Personally I think the large number of clan edits is only half the problem currently. The other half is the lack of new non-clan edits :-)

ArnoHollosi: Re: no riff raff!! (2005-11-06 17:25) [#390]

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Arno: As for making "no riff raff" the default: go to UserPreferences, set your status to "experienced SL deshi", next UserPreferences should show a whole new set of options. Go to the RecentChanges section, at profile RC1 set the filter value to "2". Have a look at the filter code below: change it as you like.

Alternative: set filter value to "4", enter 4th filtername as "no clans", set filter value to '-k:"Online Go" -KGS -clan' That should be less restrictive than the "no riff raff" as humour and homepages are classified as riff-raff as well.

Actually I like Dave's proposal. I could make the separation of pages with keyword "online go" from the rest, just like we did with ongoing game pages. Experienced deshis could always undo the setting. I guess I will make the necessary preparations and implement it, unless people cry out loud.

  • DrStraw Arno, is this safe? I looked at it but do not consider myself an experienced deshi and so did not want to set it that way. I was afraid I might give myself powers I might not be aware of and inadvertently do something wrong.
    • Arno: Setting and unsetting affects only your personal settings. System wide defaults can only be set by me.

Thad: I think there are several things that need to be addressed here, but for the moment there are two major problems. As I underderstand it, people would have to chose the "online go" keyword. If they are not choosing minor edit, will they chose the "online go" keyword?

Arno: the difference is that the "online go" keyword has to be set only once, whereas the "minor edit" has to be checked for every edit.

Another bigger problem, there are people who aren't interested in clans, but are interested in online go. That means there are pages that they would miss, for example, an announcement of a new go server.

Arno: true. But I think a "clan" keyword is too narrow. As I said, all I would do is change the default profiles so that we get RC without "online go" and an "online go"-only RC. Anyone can change the default settings in their preferences.

ArnoHollosi: Noise on SL in general (2005-11-06 17:26) [#391]

(moved from main page) -- 2005-09-07

Dieter: I hate to be the usual whiner about what SL should look like and I know the administrators are far more flexible in this respect, but lately SL has become (again) more a device for showing off in public than for the discussion of Go. The whole clan idea is fine with me, but the usefulness for the rest of the Go community is very limited. I really don't care if clan X has acquired member Y. RecentChanges is flooded with homepages and clan talk. Again, I should be more patient and have faith in the long term strength of the community. Yet, I fear that people who play online on IGS for example, are apalled by the all the KGS related talk and do not regard SL as a Go discussion site anymore but rather as a KGS forum.

Once, for comparison I said "imagine Go clubs starting to discuss their social life here". Well, it has become true and ironically my own club is doing it. I am discussing this with my club members: I really think this social talk will kill the site eventually. SL is not a meeting room. It's not free webspace for clubs who are too lazy to develop their own virtual space. It's a library, for discussion of technical stuff and events that regard the whole world. I find In a Korean Baduk School for instance, an article of great value to many Go players: it is one of the first stories to give us an idea of Korean Baduk at work. It's told by a 6d, which is - in my elitist way of looking at stuff - very different from a 20k (or 2d for that matter) saying hello to the world. Such things can have their place at SL.

ArnoHollosi: Re: Noise on SL in general (2005-11-06 17:26) [#392]

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Morten Dieter, I agree with you in most respects. Like you, I don't (want to) care about clans per se, but annoyed at the attitude some of the entrants display. To be honest, I am hoping that the issue will blow over, like so many other issues have on SL...

To get back to the actual issue at hand: although I believe that SL should be a home for initial discussion of new concepts and ideas related to Go, and Go servers, I believe that SL should not become the 'home page' for clans or, as you put it, "free webspace for clubs who are too lazy to develop their own virtual space". As the Clans specifically belong to KGS, it is KGS which should provide them with an outlet for their discussions and flaming. If sufficently many users agree with this, we could kindly ask established clans (by an appropriate message on 'their page') to move their outlet to KGS. I still think SL would be a fair plce for 'new' clans to try to find followers.

This highlights a general issue on SL: there is no way to differentiate the wheat from the chaff... 'minor' pages will, by much posting attract more 'visibility' on RecentChanges than less heavily posted, but maybe more 'major' pages. Trying to change this would, apart from changing years of practice, also require much more 'administration'. Your suggestions are welcome...

ArnoHollosi: Re: Noise on SL in general (2005-11-06 17:27) [#393]

(moved from main page)

Tamsin: Dieter, my friend, nothing is here that cannot be edited or removed if it outlives its usefulness (uselessness?). I can see your point, but on the other hand, should not this site be about all aspects of go? Online go is here to stay, and people of course are going to discuss issues specific to online go, and of course there will be a bias to KGS because of its popularity among English-speaking go players. The only thing I would ask is that we show tolerance to one another; there will always be technical material, and there will always be non-technical "social" material. Choose what you want to get out of SL and let others do likewise. Anybody who wants to learn about almost any technical term, concept or issue can easily do so by using SL's superb search tools; Recent Changes is not only way to access SL.

Admittedly, though, perhaps you fear we will reach the stage where it will be difficult to navigate through new material, because Recent Changes shows so many new pages and contributions, in which case it may be a good idea to come up with a new way of classifying and tagging material.

In the meantime, though, perhaps it would help if people remembered why the "minor edit" check box is there. It is, indeed, not very interesting to see that Clan MacCampbellDouglasKnox? has gained one more player. And looking back, I see that I have myself transgressed, therefore I will change my ways.

(Oh, by the way, is there a way to reach you by e-mail? I have tried but without success. It would be wonderful to catch up with you, you know.)

ArnoHollosi: Re: Noise on SL in general (more replies) (2005-11-06 17:28) [#394]

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DrStraw: My opinion is somewhere between those of Dieter and Tamsin, althought probably closer to Dieter's. How easy would it be to set up a requirement that all new pages be classified using keywords and then give options in the user preferences to check which types of pages are shown in the recent changes list?

Steve: I am one of those Recent Changes Junkies who goes through just about all the changes, including minor edits. I have started just ignoring the pages which seem to be listing clan changes etc. My proposed solution is to introduce "unwatched" pages, which are like the "watched" pages in recent changes. If a page annoys me with it's changes, I'd like to be able to tune it out, while someone else may be interested in that change. Update: It seems my proposal is already supported by SL. All watched pages in watch category 3 are automatically not displayed in Recent Changes. You can set which pages are watched, and in which category, here.

While DrStraw's suggestion has merit, it may turn out to be a problem later, such as making the short summary field mandatory: as that may lead to "." in the summary field overly often, many pages will just be assigned the top keyword on the list. And of course, wiki beginners who may be strong at Go are less likely to contribute if the page edit process is too complicated.

Alex: I tend to agree with Dieter and Morten. The signal-to-noise ratio on SL has been steadily declining since I started using the site two-and-a-bit years ago because of the arrival of many new users to seem to miss the point of the library and start posting their own, only tangentially related material, without seriously browsing it first to see what's here. When new, quality material gets posted, it tends to be overlooked in the flood of online go club/informal tournament chat and updates, and redundant, content-free pages created by users who really want to create a page but don't have the knowledge to add something meaningful (tip to these users: an intelligent question often creates way more buzz than an intelligent statement, and definitely way more than an inane one, and intelligent questions can be asked by players of any level). The introduction of clans and the use of SL as a space for them to track their membership and have discussions is only going to compound the problem. I vote for telling clans to get their own space elsewhere, or introducing something like DrStraw says and create "Go Club" and "Clan" keywords that can then be ignored by those not interested.

IanDavis: I think perhaps there is a case for saying that the This is just a minor edit box should be checked (or ticked) by default. That way people would consider how important their comments are, and then if needs be, uncheck the box to tell the world.

ArnoHollosi: Re: Noise on SL in general (even more replies) (2005-11-06 17:29) [#395]

(moved from main page)

kokiri - well the watchlist option was a bit of a revelation when someone first mentioned it to me, so i guess it does merit bringing up again - i currently filter out every page with kgs or clan in the title, and am the happier for it.

I think that there is an easy argument to make that kgs itself should be the home for much of the stuff that gets posted here, but i take its presence as a sign of the success of SL.

One half of the library is a repository of knowledge, but i do think that SL as an active experience/medium for debate & discussion etc. is the greater half. On the whole i'd rather have a vibrant library with lots going on, albeit perhaps with a few kids on skateboards than a quiet dusty one with only some oap's asleep in the corner. I think it's like panning for gold - you have to wash through a lot of mud in order to get the valuable stuff and so up to a point more volume is inherently better.

It seems to me that the noise pretty much remains constant albeit on different subjects at different times, whilst the really interesting content is, by it's very nature, a more fickle beast and so ebbs and flows. So we're in a bit of an ebb at the moment? that's not inherently a problem - the problem would come if the level of noise starts to drive away the core contributors, strong or weak, who make SL what it is. I don't think we're getting to that stage are we?

As a more practical suggestion, perhaps introducing an 'online go' page type and allowing one to watchlist all the pages of a given type (or can I already do that?) would be a way of allowing people to customise their SL more readily. (edit: and I like ID's suggestion about minor editing - i'm forever forgetting to tick until afterwards ;-)

Bill: Well, I'm sort of in left field, I guess. ;-) Go related social discussion does not bother me. After all, we are amateurs and human beings. What does bother me is the prospect of SL acting as a kind of bulletin board service for KGS. Shouldn't KGS be providing these services for its members itself? Should SL favor any go server, even by default? (Since any go server or its members can post here freely.)

Kenn: SL does have categories clubs & places, and people, and I'm glad since I both found my local players and also recruited new players this way. I have my own webspace for my club, but SL is an invaluable tool in promoting that page. Filtering out appropriate categories and keywords seems like it should more than suffice to ignore the clans and homepages. I think having the minor edit box checked by default based on a page's keywords or having more than two levels of editing significance is a clever idea that might meet many people's needs. I know that I have, once or twice, forgotten to check that box while I was restructuring the redundant pages for the splintered (now united!) clubs in my area.

excession: i'd happily provide a bulletin board / whatever for these "Clan folks" that seem to be causing the current problems (I access through RecentChanges too). However from the sounds of things, it is more deep rooted than that. (and I agree with Ian's comment re minor edit being ticked by default :)

Calvin: SL is a Wiki, which makes it hard to use as a forum. Even this page, for example, would be better in a forum than a Wiki. IMHO, problem with the KGS Clan stuff isn't so much that there aren't similar discussions about other servers, it's just that that content is clearly transient, whereas the bulk of the Wiki content should be of slightly more lasting value and for a more general audience. If you have one or move forums hosted within SL (I don't think linking would be sufficient, unless it was seemless), then transient discussions could be moved to forums.

  • I second the request for a "Clan" keyword, the clan spam is really getting worse every day here. It seems like the clan folks don't want to use the "minor edit" option, just look at the recent changes page: Every small edit appears there.

Drimgere: You know, I don't want to seem insensitive, i totally missed the minor edit box and that resulted in some of this spam, I'll make sure to use it from now on. Is it really such a big deal, you aren't forced to read all the recent changes, you can just skip over it....It seems like people here get offended real easily. In my mind Sensei's is both a source of knowledge and a place for go players to have go related social activity. ;-)

  • Drimgere, you can check the "Default for MinorEdit" box in your user preferences.

Drimgere Now I just feel stupid..... I haven't explored the prefs yet, but now I'llmake sure to turn that on

ArnoHollosi: Thad about KGS (2005-11-06 17:30) [#396]

(moved from main page)

Thad: Some unknown and illiterate person clipped the poem. I reinstated it for two reasons: 1) It is a cool poem. 2) The unknown person with poor English skills, clipped the poem in midsentence leaving behind a sentence fragment, and a half complete thought. People if you must edit someone elses statements, please don't mangle the English. They are quite capable of doing that without your help.

PS: Considering the commentator right before me, I find the poem quite appropriate.

First a poem I composed. Ok, I didn't compose it. I simply changed one word to KGSers. Guess what the original word it was.

KGSers are mean
KGSers are fierce
KGSers have teeth
And claws that pierce
KGSers are great
They can't be beat
If I was a KGSer
That would be neat
KGSers are nimble
And light on their toes
My respect for KGSers
Continually grows
KGSers are perfect
The e-pit-o-me
Of good looks and grace
And quiet dignity
KGSers are great
They're the toast of the town
Life's always better
When a KGSer's around

This poem is dedicated to Tasmin?. who has some really weird delusions of what KGS is, barely able to restrain herself from calling it the one true Go server. One thing we can say about it though. It may or may not be the e-pit-o-me of GO servers, but if it is then it is not by much. The people who run SL should not have to bow before it.

That being said, I remember a while ago ( last December? ) someone had the great idea of people asking for requests for changes to KGS, allong with offers of money. The implemented feature requests would have their funds put into a special fund for desitute people to get KGS+ accounts ( I'm real sure they could use those in the Astrodome right now ). The money thus would be indirectly funneled to wms, who could then work less and spend more time upgrading KGS. Many observed that as long as SL was an unofficial web site for KGS such problems would keep occuring. I think the time has come for TPTB to clearly delineate what kind of KGS stuff is on this site.

Now some KGS stuff I see as useful, ie descriptions of the Wings Go Club, Sabaki Go club etc. Certainly the logon information. Also "brick&mortar" clubs leaving their contact information.I also think it is good for players to keep "GO diaries/weblogs" if for no other reason then newbies can come in and see long list of people who say "I will be shodan in a year", only to find those people are still ddk's three years later. I think discussions of changes to KGS sit on the border.

I don't particularly like filtering, except to say that maybe homepages should be filtered out except for when they are being watched.

Most importantly the minor edit box should be checked by default. There aare times when you can see a sequence of edits to a page by me simply because I forget to check the box.

ArnoHollosi: Re: Thad about KGS (2005-11-06 17:31) [#397]

(moved from main page)

IanDavis Generally there is a quite a bit of useful KGS stuff here, clubs, teaching schemes etc. Clans are no different from clubs, but are currently noisier :) If anyone wants to make a seperate bulletin board for clans I'm sure we'd all love them forever :) However I don't think SL is being torn apart by it, reminding people on KGS to minor edit might help I guess.

Arno: just a few points:

  • we do have a 'online go' keyword since over a year
  • RecentChanges does support filters (e.g. the "no riff raff" filter filters out all 'online go' pages among others.) See UserPreferences
  • If the clan pages had keywords (easily correctable) and one would use filters for RecentChanges it would be rather 'clean' and undisturbed.
  • about MinorEdit by default: many newbies would then do minor edits, even when it would merit a "major edit". Is that better or worse than the other way around?
  • Personally, I don't mind the social pages (be it clans or other) at all. As long as they are related to Go and people adhere to WikiEtiquette (e.g. no foul language). That being said, the distinction library vs. social place has been discussed several times before. The best solution I can come up with is to create two areas or domains, which are in the same wiki, but have different aims and/or social rules. Keywords and filters etc. are a first step. One could even distinguish those different domains by different coloring (e.g. social pages could get a blueish theme) to make the areas easily distinguishable. If needed we can add a new PageHeader that creates different areas. It need not be limited to two areas after all.

Let go of the thought that SL has one type of audience only. All I can (will?) do is add tools to make it comfortable for everyone to use.

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