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View Diary: The Community Spotlight Effect (160 comments)

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  •  The "bias" comes from the limited number of slots (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sure that many more diaries than can appear in the Spotlight section on a given day might deserve to be there, but they have to make hard choices.  For this to be one way that diaries are brought to public attention is great; for it to be the main way, given how much selection to be Spotlit increases the chance of a diary making the list, eventually becomes a problem.  I don't trust even the most wonderful group of people with that much influence.

    Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

    by Seneca Doane on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 11:16:50 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  you're basically implying (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, Got a Grip

      that this has the potential to turn into another way to game the rec list.

      But you are giving the other users very little credit, with this argument, for being able to make their own independent decisions as to what to recommend. If people are recommending things JUST because they are in CS, that's not CS's problem.

      OTOH, If people are getting ignored by CS unfairly, that is. And without evidence that this latter is happening, I don't think you have a lot of ground to stand on as far as accusations of bias go.

      Also, CS is open to more members; it could have a lot of members. It could have one for every hour of the week. It is not a closed system; it can and does get quite a bit of turnover.

      If you really felt the need to control the whole phenomenon more, you could argue that there should be a limit to how many times a person can get rescued in a given time period.

      It's tricky. My strongest sense of it all is to let it work out for awhile, see how it changes how the site works, see how many new authors are (or aren't) attracted to trying to publish.  But one thing I think we should not do is make decisions based on people's inclination to rec things just because they are on a list, or in a box. I see the purpose of CS and the RR's to save me time looking for this stuff - NOT to tell me what to rec.

      •  I have to say that it would be very hard (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vcmvo2, Miep

        to give an honest look at what we do and how we do it and conclude that we're somehow rescuing personal favorites or in some way gaming the system.  It's actually fairly remarkable how disgustingly fair we are.  There are lots of criteria that have some say in what we do, but the one that gets the vast majority of the weight is the quality of the writing.  The next factor would be how well known the diarist is.  And part of the reason we can stick to those criteria so easily is because no one person has the final say.  All the diaries are vetted by multiple people, and those people are as varied as the stars in the sky.  So after you've done this for a bit it becomes easy to just focus on the quality of the writing and all that entails and forget about your own personal preferences.

        So I think anyone would hard pressed to find we are biased in our approach to what gets in that little box.  We're very careful.  Mistakes can be made, of course, but they're rare, I think.  Too many eyes have to look at a diary for someone to game the system.  And if we caught someone trying to game the system, we'd throw them out on their ear so fast they wouldn't know what hit 'em.

        "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

        by Got a Grip on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 06:56:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Very interesting (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vcmvo2, Got a Grip

          I have y'all backs, and wasn't concerned about it, but SD comes up with interesting discussion material and I think it's good for everyone to kind of talk this stuff out, now that CS is so much higher profile.

          Comments like yours here do help with transparency, and will only be helpful in the long term.

          •  Oh, I agree it should be talked out. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It was baffling at first to be attacked as we were even before the site went live, and then in the first few days.  I tend to be a brawler and a caller of bullshit when I see it, and while I thought I had a thick skin I apparently didn't when it came to what we do in CS.  But 10 days have gone by and I've got a handle on my initial anger at the naysayers.  I'm much more prepared now to have a reasonable discussion when it's offered.  And it should be noted that while we don't trumpet our criteria, we're more than willing to be scrutinized for our methods.  

            Transparency is always good, sunlight is the best disinfectant.  So an open and honest discussion is welcome at this point.

            "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

            by Got a Grip on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 08:50:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  slight clarification (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, Got a Grip

      There are only so many slots visible on the page at once, but how fast diaries move through those slots is negotiable.

      I think the main potential for problems with this system is indeed going to be realized if it really works beyond expectations. At the same time, that would mean that the RR's and kos et al had indeed created an effective tool for drawing good writing. If that's our biggest problem here, we need to re-examine our definition of problems :-)

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