In a nutshell, every Comment and Diary you've ever written and every Rating you've ever given is available to anyone who cares and knows how to look.
Let me start by saying I'm no one special. I joined in early April, my user ID is 49281. I'm not a (T)rusted (U)ser and have no special powers and abilities at all, unless you count posting Diaries.
Jonn Jonzz- It must be hard being the only member of the League without superpowers.User ID
Batman- Don't need 'em.
User ID, what the heck is that and how do I find out what mine is. Read that in a post by someone with a UID (User ID, get it?) in the low 3000s, so don't feel bad if you don't know. Your UID is simply a number assigned to you when you register at dKos. Kos himself has the UID of 3, any number lower than that is likely one of the programmers who set up the site.
UIDs are an easy, but sometimes deceptive, barometer of how experienced other users are relative to you. If you have a number higher than mine, I'll naturally assume that you are less experienced than I (have you ever been experienced? Well I have).
Lower numbers on the other hand, do not directly correlate with experience. Some people have lives (not me though). That said, the lower the number, the more likely it is that the head you're thinking of messing with has mojo. More about mojo later.
So how do you find someone's UID? Simply hover over the poster's name at the bottom of any Comment and it will magically appear in your Status Bar [UPDATE 7/30/05] (grey line, bottom of window) (What? Not using Firefox? Get Firefox here.).
So now we've both taken off our shoes in this little game of strip tease. I think your feet are sexy and want to know more about you. How do I find out?
There are other ways to do this but I think the easiest way is simply to click on your name, either in the byline of a Diary or in any Comment (Note- the UID Hover thing only works on Comments).
If for instance you click on my name you will come to ek hornbeck's page. I know you just tried it and I've got to admit- I'm boring. Just the 2 Diaries before this one.
Ohh look at all the pretty tabs. Smack. Hands off my tabs, I need a little foreplay.
Let's just concentrate on Diaries for the moment. In this display you get the Title and the Above the Fold (Summary) for the 12 most recent Diaries. And a handy little button on the bottom right that says 'next 12'.
So this really is ek hornbeck's page. With a little time and effort (and the right types of Diaries) I could make it look like the front page. Have I mentioned yet how lazy I am?
Besides, I want to know all about you. There's a much better view for that.
To get to it I 'swipe' your name. I hold down the left button and wave my mouse over your name to highlight it. Then I do a Control-Insert (insert insert insert your favorite 'Copy to Clipboard' command here) and back out to the Front Page.
Down at the bottom of the Recent Diaries list is a box with 'Search Diaries' in it. Swipe the box and then Shift-Insert (insert insert insert your favorite 'Paste from Clipboard' command here). Push the 'Go' button.
Ahh. Much Better.
Thirty Titles for one. Dates and number of Comments. Ohhh Naughty! Now get your eyes up and look at the top.
The first drop down you see is Find, which is good because it is the one we are mostly going to use.
Now even though Your Name Is HERE, we are not yet totally focused on you. These Diaries are only the Dairies that dare to take your name in vain. This is not always a bad thing, but it is a topic for another day. To get directly to the Diaries by you I go to the Find drop down and choose 'Diaries by', and set my Results to 50, and hit 'Search'. Don't worry about those other buttons, let me take care of them for you. Now let's put our shirts on the bed.
The first thing I like to do when I'm staring at somebody's naked diaries is look right at the titles, dates, and number of comments. If you have an obsession, it kind of pops right out. I'm kind of obsessed by MetaKos, but I don't exactly have a 50 diary track record.
I could view your summaries, but that just takes you back to that cluttered ek's page view of things. I like diaries. I like to put my head right in them and shake.
Now I know you're thinking I prefer big, voluptuous diaries; but actually they're kind of a pain in the ass. They just take too damn long to read. I'll usually start with one or two in the 10 to 50 comment range just to get warmed up. Then I'll read your most commented on one (sniff, you must be very proud). I'll even read some squibs (why did you think anyone wanted to hear about the Downing Street Minutes?).
Is it getting warm in here?
Baby, I just can't get enough of you. I'm fascinated by your every word. I want to follow you around and see if you work and play well with others, whether you're good parenting material. Time to look at your 'Comments'.
Go back to the Find drop down and choose 'Comments by' and hit search. Ohh, yeah baby. That belt buckle was digging into me anyway.
[UPDATE 7/21/05] I'm sorry, we seem to have lost a few buttons. Let me get out my sewing kit.Here's where setting results to 50 really pays off. At the moment I have 342 comments (gee, guess I'm not really as obnoxious as I think I am. Gotta fix that.). You find this little fact out by wailing on the 'Next Page' button until you can't go any farther. It's OK, you want to read back to front anyway.
After a period of time (which varies, but is the same for everyone) your comments are archived. If I am interested in your recent history (or I'm just not that into you), I'll settle for the last month or two. OTOH I can also look at your baby pictures- before I hit that 'Search' button I can check the 'Search' box on the 'Containing:' line that has your name on it.
It really says 'Search Archive' and it gives me access to your permanent record at Hogwarts. You really look cute on that rug. [END UPDATE].
YOUR FIRST COMMENT EVER is at the bottom of the page. I hope it was as brilliant and witty as you remember.
Mine was very short here.
If all you did was click through on the link, you got a pretty good example of what happens if you just click on the Comment Title, i.e. no context at all. The way to analyze someone's Comments is to read the Diary they were posted in like so. Get a grip on the flow of discussion and then go back and look at the comments in time context, click them from bottom to top.
I know you're all looking- so to test your ability to get inside my head, I'll give you the lowdown as best I remember. Got my account the day before, reading as usual until this guy issues a call to action. Great, I like calls to action. I click his link, post my e-mail, zip back to dKos and decide to use my newfound power (Bwahhahaha) to let him know I did it.
Looking back up the thread after checking my post I find this person's lack of faith disturbing. So I let them know that here. They pitied me, poor newbie, and gave me the dignity of a reply. My first REPLY! Must prove intellectual superiority, woof, woof; which I did here. And just to prove I was a better Kossack than anyone else I went here, fired off my e-mails, slapped myself on the back here, and walked off into the sunset like the smug thug I was. But I'm much better now.
I said this was about getting naked, I didn't say it would be pretty.
So let's strip off the last shreds of our dignity. Tell me what you really think.
In capsule form 'Ratings' are the self-policing mechanism of dKos.
- The stick- if you are abusive, or a bully or a stalker, people will notice this about you and start giving you bad ratings, bad mojo (see, I told you we'd cover mojo).
- The carrot- if you are informative, or funny, popular, or prolific; people will give you good ratings, good mojo.
- Read the diary AND the comments, if you 'Reply' to ANY comments or the diary WHILE you are rating you lose all the ratings on that thread.
- The act of 'Rating' is to select a choice from the drop down box next to the 'Reply' button.
- When you are finished with your ratings hit any 'Rate All' button.
Let's think about what we just did for a moment, birds and bees stuff. Without giving a chance for a response we passed judgement. Even when I tell you how to find out who's rated you (hold on a minute, it's coming), you'll never, ever know why unless they've posted a comment.
My policy is- No Ratings without a Comment. Sorry if that junks up the site for you; but I just think if I liked it enough to Rate it, you also deserve an 'attaboy' or (lucky you) some personal snark. Others disagree. Strongly.
Let's take a break to talk about what the Rating numbers/labels mean. Your choices are-
Actually there are only 3 ratings- Excellent, Ignore, and Troll.
Ignore is the middle rating, most comments get no Replies and no Rating. Hey, not all of my Harry Potter jokes are gems; but if they didn't offend you and didn't engage you, it's all part of the background noise.
Excellent is self-explanatory. A++ for your witty comment Mr. Wilde. As I said, I usually essay a riposte, others have more humility than I do.
Troll, well that's simply the lowest rating you can give. 'Unproductive' for regular users like me. 'Zero' for TUs. If you are a regular user, you will never be able to see the handle of the TU that gave you a 'Zero' (get over it). Get enough Troll Ratings and the Site Administrator (and there is more than 1 at all times) will evaluate your post. They will want to know all about you even more urgently than I do. And I hate to admit it, but they have better tools than I do too.
But I do not despair; my offensive Harry Potter joke is not yet gone. More than one person must be offended, and in the mean time other readers get a chance to see my joke and decide it's not so bad. Even after my joke is gone, if enough TUs (who can see hidden things) decide it's really not that offensive and Rate it up- hey, I'm back on the charts.
What is offensive? For me it would be if I decided you are abusive, or a bully, or a stalker. dKos suggests these guidelines here.
Alas, Harry was too offensive. Next time I'll know better than to tell jokes about basilisks. He and all his replies, disappear. Did you see it? I swear I've lost a recipe or two along the road.
And if I'm naughty enough (and I'm a very, very naughty boy), I'll get banned; but not before my MRI and CAT scan by the Site Administrators (did I mention they have better tools?).
[UPDATE 7/21/05] Don't be so sure you know who is an SA. Many, but not all, Front Pagers have SA status. Some former FPs are still SAs, other SAs are people you've never heard of. Their special power is that they can make Diaries and Comments disappear instantly (as outlined above TU and RU troll ratings sink you gradually with peer review, and they only effect Comments).
Proper Diary behavior is a different topic with many nuances. If you took the time to post one, I think you'd notice if it were suddenly missing. Maybe not a Comment, but a Diary yes. If that has happened or you are unable to log on as your MetaKos self, perhaps something serious is going on. I would investigate (even non-RUs have access to most of the search tools) so I could determine whether it was a technical problem or not.
I've never had any of these problems. If it was a missing Comment I might spend some time examining the thread for clues about how I screwed up. If it was a Diary or I was banned the only court of appeal is Kos himself here. I would approach the 'Great and Powerful Kos' with respect, ask for justice, and offer friendship. I hope he has help to screen his e-mail. [END UPDATE].
So that's how Ratings are supposed to work. There are those who suggest (shudder) that cliques are developing. I say this is not surprising in a community of 50,000. They gang up on people who's opinions differ from theirs and 'troll rate them to oblivion'.
Umm... So what exactly is oblivion?
Regular User status, just like me.
The only things you get from (T)rusted (U)ser status (as far as I can tell) are-
- the ability to see hidden (Troll Rated) comments,
- the ability to Troll Rate Regular Users invisibly,
- AND the ability to see which TU Troll Rated you!
I have the tools of a Regular User, but it ain't the meat- it's the motion.
You do have my comments page up, don't you? This works for me. Does it work for you? If not, go back to the top and follow along again.
I have had comments Rated. You can tell that they are rated by looking in the brackets next to the comment title. 'None' doesn't mean no one has rated my comment, it means that less than two people have rated my comment. If it is a number, the number is the average rating. Next to it is the Number of people who have Rated me. Until today my highest rated Comment was this one. If you clicked through on that link, you can check out exactly who rated me by clicking on the link next to my Comment Title. If instead you're still working from my "Front Page/End of Recent Diaries/Search Diaries 'ek hornbeck'/Go/Find: Comments by" page, you can just click the link next to my Comment Title. [Note- 7/21/05 And if you can't see it now, you have to find that pesky 'Search Archive' button.]
Symmetry, gotta love it.
So that's what people think about me. And I know what they think about you too.
But I want to know what you think, don't you want to know what I think?
Got to go back to my page for that.
I told you I'd let you touch my tabs when the time was right. Sometimes, if you're especially slippery and hard to pin down, this is the only way for me to get close to you. Find my name anywhere, Diary/Comment, doesn't matter; and click through.
Welcome to ek hornbeck's page.
My Diaries have no allure for you; you've already read them. Click on my Comments Tab and you see- my Comments, you expected something else? Ahh, but when you click on my Ratings Tab, you see, my Ratings.
Yup, this is how I've rated people in the great mojo war for TU status.
Don't be scared off by all the '[Hidden Comment]'s. These are only the Comments that I have Rated, but nobody else has- yet. You can check it out here. Stop being so paranoid. I've never given out a one, but you know why I would- 'abusive, bully, stalker'. Is there any part of that you don't understand?
But it's all about you, how do you 'Rate' people? When I look at the Diary (embedded in your rating), and read the Comment you have rated (also embedded) in context (takes a little personal effort on my part), well perhaps I can get into your head.
[UPDATE 7/21/05] Like many things your Ratings may be more effervescent than I thought. Still I've often lost things (like buttons) only to later find them at awkward moments (I'm almost sure that came off my shirt darling). Mine start at 5/21/05, which would be about right, but there are only 62 of them and I'm almost certain I've been way more obnoxious than that. [END UPDATE].I said I'd tell you how to tell the real Trolls from the simply oblivious. If you really, really hate Harry Potter and everything about him and have consistent history (you do realize that this is more permanent than your Permanent Record at Hogwarts, don't you?) of objecting to everything Harry stands for- you are not a Troll in my book. You are entitled to your opinion, even if you give me a One. I would prefer you engage me in a battle of wits, but perhaps you are unarmed. If you give me a Zero I'll never know who you are or what your motives are (unless I suddenly attain my own TU status- Pffft.)
Likewise, if I see you giving out 2s and 3s I'll put you down as a mere 'Literalist'. I am not as funny as I think. Be warned, other people may take offense.
But if instead I see you doling out the Trolls to anyone who dares question you rather than responding with reasoned argument, I might just think you're abusive. Certain ways of speaking are abusive too, racism and sexism are universally frowned on at dKos; I have a personal distaste for people WHO ALWAYS TALK IN CAPS!
I have seen people take a first diary by a new user, bad mouth the poster, and by Replying to themselves put any meaningful discussion so far down below the fold you'll burn out your scroll wheel getting to it. That is bully behavior and it becomes you no more than it does John Bolton.
And if I find you have a beef with a particular poster and follow them from thread to thread, diary to diary, well that would make you a stalker in my book. I'm very careful with this label though- I have frequently corresponded with 'pyrrho' and we often disagree. It would be easy to interpret this as stalking, but the real explanation is that when I see that handle in a diary or a post I pay attention. Often the topic is one of those I find personally interesting like philosophy, or history, or MetaKos. And don't waste any sympathy on 'pyrrho', who has the tools to defeat me in a battle of any type- wits, MetaKos, whatever.
The Big Wind Up
So now we're all naked together. I don't have six pack abs, but neither do you. My sainted Aunty Mame says this is the reason for dimmer switches and blankets.
Any writing, any real writing, reveals your soul in fundamental ways. That's why I hate it and avoid it when I can.
Your writing at dKos has 2 additional qualities, permanence and accessibility.
Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien- Piaf