28 Jun 2002 graham   » (Journeyer)

What is this obsession with ranking people? I understood the original user ranking to be part of the trust metric system; a way of stopping the site being wrecked by trolls and first posters... Well, advogato hasn't been wrecked, but that's maybe because people haven't been bothered to try - the few people who've tried to play games with the system don't seem to have had any particular problems doing so. But that's another question. User rankings (the whole observer/apprentice/etc classification) just as a way of giving information on who people are have never seemed quite right - the number of people happy with their own rankings seems pretty small. I'd guess that's still mainly due to ambiguity in the original definitions, nothing to do with how the trust metric itself works.

But now we have diary rankings? If I understand it right, this has no connection with the trust metric itself - it's purely a popularity poll. So what's that going to push people towards? Increasing blandness? Copying the most popular styles? And it's too personal - rating someone's contributions to free software is semi-objective, so is rating their programming skills. But rating their diaries is like rating them as people - why make people whose diary entries are boring feel bad? It's their life...

I guess I'll go back to lurking for another couple of years ;-)

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