commit: 6b2ca8a - #414 (2014-03-05 12:54:44 -0500)
I tossed and turned over whether to post this, as I was unsure whether it could actually spark a discussion on the issue, or if it would be seen as a bit of a rant. In the end I just thought, smeg it - what's the worst that could happen.
As I'm sure you're aware, Ed Fry recently put together a bunch of discussion threads about the future of Inbound. I personally got a lot of value from these discussions and was encouraged that steps will be made to build the community here.
Catching up on the news today, I spotted a story with 6 (six!) juicy comments. "Debate!", I thought. Yet, what I found was this:
This is no means an attempt to single out Chris or Mark, as it's something I think is rife within many Inbound members. I also know that the tone is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. The issue at hand here is that submitting links to Inbound seems less to do with sparking discussion or sharing great stuff and more of a mad rush to get your hands on some sweet, sweet karma.
To add to this example, I'm sure many of you will be reading or will have read Rand's post today on Moz: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/10-predictions-for-inbound-marketing-in-2013. Well, within a minute (maybe 2 at max), the link had been submitted twice. Now, you only need to glance at the post to see that there's no way it could be digested in that time.
I accept that some posts can be taken on good faith, but a lot of the time I feel that people are just posting to get their karma points up and appear as an "authority figure" on the right hand side. It's becoming more like reddit each day (and not in a good way. Think more /r/circlejerk kind of way.)
My questions are:
Do you feel that this is a problem at Inbound.org?
Do you feel that there is enough discussion going on?
Is there anything we can do try and prevent the karma rush and get some value out of these posts? (Not proposing doing away with the karma system...or am I)
Tom I am afraid that less people will answer it because they
want to prove you that it’s less about Karma and more about the community
The point that you want to make from the first image is that
it’s more about a karma war and less about the discussion is something i am not
comfortable with... I guess overall there are more threats that contain real
and thoughtful discussion and less that contain communication (i don’t think it’s
bad) but i really like the question that is it enough discussion?
I think it’s a growing platform and rate of growth is little
fast then normal so may be the rate of discussion is low at the moment and this
is the area where they should put there more work but saying that its more
about karma and less about REAL discussion... i don’t think it’s a valid point.
Tom, I think you hit a big nail on the head. I had a peek here yesterday and noted 6 out of 10 of the top 10 hot were (yawn) SEO posts, and then this morning, flagged an obvious 6 or 7 spammy submissions in a couple of seconds that were easy hours old.No the debate doesn't flow so much because the notification system is (yet) to be active. (they are working on it). I had RSS hacks to be alerted of debate but as RSS has been deprecated here (sniff, sniff) that's not possible. You want some karma for a well placed gripe? You have mine.
Hey Tom, this problem is an ages old problem. Digg had the exact same problem since 2006 or so. The first wave of social news sites used the front page metaphor from print which does not work on the Web properly. Inbound is a late Digg-clone and thus makes the same mistakes.
Second wave social sites have favored the stream which is native to the Web, especially the personalized stream. I'd like to see a personalized stream on Inbound with the submissions, comments and votes just be the people whom I trust. As long as there is a frontpage and who submits first gets the credit the issues will persist.
I understand though that's it's difficult to set up a Twitter-like site with a stream while an old school Digg-like community can work without much effort these days.
Haha, spot on. It's been the case for quite a while.
I think it was unfair of you to single out one comment thread in which I was, yes, being very tongue-in-cheek. I'm fact, I think both Chris and I were satirizing the very "all for the karma" attitude you're ranting about. A check of my profile will show that I both participate in many substantive discussions here and submit valuable, quality links.
That aside, what you worry about is the risk you take when you gamify a forum. It has to be balanced with the knowledge that gasification keeps a site fun and is a proven way to increase participation.
At the end of the day, though, does the motivation of submitters really matter? Why do you care? I think the front page has actually been pretty junk free, which means that quality links are getting vote up. So who cares about the motives of submitters? If they're submitting lots of junk to try to run up karma, the lack of upvotes will soon discourage them. If they submitted a post before fully reading, but others do read it and upvote it because of its quality, the who cares how lazy the original submitter was?
Hi Mark, thanks for commenting.
Certainly don't wish to persecute you, or anyone, for this, as that's not my intent. The thread aimed to highlight the problem that I was seeing, rather than any problem with users.
The quality of submissions has never really concerned me with Inbound - the community and moderating does a great job at that and has done so since its birth (and rebirth). But frankly, I don't come to Inbound for the actual submissions - I get them already through RSS, emails, bookmarks etc. I come here in the hope of discussion.
Where I think Inbound can be very unique is a discussion hub where all of the SEO members can congregate and interact. I think that can be hugely valuable to everyone and can lead to some amazing insight and analysis. Submissions obviously spark it, but the chances are I've already seen/read the submission before it's here. I come here to see what people think of it and what to make of it.
At the moment, my concern is that people post the link and then it's all "see-ya, bye - where's my karma". There's not enough discussion - in my opinion. I may be the minority here and I certainly wouldn't want a place to pander to one looney if that's what I turn out to be. But the way I see it, Inbound could be an amazing discussion hub to learn from. At the moment, I think it's all too often just a link submission centre and I really don't see the appeal in hanging around for that.
These are just my concerns at this stage - it's early doors and so forth and I do sincerely apologise if I've offended you or if you feel you've been victimised. But I hope you can understand my concerns and would love to hear whether you think they're relevant and/or if you share them.
No offense taken, Tom. Just wanted to not leave an impression in anyone's mind that I don't respect this site or its community.
I'm hopeful with Paul Gailey that being able to get notifications of replies on discussion threads might be one step toward stimulating more conversations.
I was waiting for a post like yours and I need to come clean. Inbound has been an amazing place to find new sources of content that I may not have found otherwise and I enjoy sharing what I find with others. However, I did let my curiosity for data that's tied to the coveted "Influential User" spot get the best of me. I still only submit content from quality sites (from my feed), but it became more of a race to get here first and less about adding value, and for that I apologize to you and other inbounders, all of whom I respect A LOT.
I can only speak for myself: I am not offended nor do I feel victimized by your post. I think you pegged me (although I was pretty open about my ambitions) and I, in turn, will go back to sharing what I find for the sake of sharing.
Happy New Year!
Thank you very much for commenting here with a very frank assessment - more than what I was expecting and certainly than I deserve.
I do find it fascinating that you feel some of the 'speed' factor coming into play. I really appreciate your candidness. I certainly don't want to create guidelines to the way you're interacting, but it might be interesting to discuss why you felt the need to interact the way you were. That's more of a community problem surely (if it is indeed a problem at all) rather than any single individual's.
Also, I'm not sure whether you got enough data from it, but it might be interesting to see whether being that "influential user" had any sort of impact in traffic, social metrics or what have you. That would be interesting just for the sake of being interesting!
Speed was a factor only to be the first person to submit, which is probably the easiest way to gain karma. I didn't make it into the "influential members" box, so that data is unavailable. What I should have done is approach those who are influential to see if they could provide me with the data they see and turn it into a research post/discussion.
I still don't see why you should apologize for this. Gamification is built in to Inbound.org. If they didn't want to make it partly have the fun of a race, why would they have included karma and the new Members board? Karma is meaningless anyway, so how much of a corrupting force can it really be. I think some of you are taking this too seriously. As I said in my first comment, as long as good content is being submitted, who gives a damn about the motive for submitting it. If trying to beat the next guy with that hot new post that just broke keeps people stimulated to submit here, then I think it's not a bad thing.
I think the issue is the possibility of submitting a post that you didn't read and assumed was good because the source is usually good. The same goes for retweeting an article by someone you trust without reading it first.
Well, I'd certainly agree that that is not good practice! I have no ideas, however, on how to prevent or even lessen the "ooh, this is by Rand so it must be good!" submission habits.
The same thought had occurred to me a while back. I think Tom is spot on about the circlejerking phenomenon... so, anyone want to submit something from my blog in exchange for the help of my friends to submit yours? ;)In any online community, people will find roles for themselves over time... and there can only be a few news breakers ;) The rest of us will have to find our own ways to give and get from the community.What can inbound.org do to prevent the crowding of inbound.org results from big-name SEO's? Create different ranking algorithms :)
Going along with Mark's comments, I think it's pretty safe to say that even if one tries to "game the system" they'll be hot for a few hours and then it will drop down off the first page. The quality posts will always prevail.
I've spoken about this a little before but essentially there will always be people who rush to be the first to submit something to get karma. However it's not really something that's "wrong with Inbound" as you'll see the same in any community.
Obviously it's a shame to see the same sites always on the Home page but at the same time they're often the people who worked their butts off to share Inbound and promote it when it started so at the same time without them the site wouldn't have been as successful.
The other issue - not many comments on posts - is a tricky one. When I write content I'd always prefer to see replies on the site I wrote it for. If people put it on another site (such as Inbound) and discuss it there then it's hard to always see the debate and I think that's a shame for original authors. Personally I'd always rather someone comments on the site I write for rather than Inbound and I assume I'm not alone in that thought. Likewise if I read a post and want to discuss it 9 times out of 10 I'll do it on the site itself as that's likely to have the most visibility.
However I do think Inbound has great power to spark debates (such as this one) and that's where I'd rather see / leave comments.
So two things1) if you want to see other sites hit the hot section then we need more people to view the Incoming tab and vote up2) If you want to see more comments then start more debates that people are passionate about
"Personally I'd always rather someone comments on the site I write for rather than Inbound and I assume I'm not alone in that thought. Likewise if I read a post and want to discuss it 9 times out of 10 I'll do it on the site itself as that's likely to have the most visibility."
Have to say, this has crossed my mind on numerous occasions and have been thinking myself what I'd more than likely do, and I think that it's probably the same as you.
Do you think its feasible for Inbound to become the preferred place to discuss posts like those (as it could, potentially, attract a larger audience) and, if so, what would it take to get there? (As I type this, I realise it's becoming a $64,000 question)
Yes, the lack of participation in Incoming is far more of a concern to me than lack of commenting. Every day I see a lot of very high quality posts never get more than my second vote on them. With quite a few of them I know that if other members were spending time in Incoming, those posts are good enough they'd get more votes. But the percentage of posts that ever get even a second vote remains very, very low.
Well said. Where Inbound.org's comments especially work well are for sites/blogs that don't have their own comment section (for whatever reason - whether by choice or lack of implementation, etc.)
Totally agree, Mike!
It's impossible - for huge majority of posts, even posts that are awesome and memorable but not popular because of favoritism problem in SEO community (another big topic) - to have comments and meaningful discussions everywhere - on a post (level 1), social media (level 2) and other news sites and content curation platforms(level 3), like Inbound. I understand that Rand, Dharmesh, Ed and many of us would love to see discussions here but one must prioritize. Too many places... We all understand that blog & social media come first.However, here's a habit I noticed and borrowed from Jonathon Colman here and that's something I rarely tried doing in the past year and will try to do on most of my submissions this year - start the conversation by posting the furst comment for your submission. Just like what you do on social media if you care about the quality of your content curation - add your thoughts, add another perspective, add value or a highlight.
Thanks for the shout-out Max. I got the idea from the old-skool Digg.com where you had to post a comment with every submission. :)
I like the rush to be the first to submit but not because I am trying to gain "Karma" but because I like being the one who has found & submitted an interesting article first. It is not easy to submit an article first here :)
What advantage is a Karma point accumulation? Does that influence who will be showcased in the "Influential Members" column? There is no way that I will appear in that column nor do I expect to be there for quite some time (or even possibly any time in the future) but by commenting and trying to find some interesting article to submit that relates to one of the categories it is my hope that perhaps I might be seen as someone who is trying to be part of the community although not a key player. I may never be a "key player/influential member" but I do not care as long as I learn something whenever I do come. This is the reason why everyone must strive for quality submissions. When the front page is cluttered with posts/jokes only understood by certain members for the sake of "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" then the entire community loses out.
With any submission type site, reddit, hacker news, etc there is a race to submit new content from big sites. It's not really a problem. The only problem with inbound is lack of submissions and votes. The average number of votes on the current homepage posts are in the teens, once they reach the hundreds, the wisdom of crowds should bring the best content to top.
That's a fair point, and one that I'll definitely bear in mind. Despite the recent rebrand and influx in Q3/Q4 last year, the site's still in its infancy.
Has anyone suggested a Karma Quality Ratio? Total Karma/Total Number of posts = Final displayed score.
This would effectively punish low quality submissions by reducing the overall score when up votes are low. It might also incentivise more quality discussion as this would become a more low risk way of gaining Karma.
On the other hand, incentivising discussion too much could lead to the kind of sycophantic conversation that can be found on other communities. Everyone likes a little controversy.
I don't think anyone has suggested this yet, but I think it's a pretty good idea. I know Hacker News tracks this, but not sure if they use it in their algorithm at all.
I think this has been mentioned a few times, it was quite obvious in the first few months people were submitting things on the off chance they would scrape the odd upvote. The current system rewords quantity over quality.
Confession: I too am guilty of desiring that sweet essence life itself: karma. I think it's a human thing to want this (and I've been occasionally accused of being human). :)
In seriousness though, I think the benefits of a karma tracking system are mostly good. There's upside to people wanting to have strong reputation within the community. It causes stronger participation because there's a reputational and emotional benefit. Of course, there's always a fine line, and if *all* people start thinking about is karma (which I don't think was the case here), then the quality of the community degrades and everyone loses.
We'll keep an eye on this and see if there are small things we can do to continue to encourage the right kind of behavior. Having an open discussion helps a lot, so am happy to see this thread. Rand and I are big believers in transparency (it is a core value of both of our organizations).
How about simply making Comment Karma worth more than Submission Karma. If your comment gets 4 upvotes, make that worth 12 points. Incentivize the conversation more than the submission. Submissions are still valuable and have great potential to get 20-100 karma. Adding increased comment karma helps to balance it out a bit for people who want to participate but don't want to race to submit a post they haven't had time to read yet.
When the Karma system is based on usage (submit a lot and comment a lot) it obviously has potential to be gamed a bit by anyone who desires to do so.
This is built it, but it's variable not fixed. Every action that influences hotness, karma and more is setup as a variable to tweak. We're changing it regularly to see how it effects the homepage quality.
One problem with a high-bias towards discussions is there aren't enough discussions to keep the homepage fresh. This isn't a symptom of lack of discussions, but lack of remarkable submissions.
I respectfully disagree with "lack of remarkable submissions." Sure, there's a lot of fluff in Incoming, but I see a good number of high quality posts get passed over with not even a second upvote every day. I think the real problem is a lack of members bothering to spend time on Incoming looking for good posts that otherwise wouldn't get surfaced.
Are you talking about comments giving users more karma or comments for Front Page promotion?
I think this thread is aimed at reducing the karma for people who submit quick and leave and giving the users more incentive to foster great discussions.
Why are we trying to force comments and discussion on inbound?
The simple fact is there are better places to have discussion than inbound currently, on the blogs themselves, Google plus is another place I've had some joy also.
I agree with Anthony D. Nelson's suggestion to increase the weight of "Comment Karma" to calculate "Karma points." As a relatively new member, just being the first to submit an article by Bryan Eisenberg was a big thrill for me regardless of any Karma number. I wanted my name to be the one that submitted the article: that was the thrill, the number of "Karma points" didn't factor into the feeling. I also liked the fact that 8 members gave a "thumbs up vote" to my submission.
Love it. Just signed up and the first post I see is about "what's wrong" with the site. This is my kind of place. I'm a professional trouble-shooter (mostly appreciated only by myself).
Personally, I like the idea of Karma and don't necessarily see a problem with there being a system for it. I do think you've identified a real problem though. This seems to echo something that I see happening throughout the industry. Bigger than that, it seems to happen throughout all blogging, but is especially bad in the SEO space. And that issue is this:
If I blog on my own, fairly new agency blog, I might get 10-20 tweets, and similar sharing across all other major sites, and 1-2 on inbound.org. When I post inferior content on SEJ, SEOmoz, HubSpot, or ProBlogger, the same content sees thousands of shares, or 10's of shares on inbound.org.
The first reason that I see for that is that the brand of these blogs is so far embedded in people's minds, that people do curate the content without reading. It's become trustworthy, and a safe/lazy bet. Worse than that though, there is certainly a pretty big popularity contest in the SEO industry, that isn't always welcome to new voices (aka. the /r/circlejerk). Nothing new, anyone that's gone to a conference or has even read an SEO blog where the top ~50 bloggers name drop one of another in almost every post, knows how this goes. And I get the impression that even the people that participate in it don't necessarily like it, but it is what it is, and that is, a big junior high school popularity contest at times.
The reason I don't contribute (but I do browse almost every day), is because it looks that Inbound.org is mostly catered to SEO professionals. I love SEO, but community mgmt, social media, customer service, and content are also really important to me. I don't care about karma, but the fact that my non SEO related contributions never get any upvotes leads to believe this community dosn't care about them.
And yet you'd be in a good position to share those types of posts, which benefit SEO (in one way or another). And I'm fact, other SEOs have recently commented that there should be more variety. You should contribute! :-)
Dan, you've been a member since the start but by your own admission you've lurked & rarely submitted. Maybe if you joined in more, started more discussions or even dropped the people who submitted something you liked a tweet saying thanks people would be more likely to see you around the place thereby increasing the likelihood I will click through on your submissions?
This is a community nd just the same as if you are on Reddit or Hacker News, if I don't know you I'm less likely to read your stuff.
Yes I've submitted non-SEO content & it doesn't do as well but it doesn't stop me.
I'd love to see more of those posts, even though I'm a fickle lurker here for the most part (usually just because I'm between projects and need a mental break). Since I work with SEOs, Inbound IS where my some of my community is so it'd be fitting to have some od that content here as well :) As Steve mentions, SEO is often benefitted by social media/community/content posts.
Or if you don't care to submit, at least spend more time in Incoming and vote up worthy posts from those non-SEO categories.
I agree with Dan.
A lot of my own original content is focused around WordPress, running a WP business, WP plugin review webshows and it get's very little attention. I don't have a problem with that if this place is strictly SEO content - but the article submission drop down does list a lot more than just that.
I assume mostly because of the Rand following came over even though he didn't specifically promo it on seomoz.
Time zone should also be a factor for karma: it's not fair that Jason Acidre is closing up shop for the day and Aleyda Solis is eating lunch when a lot of blogs auto post at 3am while most of us are asleep in North America.
HAH! I have the same thought about SEOmoz's publication timing - most of the first commenters being European! ;-)
Would just like to say I'm absolutely delighted with some of the responses here and it's been great to chew the fat with a bunch of you over it.
You've certainly given me a lot to think about over the issue. I'd like to apologise once again if I've jumped down anyone's throat here, but it looks as though you've understood my concern. The comment vs submission karma suggestion gave me food for thought, and it was wonderful to see Dharmesh pop up in the thread. I felt encouraged to post this precisely because of your belief in transparency, while I'd say I care a lot about the issue because I think Inbound.org could be huge.
Thanks again guys, this sure beats a regular Wednesday!
Tom, thanks for having the guts to post this :)
You're right. The rat race to post popular blogs first is kinda fun, but brushes aside the point of Inbound.org. We're not here to read "10 SEO tips". We're not even here to read the latest SEOmoz post (yes, they're often awesome... but you've seen it already!!).
We're here to see the new, the different and the remarkable.
The answer is not in the product or tweaking algorithms. We can't program your behaviour. We can guide it a little, but if the community keeps submitting SEO articles and upvoting them, there's not much we can really do about that. We could ban/hide SEOmoz.org submissions and a bunch of other "top sites" for a week and see what happens??? Oh, so tagfee...!
It's up to us, community to find, submit and upvote the new and different. As individuals we must stand up and each set the example.
PRO Tip: Incidentally, if you do that repeatedly, you blow "submit the latest post from a top SEO blog to get masses of karma" way out of the water. I get to say that as #3 in the community :)
I'm mighty proud of my submissions for this community - are you?
You're absolutely right that it is up to the community to decide what is submitted and upvoted and in my opinion it's working really well. Discussion isn't happening here because there are better places for it, and I'm fine with that.
With the greatest of respect I do find it a little insulting to be told what is/isn't worthy of submission and upvoting and that people need guidance on what is acceptable here.
Sorry if I've offended - that wasn't the intention. But the original remit for Inbound.org was to discover and discuss new content. It's not what's acceptable/what's not, but what would be cool and valuable.
Is there any way to permalink to a comment? That, sir, was beautiful.
Permalinks to comments are coming :)
I have a different motivator for not commenting regularly on Inbound submissions, guilt.
For me personally, I feel guilty about posting comments about some one else's hard work on Inbound.
If it were my hard work, I would want/love the discussion to take place on my site - not on Inbound. I think I would find that very encouraging to see a wealth of community knowledge and engagement pouring itself into a site of mine. Granted great discussion on Inbound is better than no discussion of an author's work at all but I still believe it'd be more rewarding if it were on the authors blog.
To fix my issue and maybe others if they feel the same way, I'm imagining an extension of Social by Crowd Favorite:
If you haven't seen it before, other than being a way to easily publish your posts to Twitter & Facebook - it can aggregate comments, tweets and discussions from those social networks back into the original WordPress post as comments. I'd feel a whole lot less guilty if Social was extended (for instance) and it provided a way for discussion on Inbound to end up on the authors site if they were running the Social plugin.
I realise that'd be a mile away in terms of development but I'm just opening up the concept for discussion.
Merge it with an Onlywire type service and that's a home run for many.
That's a new one to me, Alistair but really interesting. Would love to hear/read others' thoughts on this.
I'll admit I'm not a faithful commentor even though I find the submissions with a strong comment thread are the most valuable. It's nice to see people let their personalities come out, without the constraints of Twitter and lunacy of Facebook.
The only wish I have is that we could talk more business stuff. I wouldn't change any of the current submission categories, but there are times I've wanted to submit a business post but didn't feel it was the right thing to do. If I had to give a reason why, it's because no matter what category of digital marketer you fall in, business matters -- your clients business, the business-side of Google, it all matters too.Since Ed began managing Inbound, it's an easy 10X improvement, he's clearly passionate about making Inbound a thriving community. Respect for that. And I know it'll keep getting better. The business talk thing is just a thought to throw out there.
David, I'd love to see more business-style posts on here. Stuff like this, this and this have done well.
Newbie to inbound here and just getting my feet wet but maybe some comments from someone who literally arrived fresh off the boat a few days ago. When I first found the site, I really liked the upvote system and appreciated the sorting options. As a Reddit user for a few years, I get the Karma (Karm-in?) voting process and feel the upvote-only is a pretty positive change. Nearly all of the Articles/Topics are great and I never got the impression of the gaminess of the system until you brought it up in this post. Maybe it's the Reddit Naiveté because that site has become a brothel of Karma love. Jaded perhaps? Either way, I like how you are concerned about the quality and understand there will always be those dirty little Karm-In lovers that want some high rankings. Oh, and don't Upvote this at all. Keep up the great work. I'll be contributing some saucy content soon enough.
Well Tom, if this whole post was just a sneaky way for you to build Karma then congratulations! At the beginning of the day you were around 78ish karma, and as I type this you are at 293. Well done, sir.
You've discovered my evil plan - post a linkbait title and rake in the virtual goodness.
(I kid, I kid, Oh law do I kid)
My $0.02 - any system like Inbound.org that has gamification built in is going to attract this sort of behavior. It's not bad, nor wrong, not unwanted. The job of the administrators and of the designers of the gamification is to align activities that promote visibility with ones that further the overall community in a positive way. I think Inbound does a pretty decent job of that. Where you're seeing karma-hungry submissions, I see a great way to make sure that any relevant content is likely to be on the homepage within minutes of it going up on the web (which makes Inbound.org a good place to visit).
If there's a strong sense that substantive comments should weigh more heavily, than perhaps we can make a system to do that. For example, if you leave a comment, and a user who's been part of Inbound.org more than 60 days or has more than 100 karma upvotes your comment, we give +2 points rather than +1. This makes leaving good comments an even faster way to earn karma :-)
Good gamification is simply about aligning the nature of humankind with what will be of benefit to the community.
Hi Rand, thanks very much for commenting (at 1am? Get some sleep man!)
Thank you (and everyone else who mentioned it) for giving me a POV of gamification that I hadn't really considered before posting this. In a way, it's quite obvious - if people are A) submitting these posts and then B) people are upvoting them, then it's clear that it appeals to the readership and isn't (for the large part) a kind of karma milking. Oversight on my part, for sure.
I do like the idea of rewarding those commenters with extra upvotes, for many of the same reasons - it could encourage further interaction for the karma factor to begin with, but once under way could fuel some tasty discussion.
Once again, I'm thrilled with how this discussion went and would like to thank everyone here for taking part!
Perhaps a Karma Kash system would work well. Cash in your Karma points towards purchase of some featured products or services.
As long as the overall content on inbouund.org is better than the spam commenting, then I will still be here. Spam will always exists.
I am brand-new to inbound.org and the marketing neighborhood at large. I guess if nothing else I can offer the perspective of an outsider looking in.
When I started researching the business, it didn't take for me to realize the sheer volume of content spewing out daily from all manner of places and I definitely felt the undertone of friendly competition to re-post this information between peers.
Naturally I was looking for a site that made sense of this material without missing a blink and I think inbound.org does a good job of attempting to fulfill this.
I was actually surprised by the strength and activity of the community and for me it's great to be able to interface with some amazing people from a broad spectrum.
I hope that this reply helps provide a different viewpoint.
It really does, Richard. I do think I was rather short sighted when posting my thoughts, as I was approaching it solely from my perspective. I think I portrayed them reasonably well, but getting feedback such as this has really helped me to understand the wider picture.
It's an interesting question. But knee-jerk thumbs up and shares are an inevitable part of online content because some people just want to be seen to part of something and sharing. In the same way that not all content serves a purpose or adds value to a topic. In the same way that not all links are 'good'.
However, I think it's up to us as individuals to screen out content that is not useful or constructive. If we see the same person posting what we consider to be useless/low grade content, we can choose to ignore their future posts.
Where I think Inbound adds value is that you can identify influencers you trust/respect etc and then start to follow the links they post, on the assumption that what they share is interesting. I use it alongside social media channels like Twitter as a means to identify content that gets lots of votes and it can be a useful avenue for content I wouldn't otherwise find.
Well you certainly have sparked a discussion Tom!I agree to a certain extent. Karma whoring is evident at times, but I think it's a necessary evil in building a great community!Think about it this way, if you create a community that people don't want to be a part of, don't want to gain influence in and don't really care about, then congratulations you have a karma whoring free zone.
But with inbound.org, you see people doing it all the time! So in a way it's a good sign ....
However, I do agree that it should stay out of the comments. They're meant for meaningful discussion, insights and additions! I've read some amazing things on Inbound, as much from the comments as from the articles themselves. Some of the members here really do provide some great additions to the article that's just been read. I remember on one occasion reading an article which then lead me to about 4 others on the recommendations from other users and helped me solve an issue I'd been experiencing for months!
In the future it might become a problem that stops me visiting, but it certainly won't be at its current level.
Nothings perfect, there are always going to be things that niggle and grate at you. In all honesty, if this is your big rant about Inbound ... I would say its doing pretty well, wouldn't you?
Think some people are annoyed they got out gamed :)
The title rather than the submitter still decides my click through, people will game the system but as far as I can see most of the quality stuff still rises to the top due to systems used.
Being a reader rather than a contributor im glad people are filling the site karma seems to be the driver?
Great discussion Tom. I have to say that things like these is inevitable. Although I know Mark and Chris are very respectable people (and they had the best intentions or probably just having fun), there will be others who'll come a long and try to game the rules(the bad way) no matter what the cost.