commit: fb200d8 - #595 (2014-04-14 00:44:57 -0400)
I rarely share anything on Inbound and not because I am lazy, but mostly because other folks have already shared the valuable pieces I found or because, let's be honest, outstanding unique content is pretty rare these days.
Yesterday I shared 3 articles with all of you, only one got a decent number of upvotes (6 or 7 as far as I can remember). Today I can see that 2 of them were deleted together with the article I shared a couple of months ago.
Don't get me wrong, we are all guests here, on Inbound, and I am grateful that there is such a community, but don't I deserve to be notified in some way that my articles were deleted and why?
I might have done something wrong (even though I am 100% sure that I did nothing wrong), but how can I improve if no one tells me the reasons for deleting stuff I share. If you genuinely want to make this community better, then please do communicate with its members, talk to them and show them the best ways of cooperation.
I spend my time to make this place rock: I try to write comments when I have time, I share articles that I believe to be valuable ones.
Why can't admins spend some of their precious time and just explain what I am doing wrong and how I can truly make this place better?
Is that too much to ask?
Hey Olga. I think the reason for your submissions' removal is due to duplicate submissions - which is an issue that I'm sure Ed and the dev team has been working to fix for the past several weeks now (perhaps someone has already submitted two of the posts you've submitted - and maybe one of the mods saw it).I agree though that Inbound should have this kind of notification (for deleted submissions) - to make it easier for members to understand why their submissions have been removed.
Thanks for the feedback Olga (and for the awesome suggestion).
Hi Olga. I was the mod who deleted it, so I'm happy to take responsibility and to answer your question.
I noticed that you shared a Link Assistant post and that you're a Link Assistant contributor - that's fine, you're allowed to share your own/your company's posts (in moderation). However when I looked into it further, I noticed that 6-7 of the 8 upvotes it'd received were from other Link Assistant staff. I'm sorry but that's not a post getting genuine appreciation - that's an upvoting ring manipulating its popularity. If you hadn't had all those 'boost' upvotes, it would've only gotten 1 or 2 upvotes and therefore it wouldn't have made it onto the main page.
I'm sorry that I didn't notify you of why I removed it - to be honest though, I thought you would've been able to tell, given that your colleagues were upvoting it. I should've sent you a message explaining why and asking you and your colleagues not to do what you were doing. So apologies for that. I hope that answers your question :-)
Thanks for taking your time to answer and explain everything, Steve. That's true I am a blogger for Link-Assistant.Com blog (which is why I read most of their stuff), but I am not really interested in boosting their stuff as I am already with a new company (WebMeUp). Plus as far as you can see it was the first post from their blog that I posted on Inbound ever.
The reasons for deleting these articles were not obvious for me. OK, one was from Link-Assistant.Com blog and it might have seemed suspicious to you. But why did you delete the article from Business Insider about Marissa Mayer biography? It's associated with none of the companies I've ever worked for and there were no upvotes from anyone.
As for the article from Link-Assistant.Com's blog and suspicious votes, there are no rules for preventing company employees to upvote their own stuff. I am uncertain why some many folks from my former company upvoted the article but I suspect they just think it's awesome sauce.
Maybe there's a need to add some rules or just develop aditional functionality that will not allow anyone to promote stuff published on his/her persobal blo or on the blog of his/her company?
Because potentially I can share any stuff and then can be a "victim" of the company who's interested in promoting their own content. And I can just be the person who wanted to share cool content but actions of other people can question my reputation.
And again, how can one determine whether company employees are promoting their content or whether they genuinly love it?
Hi Olga - I'm a moderator here, as well.
The best quality comes from audience members unbiased by the content production. Unfortunately, we have a steady stream of members frequently sharing only their or their company's content... which ends up creating more stuff to sift through, which makes members not want to come around here.
It's OK if 1-5% of the content you share to be stuff you've produced, but typically the rate is much higher from the people who engage in this pattern. We're a small team of volunteer mods trying to improve the content quality and make a better member experience.
I haven't deleted your recent articles, but I do remember that Link Assistant's staff has been very aggressive in sharing their own content. It would be better to have that content submitted organically and unprompted from an Inbound member outside Link Assistant.
Like Jason and Steve mentioned, we're working in improvements so you'll know why articles are removed in the future.
But isn't the whole point of the upcoming mechanism to let the community decide what's important and what should and shouldn't be on the main page? If the broader community doesn't like something, I'm sure we're smart enough to down vote it ourselves.
I understand the point of moderation, but I do feel like the inbound.org staff is way more heavy-handed than other community-voting sites.
I guess my confusion is about what inbound.org is trying to be: are you a community curated portal or a staff-curated blog?
Thanks for chiming in, Alex.
Unlike other community curation websites, we don't have a downvoting mechanism. This is due to the culture that Rand and Dharmesh wanted to instill here.
Therefore, a combination of a fledgling community plus no upvote buttons means that spam can bubble up to the top easier.
One way to mitigate this is by discouraging self-submissions. Curation from other sites tend to be higher quality than ultimately biased self-produced content.
Oops, I meant "no downvote buttons" :)
If it's the case that your colleagues at Link Assistant upvoted it without your knowing then I'm truly sorry. My advice would be to ask them not to do so in the future. We know people are proud of their stuff (and companies and their staff might be as well), but that doesn't mean they can all upvote it. It's just not fair, especially for those who don't have such resources (i.e. they're a one-man band consultant).
When I was a kid, I played a fairground game with my brother where you spray a water gun at a target. I was winning, so he sprayed his gun at my target to help me out. We were both disqualified. I was furious because if he hadn't have done that, I probably would've won anyway, but he meant no real harm - he was only trying to help. Sorry for the cheesy story but it kinda reminded me of that :-)
As for the Marissa Mayer submission, that'd already been submitted - so as Jason says, it was probably deleted as it was a duplicate. Unfortunately it's a known bug - it used to be the case that if you submitted an article that was already live, your vote would go to them, but it's stopped working for some reason (Ed, Inbound.org's manager, is looking into it and it's our most highly-prioritised bug at the moment). If you could please take the time to see if an article's already been submitted before submitting it (e.g. by using the search bar) then that'd be hugely appreciated in the meantime :-)
Umm...maybe I'm off base but isn't WebMeUp owned by Link-Assistant? They have the same CEOs...
I thought of duplicate content too, Jason. I've seen some posts missing (not mine) because they were duplicate and the reasons were quite obvious.
OK, even if we assume that 2 posts I shared yesterday were duplicates - what's the algo of choosing which one to delete? The one that was published later? Or the one with the minority of upvotes? Or is it a question of your influence on Inbound?
I have checked Inbound today to find these two articles and whether they were shared by anyone else. I have found none. Even if we assume that there are these articles on Inbound and I somehow missed them - they are not in the top. And one of the articles got to the top yesterday which means that at least some part of people there admitted it's valuable.
Thus, you have 2 similar posts. One of them has 1 upvote, the other one has 7 upvotes. What in this world will make you delete the post with 7 upvotes and give your readers less value? Even in spite of the fact that we all try to share only good stuff on Inbound, the nature of this place is still a bit chaotic: some posts come, some posts go away. Why does anyone want to decrease the chances of truly good content to be seen by Inbound members?
I am not agree with your point that your company people can't able to give up vote for your post... As MOZ is very big company and I have seen many times that MOZ post is getting upvotes from MOZ people also.. so it's not fair reason. and even sometime i have been notified that really great content did not get upvotes while it is there on "incoming" section... not blamming to community people for that but might be the reason is majority people would like to check first page only. so it's my suggestion to highlight new post on sidebar section or else with titles or etc so people are able to read it and "CTR" will up for incoming post also upvotes... :)
Really? I have never, ever seen Moz get upvotes from Moz staff, as far as I can tell. I'm pretty sure that all the upvotes they get are natural, i.e. from random people in the community (and not from Moz staff). In fact I even saw a Moz post that was submitted the other day that only get 1 upvote, so some aren't even making it onto the main page.
Tell you what... The next time a Moz submission makes it onto the first page, I'll post here letting you know who upvoted it... ;-)
I think you take me wrong.. my meaning is not to blame you or this community people. if you feel like that then sorry... My point is it's not wrong if company people like post and give upvote for coworker post.. :)
I know you people are always take care about community... it's just discussion and if you feel bad then again sorry..
I disagree. It gives larger companies an unfair advantage, as they'll have more staff, therefore more Twitter accounts and therefore more Inbound.org accounts. In a perfect world, posts should be submitted by anyone except for the writer, website owner or company staff.
There is still duplication of post, this was notified many times earlier but the team in Inbound is not addressing this. It seems they are not interested to fix the bugs in the system. I would request Ed to look into this & it will be good for the community if such issues are fixed.
example: Yesterday I submitted a post i.e. http://www.inbound.org/articles/view/penguin-2-0-before-after-and-future-how-to-recover
Today other guys submitted http://www.inbound.org/articles/view/penguin-2-0-before-after-and-future-how-to-recover-techwyse
So 3 duplicate submission for single blog post, I lost 3 up votes, so now Ed will delete the 3 other duplicate post, but actually these submission should be considered as up votes for original post i.e. first post.
Hope at least this time someone resolve the issue. Thanks in Advance!
Hey christy, I have faced the same problem in the past but at that time they just replied me that you are sharing feed URL and someone is sharing "Real URL" of article.. so we just deleted your post ... how unacceptable? People can share even feed URL.. inbound people just give the priority by timeline of post.. who post first rather than giving important to real URL...
Hi Jemin, I can understand people's frustrations when they submit the real URL and it becomes a duplicate, but if it's a feed URL or a URL with parameters in it then it's up to the submitter to take care and attention and to submit the real URL. Even when we fix the duplicate submission bug, Inbound.org treats 2 URLs as separate submissions - so it's up to the submitter to make sure that they don't submit an alternative (e.g. feed/parameter) URL. It only takes a moment to double-check and/or submit the same URL, and it makes Inbound.org a bit better in the process! :-)
Hi Christy, I've just deleted the duplicates and allocated the upvotes to your submission (well, only 2 of them, as the 3rd was from someone at TechWyse...) :-)
As far as I'm aware, it's still a work-in-progress to be fixed, and it's prioritised over everything else. We understand people's frustrations (and to be honest, it's frustrating for us, too!) so I don't want you think it's being ignored or anything :-)
Thank you Steve for your detailed response. One more suggestion I would like to give is that before checking who all up voted a link; it will be good if you can just go through the content posted. If content seems to be valuable and useful to community then better we retain the up votes even if the up vote is from people working in same company.
Just think I submitted a link in Inbound and at the same time someone from my firm will be reading the same blog & they will also be submitting if they found the post to be valuable. How can I tell the person not to submit the link. I understand that in many cases people from same firm try o spam & bring their post to main page but as a moderator you can make sure by simply going through the content to verify whether its useful or not.
Rather than giving priority to the person who up voted, I think its better to give importance to content. :)
Unfortunately I am not able to view the links you mentioned in the comment.Can you please check the same.Thanks
It's because I'd already deleted them (I did so before even reading these comments) :-)
That is Nice Steve.You done a good job.Thank you.
Hey Ramkrishnan, kindly see Steve notes. He deleted the duplicated links.
Yes Christy.I had gone through it just now.
Hi christy , http://www.inbound.org/articles/view/penguin-2-0-before-after-and-future-how-to-recover-search-eng-2 please have a look on this url.This is another post on the same link .
Hi everybody!First of all, I do respect the community and the moderators - I know most of them from other social networks and they are great marketers and good specialists.Secondly, I do apologize if we (LinkAssistant team) were noticed to boost our articles or something - however, we never intended to do that, because we do not follow spammy techniques. Most of our marketers read Inbound, I guess they just voted what they wanted to - we never had boost campaigns or something. I never asked our team to upvote our articles en masse, and none of us did. When I saw this question by Olga, it appeared a surprise for me, I never thought some actions of our team in a pile looked like boosting or something. I'm sorry that I have no proof of that - I think if we wanted to cheat we would have asked more people, all of our team and so on, not like 6 or 7 people (votes). However, I understand that these measures are taken to make the community healthy. But... Almost every day I am DM'd to add or to upvote stuff here. Or people just create fake accounts and then boost their votes with that - all the same. I know that some rather respectful people do such things - just because they want Inbound traffic. I even heard that people can pay for submitting their articles - sorry, no proof, just a rumor, maybe that's not true, I don't know. At least I hope this is not true and we still have a lot of contributors that do not chase traffic only.The issue is that there are chances an army of fake accounts will appear on this resource. They will submit "not their' articles and boost "not their" stuff - and you guys will have to find a solution, or simply delete all this - but this is complicated, you know.
I wonder how Reddit is dealing with this - maybe it's a good idea to look at the subreddits that have awesome content and see how they avoid self promotion, spam or fake accounts. Just a thought, maybe it helps in further evolution of the resource.Again I apologize for the impression our actions created - will have to ask my team not to upvote our own articles in the future, if this is forbidden now.
Thanks Ksenia :-) I felt a bit harsh as I've known you through Twitter for a while and know you work for Link Assistant, but obviously I couldn't show preferential treatment, either. So thanks for understanding. Really appreciate the sincere and professional response, too :-)
Hi every ,
I respect the moderating team and Inboud for regulating all the articles and everything in a neat manner,Hope the small issues will be rectified soon.
Why don't you just automatically show every one in the public who up votes things. Similar to Tumblr which shows who re blogs items. Surely that would stop people asking questions.
Yup, we're thinking of adding this. It would definitely help :)
Yeah it would stop all the threads saying why did XYZ get removed. The thing is people can clearly see who is up voting things. I remember in my old office people use to send around articles and say upvote please ect. But today my methodology is not to up vote any thing from people I know unless it is really good quality. I do not even submit my own stuff any more if it is good people will see it on Twitter and share it here.
I've been getting those interesting side-bard notifications when I submit duplicate content. I've also been witnessing the article deletion thing, which I assume is really either the moderators or some sort of program under the works. Keep it up guys.
A quick note on Inbound and searching. Inbound automatically does a phrase search, so if you search for a post with two unconnected keywords, you won't find that post. That could be why you may not see that a post already exists before you submit, or can't find something after it's been submitted.
This is a good point. I submitted an article that was deleted last week (and received a flag, which is completely fine, but did give me a bit of a shock!) even though I had searched for the post already.
Yeah, sorry for the flag as the mechanism for telling you about it, Ophelie. I'll just tweet at you next time I remove something because of a duplicate - the Inbound team was just talking about this via email this week. Flags can come across as harsh when the original reason was innocent.
Suggestion on interoffice up-voting: If you are collecting a user's company information, why not run a diff check between the upvoter's company and the poster's company before allowing an upvote? This way you could return a message to the user explaining Inbound's policy and providing a reference. While this wouldn't stop fake account upvote spam, it would provide an automatic and transparent solution to those who might not be aware of Inbound's policy on interoffice upvoting. It would also give the content a chance to be legitimately upvoted (or not) by the rest of the community, as opposed to simply being deleted (unless it violated other policies too).
Granted, I suggest this with absolutely no idea how Inbound's backend/front end is implemented... one does not simply walk into Mordor, after all.