Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Slash(dot) and Burn

A paper by Cliff Lampe and Paul Resnick called "Slash(dot) and Burn: Distributed Moderation in a Large Online Conversation Space" has a fascinating analysis of data from Slashdot. Well worth reading. I particularly liked the table computing correlations between characteristics of a comment and the final moderation score of that comment.

Near the end of the paper, they propose some intriguing changes to Slashdot to address their primary concern, timeliness of the moderations:
    Alternative designs might cause treasures to be discovered more quickly and consistently, at the expense of a little more moderator effort. For example, there could be a special moderator's view of a conversation. It would hide comments below certain thresholds, as with the view presented to other readers. But comments the system had flagged as needing additional moderator attention would not be hidden. Recently posted comments and those with recent moderation would be flagged. Once a flagged comment had been presented to enough moderators, the system would infer from the lack of any explicit moderator action that the item was correctly classified and stop highlighting it for future moderators. All comments would reach their final score much faster, and the problems of uncorrected moderation errors and buried treasures would be reduced significantly.

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