Share items' pros/cons globally


#1

This would save a TON of effort across topics, as most pros/cons are redundant.

Helpfulness/“Up” ratings can remain independent for each list so pros/cons can stay relevant for differing questions.

This is an actual problem, because for example best free PC games and best linux games have a clear difference in number of pros/cons. Here are the two dota entries, at the time pretty different:


Share option across questions
#2

I like it, but sometimes different pros and cons are good though depending on what the question is. While it would be nice to be able to move info across questions without copy and paste, it might encourage irrelevant posts.

If I were to take the pros and cons for Macbook Pro from a question regarding best computers for programming and then add the same pros and cons for a question asking about best computers for gaming, we would end up with quite a bit of useless information.

If individual pros and cons could be moved accordingly, maybe it would save time while reducing irrelevant entries.


#3

As I said, that’s why the votes on pros/cons being dependant on the list can prevent irrelevancy.

The best computers for programming’s macbook pros being having git and bash built right in can be upvoted for that specific question, while having a GTX 650M can be voted high for the cons of the gaming question.

There is absolutely no need for sparseness on this site. The difference between lists is quite different than the difference between products. Plus, more information is scrapable and addable for one central product listing.


#4

Pros and cons can’t necessarily be copied over automatically because of differences in question scope; e.g. just a moment ago I added a con to yet another Dota entry, here: http://www.slant.co/topics/1082/viewpoints/3#4

The question is good games for office downtime, and the con is very specific to that: if you’re in a situation where you might suddenly need to get back to work, deserter status (both real penalties and the sheer rudeness of it) is a far larger concern than otherwise. It would be pointless to blindly copy it into a comparison of mobas; worse than pointless, in fact, because it’s a speed bump in reading the more relevant pros and cons. And of course this isn’t even a very bad example, just the one I happened to have created myself not half an hour ago!

With all that said, I know that some degree of pro/con “autofill” is in the works, and at a reasonably high priority (IIRC flagging and some comment system improvements are first, but not much else). It will be more along the lines of “This is listed elsewhere with the following pros and cons, please check any that apply to this question.” Those would then be copied over, and could be edited to be made even more specific, since they’re not actually shared, only duplicated.


#5

As I said,

slant.co has a vote mechanic for pros and cons that can be used separately for each list.

And seriously, the scope can’t be that big. Deserter status is a problem for any list. Maybe some linux gamers want a short-spanned game while they wait for their kernel to restart, I dunno. They can be ranked for each list.

This site won’t scale if content needs to be copied over and over. Maybe in the future, organic content from people who will take effort to do them will mean the site can revert back to how it was. Or maybe even now, a little checkbox from the asker can determine if pros/cons should be shared, or if they’re writing their own pros/cons list entirely.


#6

Howdy @nxmc. Slant founder here, we’re building pretty much exactly what you described. Agreed it’s way too much work at the moment.

The issue I’m struggling with at the moment is how to deal with edits to pros that are synced to 2+ questions. In what conditions do edits get synced and in what conditions do they get forked? It’s ‘impossible’ for us to know if an edit was just fixing an spelling error or if it changed the context of the pro for a particular question and in the process made the pro in other questions no longer make sense.


Complied list of complaints about the current community experience
#7

Ah, that makes sense. Thanks for responding!


#8

Maybe list-dependant annotations for the pros/cons? Unless this just makes too much work. Perhaps editing pros/cons would have to be on the global page to let the user know that they’re editing globally, too.


#9

Okay so if the option and it’s pros/cons are global allow the editor/user to make the choice of whether the edit is global or specific to that question. So before “submit” is clicked have a check box of some kind and a warning/explanation that allows the user to submit globally or specific to that one question. Basically allow the user to decide during an edits submission whether it gets forked or not.


#10

Can’t imagine a UI that would make that intuitive to a brand new user. How would that user know if it should be global or not? Even as a moderator feature I’d worry it’s too weird of a concept to load the user with.


#11

Maybe we have levels for users and that feature is earned with experience. So on a normal user level it just changes in the one question but then a mod (or users with the appropriate level of experience) can easily add it to all options. Thought the bigger the site gets the more mods would have to go through all changes.

Personally I do not think it would be a huge deal as long as there was a blurb that explained the option (either as a pop up when hovering over the checkbox or an explanation in red explaining it near the box) with a certain amount of concise detail. Really at some point (just like reddit subs and Wikipedia) explanations will be needed for how the site and its features work. We could have a popup for new IPs that tells users to go wherever to read the rules or at least have something in the sidebar that tells users to go read before posting. Maybe even a popup when users click on anything that allows them to contribute that says go read these rules or just lists the rules for that specific area.

Ideally we would want the site to be more intuitive but I think realistically for what we want the site to offer it may not be possible without having a few explanations here and there.


#12

Maybe we have levels for users and that feature is earned with experience. So on a normal user level it just changes in the one question but then a mod (or users with the appropriate level of experience) can easily add it to all options. Thought the bigger the site gets the more mods would have to go through all changes.

I really like this idea, actually. Stackoverflow style, the less proven knowledgeable, the smaller scale the effect is.


#13

So some Slant history. The initial versions of the site had ALL changes go into a pending queue. The only people who could accept the change were mods and existing contributors to that option. The idea was to prevent spamming by having a barrier in place and to educate new users about their changes before it went public. We scrapped this as the barrier was too high for new users and it’s actually a complicated of a system to resolve conflicts etc. But this means we already have the tech to have pending changes with an approval system.

One idea I’ve been toying with is changes made to a pro under some conditions get automatically synced (source changes, image changes, edits under X chars) and edits over X chars get put into a pending queue for that pro. Contributors would then be notified and could accept the edit.

The flaw in this system are changes like splitting one Pro into two. Or two Pros into one…


#14

So what if we tweaked that even further to where the changes made over a char limit does get changed in the single questions option but does not sync to the site wide option without an admins approval? That way the specific edit no matter how large still has an effect for the user while we still retain control on what happens to the site wide option that is in numerous other questions. Maybe with that an option in the mod panel to easily revert such changes (to the one option in the one question) if they are deemed too much of a change or just not useful information over the last.

As for the splitting problem, maybe that could be resolved with the upcoming flagging system. A user can flag that particular option with a declaration of wanting to split it while also making their case as to why. Then either mods or heavy contributors to that particular subject can decide on if it is worth it, or even maybe create a voting system for users to vote on whether such a change is worthwhile. Of course the voting would not be really useful at the moment without a massive amount of users to actually vote.


#15

Changes made will always auto accept to the local copy. Is that what you mean?


#16

Yes, that is what I mean.


#17

Ok cool. I should have clarified that, but that’s my intended default behavior. This way the system will not complicate the editing process.


#18

Will the user be notified that the edit is only going to appear on that one questions option and not the global option? As it may not be needed information for a new user who does not know any different but for other users, they may be left wondering why the edit did not go through globally. Which I think brings us back to explanations. There is a lot of rules and behaviors that are going to be unknown to new and regular users and I think that is going to be unavoidable for what we want the site to do. I think we could use a place or places that explains the site, its rules and its actions. This could all be in one sport or appear at the appropriate time when that action is about to take place. In this instance it could be good to have something that states in the submit window that edits of a small size go global and over a certain size stay local until a mod or certain level user approves it.

Even Stack Overflow has a small blurb explaining the site on its front page and we are trying to attract a way more broad audience than them.


#19

I’m 100% supportive of explanations in general, but in that exact use-case I don’t believe one will be needed. New users don’t need to know about or understand the global system IMO. As far as they are concerned they are unaware the Pro exists somewhere else, and they don’t need to know about it’s existence to make their edit.


#20

I’m banging my head against this again right now. The really maddening thing is how our information is balkanized. This idea of each question being its own scope is good and I want to see it work, but the damage caused by having no cross-referencing is severe.

I feel like this needs to be very high priority, as it affects both contributors (frustrating duplication) and consumers (potentially useful info buried in corners). And while I think Stuart’s got the right idea for how to handle edit scoping, it also needs to be obvious that the option itself exists independent of any given question. So just as the question summary list allows you to browse to individual option pages, there should be a way for the user to browse other questions where that option is presented, and see pros and cons in that scope. I’d even go so far as to propose a question comparison view for options, because that seems like the only sane way to allow users to copy things between them. (Perhaps this could be worked into the option’s main Edit page, since add-an-option is a clone of that currently, and if we’re going to allow copying in pros/cons at option “creation” it’ll have to go there anyway.)


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