Since we're being asked - I support the idea of a positive only system, as long as clearer definitions are given on what the "promotion" button means, and actually, if it can't be split into two kinds of positives - helpful and I agree, then I think the system should be removed completely.
I'll just point out a few other examples and how promotion buttons for user posts work well or not to me:
- Reddit's Up/Down Vote: I really hate the up vote / down vote post system, because it just turns things into a popularity / personality contest. People may argue that over time / on the whole it works, but I disagree, and to me it often just becomes a reflection of the nasty nature of humans overall.
- Nexus Mod's Endorsement: I think Nexus' mod endorsement system is fundamentally flawed due to it being so open to interpretation. Some people hand them out like candy to kids, and others hold on to them bitterly, even telling mod authors no endorsement will be given if X is not done. An insane thing in my mind, treating an endorsement like currency. As a result some of the most amazing mods or mods with an incredible amount of work and love put into them receive a very small number of endorsements, and are sometimes as a result overlooked, as many users seem to use number of endorsements as a method for deciding what mods they should use. A very sad situation.
- Nexus Mods' Kudos: This system I actually quite appreciate, because they are tied to a single user, and you can either give it or take it away. I'm not sure how many people even realize there's a user kudos system on Nexus, but I honestly consider them to be some kind of measure of helpfulness or generosity of the user. I'm quite proud to have 50 of those, and do realize that people can decide to take the kudos away if they change their mind. I myself have considered doing this for one user who has started to become something of a real jerk, but for most people I've given a kudos, I really felt strongly about it before clicking that button.
- Facebook's Like: Ridiculous finger-twitching, worthless in its meaning and the way its used. Somebody posts about a persons' horrible death, and it receives Likes? But, for some reason, it's apparently a big part of FB's success, so they just won't get rid of / change it.
Right now, STEP's up button does not have a clear definition of what it should be used for, so I really have no idea what my reputation points represent (despite my appreciation for having received them.) I also wish there was a way help users to know in general which posts in long threads are considered the most helpful, especially in threads where it wasn't a problem / solution situation (which would get a "best answer" selected, that most people would read first and maybe never get past reading to other helpful posts).
So, I'll return to my two (positive) button suggestion, to give definitions, because as you could guess from my rants above, definitions are really important:
- Helpful button: click this if you strongly feel the post had genuinely helpful information, or you learned something new that will be helpful in future
- I agree button: basically, a button to replace those silly "+1" posts, already mentioned in this comments thread. But I don't think there should be a disagree button, because if people disagree, they should be typing a post to explain why they disagree, with their counterargument or different point of view.
EDIT: I've reorganized my points above for easier reading, and below are some additional thoughts...
I realized that I didn't mention why I don't think an unhelpful button would not be a good idea. As some people have already stated, the STEP moderators already do a very good job of addressing posts which are of an unconstructive or personally critical nature, so an unhelpful button would only be used to indicate a post with misinformation or incorrect information / conclusions. But like with my idea above about users expressing their disagreement in words rather than button clicks, I think the same is true of posts with incorrect information / conclusions.
In sum, I think having an unhelpful or down vote button only serves to punish users for positing what they may have believed was correct information, or in the least make them feel bad for attempting to contribute.
If a user makes a personal attack, posts spam, or otherwise violates the charter of the STEP forums, then we've already got the button for that: Report
Lastly, I didn't say anything about whether I think users should be able to click the Helpful or I agree buttons I've suggested on posts made by STEP Moderators. If there are only these "positive" feedback buttons, then I think it would be fair to open up moderators to receiving that sort of feedback as well. If anyone has issues with a moderator or a particular exchange with a moderator, then they would need to take it up privately with Z.
I think that about covers it. Apologies for a small wall of text.
Edited by keithinhanoi, 08 April 2015 - 09:50 PM.