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Mick Weinstein  

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  • How Should We Improve Seeking Alpha's Comment Rating System? [View instapost]
    I think there are essentially 3 types of comments: helpful (enhance the conversation), unhelpful (say nothing) and abusive.

    If you can make 'report abuse' work well (which requires continuous monitoring and battling false reports), then that one is taken care of. You're left with distinguishing between the first two - trying to bubble up the better comments to give them and their author the attention they deserve. These are the comments that really move the discussion further.

    My sense is that voting down is hard to implement effectively to this end - it's more prone to abuse than voting up (you can vote down everyone except yours), and as David says some users will always interpret 'vote down' as 'I don't agree with this', while the publisher wants it to be always understood as 'not a helpful comment'. We've also observed that some clearly abusive comments are just voted down, since that's the first thing some users see that expresses negativity. So there are three types of potential false reports on a vote down: abusive voters, 'I don't agree with this (though it's smart)', and 'It's abusive (but I'm voting it down instead)'. That's too much room for error.

    So my current thinking is that just 'vote up' (or 'good comment', or 'I like' etc.) would probably be a more effective filter - and we could offer a 'view by most liked' option. This would probably work best if we had nested comments (replies get indented underneath), and the whole thread would effectively be voted up if you vote up even a reply.

    One interesting thing, though - our 'Top Commenters' seems to be working well even with the vote-downs0. These are indeed very strong, high volume commenters

    So it would be interesting to see how eliminating all 'vote downs' would impact this list.

    Also, note that Digg does have vote up/down on comments - but not main entries. I don't know if vote down really works for them, or if they also run into these difficulties.
    May 12, 2009. 09:06 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Thursday Outlook: Commodities, Global Markets [View article]
    Dave, on behalf of the whole Seeking Alpha team, we wish Francie a speedy recovery and you are in our thoughts and prayers.
    ~ Mick
    May 7, 2009. 05:30 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • MarketRiders: Portfolio-Building and Asset Allocation Via ETFs [View article]
    Interesting. I wonder how the software determines what asset classes the investor should be over/underweight at a given time. Is that based merely on age and 'investment goals', or is there a more active element - either user-determined or software-driven?
    May 5, 2009. 05:10 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google Enables Web Search in Gmail - Becoming a Player in Online Social [View article]
    It's interesting that Google's willing to give up the AdWords revenue that the old search web from Gmail (open new window) enabled. Wonder if Gmail will succeed where iGoogle really didn't - to create a powerful start page that has mass appeal.
    May 1, 2009. 06:00 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Amazon Tax on e-Commerce: Coming Soon to a State Near You [View article]
    Very interesting, Bill, thanks for the detailed update - clearly v. important for e-commerce sector. Why does Amazon support the federal legislation?
    May 1, 2009. 03:46 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Internet Infrastructure Stocks on a Tear [View article]
    A return to fundamentals (in all ways) at the start of an upturn?
    May 1, 2009. 03:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • $20 GTA: Chinatown Wars Is a Problem for Take-Two [View article]
    Great work finding the Best Buy markdown, Michael. Definitely an important data point for TTWO investors.
    Apr 28, 2009. 10:01 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The meaning and value of "The Thumb" [View instapost]
    Thanks so much for your valuable feedback on this! We're working on improving our commenting system, and this is very helpful to that end.
    Apr 28, 2009. 06:34 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • SkyGrid Launches Free Real Time Financial News Aggregator; Challenge to Portals [View article]
    Well, it's not a Bloomberg killer at this stage (no data), but it does look really interesting and I'd like to try it out... if there were a way to do so. Haven't figured that out yet :/
    Apr 21, 2009. 04:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The ethics and economics of linking out [View instapost]
    Yoni, it's clear that companies like the NYT are in a period of transition - trying to figure out still the economics of online and how much they'll have to reduce their staff in this framework. Right now, as the big papers continue to restructure, it seems we're still reaping the benefits of the old, larger staffs - but that's likely to change. I think we just may not have some of the quality journalism that we now enjoy.

    There are no 'shoulds' here, as I understand it. There are only the realities of online media economics. We aren't owed anything from the media companies (including free content) - but they also won't be able to demand anything that the market won't support. The companies feel stuck right now, thinking the market owes them something - but the market doesn't care. It's cold and mean and it will go elsewhere for content. It doesn't feel any obligations.

    This is harsh, but it's reality, and from what I see, media executives still aren't prepared to swallow it. Instead, they're looking around and saying, 'Who took all our revenues?!' and finding some profitable online companies like Google to blame, since Google is simply winning at one aspect of the online media game. But it's so clear that swiping at Google and other link aggregators will do nothing to really heal what ails them.
    Apr 20, 2009. 03:56 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Bear or Bull Market? The Gurus Weigh in [View article]
    This is a great roundup, thanks - but it would be even better if you had linked to your sources on each (or at least some) of the gurus' opinions.
    Apr 17, 2009. 06:20 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Homepage, Refreshed [View article]
    Thanks JLeo. Regarding linking to subscription sites, we are indeed giving preference to news sites that are freely available - and when we do link to a page that's behind a subscription wall, we'll add ($) to indicate it.

    On Mar 10 08:46 AM JLeo wrote:

    > I normally go to MSN where I start my day with a selection from many
    > sites but because my interest are limited in particular subjects
    > / articles that have few links. The new SA format will be a benefit
    > to me. Let me add the obvious in that I came / come to SA because
    > it is unique in many aspects so for that reason it is a favorite
    > and I wanted to say thanks for all the past use! One suggestion,
    > either exclude links to places like WSJ, etc., that are merely ads
    > in disguise... as pay for info or at least i.d. that they do not
    > include the full story without subscription.
    Mar 10, 2009. 08:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Homepage, Refreshed [View article]
    We do still have that list, tinscale - it's linked from the homepage, on the left side under 'Today's Opinion and Analysis':

    On Mar 09 11:09 AM tinscale wrote:

    > Very nice. Think you should retain somewhere the reverse chronological
    > listing of all articles.
    Mar 9, 2009. 11:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kindle 2: Ten Reasons to Buy One, Ten Reasons Not to [View article]
    Seth Godin has some good ideas on how the Kindle could become much better:
    Feb 26, 2009. 01:12 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Obama Throws $75B at the Housing Crisis [View article]
    Why did Obama focus on those who took out a fixed-rate mortgage only? What % of national foreclosures were from variable (teaser, in case of many subprime) rate mortgages?
    Feb 18, 2009. 10:24 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment