After discussing the pros and cons with a number of you, I’ve removed the comment voting feature. The reasons are various. For me, the key reason Tthat came back to me in responses was that it amounted to a popularity contest. There was also the issue of down-voting someone’s comment without giving a reason for doing so. This doesn’t benefit anyone.
Overall, the benefits seemed to be outweighed by the disadvantages. Of course, if the overwhelming desire of everyone is to have them restored, I can do that. Let’s try it this way for a while and see how it works.
The idea is that if you really like someone’s comment, it is better to express why in a comment of your own. And if you disagree with what is written or the tone with which it is written, again, better to express why you feel that way so that the person can learn from the experience.
I do hope this change is acceptable to all.
Actually, the whole idea started with a recommendation from one of our regular commenters. I passed it around those in our weekly online study group and the response was mixed but the majority were inclined to try disabling it. I’m glad the results have been positive and again am reminded that the Spirit works through all in the congregation, not just a few. If the Organization hadn’t centralized under Rutherford, who knows where it might have gone if it had allowed the free flow of the spirit. But then men would have not been able to govern, would they? The… Read more »
Just look at it this way:
Now you must speak up, to give a thumbs up, and now you must explain your frown, to give a thumbs down.
I agree, we should see how this works for a while. Having a thumb up button could still cause hurt feelings because if your comments never receive a thumbs up but most peoples do, it could have the same outcome of a thumbs down button. I would hate for anyone to have their feelings hurt and stop commenting because I so enjoy EVERYONES comments.
You make a very good point Eve. Only having a thumbs up could still have a discouraging vibe for some if they didn’t get a thumbs up on their comments. Either have a thumbs up/down or none at all.
When I first came to this site, I never noticed the commenting feature until accidentally hitting a thumbs up icon. Even then I never used it since I’ve always believed that a conversation of at least two is needed to build a discussion. While on another site I made up two fictitious characters—“Anonymous Joe” and “Wilderness Sam.” Joe was the guy still going to meetings. Sam had gone, well, into the wilderness of the so-called world. Both were right from their own perspective even when they didn’t agree—kind of why public houses were invented for dartboard and pool table discussions… Read more »
? I like that, SW.
Having read all the comments once again, I’ve decided to go with the flow and support this new arrangement. ( sounds a bit org-like! Ooh-er?)
It looks like it can only be a positive step.
Thanks everyone! You’re all wonderful!
I think we should remember that whats important is not someones words or opinions, but whether the information is helpful or truthful to the community. The whole liking and voting down draws to much attention on the person who wrote it, and distracts from the main message, All it does is give the writer an ego boost and nothing more. Remember Paul’s words in Romans 12:3-For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to… Read more »
Hi pquin7, I Don’t quite agree with your statement when you say all it does is give the writer an ego boost and nothing more, to me that’s not accurate. Maybe some people feel that way, but I think most of us here are modest people and couldn’t care less about what Meleti called a popularity contest. On the other hand if someone made a comment that received a lot of thumbs up votes then they deserved it because it made good sense and rung true in the hearts of many and that’s more how I would describe the folks… Read more »
Psalmbee, I understand what you’re saying. Look at it this way. Consider that this site is visited by a lot of ex JW and people on their way out. For them, they were (or are) judged as to how “good” a Christian they are based on the number of hours they report on a piece of paper. That one number alone is almost their entire status and life within the JW community. Their whole life reduced to a number. Do we really want to be reduced to a number here too? There is a verse somewhere that says, “I have… Read more »
Hi Robert and everyone,
The brothers from the German website bruderinfo-aktuell.de have just written me to tell me about another commenting plugin which allows the site administrator to enable only thumbs up. I could switch to that plugin if the readers want. I would welcome input as to which option the readers would prefer, no voting or only up voting?
If you want to pull more people up to the “supper table” Meleti, I feel as if you should leave it alone for a little while. Personally I like the other way, but would like to see how this way takes us from here. One thing I always kept in mind is that, whether I got a thumbs up or a thumbs down, the vote came from either a Current JW or an ex JW and could gauge their progression or non progression by the vote. Without the voting system we will be able to gauge progression by comments. Does… Read more »
I think Psalmbee is right in saying to leave it alone for a while. We should give this change a fair trial, perhaps for a month or so, to be sure that whatever decision is made has some real-world experience behind it. It we change again too soon, we will never know if this way was a good idea or not.
I would like upvoting as I said I’m my email to you Meleti, but I agree with the others that we may as well give this a go and see how we get on for now. For me, it’s very convenient just to upvote when I haven’t time to log in and comment. I think I’ve only used the downvote once or twice and that was when things were a bit heated and I didn’t like it. So I see the point made that I should have commented to say what I didn’t like. It’s a bit scary though! I… Read more »
Hi Robert, Ok I’m jumping in the deep end here.? You said: “To make a simplistic illustration, if we are certain that 2+2=4, we don’t need cheerleaders on the sidelines going, “attaboy, great job!” Either what we said was true, or it isn’t. Praise from others won’t change that.” This site , I thought , was for us to be able to comment on the articles and throw ideas around to one another. It’s not like maths that has a right or wrong answer. Maybe sometimes we might believe what we say with all our heart, but to say that… Read more »
Martha, When I said we didn’t need cheerleaders, I didn’t mean we don’t need encouragement. If we could take the analogy a little further, literal cheerleaders may encourage us, but at a game, you don’t have a conversation with the cheerleaders. All they do is cheer. Without question, we DO need encouragement. If not, this site wouldn’t exist. We want to be right, of course, but we can’t be right all the time, and we will never know everything. All we can do is try to do the right thing, and treat others properly. Just look at this very exchange… Read more »
Thank you both MarthaMartha and Robert for this interchange.
Hi again ? Ok, I take your point and understand better what you meant. I thought you were reducing the conscious decision to give a thumbs up by someone reading a comment and appreciating it, to the actions of cheerleaders who have to support their team no matter what. Not that I know anything about cheerleaders, coming from UK! Let’s see how this goes then! Agape! Martha PS the reason we haven’t had a conversation before is because I’ve been very quiet for a while. A dear friend died recently that shook me up. I haven’t felt up to commenting… Read more »
Martha, I am very sorry you lost your friend. Six years ago, I lost my wife who was truly the best friend I ever had in this world. Once you lose someone close to you, you are never the same again. It ‘breaks’ you, it ‘ruins’ you. Believe me, I understand how hard it is.
Hi Psalmbee, I agree with you.
Agreed. And updoots for everybody.
I think encouraging more conversation and interaction between members would be great.
I like your updoots. ?
(with a nod to Robby the Robot, from Forbidden Planet):
Pardon me, sir, updoots?
Sorry it was a meme a while ago……
Because trumpets (in a very vague sense) make something of a ‘doot’ noise, people started referring to the meme by using variations on ‘doot’. Some of these are ‘updoot’ (a variation of ‘upvote’)
So instead of up votes I said updoots.
Yes even though I’m middle age I’m still juvenile at heart.
Great movie. Would love to see a remake, though they’d probably ruin it. Another one was the original, The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Guess it was on my mind, since I watched it again recently. Though not a perfect movie, its concepts were decades ahead of its time, and influenced many other sci-fi works. (As a recent example, on Babylon 5, the Great Machine run by Draal was almost exactly like the 20-mile cube in the F.P. movie.)
And interestingly, the moral of the story is that our subconscious thoughts and feelings and motivations can (literally, in the movie) become our own worst enemy. That is still a meaningful message, even to us on this forum.
Thanks Meleti, Well done, you see I was looking for a like button, lol, instead of posting a comment. I might just be repeating what others have already written. If someone writes a comment. I read it, I might smile, enjoy a point and then I immediately clicked the like button. Then its over. If I think about it, this person has taken the time out of their day to comment. If I at least give them a thank you, I’m sure that’s better than hitting the (Like)button. I would imagine also they would like to know why, but at… Read more »
I think it’s wise to try this, Eric. Thanks for testing it out. Problem with voting (even up-only) as I see it is that – the voting buttons as opposed to engaging in open discussions may risk causing echo chambers – some may read the comments with high votes only, to save time, thus risking “popularizing” views – one may start to compare and compete, forming our way also to how we express ourselves. – we tend to like what we agree with already. That makes it even more important to get contrary views on the table, and then debate… Read more »
Sounds fine to me. Even short comments such as “Good point” are encouraging, whereas the thumbs up could be seen as just a talent show all over again.
I totally agree, it would encourage lazy ones like me to comment more. Often I simply click on the upvote instead of commenting and refrain from voting when I disagree or not sure.
It’s usually the easy way out to simply let the seemingly “more experienced” ones do all the writing.
This removal will probably motivate more people to engage actively in the conversations.
Thanks to everyone involved with this site, for all your efforts so far.
I agree Meleti, I think it is much more appreciated when someone takes the time and effort to point out in a post what they particularly agreed with or found to be helpful, or perhaps agreed with to a point but differed on another point, this is not possible with the thumbs. Writing is much more personal and as everyone has a slightly different take on some things it can also open up the conversation that can be steered in many more directions too. For those who lack confidence,the Apostle Paul had poor speaking ability, Paul’s speech was considered contemptible… Read more »
You would surprised how helpful a few techniques can be: 1. Break longer comments apart with blank lines (hit Enter twice). If a ‘section’ of your comment cannot be seen in its entirety on one screen, it may be getting too long. That is a clue that it needs to be split with a blank line. 2. Try not to make sentences too long, and if they are getting longer, careful use of commas to avoid run-on sentences can help. 3. Try to keep your sentence structure simple, and write about things you know about and are confident and comfortable… Read more »
You’re right. I often want to check my grammar very carefully, but I realize that it is the spirit of love and truth that binds us that’s most important.
Could not agree more brother, we are all here for the same reason, motivated by love we want to encourage one another and to bear each others burdens if possible. Just commenting in a helpful way on this forum demonstrates having this motive in the first place, and everything else is excused (Writing abilities) And if that is a picture of you and your baby then you know exactly what I mean by grammar or misspelled words as being of no consequence to the motive and the desire behind them!!!!!
KD, if you have concerns whether your grammar is right, it can help to compose your post offline, in something like Microsoft Word, then use the spelling and grammar check it has. Once you have your post the way you like, you can cut and paste it here. That can help too if your internet connection is not the most reliable. I have had cases where I typed something here and lost it and had to do it all over again. If you do it offline, you can just cut and paste again if anything goes wrong.
Good idea Meleti. Voting down might cause conflict. I love this site. It really opened my mind and heart to what really is the truth. Keep up the good work on exposing the falsehoods of false religion
Unfortunately, there’s no way to disable the thumbs down without disabling the thumbs up. Unless we can find someone with Web programming expertise. 🙂
That’s a good decision. I would think that there are some of us who are shy about leaving a comment because our writing is far from the standards of many that do leave comments but this encourages us to leave a response to show our appreciation for a well written and thoughtful post.
I was just thinking the other day that we have the opportunity to leave a thumbs up on posts from contributors but we have not had the ability to do that for the original post/blog so your decision makes sense.
Hi dear brothers and good morning. I suggest you retain just a “like” button similar to FB. No need for the voting down button. If somebody does not like the post, then he can just share his comments to it or keep silent. The “like” button is a positive symbol. A person can just click it, no need to type the words if he/she has no other message to convey. The “like” button is a motivating symbol, a tool to measure engagement. At least the contributor would know if readers are reading his/her post. After all, we all need the… Read more »
The commenting plugin does not have a like button feature. I’m restricted by what features the plugin offers, unfortunately.
Brain, I thought I was noticing that about you and now it is confirmed.
I think you may be feeling a little like this (Ps 42:10).
I think it’s a great idea. More people will be inclined to comment without the fear of a thumbs down, and that’s not the only benefit. I see a lot more conversating taking place without the “voting system”.
I’m not too sure about this. Over the past few months I’ve noticed a sense of Contolling going on, which has a certain resonance, with me, of a certain Society I thought I knew once. I’ve had two comments, that I thought were simply helpful and informative blocked, without explanation. My desires did not include leaping out of the kettle and into the fire.
Christian, I know first hand how we can become impassioned by our viewpoints, and feel like the whole world needs to read our every word. At times, I have had some of those words blocked. But as far as comments being removed ‘without explanation’, or the site being ‘controlling’, I feel that is an unfair characterization. If you actually had a post removed, and don’t know why, you should send a private message to Meleti/Eric and ask for clarification. It’s better to do this privately, in order not to distract from the main purpose of the site, which is to… Read more »