In the forum it is currently possible to upvote or downvote posts and comments. As using the forum should be a positive experience, I’d like the downvote option to be removed.
Maybe it’s only my opinion. Maybe we can start a discussuin about this. I’d really like to hear the opinion of the rest of the community.
I have seen answers in the forum that are correct. They have been formulated well and provided the correct information. They have still been downvoted. It seems like the downvoter did not like the message. But that’s not how it should be. It should have been upvoted because the information provided was just correct.
None of the relevant social networks has the functionality to give a bad feedback to other users. You can always only give pisitive feedback. I think that’s how it should be. Using the forum should be a positive experience.
You might say:
“What if someone is writing something wrong?” The community can comment it and help to provide the correct information.
“What if someone acts offensive in the forum?” I think the forum needs moderation to remove offensive comments. They will still be offensive, even if they are downvoted. Downvoting is not making it better.
This discussion focuses mostly on downvoting of answers. For these I would like to keep the downvotes to imitate the StackOverflow model – although much more participation and voting should be encouraged in the community. There are definitely answers that in my opinion deserve downvotes: many of Ockert's hacks, while interesting, conflict with what I consider to be best practices in Mendix development and unwary or inexperienced developers should at least receive a signal to think twice before implementing them.
I would also like to add that I regularly downvote questions: when something can be easily found in the documentation or by a Google search, I downvote to show the poster that he should do some research before posting and for the rest of the community that they (probably) shouldn't bother with answering.
A practice that should be encouraged is to leave a comment with a downvote.
Finally, I challenge the assumption that removing downvotes results in ‘a positive experience’ of the forum, as both downvoting answers with flaws and bad questions results in a more positive experience for me. I recall a few people who stopped posting questions after receiving many downvotes to their bad questions. This increases the signal to noise ratio, which I enjoy.
I am quite new to Mendix and the forum but this is my point of view:
I think that having a downvote system can be a problem if the downvote does have consequences for that person's account status because it will deter people from trying to help if they have a potentially good answer to a question but are not sure if it will help in the OP's particular case. And in the end you want to encourage people to engage in a forum right?
On the other hand a downvote system still would provide a good way to distinguish between good and ‘bad’ answers and I think in that way it does not need to disappear.
So my suggestion would be to de-couple downvotes from having adverse effects on accounts and using moderation to punish users that violate rules.
There is moderation on the forum and indeed MVP's if they request it (and if I am not mistaken everyone at level 10) has the ability to moderate. Fortunately that is not needed very often. Personaly I like the ability to downvote. Note that downvoting does cost you (-1 points and the one receiving a downvote -2). So getting a downvote is not that big of a deal. And yes sometimes I see that people get a downvote for the wrong reasons but feel free to upvote that comment or question again (at least that is my reaction on those wrongfull downvotes). Since upvotes gives you +10 points the one receiving the wrongfull downvote is much more helped by that.
another example of a downvote being ‘unfair’:
1. Someone asked a question (asker)
2. Someone gave an answer, which didn't work as solution
3. The asker then added the information that an Error was occuring with a stacktrace (which was not mentioned at all before)
4. someone else answered as well and (seemingly or a random passerby) downvoted the answer giving at 2. even though it was very legit at time of posting because the asker never mentioned there was an error and a stacktrace, only that it didn't work
it now has a negative and my positive vote because it was a very legit suggestion/possible solution at the time before the question was edited, but that someone who wanted to help would lose Mendix points because of downvotes would be perfectly ridiculous here
You may also follow the stackoverflow idea as mentioned, but follow the “answers” convention where all down-votes are recorded; however, the UI will only show 0 (unless you have enough rep to see both and click to see it). It will discourage people from down-voting items already zero (since there appears to be no change), including as “personal judgement” (since the poster cannot see it). That way it remains as intended, but without being negative (pun intended lol).
As form spam, or duplicate answers, etc., I say just add a flag feature. Stackoverflow has very good ideas, and the ability to flag items as duplicates, spam, should close, etc., could be incorporated here (at least to some degree).
Maybe an alternative could be to have an required field to define description about the down vote which should be reviewed by a moderator.
When someone downvotes a completely wrong answer I think that's fair, however sometimes people seem to get downvoted for no particular reason. Since this is also used as a message-like forum the downvotes seem more ‘mean’ than as a judgement for correct or wrong answers.
IMHO So far there are so little offensive comments here, that moderation is not necessary. But since downvotes indeed only add a negative vibe, I won’t mind to see them removed.
Maybe having moderators should be a seperate idea.
@Alexander You are right. And yes, I’d like to keep the upvote option to provide positive feedback but I’d like to see the downvote option removed as this negative feedback only leads to a negative overall experience.
Imho it depends on how the forum should be used:
The problem is, that we are currently using the forum for both and like you said, there is no real moderation (or at least I have the impression that there is none).
I like to idea for a moderation of the forum, but I thought the MVP’s would be able to moderate?
Finally, I provide an up vote here.