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Would you want a Buy/Sell/Trade feedback system on TwistyPuzzles?
yes 56%  56%  [ 15 ]
no 44%  44%  [ 12 ]
Total votes : 27
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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 4:20 am 
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DLitwin wrote:
I am not sure a forum devoted to feedback would be necessarily different except for allowing more than one feedback per post. And any problems with negative feedback would fall in my lap no less than for the current feedback system.

Dave, I think you missed my point about the difference between an impersonal mandatory one-way mathematical rating system (i.e., point scoring) and voluntary threads based on friendly two-way human interaction (i.e., conversation). I gather the latter would be more acceptable to most people here.

Point scoring may well work for a global marketplace like eBay, with a hundred million unknown buyers and sellers, but not for a small community of maybe a couple hundred active regular members who are already familiar and used to talking with each other at a personal level. Getting feedback is definitely a good thing (even when negative), but let's keep it human.

As you have said before, two-way communication is the best way to manage expectations and make customers happy, so I think the best way for others to judge this is to see it actually happening.

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 4:16 pm 
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I would love to post pictures of the puzzles along with the comments.


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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:09 pm 
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Kuhrik wrote:
I think feedback should not be posted until both members have agreed through some system that a transaction did happen to avoid abuse.


That doesn't help weed out scammers. Why would a scammer agree to leave feedback?

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:37 am 
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DLitwin wrote:
I imagine Sandy will weigh in when he has read this thread and given it some consideration.
...and it seems this may take a week:
Sandy on 8/5/2010 wrote:
Going on a one-week vacation starting tomorrow.
For those who are unhappy with the feedback system please be patient and allow Sandy to look into the issue when he comes back. If, while waiting for Sandy to return, you have any concerns regarding actual feedback you have received (as opposed to general concerns about the system) please PM me and I will do what I can to address the situation. I don't actually have the ability to edit or remove feedback that I know of, but will certainly act as an intermediary if it seems in the interest of the community.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:40 pm 
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Sorry to sit on the fence here. Because I have my head buried in the museum work, I don't follow much on the forum right now so I was surprised to see the addition. I can understand the frustration.

On the other side of the coin we are growing rapidly. Perhaps too quickly with a hobby that's being taken up by people all over the place.

We saw someone who was with us for a good deal of time recently "go bad" and try to rip off several members.

Either way, feed your concerns back to Sandy. If it turns out to be a good thing, it'll stay and be of benefit. If it's not wanted or creates bad blood, it won't last. Just be polite to Sandy about your concerns. It'll work itself out.

Ben wrote:
I'm not sure if Wayne has any power to just erase one person from the list, but if your feedback score is 0, then your name would not be on the feedback list. I've removed my feedback for you to help the process. Sorry if it was bad etiquette on my part.
Ben


Nah sorry there, Ben. I have no power any more since the parole. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:30 pm 
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Just in case you couldn't guess, I'm a bit disappointed for spending a good chunk of rare "free" time to get this working... and now a chunk of an afternoon on my vacation to disable it. Unfortunately, I seem to keep thinking about how else I might have uplifted the site in that same time.

After reading the above, it doesn't seem like we even agree that a feedback system in general is a good idea, let alone this specific implementation of one. Some polls on the topic may be in order... but I'm not going to set it up at the moment. If an admin or mod is moved to do so, please do.

Back to my vacation. I intend to check in at least once more before the end of the week.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:49 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:58 am 
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Sandy wrote:
Just in case you couldn't guess, I'm a bit disappointed for spending a good chunk of rare "free" time to get this working...
I feel quite a bit sad for Sandy. While I can understand some of the arguments, why didn't they come earlier? Now we have the "salad" :) (as we say in German).
Personally, I had viewed the feedback idea a good proposal, even not having had a single bad experience when buying from other TP members (Ebay or directly via PM contact.)
Thank you anyway, Sandy!!

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:38 am 
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Indeed. If I was Sandy I would not be very happy about it, as many members had
expressed that a feedback system was in their wish-list. The problem was that no-one
from those who did not like it, had expressed their opinion against it until it was too late.

In fact, Sandy *was* updating us of his attempts on it, yet he was not warned that this
was not acceptable by all members, until he had already implemented it:
June: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=17701&start=0
July: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=18097&start=0
(there had been sporadic suggestions on this issue in other threads too).

And then, despite the time spent to add it, he had to spend more time to remove it.
(and we are lucky to have a site owner with the computer knowledge that Sandy has).

Maybe a poll for such issues should be contacted in the future, and everyone in the forum
should raise their objections, without waiting for too long. I surely understand the
reasoning behind people who want it and who don't want it, but the main point is to
ensure we do not give some unnecessary work-load to Sandy again in the future.

:)


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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:57 am 
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I also understand Sandy's frustration, and feel bad about this. But to be fair, and unless I'm mistaken, nobody has complained that there shouldn't be any kind of feedback system. Instead, I think people were mostly unhappy with the way it was set up, but the intentions for this were never discussed.

The first issue is that it was made automatic and mandatory for all members, with no choice to opt in or out, and without any warning that it would be set up like this.

The second issue is that it was made into a one-way mathematical point scoring system, which goes against the personal two-way communication spirit of the forum.

These are just my thoughts, so others should give their own perspective.

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:33 am 
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Kelvin Stott wrote:
...were mostly unhappy with way it was set up, but the intentions for this were never discussed.

The first issue is that it was made automatic and mandatory for all members, with no choice to opt in or out, and without any warning that it would be set up like this.

The second issue is that it was made into a one-way mathematical point scoring system, which goes against the personal two-way communication spirit of the forum.
It was not purely mathematical - three levels only (Positive, neutral, negative - that is not a very elaborated mathematical scheme :) ), but you could write personal comments as long as you wanted them. Neither it was one-way, because any feedback giver was recipient as well.
Kelvin Stott wrote:

These are just my thoughts, so others should give their own perspective.
Quite so!

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:21 pm 
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To add to my points:

Nr 1. What other ways could there be to set it up? An ebay style was what I thought,
and I am pretty much sure what everyone else expected. It is a straightforward system.
Then, there were also comments which could also add the "human side".

Nr 2. Before the implementation, no one complained to be excluded (and they should had!).
Hence, all were included. I do realise that some of the members may have been away for
very long time, but apart from them, no one should act as if they were surprised by this.
They knew it was coming. No warning? I don't think so, and this is why I gave the past links.
In other words, Sandy did his part, and others were warned, but no one warned Sandy.
(and in the end of the day, Sandy did all the work, implementing and deleting).

Nr 3. One thing we all agree, is that it can come back if and only if it is not a compulsory feature!
(But in this case, some extra programming is required, much harder than the straightforward way.)

:)


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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:52 pm 
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kastellorizo wrote:
What other ways could there be to set it up?
Please see my suggestion here, which was clarified again here. And just to make it even clearer, here's an example, where I invite people to give feedback in my own thread, and can respond in a two-way *conversation*.

kastellorizo wrote:
An ebay style was what I thought, and I am pretty much sure what everyone else expected. It is a straightforward system.
Maybe it's what you had in mind, but not me, and I don't think you can speak for everybody else either, as this was never discussed in any detail. In fact if you read back through this thread you will see that the system was put online before any discussion on how it should work, then people asked how it works, and then some people said they liked the concept but not the set up.

kastellorizo wrote:
Then, there were also comments which could also add the "human side".
Partially, I agree, but it's not the same as a 2-way *conversation* like we are having now, which is what I meant by "human" and makes the forum set up so successful.

kastellorizo wrote:
Nr 2. Before the implementation, no one complained to be excluded (and they should had!). Hence, all were included. I do realise that some of the members may have been away for very long time, but apart from them, no one should act as if they were surprised by this. They knew it was coming. No warning? I don't think so, and this is why I gave the past links. In other words, Sandy did his part, and others were warned, but no one warned Sandy. (and in the end of the day, Sandy did all the work, implementing and deleting).
As I made clear in my last post, nobody has disagreed with the *concept* of having some kind of feedback system, but the way it was set up was not discussed beforehand (read back through this thread) and clearly came as a shock to some respected members of the community.

kastellorizo wrote:
Nr 3. One thing we all agree, is that it can come back if and only if it is not a compulsory feature!
(But in this case, some extra programming is required, much harder than the straightforward way.)
Agreed that any feedback system should be optional, but no extra programming would be required if we simply use the existing forum/thread structure as I already suggested and explained. Any member can simply create a thread called "Personal trader/seller feedback for [insert name here]". The only programming that *might* be required would be to make these threads invisible on the "active topics" page, to avoid cluttering this with personal feedback that should run in the background.

Anyway, my intention was to make a constructive suggestion and propose a simple solution to a problem/complaint that was raised by others, NOT to fight their battles, so let's wait until Sandy comes back with his perspective after taking a well-earned vacation. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:17 pm 
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Kelvin, no one is fighting, I just explained everything too well. If this was supposed to be
discussed in detail or not (as you claim), why no one responded on time? And your suggestions
above came *after* the 7th of August (when the system was already implemented).
I repeat, the whole thing was first seriously proposed in June (i.e. no shock for the timing).

There was no need to repeat (in all four responses) how different your system is. My example was
the only well known system (used by ebay, yahoo, amazon etc) which had nothing to do with what
I expected or you expected, but what could have been expected in general (i.e. no shock for the format).

It is used by millions of people and had took a lot of time to evolve, unlike your (late proposed)
system which is a personal suggestion, and implementing it could be a nightmare for Sandy.

But as I said, no one discussed/objected against it on time. And *that* is the whole point.
At the same time, no harm is done, but I would hate to see Sandy or anyone else in this
forum doing extra work for nothing. Wouldn't you?

My point is made, so I won't pursue this any more.

:)


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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:45 pm 
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kastellorizo wrote:
If this was supposed to be discussed in detail or not (as you claim), why no one responded on time? And your suggestions above came *after* the 7th of August (when the system was already implemented).
This is already addressed in my post above:
Kelvin Stott wrote:
my intention was to make a constructive suggestion and propose a simple solution to a problem/complaint that was raised by others, NOT to fight their battles [i.e., I tried to help address the issue the same day it was first identified on 6th August, the day after the system went online].


kastellorizo wrote:
My example was the only well known system (used by ebay and amazon) which had nothing to do with what I think. It is used by millions of people and had took a lot of time to evolve, unlike your (late proposed) system which is definitely a personal view, and implementing it could be a nightmare for Sandy.
Again, these points have already been addressed in my posts above:
Kelvin Stott wrote:
Point scoring may well work for a global marketplace like eBay, with a hundred million unknown buyers and sellers, but not for a small community of maybe a couple hundred active regular members who are already familiar and used to talking with each other at a personal level.

Kelvin Stott wrote:
no extra programming would be required if we simply use the existing forum/thread structure as I already suggested and explained. Any member can simply create a thread called "Personal trader/seller feedback for [insert name here]". The only programming that *might* be required would be to make these threads invisible on the "active topics" page, to avoid cluttering this with personal feedback that should run in the background.


kastellorizo wrote:
At the same time, no harm is done, but I would hate to see Sandy or anyone else in this forum doing extra work for nothing. Wouldn't you?

My point is made, so I won't pursue this any more.
Agreed. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:38 pm 
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Sandy wrote:
Just in case you couldn't guess, I'm a bit disappointed for spending a good chunk of rare "free" time to get this working... and now a chunk of an afternoon on my vacation to disable it. Unfortunately, I seem to keep thinking about how else I might have uplifted the site in that same time.

After reading the above, it doesn't seem like we even agree that a feedback system in general is a good idea, let alone this specific implementation of one. Some polls on the topic may be in order... but I'm not going to set it up at the moment. If an admin or mod is moved to do so, please do.

Sandy


Hi Sandy,

first of all, thank you for disabling this new feature.
Although you spent too much of your free time into it (sorry for that), I feel this was the best way for the moment.

As it is as before, I feel I want return to the forum again.
My concerns have been, that a mechanism was established, which
(1) wasn't properly announced (just discussed) and then suddenly happened,
(2) doesn't follow clear rules. There are sophisticated forum rules for lots of details about posting etc, but this sensitive feature was established without even thinking about, how it could fit into the existing forum biosphere.

Tony mentioned a point, I want to follow, but didn't express myself properly before leaving (should have done it, sorry for that):
The initial rules did not clearify, when a positive or negative feedback will be deleted. People do change behaviour and so a good seller/buyer may change and vice versa. Just collecting feedback doesn't help. I guess, ebay have thought about that quite a long time.

And in general I am still not sure, if this evaluation system is really a good idea for a hobbyist site at al. I don't need it. And after the counter for the number of posts had been disabled, no further evaluation system existed in the forum for some time (my ++++ for that!).

What does it help to have formal member evaluations? Here in the forum you should have a general good/bad feeling about other members. I'd call that life experience?! In general: NEVER EVER give the full amount of money to a builder as long as you don't see any you'll get anything for it in reasonable time. Yes, I also did this once, but would never repeat this mistake.

An evaluation system wouldn't really help you, if it seems to be a reliable builder as it was in my case (Finally I got something, but it wasn't really satisfying - I won't buy anything from him anymore of course).

If you see, that there is a web site, where the queue does not decrease for over a year, this is suspicious. And then: CONTACT the builder! Make it personal. It is still a business between two persons!

To come to the point:
I myself never had a problem with Scott. As he first sold me a "Mental Puck" and it fell apart after just a few moves, he made a new one for me, which was better - and I got a Octahedron for free as an excuse. So I'd never say he's trying to fool people.

From what I know, he has some problems I don't want to explain here, so he's really busy. This DOES NOT in any way excuse, if he is owing money to some forum members he got in the past. This must be refunded of course. I'll see, how I can help in this case to establish a constructive communication again.

From my point of view, this way of interaction is much better than an evaluation system. The puzzler family is too small for things. Stay keeping personal and don't hide behind such a feedback system.

I know, many people will not agree (fully), but this time from my point of view also the admin(s) acted too fast without considering the consequences (yes, also you, Sandy - sorry, not meant personal, but enthusiasm sometimes hinders a neutral view on things // not that mine are neutral of course, but I'm not the admin here luckily..!!!).

Thanks! Frank

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:38 pm 
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Frank Tiex wrote:
An evaluation system wouldn't really help you, if it seems to be a reliable builder
I think part of the desire for the system was to give people on the forum some ability to determine the reliability of the builder. As it is there is a large lack of visibility on this subject.

Certain builders may have a reputation based on what they have posted but there is no real accountability because politeness has essentially ruled out anything other than positive feedback.

Positive only feedback is nice for a friendly forum but not the objective feedback required for the protection of future buyers. If this was one or two incidents with a single bad seller I might consider the issue not of great importance. Unfortunately lack of negative feedback has been exploited, and there were/are far too many incidents and deceptions to write off as misunderstandings or pure misfortune.

Getting some form of objective feedback to properly identify which builders/sellers are ethical and worth doing business with requires a construct under which people can get over the inertia of their reluctance to share this non-positive information. From reading the few threads on this subject you can see how long people wait and how upset they have to be before doing so, and then how many were unhappy but not at that same boiling point.

Saying the forum itself can be a venue on which to share such information is certainly possible but not realistic: People could have been doing this for years but have not. Creating a thread with any form of non-positive feedback probably just seems too rude, and would likely be seen as too personal. Long ago there were a few threads like this (here and here, the latter being embarrassingly personal) but I am not sure much was accomplished. For anyone wanting to access this feedback how are they to find it (it took me some searching)?
Perhaps a forum devoted to just feedback posts would help the searching problem. I am unsure if a dedicated forum would be any less objected to by some for similar reasons: It is still a venue in which to leave potentially undeserved negative feedback. I certainly can't be expected to moderate fact when two parties disagree on how a transaction went down, just that posts follow the forum rules.

I don't want people saying terrible things about each other of course. I understand the concerns expressed by you, Tony and others and am not discounting these potential or even likely problems.

We are searching for a way to help the community, and currently the community is under served in the area of accurate feedback about reputability. This has been ignored and I am not sure the current method of addressing it only when it has completely boiled over is a great solution.

Clearly there are many ways to address this and it seems this first attempt was based on suggestions but wasn't quite what everyone wanted :(

We should keep discussing and an hopefully come up with some ideas that will satisfy the majority and not alienate too much of a minority.

Dave :)

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:38 pm 
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Thanks Frank and Dave, very well explained, and I am sure everyone in the forum
appreciates it!

And as Dave said, the feedback was an attempt to help, I am really glad Frank
had reconsidered and will stay. We have lost too many valuable members in the
recent past and it would be terrible to lose an irreplaceable puzzler like Frank.

So... what is next? Hmm... I guess it's time to watch Drew's new Starminx III video!

:)


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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:59 am 
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DLitwin wrote:
Frank Tiex wrote:
An evaluation system wouldn't really help you, if it seems to be a reliable builder
...We should keep discussing and an hopefully come up with some ideas that will satisfy the majority and not alienate too much of a minority.

Dave :)
Thanks Dave and thanks Frank for your moderate, while not completely congruent, views.
Dave, your two examples show that it is not such a great idea to say, that feedback threads are the solution.
It seems that you have not yet given up hope to find a solution for a reasonable feedback system.
Still, I cannot fully understand why Sandy's implementation has provoked such strong reactions.
I had expected something quite similar, when it had been discussed.
Just I felt, that the scores gained to high priority, being visible in each and every post.

Personally, I think that an opt in solution could help. If it is easy to find out, that somebody does not participate, I could look for additional information about a person, if I can trust him /her. E.g. I would trust Frank, Kelvin and Tony completely, even if they will most likely not participate :) .
In the case of a person not participating and not having gained reputation otherwise, I would be very cautious.

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:33 am 
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I guess what I had envisioned was close to what Kelvin was thinking about. I can see a Feedback sub-forum under the Marketplace forum. But in this one the topic titles would be member names. Perhaps the top level of this forum would be the member listing similar to what Sandy’s feedback system presented us with so that each member would have a single thread. The difference here is that when you click on a member name you go to a standard forum page where anyone can post, including that member. This would allow for me as a buyer to post a very detailed description of the sale and the quality of the puzzle (including pictures) and also allow the seller to post his comments as well. By having a single thread per member a real history can be created. Some builder’s quality improves over time and this would be captured here. On the other hand, some builder’s quality starts to wane as they get overburdened and this could be captured here too.

I’ve had a few issued with builders on this forum which led to a couple of discussions which led to the feedback system. I’m not sure if having a feedback system in place would have made too much of a difference because in my three most troublesome cases the builders were all well respected members who have made and sold a lot of puzzles. They were spoken of very well with many satisfied customers. But like Dave said, we have a tendency to only post positive feedback in the general forums and really try to avoid negative feedback as we feel it would be rude. I’m guilty of this myself. I’m often very grateful for the opportunity to purchase some of these rare puzzles and don’t want to come off as overly picky or a bad buyer whom the sellers would rather avoid even if I am disappointed with what I received. We as a community really try to be supportive of each other and many of us long time members try to avoid any kind of negativity for as long as we can in an effort to support this community.

But when warranted negative feedback is a necessary thing. To warn others and to also perhaps show the builder that his quality is slipping and people are noticing. It may serve as a wake up call of sorts.

As far as people being upset about a feedback system, the way I see it is that if you use the Marketplace here to sell something (either directly or through eBay) then you shouldn’t be surprised that someone may post about their experiences, good or bad. Even without a dedicated feedback system in place there is nothing stopping anyone from posting feedback about a transaction right now other than the already discussed fear of coming across rude and ungrateful.

I also believe that if another dedicated feedback system is put in place that it’s use should start at that point. It doesn’t seem fair or right to me to start populating it with old and out of date transactions like what was happening.


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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:59 am 
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Volitar Prime wrote:
...
I also believe that if another dedicated feedback system is put in place that it’s use should start at that point. It doesn’t seem fair or right to me to start populating it with old and out of date transactions like what was happening.
I'm with Dave here:
Dave wrote:
Regarding past trades: If we are to have a system it is for to benefit others who might deal with a buyer/seller/trader. Old information is no less valid than new in this respect so I am puzzled by people feeling an arbitrary start date of now is important. Is the idea that people weren't expected to be honest before because they didn't think people would comment on it? And therefore it is acceptable?
We can always talk about past experience, only. Why is the starting date so important?
We should not go back for more than a year, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:47 pm 
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konsassen wrote:
We can always talk about past experience, only. Why is the starting date so important?
We should not go back for more than a year, though.
Now I am confused! Your first two statements seem to contradict the last. Why limit to a year? Much of the valuable feedback I might have is more than a year old, and next year valuable feedback from today will have no less value.

Some years ago I build a nice custom puzzle for a member in trade for some of their puzzles. Despite what looked like reasonable pictures of their first version when they tried to copy it everything was off. I offered to evaluate the originals and the copy to see if I could help them figure out what went wrong. I offered what help I could and sent the puzzles back so they could build a proper puzzle. I haven't heard since. They have since stopped posting on the forum and do not respond to email, so I never posted publicly about it but I was planning on adding negative feedback with the system recently implemented. I gave them a puzzle and assistance and they gave me nothing.

So the question is: What about the timing (over a year ago) of this transaction is worth keeping it from people? I would still never want to trade with them again and would recommend no one else do so either.

I think a feedback system needs to allow for correction so a bad start doesn't stain a reputation forever. If someone messes up and then fixes the situation, this is valuable information to have when considering dealing with them. Some members I consider very trustworthy have over committed and wound up owing people puzzles for longer than comfortable. When they make it right I would expect any negative feedback about them to be amended with the information that despite the hiccup satisfaction was attained.

Tony brings up valid concerns about getting negative feedback because people are simply impatient. Sometimes shipping just doesn't work out. Packages get delayed and lost. You don't want your reputation to suffer for mistakes beyond your control.

Right now I am in this situation in that a package I sent seems to have been lost in the mail. The other party has been more than understanding but if they weren't I might see it in a feedback system. Of course I intend to build another puzzle if necessary to make sure they get what they paid for but this first involves giving the postal system some time (often things are not lost, just delayed) and then time for me to rebuild it once we give up hope. I realize that it is only my good reputation that distinguishes me from someone who was scamming the buyer, never sent the package at all and was trying to wait out the PayPal dispute deadline.

Clearly a seller's best protection is insurance and delivery confirmation. I tend to try to save my customers these costs and use standard shipping in most cases where the postal service is generally good (US, Canada, Europe, Japan). I have never before had any trouble shipping to Europe so was not expecting it this time.

What this experience (and experiences past with lost packages) tell me is that the important feedback is a summary of how the situation is resolved. In the middle of a transaction it is often premature to judge. But if feedback can be edited I think proper corrections can be made. In some sense this allows a deeper view which can be more valuable: If I read that a transaction encountered trouble and the provider took lengths to correct the situation this might be better for their reputation than just the information that the trade completed simply to the seller's satisfaction.

Switching focus a bit: Help me understand the concern regarding numeric vs. "two way human" feedback. I can understand if no comments were allowed a simple positive/neutral/negative system might be quite limiting. People might get stuck not being able to explain why a category was chosen and it would be easy to misinterpret.
I can also see that if both parties are not able to comment on a situation there is no opportunity to refute or address feedback one feels is unfair.
I am not sure the previous system lacked these, although I think there were certainly limitations. Is it that people would like to see a conversation on a transaction as opposed to a summary?

From my perspective a feedback system does not give any more opportunity for someone to tarnish a reputation than they already have on the forum. It does somewhat remove reluctance to give feedback of either kind (something I have identified as perhaps part of its purpose). Is there concern that by having a numerical summary people will not look deeper into the reasons for those numbers? I can understand this concern even if I don't identify with it personally: I suppose I take it for granted that most any place on the internet reviews or feedback of either variety can be biased and only by looking deeper can one really have a window into some sliver of truth.

Regarding opt-in feedback: We don't have any current framework on the forum to disallow someone posting about you. There are rules regarding general politeness but as-is feedback about a user is not something we regulate. If we create a feedback system I see it in the context of assisting users in finding information on the forum, much like our breakdown of Forums or the search feature. We aren't allowing people to do anything they couldn't do before, we are just formatting how they do it for easier access.
The idea of of having a system but then allowing people to say "you can't give me feedback" seems at odds with the freedom we give members when they post. Like others have mentioned it isn't clear how to interpret a user that opts out: Do they have something to hide or is their reputation solid enough that they don't need it? If Scott were to have opted out what use would a feedback system (organized or just a forum with threads) have been? His reputation seemed quite fine on the surface.

I realize this is a sensitive topic with some members and by no means am I saying "If we create something you can't opt out". I am merely trying to understand the concerns and how those same concerns do not already apply to the forum in general. If, for example, we were to re-instate the previous system with an opt out feature would I then be expected to remove posts reviewing that member outside the feedback system? Surely one can see that won't work and yet if someone opts out and another member wishes to leave feedback what is to stop them from posting? I suppose the inertia of creating a new thread is what has stopped them in the past and may have similar effect if we implemented an opt-in feedback system.

Well, those are some thoughts to ponder. I am not in a hurry to make any proposals at the moment but do think our community is lacking in this area and it would be nice if this site can help.

Dave :)

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:23 pm 
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DLitwin wrote:
konsassen wrote:
We can always talk about past experience, only. Why is the starting date so important?
We should not go back for more than a year, though.
Now I am confused! Your first two statements seem to contradict the last. Why limit to a year? Much of the valuable feedback I might have is more than a year old, and next year valuable feedback from today will have no less value....

Dave :)
You are right that one year is a completely arbitrary figure. I wouldn't see it as a strict rule, more as a hint that information gets outdated. You are certainly right that older information can be important and valuable.

Regarding opt out: In my view, the arguments against Sandy's implementation have been of a general nature. I do not share those views in many respects, but I can accept different views and different opinions. So, if anybody doesn't want to be a participant of any formal feedback system, it should be possible to opt out. E.g. Tony had expressed very clearly that he would rather leave the forum than being part of the feedback system. I hate the idea loosing highly respected people, just because they have a differing opinion on this subject.

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:18 pm 
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DLitwin wrote:
Tony brings up valid concerns about getting negative feedback because people are simply impatient. Sometimes shipping just doesn't work out. Packages get delayed and lost. You don't want your reputation to suffer for mistakes beyond your control.


Funnily I made similar (or just opposite?) experiences several times: Sellers sent me the puzzles and we were in contact very well. But for weeks and months the parcels didn't arrive. Sellers became nervous and impatient. Last time this happened with the first two (!) puzzles I won from Kyler. Finally, it appeared that German customs and German postal service didn't work (together) properly and the items were returned to him on the cheapest and slowest way (a container ship, I guess). I never felt he was not trustworthy as we were in email contact all the time (that's what I meant above - the personal contact is not replaceable by anything else).
When the first of the parcels had returned to him finally, I told him to wait for some more days also for the second one and I nearly guessed the day of return exactly;) The second chance of sending was successful as all the subsequent transactions have been since then.

Resumé:
(1) It is not always the receiver, who becomes impatient :D :D
(2) Be aware, that 3rd parties involved make mistakes, too, and thus be careful with your feedbacks as mentioned by Dave.

In general: I honestly cannot remember of any puzzle transaction, where I really was cheated. Sometimes disappointed, but this is a different thing. The puzzle scene is really reliable and if there are some black sheep, I feel this (them) can be sorted out without implementing technical feedback solutions.
Although - different to Konrad's assumption - I am not against using it in principle, but it has to be introduced carefully with clear rules.

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:42 pm 
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I don't have time to read every word of every thread (including this one) and announcement. I knew there had been talk about some sort of way to avoid the Scott situation again but had no idea something like that was being proposed. I would have certainly objected if I had known. I believe such a serious proposal should warrant a PM or email.

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 6:51 am 
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Looking at this whole thing objectively. Since it is Sandy's forum then if he wishes to have a feedback system then he has a right to do so. However it should be restricted to market place trades and start from zero when implemented. That way we all have the option to opt in or out. By opting in we are then agreeing to any rulings made by Admin / Mods. The recent system meant we were forced into such a situation just by being a member of the forum.
I am still against such a system but at least it would respect people's rights.

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:45 am 
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Tony Fisher wrote:
Looking at this whole thing objectively. ...
I am still against such a system but at least it would respect people's rights.
As it seems we will have an opt in / opt out system or none at all. I fail to see the harm that could have been done to trustworthy persons by Sandy's implementation, but i accept that other members have differing feelings.
Therefore, we should go on from here answering two questions:
- Can an opt in / opt out system be implemented with reasonable effort? (Who can judge this, who could programm it besides Sandy?)
- Do we want and need such a feedback system? (A poll should help here. Can a moderator / admin set this up?)

When be have answers to these questions indicating that we should go on, those who want to participate should discuss the rules. It does not make much sense, if persons not willing to contribute / participate want to influence the rules.

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:04 pm 
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konsassen wrote:
Can an opt in / opt out system be implemented with reasonable effort? (Who can judge this, who could programm it besides Sandy?)
- Do we want and need such a feedback system?


I don't believe we need a feedback system but since some people do this seems like a more appropriate option. I acknowledge that Sandy has our best interests at heart and is only trying to protect members.
The opt in / out system would not need any special implementation. Those using Market place are in and those not using it are out. Only actual market place transactions would be eligible for feedback. If someone failed to obey the rule then a simple appeal and check would reveal the feedback shouldn't have been given and therefore removed. The comments could even be made on the market place thread as well after the sale has been completed. Just to repeat, I don't actually think this or any other system should be used.

konsassen wrote:
I fail to see the harm that could have been done to trustworthy persons by Sandy's implementation,


The harm is that everyone has a different opinion and bad feedback can be left for unwarranted reasons with little comeback. For example, say you win one of my auctions and pay 36 hours later. However I give you a negative score and comment "Do not deal with this person, unreliable, does not pay on time". Most people would consider this wrong. However it was already stated there would not be much scope to change feedback unless it breaks forum rules. Now every time someone reads one of your posts they see a negative beside your name.
If it was ebay then you could have replied that you paid in 36 hours. In addition assuming you were using PayPal there would have been a record and you may have grounds to get the feedback overturned. Plus you'd know that professionally trained people would be dealing with the issue.
You may say I am being pessimistic and people simply wouldn't do that. Believe me, I have ample evidence that some will.

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:52 pm 
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My intention is to maintain a great community gathering place for us all. The only changes I want to make are those that get us closer to that intention. This almost always means serving the community as a whole (although from time to time I reserve the right to make decisions based on my financial goals). Because of this focus, I am most likely to provide changes you're asking for rather than adding things that merely appeal to my ideas of values, aesthetics or community needs.

Having said all that, I have a proposal for a feedback system based on the previous system which I believe takes into account the apparently egregious elements of the previous system:

- As before, feedback is always editable and deletable and each member may only give one feedback to each other member.
- Participation in the feedback system is optional. If you do not specifically opt-in (via a setting in your User Control Panel), you can niether give nor receive feedback.
- The feedback Member A leaves for Member B will only appear when Member B leaves feedback for Member A. (Both parties must enter feedback for each other, or neither feedbacks will appear.)
- Moderators/Admins will only intervene in the system when there is reasonable evidence that the system has been misused to raise or lower a member's feedback.

Any feedback?!

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:56 pm 
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I like it, want it, and need it, as I'm having issues with the signed 2x2x4 distributor.

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:47 pm 
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Hi Sandy,

I am not against such an evaluation system in general (maybe to Konrad's surprise :wink: ), but just want to know the rules of the game. You described the technical part of it. But I think some usage guidelines should be clarified:

- What's the scope (any transaction/only transaction here in the forum)?
- What's the starting point (any old and new transaction/only new transactions)?
- Will the positive/negative feedbacks disappear after some time similar to ebay or kept "forever" (assumed from your post: forever)?
- What happens, if members have a different view about the situation?

I fear, everything is cool as long as we don't have a real dispute.The resolution rule/proceeding is not clearly defined for me yet. A "posting fire" might be the consequence. This is, what Tony mentioned, too.

Cheers - Frank

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:48 pm 
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Many thanks indeed, Sandy,

I know you are trying to do right for the community, and I like the idea that people can opt in/out of this system, as those who are more cautious can sit back, see how it goes, and opt in only when they are comfortable with it. I also like the idea that you can only give feedback if you have opted in to receive it, and vice versa.

However, the proposed system still doesn't allow people to respond directly to feedback that other people have given them. For example, Member A leaves negative feedback for Member B, but Member B disagrees with this feedback and wants to explain why it is unfair. Clearly, it is important to know if a member disagrees with his feedback, but also to see if he deals with this negative feedback in a constructive manner, for example:

Member A: "I didn't get what I wanted from Member B and am very unhappy with this. Don't buy from him."

Member B: "I am surprised to read such negative feedback given that I received only positive messages and no complaints in my correspondence with Member A, so I am asking him to please contact me directly to see if/how I can help resolve any issues he may have, that I was not aware of."

Now imagine what impression you would get if you could read only the first comment from Member A, as in the current proposed system. Witnessing a real two-way conversation is critical to get a good understanding of customer relationships.

Maybe I'm being too paranoid (especially since all the feedback I received so far has been positive), but I'm just trying to foresee and address potential problems before they arise.

However, without the opportunity for two-way conversation I would not use this system, and would rather continue receiving feedback by PM or in my personal feedback thread, where I can engage with people in conversation and address any problems directly. Giving anyone the final word in any feedback system is like saying that a customer relationship is over as soon as the deal is done, like a one-night stand. Building a long-term relationship means talking with your partner/customer, and people need to witness the conversation in order to judge the health of that relationship, but here it feels like we're asking people to run out and tell the world how good or bad their partner was in bed last night. :shock:

A simple poll would tell us how many people really want to go in this direction.

I also wonder about the following:

Sandy wrote:
The feedback Member A leaves for Member B will only appear when Member B leaves feedback for Member A. (Both parties must enter feedback for each other, or neither feedbacks will appear.)
The issue with this is that people will potentially waste a lot of effort giving good useful feedback that never appears because the other person simply doesn't have the time or feel the need to give feedback, then the system would lose momentum. Even worse is that people would not give reciprocal feedback when the original feedback is negative, so negative feedback would never appear, which would defeat the whole point of the system.

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:31 am 
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Hi Sandy,
I believe that even those, who have made critical remarks, have never doubted your good intentions. Thanks again and let me, please, recollect the good reasons for your action:
There was this lengthy discussion about the cheating Helios-Cube and other bad experience with other members.
So, there was the proposal of patrickcondon to setup a feedback system and you responded with your first implementation.
You are making a second proposal that takes care of some arguments made against such a formal feedback system.

Can we not go on with this in the following order?
1. Make a poll to get the general opinion of the community.
2. Clarify the technical rules
3. Implement the system
4. Let the people participating discuss the usage and content rules (e.g. the scope of transactions, the starting date of feedback…) I agree with Frank that we should define such "usage and behaviour rules". This could be made inside the feedback system e.g. sending feedback to a virtual member of the feedback system “UsageRules”.
5. Release the feedback system to the participants, explain the rules in a FAQ chapter.

I do not see a good reason, that persons who are against a feedback system want to influence the “usage rules”. We can certainly go on discussing them in THIS thread, but final rules should be set up by the feedback sub-community.

On the technical level I’m having these questions:
- What is the process that a member who has opted in, wants now to opt out again? I believe that some moderator / admin action should be involved. If it is very easy to opt out, somebody could escape negative feedback, before it gets spread within the community.
- Who can read the feedback information? Should reading be somehow restricted to the feedback community? ( I believe that it should be as open as any other information in the forum, but it should be stated this way.)
- Can a participant easily view the feedback given by a feedback member? (In the first implementation, I could find an easy way only for viewing the feedback received)
- Shouldn’t there be an escalation process for the situation that member A has given feedback to member B, but B doesn’t show any interest to respond?
-
@Kelvin: Would not the proposed scheme, that a two way feedback is necessary, address your concerns?
Kelvin Stott wrote:
Many thanks indeed, Sandy,
…
However, the proposed system still doesn't allow people to respond directly to feedback that other people have given them. For example, Member A leaves negative feedback for Member B, but Member B disagrees with this feedback and wants to explain why it is unfair. …
If the feedback reader has an easy way finding feedback given and received by the two members A and B, that would be a two way human interaction, in my view.
Remember that you can easily edit former feedback and there is no limitation writing long comments. You can write novels as in any other ordinary post! :)
Kelvin Stott wrote:
A simple poll would tell us how many people really want to go in this direction.

Yes, we should have such a poll.
Kelvin Stott wrote:
I also wonder about the following:

Sandy wrote:
The feedback Member A leaves for Member B will only appear when Member B leaves feedback for Member A. (Both parties must enter feedback for each other, or neither feedbacks will appear.)
The issue with this is that people will potentially waste a lot of effort giving good useful feedback that never appears because the other person simply doesn't have the time or feel the need to give feedback, then the system would lose momentum. Even worse is that people would not give reciprocal feedback when the original feedback is negative, so negative feedback would never appear, which would defeat the whole point of the system.

Yes, there should be a process to handle such situation.

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:44 pm 
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Poll created :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:48 am 
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patrickcondon wrote:
Poll created :roll:

Sorry, but I think this poll is completely useless: the main issue is *how* such a system would work in practice, and I don't think people can answer your poll without understanding how it would actually work. Hence the poll should have more useful questions, for example:

Which of the following features would you consider essential? Or which would you not support?
1. Opt-in/out
2. Scoring system
3. Etc., etc.

Anyway, I've already said too much in this thread, and the danger is that this whole issue has already become more effort than it's really worth.

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:26 am 
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Kelvin Stott wrote:
patrickcondon wrote:
Poll created :roll:

Sorry, but I think this poll is completely useless: the main issue is *how* such a system would work in practice, ....
I think, in a first step the TP community should decide, if we want a feeedback at all.
Your point 1. has been clearly addressed by various posts here, Sandy's action deleting the first version and especially Sandy's last post: We will either have an "Opt-in / Opt-out" system or none at all.
All other issues can be addressed in a second step.

My point is, that this poll has very low visibilty so far. (8 votes at this point in time; 5 yes 3 no)
I had subscribed to this thread, but many will not have recognized this ongoing poll.

Can a moderator / admin help here?

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:01 am 
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Sorry for posting again:
I want to increase the awareness of this poll.

The interest is pretty low so far (14 votes) and yes and no are close together.
I think, if we do not see a certain quorum of the TP memebership (e.g. 10% of the members within 2 weeks) voting, Sandy does not need to invest anything further. :)
It would be an obvious no-problem???
Then I would say: The mountain labored and gives birth to a mouse. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:39 pm 
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From my perspective it is important to ponder what possible solution might exist for this problem. An up/down vote is a bit coarse in really getting information on true interest when so much of the decision depends on details. For example we did have a number of requests and the first implemented solution was both accepted and strongly rejected by various members of the forum. Before it was tried out I am sure a poll would have shown interest. But how people felt about the particular solution somewhat required people to try it out and think about the ramifications. I think we might find any subsequent proposed solution to be the same: People need more detail about if they are to vote on something.

I do, however, understand your point that perhaps with little enough interest in even a poll perhaps the entire endeavor is not worth even pondering further. As for 10% of TP users, I wonder what percentage of TP users log in at least once per day. We have almost 1900 members but I suspect far fewer active readers. 10% would mean 189 responses which I think exceeds most polls on more popular topics. I don't know that I could suggest a better number for a minimum interest, but that seems a bit high :)

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:36 am 
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DLitwin wrote:
...
I do, however, understand your point that perhaps with little enough interest in even a poll perhaps the entire endeavor is not worth even pondering further. As for 10% of TP users, I wonder what percentage of TP users log in at least once per day. We have almost 1900 members but I suspect far fewer active readers. 10% would mean 189 responses which I think exceeds most polls on more popular topics. I don't know that I could suggest a better number for a minimum interest, but that seems a bit high :)

Dave
Yeah, I know the 10% was a bit of an arbitrary number (but nevertheless used in some democratic decisions :) ) OK, make it 5 % or even less. My point was: We should not ask Sandy to invest any more effort, if the general interest remains such low. The current votes are even against a feedback system at a low (at least what I consider low) rate of participation.
Given the many posts here and the original problems causing this request, I find this interesting if not strange.

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:27 am 
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konsassen wrote:
The current votes are even against a feedback system at a low (at least what I consider low) rate of participation. Given the many posts here and the original problems causing this request, I find this interesting if not strange.
This is not strange at all, but entirely what you would expect in such a poll:
Kelvin Stott wrote:
The main issue is *how* such a system would work in practice, and I don't think people can answer your poll without understanding how it would actually work.
In other words, people will not vote if they don't know exactly what they are signing up to. And on top of that, any that do will most likely vote against a system until they know this. In fact I voted against for exactly that reason (the details are not clear), even though I am not against a feedback system in principle (contrary to what you might think).
DLitwin wrote:
From my perspective it is important to ponder what possible solution might exist for this problem. An up/down vote is a bit coarse in really getting information on true interest when so much of the decision depends on details.
Exactly my point, that's why I think this poll is useless.

The art of market research is knowing what to ask, and how to ask it, otherwise you get false indications... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:57 pm 
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Kelvin Stott wrote:
The art of market research is knowing what to ask, and how to ask it, otherwise you get false indications... :wink:


That is very true. Also those strongly opposed to something can often give a false impression of the true spread of yays and nays. Looking at this thread alone you may conclude that the majority are against a feedback system. However I suspect most people are for it but just not bothered enough to keep reading.

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 Post subject: Re: Trader/Seller Feedback System?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:43 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:48 am
Location: In Front Of My Teraminx (saying WTF?)
Wouldn't it be simpler to make a topic on feedback?

- Greg

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