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N4G's Oldest Problem:The Bubble System and How to Fix it.

The Bubble system is a great system at first. Under this system, the people who make good comments with actual thought and advanced grammar are rewarded with extra bubbles to make even more good posts with and people who troll and use indecent language are reduced to one bubble and cannot post more than once.

This works pretty good in theory. It's a merit system that rewards those who actually contribute something to the article instead of starting flame wars. Everyone starts out with the now default three bubbles and you are left to either build them up or take them away on your own. In theory, the best posters will have the most bubbles.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. The flaw of the bubble system comes in with 2 factors; the majority opinion and anonymity. If you make a post that goes against what most gamers agree with, you are sure to lose your bubbles. If someone makes a post saying that they do not like gears of war or uncharted does that mean they deserve to lose bubbles? The person was not trolling or using bad grammar but the majority of gamers here will take away his bubbles simply because they dont agree. Many members of n4g have chosen to interpret the bubble down button as a disagree button, which is not how it was intended to be used.

The second factor is what really destroys the Bubble system. Anonymity means that you can take a bubble from someone and get away with it because he doesn't not know that you did it. There is no way to report people who take away bubbles for unjust reasons so the majority of the website can freely control who gets more bubbles and who doesn't based on opinion alone.

This can call be fixed by removing the anonymity. If someone takes a bubble from you, you will receive a notification for it much like you do when someone replies to a message. If someone has bubbled you down for an unjust reason, you can report it to a mod. Then the mod will review it and decide whether to remove that vote on you or not. Under this system, no one should lose bubbles for no reason.

That is the easiest solution I can find for this system. The bubble system is not a bad system, its just a broken one that can be fixed. If you disagree with my solution to the problem that is ok but one thing you cant disagree with is that the current system has been exploited by the members of this site and must be fixed.

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Rrobba2463d ago

I absolutely agree. I think it is completely unfair when fanboys get defensive and try to 'bubble-down' everyone who sides with a different game or company to them.

I support this suggestion, completely.

Christopher2463d ago

Showing who bubble votes you will only lead to people talking more about who specifically gave them a bubble vote and not the topic at hand. Same with agree/disagree.

We have enough trouble as it is keeping things on topic.

Trophywhore2463d ago

You can just mark it as off topic like you already do. I dont see why people would be publically taking about who took bubbles anyway when they could just privately resolve the issue. Unfortunately, N4G kind of dug its own grave by inventing the bubble system so no matter what, people will complain about bubble loss. If there is an actual way to resolve it however, I think they will take the high road and use the private way I proposed.

Columbo2463d ago (Edited 2463d ago )

And by "privately resolving the issue", I think you mean abusive PMs, stalking, and death threats. This is not the United Nations with (theoretically) diplomatic agreements and peaceful discussions. We already get enough user reports for people that create multiple accounts just to stalk other users based on reports on their submissions or comment replies. Add bubble votes and/or agree/disagree information to that and you are asking for more trouble.

Mods & Admins can already see everyone's bubble votes, but there is no way that everyone should see this information.

edit: I added a bubble if you want to carry on the discussion or to reply to someone else's post in this blog.

edit2: and fix the spelling errors listed in the report. It is an easy fix and your blog will be approved after that.

iamnsuperman2463d ago

I agree with columbo. I got abuse on PM for reporting a blog for poor quality because it was 5-10 lines of fanboy rant. We are not some UN debate. The maturity here can be very poor.

Trophywhore2460d ago (Edited 2460d ago )

If that is the case, why have such overzealous members have this kind of control? The choice of who gets to have more bubbles and who doesnt shouldnt be in the hands of members if they are going to abuse it in that way.

The only real choice seems to be to take the bubbles voting away from general members and put it in the hands of the mods. You could turn the bubble system into a warning system in that way. Good posters will be rewarded with more bubbles and bad ones will have them taken way, not by members, but by the mods. Members who reach zero bubbles will be banned.

The mod guided bubble system was my second plan, but now with input from the mods themselves I find it to be the better plan and puts a lot less strain on the report system in comparison.

Oh and I fixed the grammar.

iamnsuperman2463d ago (Edited 2463d ago )

Problem with removing anonymity is revenge bubbling and that will make things 10x worst. I agree the bubble system has ts flaws but the way you have suggested to fix it by removing anonyimaty is completely wrong. It would turn into a war zone. Much more attetion by the mods is better or you can report your bubble down much easier than the way you can now or others can report the bubble down but removing anonymity is going down a bad route

Trophywhore2463d ago (Edited 2463d ago )

How could revenge bubbling happen if you know who is taking your bubbles? If anything, you could argue that is happening now and nothing can be done about it.

As it stands now, there is NO way to report an unjust bubble loss to the mods. There is no evidence of who even did it so how could you even prove where the bubble was taken and who did it? Its given way too much power to a majority of N4G members who are pretty unreasonable and illogical. Take a look at what members hit disagree with and you can be certain that they apply that same "logic" to bubble votes.

Also, Im sorry about my simple mispellings but I dont think that is a good reason not to approve this article. Ive seen blogs with far worse grammar and syntax errors get through. I would change it but I am unable to do it.

If anyone has other suggestions for the bubble system, I would be happy to read them.

iamnsuperman2463d ago

Well lets say you bubble me down i will bubble you down. The maturity on N4G is quite low at times so removing anonymity would not be a step forward but a step back. I think a way to pubically report the bubble down would be better without the need to show who bubbled you down. The only example i can think off is the programme coach trip. They pubically vote to get people off the show and the following weeks is all about revenge voting. Removing the anonymity is not the answer.

Ps i am not good at spelling but if you fix the correction i find it this blog approve worthy

death2smoochie2461d ago (Edited 2461d ago )

Get rid of the bubble system entirely and have a maximum of 4 replies per thread for everyone and if some members continue to use poor language and or trolling. Ban them.

Hufandpuf2460d ago

since you want to solve the bubble system. Try solving the Agree/Disagree system.

Godmars2902460d ago

How, when that represents people's opinions, bias or otherwise, as much as a full comment.

Hufandpuf2460d ago

So does when you add or take away a bubble

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