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I am fairly new to lobste.rs so I don’t have the full history on this comment. Has it been tried in the past and not worked?

Please don’t use this to promote the story, summarize the post, or explain why you posted it. See the guidelines below for more.

I was wondering if it would be possible to require submitters include some text when posting new stories.

It wouldn’t need to be much, but I think it would be good if the user posting the story provided almost an editorial, or summary of their personal interpretation of the content. This would potentially spark more conversation as the poster would be posting a view or some context around how they found the link and why they think it’s relevant to the lobste.rs community.

I understand wanting to separate the story votes from the user commentary, could a user comment be required when posting a story instead? which is then added as first comment in the thread to maintain the separation between story a user comment?

I think my reason for asking this is:

  • There have been quite a few links posted recently without any real context
  • Quite often stories are posted as links and no real conversation occurs
  • There seems to be some level of link farming and copy/pasting of URLs based on rank from other similar sites without anything really added from the poster.

I understand similar technical sites will inevitably have similar content, but requiring at least the original poster to read the article and provide detail, rather than blindly posting the link may help maintain a high level of quality as more users find the site. Hoping it will also assist in avoiding a ‘post popular link from elsewhere, get karma’ culture growing.

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    I don’t think links are necessarily meant to be discussed, and as such, I don’t see the benefit of requiring a commentary. I see it mostly as “here’s an article I consider to be interesting and/or newsworthy on the topic of tag(s), upvote if same.”

    There seems to be some level of link farming and copy/pasting of URLs based on rank from other similar sites without anything really added from the poster.

    It seems to me occasional at best and, frankly, I wouldn’t mind getting a sampling of crème de la crème technical writing once in a while without the off-topic aspects of, ahem, similar websites.

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      I appreciate the alternative perspective.

      With the link farming example, I may be inadvertently taking it to what I believe to be the logical conclusion based on experiences elsewhere, rather than giving the community the benefit of the doubt.

      Perhaps the following (currently theoretical) scenario is more aligned to the logical conclusion I was hoping to avoid.

      Show lobste.rs: I created a story submitter that posts any link from $othersite that has more than 10 upvotes!

      As a thought exercise, how do others think this would be handled by the lobste.rs community with the currently available features?
      Perhaps it would be a case for discussing captcha at that point?
      What if a user was to do this and not announce it, how would it be determined that this content is coming from $othersite? and not just posts from the user with best intentions?

      I understand catering for all ‘potential’ future problems is a fool’s errand, but I am worried this one isn’t too far off :D

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      I would appreciate more context on some stories. If a title is vague, I may not even click on the link. But if there’s a sentence or two summarizing what the link is about, that would help a lot.

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        I forgot this is in my original comment. To help us understand why this is needed, please provide some examples of recent submissions that would be improved by adding a summary.

        Edit

        Here is the placeholder text for the submission commentary:

        Use this for stories without a URL, to link additional context, or to paste abstracts from PDF papers.

        Please don’t use this to promote the story, summarize the post, or explain why you posted it. See the guidelines below for more.

        And here’s the relevant section of the guidelines:

        When submitting a URL, the text field is optional and should only be used when additional context or explanation of the URL is needed. Commentary or opinion should be reserved for a comment, so that it can be voted on separately from the story.

        Like Chesterton’s fence, these rules are here for a reason - perhaps, unknown to us relative newcomers. I’d love to hear a rationale for them from the people who presumably made them.

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          Thanks for posting the full text, saves others looking it up.

          What started me down this path was this post, although it did have a follow up comment almost immediately to clarify:
          https://lobste.rs/s/dbwrkb/wan

          An example that is probably closer to the point is (randomly selected):
          https://lobste.rs/s/nxayac/autonomy_online_case_for_indieweb

          After reading ten pages about ‘IndieWeb’ I was left thinking “was there something specific in this article that the link poster wanted to point out/discuss?”

          I think a summary of what ‘IndieWeb’ is in the post text would have increased the value of this post.

          Something like:
          How to get involved with the IndieWeb, a movement to take the web back to the era before online communities contracted social media induced Stockholm syndrome.

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            I almost flagged the 1st link as “off-topic” but it was already highly-upvoted (and the submitter is a well-known “old-timer”). Plus they gave a reason for the submission in a comment, like the guidelines suggest.

            I did flag the second link as off-topic, and so far there are no comments and the submission probably never even hit the front page.

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              Is flagging the second link as off-topc disingenuous in this case? The general topic of taking the web ‘back to basics’ appears to be a weekly talking point here.


              Users can flag stories and comments when there’s a serious problem that needs moderator attention. Users must reach 50 karma to flag. To guide usage and head off distracting meta conversations (“Why was this flagged!?”, etc), flagging requires selecting from a preset list of reasons.

              For stories, these are: “Off-topic” for stories that are not about computing;


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                The general topic of taking the web ‘back to basics’ appears to be a weekly talking point here.

                That’s precisely why I’m tired of it… I guess substituting “already posted” would have been more appropriate, in lieu of a non-existent flogging a dead horse tag.

                A flag is not a death sentence per se. The link is still up, so obviously no mod felt it was a candidate for removal.

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                  Is ‘already posted’ really correct if it’s not a link that’s already been posted?

                  Using the flagging system at all for this kind of feedback seems to imply a deficiency in the available moderation tools. Is it common for users to use the flagging system like this?

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                    Thanks for the discussion, I’ve unflagged the submission.

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          Quite often stories are posted as links and no real conversation occurs

          Is a conversation necessary? To be honest, I find less conversation better most of the time. And conversation for the sake of conversation produces a lot of noise to anyone who is not originally part of that converation. I’d much rather read a well thought out response to a submission than a bunch of chatter around it.

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            I perhaps should have used ‘discussion’ in this comment, as ‘conversation’ probably implies some level of banality.

            I don’t believe discussion is necessary but was under the impression that technical discussion was a key tenet of the site. These kinds of technical discussions often grow from seemingly innocuous comment exchanges.

            I also don’t believe requiring a comment from the initial submitter increases the amount of “conversation for sake of conversation” that occurs. The suggestion for requiring a comment from the submitter is primarily around providing context for the content and how and why it may be interesting to others. If that comment, or any subsequent comments are low quality, or noise, I would expect users to address that with the existing moderation capabilities.

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            One can always add a comment to expand on why a post has been submitted. Or use a comment to ask a submitter why they posted…

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              They can post a comment currently, I guess my question is, would there be benefit in it being required for the reasons posted above (primarily blind link pasting).