For ages, older site members have stated thumbs up/down on hubs does nothing; it does not even change hubscore.
In that case why do we have it? Does it do anything?
I expect it's another one of those "we've-overdosed-on-BF Skinner" type things that HP uses to keep people "engaged" with the site.
I use the "thumbs up" to show I agree or approve of what has been said or conveyed. If I disapprove or disagree I vote "thumbs down". I think the author would like to know if those that read and comment either approve or disapprove of their efforts...
I think if you use them enough, with several different ID's, it is a way to damage your competitors (sorry other authors) pages.
Please don't say I have been wasting my time.
From my understanding , which may be completely incorrect, it is to ensure good content is placed on Hub Pages. In other words, is this something that should even be on Hub Pages. Just my thoughts.
I'm not sure how much the "older hubbers" know or how much they just assume. I can't find any place where the HubPages staff have said anything one way or the other. There doesn't seem to be any detailed explanation of how Hub scores or Related Hubs are picked.
So I just take the millisecond that it takes and rate up or down. Not much is lost if it's meaningless.
As someone who has been on the site since before the thumbs feature was added, who remembers when the up/down totals were visible stats and people never stopped screaming up one side of the forums and down the other about how other users were out to get them and demanded that voters be revealed, and having read the actual posts from Paul Deeds where he said thumbs were a minuscule part of HubScores, I think EmpressFelicity has offered up the best analysis of the thumbs voting feature and its function on the site.
Is the thumbs worthless? Not according to admin it isn't but it was clearly poorly implemented without full consideration of how such a feature would psychologically function as part of the site. But then again, you can never build in a feedback or reward system that doesn't somehow also carry the connotation of negative feedback or discouragement to the user.
Relache thank you for the Historical perspective. It's always useful to hear from the Hubbers who remember the forum posts of Deeds or Edmondson.
Last year when the Google authorship was being explained and encouraged by HP I read something in either the HP blog or else a Hub written by an "HP person" . (Since I'm not sure exactly where I read it, I don't want to use the individual's name and say that he said something.) At the time, I was reading all that was showing up about the (then) new Google authorship program.
Somewhere in the mix of stuff being presented to HP members (and, again, not in the forums and not non-HP-staff-members' Hubs), there was the explanation about Google's Plus One button and about how (at least to some degree) Google assigned some "weight" to some people's Plus One's, based on their behavior (that may not be the right word) in the authorship program. The suggestion (or "official word", maybe) was that the person who established solid authorship or "legitimacy"/credibility, and didn't go around wildly Plus-One-ing stuff all around the Internet might have a Plus One vote that carried a little a more weight. The comparison was made to voting up or down on HubPages, and the statement was made that on HubPages the up or down vote of the person with a high HubScore carried a little more weight than the vote of someone with a low score. If I recall correctly (and I think I recall pretty closely to "exactly"), the statement was along the lines of, "Just as here on HubPages......" (then followed by the comment about how some Hubbers' votes carried a little more weight than others). (I just went looking to see if I could find what I'm referring to, but with the new profiles now, it isn't easy to just go find something. )
Maybe that "little bit more weight" is only a tiny difference between the well established Hubber with a decent score and the kind of low scores that tend to come with brand-new user accounts. Maybe things have changed in the fifteen months or so since we were first hearing about the Google authorship program and online reputation management. All I know is that when Google has been able to automatically list our "Plus One's" right on our Google+ profile, and if HP can have out sign-ons and activity automatically recorded and put on our HP profiles; I find it hard to believe there can't possibly be something in place that may somehow keep track of some other behavior (like, maybe, odd or extreme voting patterns). (Too much activity can cause a score to down, so that's being kept track of, obviously. The "contributes to the community" accolade description suggests that voting and/or flagging are being recorded somewhere.) Anyway, in answer (or I should say 'guess") to the question about "why have them anyway", I'd guess, maybe, it's a way (if nothing else) to keep track of which Hubbers try to "contribute to the community" by voting and/or flagging.
I know absolutely nothing about how this stuff works "at the algorithm level", but I'd guess (and I don't pretend it's more than a guess), but I can see how it could be along the lines of the way something like the IRS/tax returns (or Google) work: Nobody pays a lot of attention unless/until something anomalous shows up (either coming from a Hubber/Hub or directed at a Hubber/Hub. Then it sets off a red flag.
All I know for sure is what I do (and I'm not saying it's necessarily the right thing to do either). I'm very judicious about voting. On the one hand, I'll vote up any Hub that's written in good grammar and that obviously involves the person's putting in a conscientious effort. On the other hand, I rarely, rarely, use the "vote down" button. I don't need to agree with what the person said. Pretty much the only time I'll vote down is when I know, for a fact, that the information s/he has presented is bad information and/or the information doesn't answer a question the title suggests that it will. The flag button is there for the more outrageously bad Hubs. I see the comment boxes as a way to let authors know I particularly agree with them. I just think that if the aim is that we're supposed to care about overall quality on the site, the vote buttons shouldn't be about whether I agree with someone's ideas - only about whether I know, because of well established fact, that they've presented something as "fact" that isn't accurate. I suppose what makes a difference is whether someone sees "voting" as the same thing as we do at the ballot box versus seeing "voting" on a site like this as a mini-/volunteer-type role in a "collective editing" process. From the psychological standpoint, I will admit to feeling good about voting up a Hub that I think was written with care (and in good grammar).
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