Why Auto-Selection of MHOs is Bad, and Why 3 Days is Even Worse

Why Auto-Selection of MHOs is Bad, and Why 3 Days is Even Worse

Yet another site design change has occurred. Here's the official word:

"Regarding the MHO system, the timeframe for picking MHOs was settled on as 3 days. Apart from extraordinary circumstances, the 3 day timeframe is locked in now."

I recently did a poll and the results were that 74% of users do not want any computerized auto-selection of MHOs. Do You Like the System of Auto-Generated MHOs? I realize this is just one poll and it is not defacto, but there is certainly strong support for us having control, not site algorithms.

Time always runs out... or does it have to?
Time always runs out... or does it have to?

Why It's Not Good:

1. 3 days is not nearly enough time to allow for a wide pool of answers, from a variety of users, so that the best can rise to the top. Variety, creativity, brainstorming, out-of-the-box thinking... they all need time to percolate. Good things take time. Ideas are honed, and distilled. We are made better by the presence of each other, not by small, tight, limited echo chambers of thought.

2. It creates confusion. Commenters will rarely know if their comment was actually chosen by the Asker, or if it was just a system choice, which, in essence, means much less to us all. This is, after all, 'social media', not a roulette wheel in a casino, yet with a meaningless point system and no cash. If our reward is sharing, helping, and feedback, why the hell are they messing with the feedback system?

3. It doesn't build relationships, it undermines them. If users don't know if they were selected by the Asker, then they must therefore assume they were not chosen. (The exception being if the choice occurs within 2 days of the question being posted.) If the Asker forgets about the question, or doesn't want to choose you or other users, then this also provides information about that user, and your relationship to that user.

4. It devalues the MHOs that were chosen by the Asker. A computer does not know what the Asker wanted, liked, nor appreciated as a comment. Why must computers/A.I./robots/algorithms decide the events and decisions of our lives?

5. It rewards only current, very active users, and penalizes users who are not online within a very short time frame (2 days.)

6. It encourages a frenzy of activity up until only 3 days, and then people losing interest in what the site deems 'old' questions. A good question is a good question, whether brand new or not.

1. It creates churn. This hugely prioritizes quantity over quality.

7. It gameifies the site (see also #2, above) which is just shamelessly trying to hook users into attachment and addiction and pandering positive feedback. We are better than this. We are smarter than this... right?

Overall, I think @LesterJester said it best. I'll give him the last word:

"People do have lives outside of this site after all and some people only come on here a couple of times a week.

There's no need to bum rush people into answering so quickly and then pressure the asker to select an MHO just as quickly, especially when conversations are still active and people are still posting.

Let them stew a while. What's the damn rush?"

Why Auto-Selection of MHOs is Bad, and Why 3 Days is Even Worse
Why Auto-Selection of MHOs is Bad, and Why 3 Days is Even Worse
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Most Helpful Guys

  • Aysen
    I'm happy that you understand the consequences of shorting the duration for MHO selections! I can tell you've put a lot or research and thoughts into this MyTake.

    I understand that the MHO system is one of this site's unique features to motivate people with their thoughtfulness, creativity and wanting to share their experiences but when algorithms and shortage of time are taken into factor, it does diminish the quality and value of MHOs in general. While they weren't considered the most reliable method to determine a person's intelligence and sense of empathy/relatability, it's still a nice, extra feature to include to get a better idea of a person's creditability with their opinions.

    I feel this is one of those "If it isn't broke, don't fix it" kind of situations. 30 days from before was too much time and 7 days felt just right, giving enough time for more opinions to appear instead of rushing in with 3 days now. It would be nice if all MHOs were only given by the asker directly and never by the algorithm but then too little MHOs would be given out and make the feature feel underwhelming. It'll be interesting to see what 3 days, compared to 7 days will affect the community! We can already see the complaints coming in so we'll see how this goes.
    Is this still revelant?
    • Aysen

      Thank you very much for MHO :) We'll find out soon enough how long this 3 day implementation will last.

  • Fountain of knowledge nerm :) i admire your dedication to this hell hole :)
    Is this still revelant?
    • AmandaYVR

      Well thanks, Hopper. Yes, I really hate this 3-day thing. It's going to deter me from asking questions, bringing up topics, and I believe will lessen depth overall and, as I said, create churn.
      My feelings on the site definitely do waver. There are certain design and functionality choices and changes, and certain people, that can really alter the course of things, and that does bother me a great deal sometimes. And then there are social media and technology itself, which are double-edged swords, at best. I am constantly thinking about the benefits and pitfalls of it all (it's affecting emotions, focus, and communication, just to name a few. Though it does also entertain, and maybe build friendships. Whether it helps or hurts loneliness [by misdirecting attention to those not IRL which is what really matters] is debatable/TBD.) All these are why I try to see where other users' heads are out, if there is any uniformity or agreement, and if improvements can be made that would be amenable to all. (Though in this case, this change is apparently permanent and not open for discussion, despite pushback - though I encourage everyone who doesn't like it to still say so.) Cause I tell ya, sometimes I'm ready to say f it, throw it all out the window, and focus on other things.

Most Helpful Girls

  • DeeDeeDeVour
    It used to be 30 days. Then, I think it went down to 7. Later on, I thought 5 days wasn't enough. Now, it's just 3! Really? I just wish GAG would leave their paws off the MHO selections. Period.
    Is this still revelant?
    • @AmandaYVR: Thank you for the MHGirl pick. :)

    • by the way, here's my brief "love letter" to GAG regarding MHOs:
      "Speaking of behalf of a great majority of GAG members, we would prefer leaving the choosing of MHOs to the GAG members. If GAG cannot leave that alone, you must extend the option back to the traditional 30 days in order for a member to decide which he/she believes deserves an MHO. 3 days just isn't enough time. Plus, more often than not, GAG's MHO picks aren't even close to who/what we'd like."

      If you agree with this, copy & paste this and send this to GAG as a reply to their messages in your inbox.

  • #2. You can tell because it will either say "AmandaYVR selected your response..." or it will say "Your response was selected..."
    But yes, still confusing.
    Is this still revelant?
    • AmandaYVR

      Reeally? Do you mean on the question, or in your notification only?

    • When I get a notification, the notification says it.

    • I'll try to screenshot it to show you.

    • Show All

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What Girls & Guys Said

117
  • loveslongnails
    Good points Amanda, but let's also add that MAYBE the poster doesn't think ANY of the answers are helpful in the first place !!! Why should they be forced to choose one if they don't like any, and why should G@G make the choice for them? Having an MHO for every question is really NOT that important !
    • AmandaYVR

      I 100% agree with that. They would have more value if they only ever happened by conscious choice. We don't need them everywhere, all the time, not at all.

  • Well said!! I backslit and got a couple of my MHO taken away for the first time recently and gaggers assumed they were my choices because I have a tendency to choose my own. Another thing I have is how do I look, I don't know if they changed it but those questions are were only visible for 24 hours then they were pulled down. Girls say it's because guys would get to carried away if they were left that long but 24 hours is way too short for comments
  • Fully agreed.

    But whoever manages this community website is a very poor decision maker. I don't even want to think how that person is working as a manager for some company.
    I'm a particularly busy man too and by the time I check all the answers, that have arrived over the week, the MHO's were selected, that I do not agree with (like when I ask a question about sex, the system selects an opinion, that basically says "HURRR PREMARITAL SEX IS THE EVILLLLL!!!").

    We are only one fix away from this problem:

    A) Increase time for auto-MHO selection to 24 hours times 7 days since the question was asked.

    B) Disable the "most helpful opinion" thingy altogether

    C) Rename "Most helpful opinion" to "highlighted/pinned opinion"
  • Capnjaques
    Auto-selection is a horrible idea. I haven't asked many questions yet, but I'd much select the MHO because otherwise something ridiculous could end up being selected.
  • coachTanthony
    The notifications tell you whether or not it's an actual user or the system giving you the MHO. Does that mean it's all good? No. Not even close. I remember @olderandwiser thanked me for an MHO and my response was simply:

    Don't thank me... Thank GAG! Hell I didn't even get a chance to "like" his comment less give him the MHO.

    @girlsaskguys 7 days is the sweet spot. I think you know this so any explanation on why it's 3 days? I mean any good reasons for it? We would love to know!

    Good take Amanda! You make very good points as usual.
  • LesterJester
    Yay, I'm famous!

    But obviously I agree. A week should be a decent compromise, or simply don't auto MHO at all.
  • I agree. SO annoying! 7 days was better. Two weeks would be most ideal
    I also think if they're gonna do that, they should just give MHO to the comment that has to most upvotes
  • backdoorman
    I completely agree. It should be up to the QA to select an MHO, when he or she chooses, or not.
  • Physics-Man
    I agree. It used to be 7 days, but now it's decreased to 3 days. It's not enough time! Just awful!
  • Exorcist_Rampage
    I totally agree. It's wrong and it should be the question asker's choice.
  • Yeah. I stepped away for 3 days and my question got auto selected. I was a little disappointed
  • nailu
    I have never selected a most helpful opinion. I appreciate all opinions to my rarely asked questions
  • lightbulb27
    no I don't like auto select. pointless.
  • I concur.
  • wankiam
    totally agree
  • Agreed!
  • GreenGold1992
    Thank you!
  • COMMODOREII
    Amen sister!!! Right on!!! I'll drink to that. 😎
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