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Badges and Reactions

Hi everyone,

Just posting to let you know that I’ve switched on a couple of new features developed by Vanilla: Badges and Reactions. As the Vanilla folks describe them, “the Reactions can be used to highlight interesting discussions, suppress abusive comments, flag abusive members, and create more nuanced reputation profiles. Vanilla Badges serve to reward community members for positive participation – members are awarded Badges for receiving praise from others and for various other forms of participation.” They were just rolled out last week, and so we’ve not yet customized the badges for our own purposes. Here is Vanilla’s summary of the new buttons at the bottom of the posts:

Please let us know what you think of the features. If there are any technical issues that arise, certainly we’d like to know about them. It’s our hope that these features accomplish some of the goals we’d had discussed in the past.

Thanks for your participation and feedback.


Honestly, I sincerely commend your attention to the website and your efforts to offer improvements, but in my humble opinion the new changes add too much “noise” and too much blinking. To me it’s overkill.

Just one man’s opinion, and I respect that others may differ.

I was actually thinking the same thing. I almost typed it up when I first saw it all. Then I thought let me see if I get used to it.

I actually think it might mostly be the “blinking” part - as in where the emphasis/shading follow you around the page. If the blinking/highlighting part was turned off I’d probably like it better.

We might have to take a vote though.

It could be an improvement but I would hate to see it used in an inappropriate manner if a poster had a long standing disagreement with someone. It would be easy to track however so let’s see how it works out.

Is there a difference between “agree” and “like”?

I used to like the ability to post a direct comment to someone’s post which was directly linked to theirs.
These days that doesn’t happen. Every comment gets pasted in a time line and you can’t tag yours directly to theirs. Granted, we if we make a reference to theirs, we all know to what we’re referring, but I wonder if that feature can be added back now ?

I suppose if you get deep into the semantics of “agreeing” and “liking,” there could be made an argument for a distinction between the two. In my own head, I’ve been thinking that “agree” would be more suited for seconding someone’s advice or assessment, and “liking” was less about agreement and more about either the style in which something was said or finding a non-mechanical issue interesting. I think you could use your judgment either way; functionally there is no difference.

As far as abuse of the system, these feedback options are entirely in the eye of the beholder. They can add weight to a recommendation or comment, but it requires a concerted effort to game the system, and it’s up to the reader to decide whether these comments are worth accepting.

ken, unfortunately this forum software does not have the ability to provide inline replies like you’re missing.

Perhaps agreeing is done more with the head and liking more with the heart :wink: I won’t lose any sleep over the question. They’ll just get used as they get used.

For the record, cigroller, I liked your comment because you said it better than I did, in fewer words.

Any way to turn off the ‘blinking’? I don’t understand what it’s for…

I’m not speaking for the developers, but I am interpreting it to be a design choice to ensure that when you are clicking a button you are certain you are clicking the button for the intended comment. The buttons are dimmed so as not to be as visually loud, I think. Yes, you could argue that pale blue highlighting is visually loud, but this is the way it’s been developed.

I like. This allows me to post an agreement without having to post. You know how much trouble I have posting here with the 502 timeout codes I keep getting. This is a big help.

Bug alert. This feature works with Safari, but when I try it with TenFourFox (Firefox for older Macs), I get a green page with this:

Permission Problem

You don’t have permission to do that.

I prefer TenFourFox for this website as it is more reliable for me for posting, as long as I keep the posts very short.

I’m still saddled with IE since FF won’t let me stay logged in, so don’t feel bad

To me anyway, it just adds a certain amount of clutter and is unnecessary. What I would prefer to see is a way of leading people into posting some actual information about their car along with the question they may have about their automotive predicament.

Year, make, model, mileage, and some amount of detail about the problem as a first step could aid immensely in trying to provide advice.
The “HELP! My car won’t start. What could be the matter?” or a similar version leaves a lot to be desired.

I would like to see an additional grade for a useless reply to a post. It could be entitled “Not Helpful” or “Needs More Content” for example. I feel that there are people here who occasionally reply with little self questioning as to whether or not their reply has any value. “Off Topic” is good to limit the verbal wandering and consequent cluttering of a thread. I’d like to recall when wandering off topic resulted in something of redeeming value but I can’t do that.

I actually like the “wandering off topic” on some posts. They are much more interesting and insightful than the original post sometimes. If you look back on some “dead” posts you will see that the comments keep coming long after the OP has gone on to other things. Discussion is valuable and the idea that you know the reply has no value speaks volumes about your character. Sometimes the answer comes out of left field as evidenced by the feedback from the OP. Sorry to step on your toes but I disagree with your post.

missileman, you are correct if it is kept in mind that the borderlines between being scatterbrained and being creative overlap and going off topic can occasionally result in something of value. I don’t believe that it happens often enough to justify cluttering the threads with immaterial wanderings especially if a search is done to look for information in older posts.

I will agree on that point because we do get clutter from time to time. Not all the information is informative. Take the recent example today of “Emissions Advice” that was recently closed. It got out of hand in a hurry. I contributed to it so I’m a little ashamed of myself at the moment.