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Why don’t Sphinn users desphinn?

Posted by on 18th Jun 2008 | 7 comments

SphinnIn the last day or so I have been familiarising myself with the Sphinn community. As I mentioned yesterday, in the past I never really made the effort to become an active member in a social media site. Sphinn is definately the site to change this. I am still a newbie there but I have seen enough to know that Sphinn is a great community and a great place to find good articles.

At the moment there is one thing which I think needs improving within the community : no one seems to cast negative votes on article suggestions. On Digg this is known as bury but on Sphinn you have the option to ‘Desphinn’ a post which you don’t think is good. It’s a feature I was always aware of but one which I never really paid attention to until I came across an article tonight on Sphinn.

The post I found was a small ‘Links Roundup’ type post which had 4 or 5 links to some sites the author had found. There was nothing inherently wrong with this post per say, I myself post a links roundup every week. However in my opinion the post should not have been Sphinned as it was only 4 or 5 lines long and fell short of the high standard of posts I have seen listed in the community so far. It’s also worth pointing out that the post was suggested by the blog author himself.

I was going to Desphinn the suggestion but as a newbie I wasn’t sure if it was in my best interests to do this (yeah I’m a chicken who didn’t want to rock the boat!). So I decided to search through the hot topics and whats new tabs categories to see how common Desphinning was. Turns out it isn’t common at all. I must have clicked on 50+ articles and not one had a Desphinn. Only by searching for the term ‘Desphinn‘ was I able to find some articles which had been Deshpinned and these articles were related to the Desphinn feature itself.

Of course, articles which are Deshpinned are going to be harder to find because casting a negative vote on an article pushes it further down the list, that is the whole point of Desphinning afterall.

So are Sphinn users scared of casting a negative vote incase someone does the same to their site or simply because they don’t want to be rude? I don’t think so. I think most users are just not in the habit of using the Desphinn option. If they like an article they will vote for it, if they don’t like an article they will not vote for it.

The standard of articles which reach the top seem to be pretty good so perhaps the Desphinn button is only used for truly awful article suggestions. :)

How often do you cast a negative vote on social media sites like Sphinn and Digg?


Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity and Social Media on his personal blog and provides support to bloggers at Rise Forums. He can also be found on Twitter @KevinMuldoon and .

7 comments - Leave a reply
  • Posted by Cassie on 18th Jun 2008

    I've never buried an article on Digg or gave a thumbs down to something on StumbleUpon. I just figure the same thing you said…if I don't like it I continue on. No need to be rude and post a negative comment or bury something that someone probably worked pretty hard to create.

    Good to know that Sphinn isn't quite as negative as Digg. I'm scared of Digg sometimes! I have nightmares about people burying my stories or leaving nasty comments, haha. I think it's time to check out Sphinn.

  • Posted by rob on 18th Jun 2008

    i've never feel the need to be negative about any submitted material, a chicken too i guess, but always felt i'd be called out by doing it. it also made my think about the value of the writings if everything was dugg or sphinned. thanks for making sphinn a little more transparent

  • Posted by Alex Cristache on 18th Jun 2008

    Unless the submitted article is truly awful, I'll usually just skip it.

    I don't really like downvoting. It's not something I like to see happening to my stories, so I'm not doing it to others. Sure, if it's spamming the service, I'll down vote it. And I'm not afraid of being downvoted in return. Even if it's going to happen once or twice, it would take a complete moron to hunt down my every submission for personal revenge.

  • Posted by Louis Liem on 18th Jun 2008

    Like said, I just skip them if they aren't interesting for me.

  • Posted by Kevin Muldoon on 19th Jun 2008

    I still think casting a negative a vote may be underused. In theory, a positive vote should be given to pages you like and a negative vote to pages you don't. However, it seems the negative vote is only ever cast if someone really disagrees with a suggested page.

    Don't think that there is anything wrong with this system and in Sphinn less emphasis is put on it as the link is smaller than the 'sphinn this' button.

  • Posted by Eric Odom on 19th Jun 2008

    Just Sphunn this, Kevin. Great question.

    For me, it's because I think voting down or "desphinning" goes against the idea of voting for something. In politics, you can't "unvote" a candidate. You simply choose the candidate you like and move on.

  • Posted by Kevin Muldoon on 19th Jun 2008

    Yeah I think most people see it this way. Thanks for the sphinn.

    A good discussion was started this morning on Sphinn called Is Desphinning rude?. You should check it out, some good points have been raised :)