The Journal of Laura Doom

wearing anonimity on one's sleeve
05/01/2009 11:48 p.m.

Morg's recent post of 'smoke singles' was doing ok, and I guess someone took exception to that for whatever reason. I usually warn people that writing with me is to be regarded as a suicide pact. Was it that bad? I doubt it, but I've become accustomed to adotping the 'indifference' approach where strategic low voting is concerned; somehow it's different when doing these collaborations -- am I alone in feeling a sense of responsibility for my brothers and sisters in poetic arms when engaging in a joint writing venture? So, I feel I should be offering apologies to morg for this somewhat pathetic, if not malevolent, gesture perpetrated by person or persons unknown. Morg seems like one of the good guys, so I imagine this comes down to me and my propensity for indiscriminate alienation.
Somebody's feeling good out there, so who am I to complain? Shame the effect rippled out in morg's direction.


Obviousy Ava and I disagree about this. For me, the attribution relating to motive is context dependent.
Ok -- the math is not complicated.
When viewing a poem in a library/folder, the 'votes' column indicated the number of people who have rated a poem (suggesting a poem as POTD doesn't apply here). The ratings displayed in the library/folder represent an average of all ratings applied in each category. Although the FAQ page doesn't cover this point, I don't believe that the averaging process includes a rounding element.
A hypothetical scenario follows:
If a poem enjoys 4 votes, and has ratings of Brilliant, Outstanding Flow, Vivid, Memorable (5s), everyone who voted has given it those same ratings.
If, after a fifth vote, the poem has ratings of Imaginative, Competent, Descriptive, Clever (3s), then the fifth voter rated it as One Dimensional /Flat, Awkward, Lifeless, Needs Work (1s).
The ratings applied by the fifth voter diverged significantly from those applied by the previous voters, and suggests the poem (in the mind of this voter) was not worth the screen it was pixellated upon.
It may be that the first four high ratings for the poem would not have been justified if assessed objectively, although it must be fairly obvious to everyone that voting is rarely conducted on a detached basis, at least by the majority of those who apply ratings.
In the above scenario, my interpretation is that voting was either strategic or malicious, particularly when viewed in the light of consistently favourable ratings for the other poems in that same library/folder.
The alternative explanation is that this poet had produced an abysmal piece of writing which was entirely inconsistent with their normal standard of poetic output. This might, of course, be plausible if the hypothetical poet had decided to collaborate with an egocentric conspiracy theorist whose name escapes me [lame irony].
Another typical feature of this situation is a consistency in comments. It's not unusual for there to be an absence of comments offering reasons for low voting together with constructive criticism. I guess it's the prerogative of writers to disagree with the substance of such comments, and to respond accordingly. No worries. However, some people have reported instances where unfavourable remarks or constructive criticism resulted in abusive responses, so I guess it's not unreasonable for those people to be apprehensive about leaving anything but unqualified praise if they comment at all. The worst case scenario is that in which low voting is accompanied by high praise. I don't want to go there, and I'm not inclined to believe this applies to the theoretical circumstances described above :>)

Finally [conditional], it should be self-evident that this site is technically, if not essentially, a large database. Every action -- poem/journal entry posted, comment made, forum post submitted, message sent, vote and rating applied -- is stored in a table, together with an ID and cross-reference(s), and can be accessed at any time by any member of the administrative staff. Auto-analysis of member behaviour would be impractical, so I imagine instances of so-called 'trolling'/conflict with community culture are invariably investigated as a result of someone making a complaint to a member of pathetic.org staff. So, choose your targets carefully :>)

I too rarely rate or comment for much the same reasons, but I don't rate without commenting. I certainly wouldn't deliver low votes without leaving an appropriate comment. That's a principle easy for me to deliver -- if I can't give something a high rating and/or a positive comment, I don't give anything -- unless someone specifically asks for feedback/an objective critique.
Some of the poetry in my library undoubtedly has a rating higher than it deserves, but that's true of much poetry on this site; the reverse is also true in some cases. Anyone who allows voting implicity accepts that people are free to vote as they wish, though it would be good to believe that ratings reflect the merit, or lack of it, in the poetry. I don't have much faith in that proposition; human nature determines that people don't operate in that way, at least not all of the time. But it's something to aim for, I guess.
I haven't read your journal entry.
I don't appreciate being left ignorant about the general and/or specific flaws identified by low voters. I would like to improve the quality of my writing; if I ever thought I'd reached the point where I couldn't, then I'd give it up -- but that will never happen, so I will never automatically dismiss constructive criticism, though I won't neccesarily agree with it. However, for future reference, I would never offer abuse as a response.
If you vote according to the perceived quality of the poetry, then you should have no concerns about commenting accordingly -- theoretically.
I notice you've removed the ability of others to rate your poetry. If this was done on principle -- because comments are more meaningful to you; because the voting system is a farce; because you're not interested in having your poetry rated -- don't you consider it anomalous to be voting on the poetry of others, however high or low the rating?
The vote on Morgan's piece was very low. I assume that can be justified by the high poetic standards demanded by the voter from both the work of others and their own output. If that's the case, and the low vote was yours, then I retract everything I've written here relating to that specific scenario, and unreservedly apologise for having suggested that the low voting was anything other than objective i.e. based on the (lack of) quality in the poetry.

Well, I haven't had this much fun since suicide was decriminalized, or was it the abolition of slavery? An indication that I should stay in more, if that's possible.

I am currently profoundly pissed off, but expecting torpidity to kick in real soon. spent -- having bought into the detail experience

I am currently listening to She fuckin hates me - Puddle of Mudd Rooftops -- Lost Prophets [help]

Member Comments on this Entry
Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 05/02/09 at 12:40 AM

It's not you nor was it the brilliant poem. It's plain blasted meanness. When it's done in secret? Hell. What else?

One of my favorite things to fringe around with is lifting up new-found poems so they can be easier found. Especially Collabs, which take two or more poets into deeper commitment and progression.

Puddle of Mudd is my choice whenever my blasted strings are jerked harsh like such.

shockbreathe mutualseethe

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Posted by Ava Blu on 05/02/09 at 03:29 AM

There's nothing mean or rude about it, actually. It's quite interesting how one assumes there was some conspiracy against them. If one pays attention to the top ten, they'd see how often several of the poems change. There are some that stay there for days/weeks and some that only last a day. Ratings are here for a reason; no need for someone to explain why they found a poem to be less than brilliant. Perhaps wearing your ego on your sleeve is not a wise decision.

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Posted by Ava Blu on 05/03/09 at 07:16 PM

When I rate, it's based solely on the poetry and not the poet. I rarely rate or comment. The poets here, as a whole, don't seem to appreciate criticism. They take things personally. I've received comments on my poetry that I didn't quite care for, but I didn't take them personally (even when it was obviously personal). Suppose my skin is thicker than most. Just as I predicted in my head, people have read this entry and decided to rate your poem high. Of course I can't say they would have rated it as such before this entry, but it does make one wonder. I'm not a smoker. In fact, I am very against smoking and fight locally to make all restuarants/bars smoke-free. Aside from this, I didn't find the poem to be brilliant and so I have rated both versions accordingly. Has nothing to do with either of you, as I have rated your poetry higher before. When I posted my journal entry regarding the top ten, I had a certain poem in mind and it wasn't yours. It was one about rape that I found to be...well, less than stellar. I didn't comment on it due to the personal nature of the poem, but I rated it for the quality.

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