Rating, ranking, and voting, the other social-media communication method

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Proposal
Short Form
Beginner

Excerpt

A parallel universe exists alongside text-based social media. Product ratings and customer-feedback surveys and organizational elections provide another path through which people communicate. Yet when we look at product ratings and survey results and election outcomes, do they always provide meaningful information? No. What tricks can we use to "outvote" other voters? Most importantly, how should your website or app or organization do the counting behind rating and ranking and voting? Alas, innovative DIY approaches easily give disastrous results. Only open-source software can produce trustworthy results. And only an understanding of counting methods can empower us to produce meaningful results.

Description

A parallel universe exists alongside text-based social media. Product ratings and customer-feedback surveys and organizational elections provide another path through which people communicate. Yet when we look at product ratings and survey results and election outcomes, do they always provide meaningful information? No. What tricks can we use to “outvote” other voters? Most importantly, how should your website or app or organization do the counting behind rating and ranking and voting? Alas, innovative DIY approaches easily give disastrous results. Only open-source software can produce trustworthy results. And only an understanding of counting methods can empower us to produce meaningful results.

Learn how voting and ranking and rating work. And learn what doesn’t work. Along the way you will learn why single-mark ballots (the ones we use in governmental elections) are so vulnerable to monetary manipulation. The Declaration of Election-Method Reform Advocates provides the framework for discussing single-winner voting methods, which include the good (approval, Condorcet, MJ, range), the OK (IRV), and the awful (Borda count). For multiple-winner elections, such as Wikimedia board-member elections, you will learn that “popularity” has more than one meaning, and that mistakenly using a single-winner method may be contributing to Wikipedia’s loss of valued contributors.

Tags

polls, surveys, rating, ranking, voting, counting

Speaking experience

This talk is entirely new; it has not been given before. Richard has given dozens of presentations in places that include Portland, Salem, Corvallis, Texas (San Antonio), Michigan (Midland), and Washington DC. Video of presentation at the 2009 Ignite Salem event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Wk3EHjfP4E

Speaker