Do you disagree with this? If so, why?

Submitted by marlon on September 25th, 2009 at 3:43 AM

The introduction of points on MGoBoard was, in my humble opinion, a catastrophe for all but a chosen few. The point system rewarded early joiners who posted frequently. These posters were all able to circle jerk each other to point totals of epic proportions, which enabled them essentially to control the destiny of new or infrequent posters. Negative points were not awarded for the reasons listed in the MGoBoard FAQ (i.e., being redundant, using stupid nicknames, spelling things incorrectly, or posting useless replies), but for merely posting material with which the established posters disagreed. Posters lacking in MGoBoard points were thus discouraged from voicing their true opinions, and, instead, encouraged to preach to the choir.

What began as an effort to deter trolls and establish rules for new posters devolved into a Lord of the Flies-esque state of affairs. Those who held the "conch" (i.e., had lots of MGoPoints) were able to dictate the character and tone of conversation; those without the "conch" were subjected to the tyranny of the MGoBoard elder statesmen.

Face it, MGoBoarders: you won't agree with everyone on here. That doesn't mean those you disagree with deserve to be negbanged. I've been a Michigan fan for all twenty-five years of my life. I spent seven years as a student in Ann Arbor (undergrad and law), and I've disagreed with Brian--and posters here--on numerous occasions. But does my disagreement mean I should be negbanged or barred from posting an original threads on this site? I would hope not.

The point to to "senior" posters here is clear: get over yourselves. Your ridiculous point totals don't establish you as more worthy or more knowledgeable than any other poster on this board.



September 25th, 2009 at 3:58 AM ^


(btw, isn't negging me kinda being a hypocrite in your case? Dolt.)

Hoken's Heroes

September 25th, 2009 at 5:11 AM ^

Unfortunately, you are just beating a dead horse. All message boards devolve into what you just described. Your best bet is just read the content and hope Brian continues to keep the site fresh. Besides, why would you want to participate with the reach around crowd? :P


September 25th, 2009 at 8:39 AM ^

I'm not exactly worried about my Mgopoint total by any means - but it is clearly evident that people here often negbang others simply because they disagree with their argument, whether it's a well reasoned argument or not. It's happened to me once or twice for sure.

On the contrary, the most positive feedback I've ever had for a single comment on this board was a semi-juvenile post in which I called Rosenberg and Snyder "total douchebags."

While my comment was certainly true based on the evidence we've gathered the past month regarding the Freep's witch hunt, I don't believe it resembled my most intelligent or well thought out argument since I've joined this blog.

I think it's fair to say that if you don't always preach to the choir, your Mgopoints are going to take a hit at times.

It's not a perfect system, but we'll all have to live with it.

Gerald R. Ford

September 25th, 2009 at 5:37 AM ^

Some of the high point folks are really good. I can think of several whose posts I read on the serious threads because I respect their opinions. Lots of the +1's though come from the OT threads or witty comments as compliments.

You are right that there are some real douche-canoes out there, but who really cares? The best thing about points is when someone says something so insanely retarded or offensive that they get gang-negged. Those moments are entertaining and often lead to a disappearing act by the OP and brand new username the very same day. Hilarious.

Brother Mouzone

September 25th, 2009 at 6:04 AM ^

There are some high point folks that have very informative/funny/interesting opinions. There are some low, and negative point people that have the same.

Points are just as much, if not more of a reflection of how much an idiot waste his time here.

I present myself as Exhibit 1.

I have spent WAY too much time on mgoblog in the 30 days since I have joined. I think my wife would be happier if I was surfing porn or something.

Ah the joys of Michigan Football.


September 25th, 2009 at 5:47 AM ^

I agree with your circle jerk analogy, but I think the points are important as a form of feedback. That's not saying that the system couldn't stand some improvement (such as everyone being able to see who negged and who upped, and judge whether or not it was justified)


September 25th, 2009 at 6:15 AM ^

I felt, like the OP, that there was too much potential for abuse, and thought of "Lord of the Flies" when it was first announced. However, as infrequent poster BP noted, all message boards have inequities and iniquities. In the case of mgoblog, I think Brian has found a way to keep abuses to an acceptable level while providing a system for feedback, both positive and negative.

Is the system perfect? Of course not. One has about as much chance of making a perfect system for controlling an e-community as one does of herding cats; it isn't going to happen. At least we do have a community here that consists of mostly intelligent and responsible people. From what I can see, I would imagine that less than two percent of the participants here abuse the system; that leaves about 98 percent who don't.

Anytime you can get 98 percent compliance in an e-community, you are doing something special. In conclusion, the points system may not be perfect, but it works.


September 25th, 2009 at 6:48 AM ^

What began as an effort to deter trolls and establish rules for new posters devolved into a Lord of the Flies-esque state of affairs.

Who is Piggy in this analogy?

OMG Shirtless

September 25th, 2009 at 7:01 AM ^

The point system has been working, in a sense. The second the point requirement to start a post was dropped the board was inundated with nonsensical posts, including one about selling acne cream.

20 points is not hard to get to. People hate Brodie and people disagree with Magnus all the time, they have bajillions of points. Often times its more about your delivery than your argument that gets you negged. Even Bouje is back up to 1000 points and he gets negged just for the hell of it.


September 25th, 2009 at 9:10 AM ^

other people have no matter how stupid or pointless those things are?

There is no point-gate, there is no "circle jerk" (no matter how much you want there to be ba-zing) there is just you and the mob.

MGoBlog has 2 options IMO: Anarchy or Mob Rule. I will gladly take Mob Rule over stupidity and Anarchy any day.


September 25th, 2009 at 7:02 AM ^

People don't usually negbang for those they disagree with. It's for those who say impossible or really stupid things that get negbanged. Obviously, these things don't agree with the smart mgobloggers.


September 25th, 2009 at 7:19 AM ^

The problem with your theory, marlon, is that people with thousands of points have the exact same neg-power as people with a very small number. And furthermore its anonymous. Nobody can see who negged a post, so it's not like people can say, oh look at that, the WLA is negging people, I'd better do it too so I don't look like I'm disagreeing with them.


September 25th, 2009 at 7:20 AM ^

the right one to use. It governs the content in a respectable manner. Would mgobloggers like to post whatever they want? Sure, but it makes you pay your dues before you have that privilege. I got dinged with a bunch of negative points this week but I deserved it as I was an a-hole. I wish there was a way to re-gain the points in a quicker manner but that is the way it is.

All in all, the system is working.


September 25th, 2009 at 7:23 AM ^

How many points do I need to be a part of The Chosen Few? Sounds pretty cool!
Seriously though, I get negged every once and a while - so what? Be clear, watch your grammar, and get over yourself...

Old Man Greene

September 25th, 2009 at 7:55 AM ^

I have to say after years of reading and checking out blogs..This is by far the most sane..It's nice to come here, read the comments, find information about Michigan Football and not cringe every time I read the comments..The point system does work, sometimes people use it for the wrong reasons, but I think it's fair and reasonable..I commend Brian and the posters for keeping it that way...Great site


September 25th, 2009 at 8:06 AM ^

As mentioned above by a few, your position is hyperbolic.

First of all, it doesn't reward early joiners, as we all started with zero points on the exact same day (which was like a month or two ago). It does reward people who post frequently, but that seems to be exactly the point: require that people demonstrate the capacity to post reasonable responses to threads before allowing them to start threads of their own.

Second of all, although I have occasionally seen people losing points for having an unpopular opinion, it is rare. I personally hold some very unpopular positions vis a vis this board, and I tend to get points for them. Usually, people loose points for precisely the sort of terrible content errors that are listed in your post. However, I've seen people *complain* that they are being punished for their viewpoint far more often than I have seen people punished for their viewpoint. Trolls tend to lack self-awareness.

Third, and most importantly, there is only one number that is important: 20 points. There is no difference in privileges between someone with 21, 201, and 2001 points. I don't post frequently, but I was able to get my 20 points in 2-3 posts by adding reasonable content that people appreciated. Hell, you could get negbanged to -50 for starting a thread like this, and get back to 20 points within a day by posting non-inflammatory comments in other people's threads.

Everyone always loves referencing the terrible violence from Lord of the Flies. What no one seems to remember is the message. It was all in their head. The conch had no real power. It's the same with points. They only seem bad if you give a shit about them. So stop already.


September 25th, 2009 at 8:31 AM ^

for black helicopters? How exactly are "the chosen few" able to control the debate? By (gasp) voting down someone's post? Oh, whatever will I do, some guy with 2000 points might have negged me? I know for myself that before posting I always think "what will Shock or Brodie think of this? And of course if I'm unsure then I don't post, EVEN THOUGH THERE IS NO POSSIBLE WAY OF KNOWING WHO NEGS A POST. Your argument is silly and filled with as many holes as EMU's d-line last week.


September 25th, 2009 at 8:33 AM ^

I guess I'm a senior poster. I don't know how other senior posters decide to plus or minus, but I'll tell you how I do it, if you're interested.

FWIW I read your other thread. I, for one, haven't negged you. But then again, I barely ever neg. When I neg, it's usually for something I thought was posted without thought. I don't even care if a post is outrageously stupid -- effort is what I care about most. Some people are naturally better writers, better at organizing thoughts, better at whatever. But effort is universal. So that's how I try to judge, right or wrong. If someone puts a lot of thought into something, I plus. I'm a pretty liberal plusser (no, by the way, you don't get points for plussing other people).

For example, I plussed you for this:

Face it, MGoBoarders: you won't agree with everyone on here. That doesn't mean those you disagree with deserve to be negbanged.

But how would you know that? How would you know how anybody votes, unless they say? Voting is confidential. If you get 40 negatives, you don't know if they came from the highest 40 point-holders, or the lowest 40.

It's also not going to be "fair". I've put together hundreds of long posts on this board, some which took a lot of time and research. You know what my all-time highest plus total was? A t-shirt design that took all of 5 minutes that had Zoltan punting Saturn. So it goes. I wish people wouldn't neg opinions just because they disagree with them, but Democracy means nobody's opinion counts more than any other person's, and in the end it's their vote to do with as they please.

I had to learn this recently. People will plus funny MS Paint stuff, and neg uber-long pieces on Time of Possession. Is this something wrong with people? Hell no! Shredder's drawings are hilarious, always have a secondary or tertiary joke hidden in them, and obviously take a long time to put together, but they're also short-n-funny, which means more people can enjoy them. That's valuable to readers. If someone finds it silly, well, they can vote it down. I don't. I think it's becoming one of my favorite Web comics.

Some of the ancillary reasons I post here are because I love writing, I love Michigan football, I respect most of the people on this board. The real reason, more than anything else, seriously, just to figure stuff out. The way I grasp concepts best is to write them out or say them. Also: html. When I first started posting on here, I didn't even know how to post an image. Now I have html on my resume. But I really don't care if people neg or plus me -- I'm gonna keep tinkering regardless.

That's just me. I think there are as many different reasons to be here as there are posters. I highly doubt any of those reasons are simply to gain points or circle-jerk each other.

You and I may disagree strongly with the vox populi on proper neg-iquette. But I think there's better ways to go about changing opinions than claiming oligarchy.


September 25th, 2009 at 8:40 AM ^

There are much fewer irrelevant or useless posts since the points started. If the points bother you, or seem useless, pretend they don't exist.


September 25th, 2009 at 8:41 AM ^

Gotta disagree with the premise. I have never once been concerned about my number of MGoPoints, although certain neggings annoy me (like when I augmented someone's explanation of pass coverages in a factual manner).

Points have no control over me. Guys with lots of points only have the power to post stupid stuff without fear that negs will take away their posting rights. As long as I have enough points to post on the board I don't care, and that single worry helps keep me from posting a vapid negbangable "it's all about DENARD" type of thread.


September 25th, 2009 at 8:43 AM ^

Speaking of negs, how about that commentor who called Steve Sharik an idiot in the defensive analysis diary? He got negged all the way to Lansing. That was funny.