How do thumbs down flames affect a members rating?

Asked by Jim Walker, Carmichael, CA Mon Aug 6, 2007

At least two people are flaming my posts regularly and quickly with thumbs down (not useful) tags. These thumbers do not state why they do it in the thread and so of course the thumbing is anonymous. As I have implied before, I believe most of the thumbs down are due to someone not agreeing with a posters opinion not whether it is useful or not useful. I gave a humorous answer to a question titled "What will be the appreciation rate for homes in Pleasanton in 2008?" and got two thumbs down! No one gave the questioner a thumbs down for his question which had to be asked with tongue in cheek. Perhaps my detractors have no sense of humor and should replace their thumbs into their usual location?

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16
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Tue Aug 7, 2007
BEST ANSWER
Hi Jim,

I just read your Pleasanton post, and you also had 2 thumbs up. While your detractors, as you define them, posted their thumbs down, a few others found your humor enlightening or entertaining. BTW, you now have 3 thumbs up.

Of course, I don't know the impact of thumbs down within the Trulia system. Perhaps Trulia will share some insight here.

Do thumbs down have a constructive or useful purpose?
1 vote
J Lo, Home Buyer, California Glory, Brentwood, CA
Tue Aug 7, 2007
Okay, I seem to be the slow one in this bunch - I just don't understand the "flame" portion. Do flames come up when you hit a thumbs down? C'mon Jim - THAT would be funny.

I have to be totally honest with you however, sometimes I don't read your posts because they are all bunched together and I have a hard time reading it. Plus - I'm not sure when you are serious or just kidding.

I do enjoy the humor - but have found you to take dissent as a personal dig. I have my own detractor who follows me around and puts "thumbs" down as well. I find it funny and have taken it up with him directly - he's even admitted to "calling me out". While I can't say I enjoy being singled out - I have addressed it to him directly. Have you done this? I think the direct approach helps!

I don't see that the thumbs down have affected you in any way - at least on the surface. There aren't any tabs or links showing the number of dissenting or "not useful" statistics on your site - nor mine. So you have to ask - what good are they?

When I get a thumbs down - I re-evaluate my answer and see that I was either out of my realm (I stepped out of my comfort zone) or I didn't really put enough thought into my answer - pretty much just being facetious or attempting humor (I'm no comedian!). So I do try not to do that if possible. But I do like stepping out of the box now and again, so forgive me now if I don't answer to your liking.

Otherwise, having said all this, I look forward to your quirky posts and miss them when you are off line (kinda sorta!).
5 votes
George Anton…, Agent, Madison, CT
Wed Aug 8, 2007
Hi Jim, great response!

I just had the same hing happen to me.

Giving a humbs down just for the sake of doing it is not helpful to anyone.

For the benefit of everyone that uses the site, be they a Pro, buyer or seller if you don't agree state why. We can all benefit from the feedback.

Megan, maybe leaving it there but forcing a comment would be good.
4 votes
Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Tue Aug 7, 2007
Deborah, thanks, I'm serious about my humour. Like I told Scott, I post humorously. Plan to do so until I die. If Icontinue after that I'll be posting humorously posthumously.

S- I appreciate your sensitivity to my feelings in emailing me privately before posting your thoughts. I respect you for that.
I am posting my response to you because it may help readers understand my indignation at being labeled not useful.
I grant you permission to post your criticism of me. It was honest, well thought out, and you made some excellent points.

My answer was as "useful" as a boring, serious answer to the question.
It was gently sarcastic (can sarcasm be gentle?) The boring answer is the obvious: No one can know with any precision...blah blah... If he was serious, then my answer was better for his purposes than the evasive explanations to him why he can't get a specific number. After all his question was not "what are the reasons you can't answer my question?" It was :
What will be the appreciation rate for homes in Pleasanton in 2008?


My prediction is wholly within the realm of possibiities, as are all of the other predictions I gave. Some may even be probable. (It may have been republicans who hate Clinton, and anyone who can countenance a Clinton, that gave me thumbs down)

The point of giving the auxillary predictions that were unrelated to real estate was to apprise the questioner of the lack of certainty despite my bold confidence to come out and make a specific numeric prediction. And I further made a disclaimer at the end that all, some, or none may come to be. Criticism should be directed at our NAR economists who make equally bold predictions without saying "or I could be completely wrong here."

I also read Ed's short profile. He wrote he loves real estate, it is fun and rewarding. - I rewarded his question with fun. -
4 votes
Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Thu Aug 9, 2007
I am feeling gratified and somewhat vindicated by many of these answers. I restrain from giving thumbs down. I do not want to discourage home sellers, buyers and just looking people from posting; Even if it means someone is stating that or asking how to cheat an agent our of a commission. Actually, those questions are useful because it gives the voices an opportunity to explain why it is not ok to cheat people out of their livelihood.

What annoys me is the agents who fall over themselves to align with the idea that some other agent they don't know doesn't deserve their commission and sympathize with "Oh, I am so sorry you feel your agent has done a poor job" and similar quotes. - Those are the voices I am tempted to give thumbs down to.
3 votes
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Wed Aug 8, 2007
Hi Megan:

I like to keep the Thumbs down option also. Since we are allowed to give Thumbs Up, then there should be a choice for thumbs down.

I see that the majority of the people on the forum are open minded, positive, supportive and very encouraging anyway; so a thumbs down every so often when it's appropriate keeps things in balance - in my humble opinion.

Sylvia .
3 votes
Paul Slaybau…, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Tue Aug 7, 2007
By the way, is it simple irony that every post in this thread has received thumbs-up so far? I suppose that makes me the litmus test. Be kind!
3 votes
Paul Slaybau…, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Tue Aug 7, 2007
I don't understand many of the thumbs down rankings either, but I surmise some people just like to flame a post they don't agree with, regardless of its usefulness, or a particular poster they dislike. Seems childish to me, but I see these same people at Starbucks every day. Not literally the same folks, but you get my meaning. I enjoy Jim's humor. Seems to me that injecting some humor into a few of these topics can keep us RE Pros from taking ourselves so deadly serious. It would keep these boards from getting overly contentious if there was a bit more humor and self-deprecation and a little less "I know everything there is to know about Real Estate ... just ask me!"

I see the exchanges here much like a negotiation. You want to advance the discussion and your goals, but sometimes a little human diversion is necessary to overcome sticking points.
3 votes
Megan, , San Francisco, CA
Tue Aug 7, 2007
hi all, sorry for the late follow up on this one. at this point, thumbs down does not impact a members rating. we have left interpretation re: meaning open to the person who is clicking the thumb. is the consensus that we provide definition? do people want it removed? i can throw up a poll and we can do a vote if everyone likes the idea. good to get consensus!
3 votes
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Tue Aug 7, 2007
O.K. Since Jim answered below (I am the S. in his reply below), and granted me permssion to post my response to his question. Here it s... (I added a couple words in there to make clearer)

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Hi Jim:

I was going to reply to you online, but decided not to. If you feel what i said is useful and want me to answer this publicly to let other people know, I will.

Anyway, I am not the one who gave you the thumbs down, but after seeing your question, i did go and read your reply on that question. You are not going to like my answer, but you asked and by reading what you have posted so far, I am sure you want an honest opinion.

In your question above, you mentioned that thumbs down means 'not useful'. I moved my cursor over it to double check and it did say 'not useful'.

Sadly, I have to be very honest with you, your answer to that specific question was not useful. Some people may just have a chuckle, and go on. But others do take Trulia very serious, so they decided that this is not a useful answer.

As you must know, it takes a lot of time and through process to compose an answer which can be seen by many and allows us to project the professional image for Realtors.

For me, I like people to post useful answers because this is not a social site and there are too many postings already, I really don't have time to read not useful answers. Others, I sometimes wonder, if they just want to answer a question and increase their count of answers. I don't know and can't judge that. - but that's something we can debate later (or with Trulia).

The other observation I have about this specific posting which gave you the thumbs down is that I believe the person who asked about appreciation for 2008 was very serious. A lot of my clients are asking the exact question - hoping their property value will go up next year, or buyers are looking to see if it is a good year to buy. You basically did not take the person seriously which I don't think is warranted. .

I hope this is constructive for you and make you feel better - people are not out to get you. Again, If you want me to post this online, I will.

Sylvia
3 votes
Kendra Garcia…, , Easton, MA
Wed Aug 8, 2007
Hi Megan!!!! I will also like to have both options available. There should be a balance, some people will agree and some will not but that shouldn't stop us from giving our opinion!!! I respect each and every one of your answers, this site is not only for buyers and sellers looking for information but for real estate agents looking to learn and use the information obtain from other agents experiences. Jim I agree that we need some good humor sometimes, specially when everybody else seems to have answer the question correctly and theres nothing else to say.
2 votes
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Wed Aug 8, 2007
Hi Megan,

Somewhere in this or another post, you inquired about having a thumbs down option being granted based on status, such as best answers, etc.

I think there are some participants who are quick with a thumbs down, but do not share a positive feedback. Perhaps thumbs down voting rights could be granted or allowed based upon prior thumbs up votes.

I look at the thumbs up and down as a system that allows me to share opinions, not selectively just vote down. My ratio of thumbs up to down must be at least 25 to 1. I like the thumbs up. To anyone who ever agrees with me and mentions their agreement with me in their own post, oh......for sure.......they get a thumbs up if I see it. :)

It doesn't depend just upon that, though. If I think a valid point was made, I do make an effort to exercise my vote in that direction. As far as thumbs down, it has to be something that is either totally off or somethng that paints a poor picture of Realtors on this site. Happy to say, that represents a very few of the posts here. There are a lot of terrific people here with much credible and valuable input. Thank you to all of you. I have learned from you.

So, if the majority of the posts are good, why don't we see more thumbs up? If anyone asked themselves what their ratio of thumbs up to thumbs down was, would you be proud of the answer?

If one has a differing viewpoint than mine, but it falls into the category of "reasonable minds can disagree" I would not use the thumbs down.

My rant for the night....good night all.
2 votes
J Lo, Home Buyer, California Glory, Brentwood, CA
Tue Aug 7, 2007
Okay - I just read your answer! I went to that question and passed it up because #1 I don't know Pleasanton that well, (I've stayed at an inn there - but that doesn't count) - and #2 I don't believe in the crystal ball.

If the analysts can't say with any certainty where things will be - can we? I like the term "guestimate" because even with our studies and statistics we can only view it as half full or half empty and hope our positivity will prevail.
2 votes
Jennifer Mon…, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Tue Aug 7, 2007
Well Jim, you always get a thumbs up from me since I most enjoy a humorous perspective in real estate. Besides, you write more than most of us and obviously care enough to make a clear point.

I've been wondering about that flame too. I've never used it - I like dissenting opinions as it helps me refine my own perspective. And besides, it's just bad karma.

Come on Trulia.... will you weigh in on this??
Web Reference:  http://JennifersPdxHomes.com
2 votes
Jennifer Mon…, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Wed Aug 8, 2007
Megan... I like having the thumbs down option , and request that Trulia add the animated flame when we hit the thumbs down. It's like giving my husband a swift punch in the arm when he says something inappropriate. It feels momentarily gratifying.
1 vote
J Lo, Home Buyer, California Glory, Brentwood, CA
Tue Aug 7, 2007
Kudo's Sylvia - I couldn't have said it better if I tried! Thanks Jim for being such a trooper!
1 vote
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