Accurate tagging is of the highest importance for SteemIt as a content platform, especially as the amount of user articles grows. Users need a reliable way to filter through all the posts available to see what they want, and avoid having to see what they don't care about.
Currently, tags are added solely by post authors and are assumed to be in good faith, accurate and complete. I'm proposing a simple way to improve the tag system that completely removes these assumptions, allowing the curation community to vouch, and even collectively add to the existing author tags of a Steem article. Steemit can accomplish this by implementing two new mechanisms, which I called Green-tagging and Red-tagging.
Each existing tag displayed at the bottom of an article (as originally added by the author) becomes clickable, similar to the upvote button. When a curator clicks on a tag, this vouch-vote for the tag is recorded and the ordinarily gray tag turns a slight shade of green:
The more users click the tag (thus confirming or vouching that it is accurate) the more green the tag becomes. Each vote is recorded and curation rewards are given out for early accurate Green-tagging, just as they are for article upvoting.
- Each curator can only green-tag up to 3 tags per article. Curation rewards are split between the three, so it may be wiser to green-tag just one tag that very accurately describes the article, than going for three random ones.
Where green-tagging works on existing (author provided) tags, the Red-tagging feature allows community curators to propose their own actual tags, if they feel the author was not honest or forthcoming about the true content of their article, or that the author forgot to include a really good tag that the article deserves.
We could represent the Red-tag ability as a little red
+sign at the end of the author-provided tags display.
+ sign enables Red-tagging - it adds a new tag to the author's existing list, faintly outlined in red. The curator adding the red tag decides what the new tag is going to say. These tags must then be clicked on by other curators within some time frame, perhaps 2 or 4 hours, otherwise they will expire and disappear automatically.
This way we create a situation where an angry curator might add a tag such as #shitpost to describe an article that they feel is not of the highest quality :
Naturally the original author would never under normal circumstances include such a tag in their own post, because they know many users may choose to filter out #shitpost or #travelboobs globally from their Steemit experience. If many curators agree and "vouch" the red-tag someone added earlier (by simply clicking it), it gains staying power in increments, effectively becoming permanent and there is nothing the original article author can do about it.
Curators who add accurate Red-tags or upvote accurate red-tags early earn curation rewards from this activity.
- I suggest allowing only one red-tag per curator per article to exclude the possibility of malicious red-tag spam.
EFFECTS ON FILTERING & RANKING
More accurate, curator-vouched tags mean more accurate filtering on all of SteemIt. A typical scenario would involve a user going to their "filter" tab and getting a list of ~20 of the currenly most popular tags on the site. User can then click thumbs up or thumbs down on any displayed tag or search for more obscure tags manually and thumbsUp/Down for those.
These decisions are recorded per-user. SteemIt then uses the number of Green-tag votes associated with the particular tag in an article such as
#music to push everything with that tag up in rank in that particular user's article list. The bonus ranking amount that an article gets in the user's SteemIt experience from accumulating green-tags is directly proportional to the current number of those green-tags, i.e. how many people saw the tag as being accurate for the post and clicked the tag.
This would mean that the more curators have approved a certain tag as accurate, the more effect it has on improving the ranking of the article for users who have chosen to thumbs up or thumbs down that particular tag. Imagine users being able to thumbs up what they want to see and thumbs down
#shitpost, which we might imagine as popular red-tags.
Conversely, a user who thumbs down
#musicvideo would see all articles that are green-tagged or red-tagged with that particular tag pushed down in their personal article ranking screen, again proportional to the amount of curator clicks for that tag. So, in a very intuitive way, these curator clicks can both add rank and take it away, depending on a user's individual preference.
In this way, we can see that red-tags are not always bad and can indeed be used successfully by curators to augment the author's tags (maybe they forgot an important one), earn rewards, and ultimately improve the post's ranking for those users who are interested in that particular tag.
We went over a few new ideas related to Green-tagging and Red-tagging a Steemit article. The two new features, although simple, work in synergy to empower Steemit curators in the crucially important area of article tagging. Accuracy and filtering improvements site-wide would begin to be felt almost immediately by all users, improving the Steemit experience, boosting its capacities as the flagship content platform and rewarding people who look after accurate article tagging, including the original article authors.
Let's discuss it! Opinions and use-case scenarios are very welcome, as it's still an infant idea...
- Update: User @tinfoilfedora contributed a re-tagging idea to make what I call Red-tagging in the article even easier. The suggestion is to simply be able to reply to an article with a newtag as the body of the reply. This quickly adds the new red tag, without having to click
+buttons. Thanks @tinfoilfedora!