The tipping point

Hey y’all,

We’re testing a new feature which lets you post your tips as news stories directly on the site. Click here or on the News tab at the top of the page to try it out.

We’re thinking of this as a place to track media coverage of the sepia revolution beyond what fits on the main page, and faster than we can get to it. For example, there are loads of stories in the MSM this week about Mr. Dubya Goes to Delhi. And there’s lots of ephemera that’s fun to check out, but doesn’t really fit as a full blog post.

While you’re reading, you can help out by flagging reader-submitted stories which are spam, duplicate or just plain lame. Just click the ‘Flag this’ link at the bottom of any story.

This is an experiment, so please have at it!

45 thoughts on “The tipping point

  1. Ack! More to read!

    Could we have comments for that section too?

    Ack! More to read!

    (Great feature!)

    1. Very neat idea, it looks really good too.

    2. Manish, I just wanted to see what would happen if I clicked the flagging link, you know, whether I would be able to select what kind of a story it was or enter some notes, etc. So, erm, your story which used to be at the bottom of the page is now not there and it may be my fault. Maybe the stories shouldn’t disappear instantly bec. ppl like me just can’t handle the pressure of not clicking, I’m so embraced!

  2. Manish,

    Like Neha, I did the same thing with my story and found it gone? I second her comment.

  3. Manish, I just wanted to see what would happen if I clicked the flagging link, you know, whether I would be able to select what kind of a story it was or enter some notes, etc. So, erm, your story which used to be at the bottom of the page is now not there and it may be my fault. Maybe the stories shouldn’t disappear instantly bec. ppl like me just can’t handle the pressure of not clicking, I’m so embraced!

    Neha, I was wondering the same thing! I just wasn’t brave enough to actually push it.

  4. This is very similiar to Sulekha Newshopper. In my experience:

    1. There will be too much to read. In a week, it will be inundated with junk.
    2. People don’t want to spend time flagging posts.

    M. Nam

  5. Maybe the stories shouldn’t disappear instantly…

    Now fixed, it just shows you “Flagged” in red (refresh the page). It was hiding for you only– only stories with a high number of flags are hidden from all readers. But I agree it was confusing.

    In a week, it will be inundated with junk.

    There is actually a pretty good solution to this. Watch what happens with the feature next ;)

  6. Here is a feature request Introduce a cookies based method to sort(or mark) comments based on flags ie If i think a fellas comments are usualy good i will set that in my preference and those shows up in a different color So i can see that persons comment quickly and read others if i feel like it. or It can also be used to mark comments from those I may not want to see.

  7. excellent idea!

    any way to allow html (links, bold, italics, etc) within the 50 words? and to require the news items to be categorized, the way you all categorize your posts, so that people can sift based on their interests? just a couple of thoughts, to take or leave.

  8. Very cool Manish … does this mean I get to post as many Indian wedding and Aishwarya related stories as I want? ;-)

  9. This is very similiar to Sulekha Newshopper. In my experience: 1. There will be too much to read. In a week, it will be inundated with junk. 2. People don’t want to spend time flagging posts. M. Nam

    Actually I’d like to believe (and from experience know) that the quality of posters is far higher on SM then on Sulekha. And on Sulekha people are trigger happy and are NOT given the option to delete posts of any sort because they take their personal vendettas out on each other and start deleting anything and everything from a perceived “enemy”.

  10. :lets you post your tips as news stories directly on the site oh come on! now you want us to contribute to SM? I thought its your job to blog and ours is to just read..

  11. So if we send all of our tips to the news section, what will you blog about? Will you pick the best news items and expand on them with your own posts on the blog section?

    I’m just curious =)

  12. So if we send all of our tips to the news section, what will you blog about? Will you pick the best news items and expand on them with your own posts on the blog section?

    Even now we only blog a fraction of the tips we get. Most of the time we find our own stories or have the monkeys in our basement find them for us. :)

  13. he monkeys in our basement find them for us. :)

    I was wondering why North Dakota was requestng so many bananas.

    Great feature. The flag this reminds me of Craigslist, which makes me think it will only be a matter of time before there will the dreaded third tab–Sepia Destiny!

    Actually, though, if I had to make a request for a feature, it would be for a blegspot–somewhere wher epeople could put questions–and only questions, preferably the most factual questions–to the diaspora hive mind. Like my search for the mysterious crunchy sev casserole in NYC. there’s a lot of good, useful info that bubbles up in the comments, and it would be great to have an organized way of searching it.

    Exciting!

  14. This is spooky. I was just wondering in the morning what if sepia had a community post mechanism along with main blog. Manish, psychic are we? But very cool feature. SM rules!!

  15. great feature!

    AlMuja: Thankoo. I’ll pick up the tab for flagging all links that talk about the same ole tech-boom in India, how Bangalore’06 is Valley’99..raaa..raah..raaah without adding any new insight to it.

    btw manish, do we get a confirmation dialog (to label it as spam, lame, dup) or it’s just that one flag-fits-all and goes kabooom!?!

  16. And theeeeeeeeen, there can be a tab where we can post cool events…and a weekly podcast…A book of all the best 55 Friday poems (like that postsecrets book)… and bloggers from Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal…. and gasp, maybe even more female bloggers….a half an hour weekly show on MTV Desi…. even MIA would want sepiamutiny to endorse her shows….academic research papers will be written on this phenom that is Sepia… and then, finally, maybe, just maybe, this can lead to a Los Angeles meetup. Just maybe?

    Cool feature. thanks!

  17. Hey Guys,

    Great idea! I’ll finally be able to see the stories I send you all on the site now. hehehe..

    Keep up the good work!

  18. That is a cool feature, well done Manish. I hope I haven’t ruined everything by posting a story related to Sita. If so, mea culpa!

  19. I like the additional flags that I just noticed. I was wondering though… would it be possible not to have the page reload to the first page everytime I vote from a page that isn’t the first (hope that made sense) i.e. I’m on page 2 and place my vote for a new story there, the confirmation of this vote takes me back to the first page, so to continue with my voting, I have to navigate back to page two… I can imagine this becoming a little tedious when we have more than just two pages of news tips… and I’ve neglected the page for more than 24hrs.

  20. Sep-sters, good deal; i agree w/ the others and add/reiterate a few thoughts:

    1. limit to ~50 word summary of link to avoid ramblings and pasting of entire (copyrighted?) articles
    2. comments would be useful; again, limit to maybe +, -, spam, flags and a line of text
    3. some type of “threshold” system (a-la-slashdot) where articles below a threshold are compressed and pushed to the bottom of all submissions; these can be cycled daily/weekly as per traffic volume

    -p-vasi

    btw, w/ this comment i am now officially NOT a lurker…hurrah!

  21. wow, the commenters work fast!

    I sent in a tip about Vikram Chatwal’s wedding yesterday. Manish wrote back to suggest posting it in this newfangled “News” section. I wait 24hrs to get to sepia and mention it, only to see that someone else has not only written about it…it’s old news

    I can’t keep up with you IM-nano-wifi-youngsters anymore. (snif!)

    gets back to licking stamps

  22. is it just me or this that page really hard to read in firefox. there’s not enough contrast between the text and the background

  23. Great idea. I second Taz’s idea for an upcoming events calender, that would be a useful feature.

  24. May I suggest an entry in the FAQ about the ‘Post a story’ feature. Right now only the following instruction awaits the intrepid poster: ‘Commercial, duplicate or lame stories will be deleted.’. I am guessing that you would want stories to zero-in on the desi angle as well.

    Also, right now almost all stories are liked, none disliked – not that thats a bad thing. But I was curious what would happen to a story if I clicked on ‘-Lame’, does it decrease the ‘Liked’ count(or does it display a ‘Disliked’ count)? And will stories that have a low ‘Liked’ count(or a high ‘Disliked’ count) disappear or does that only happen to stories that are flagged as ‘Spam, duplicate,…’? Just curious.

  25. hey, just occurred to me: on this blog, shouldn’t the word limit be 55, rather than 50?

  26. I am guessing that you would want stories to zero-in on the desi angle as well.

    Added to instrucs, thanks.

    on this blog, shouldn’t the word limit be 55…

    You are so right! Changed.

    I was curious what would happen to a story if I clicked on ‘-Lame’…

    It’s still experimental and will keep getting tweaked. Right now a large # of spam flags or a large # of negative votes hides the story. However, positive votes can offset the negative, so a story with a bimodal distribution (some love it, some hate it) has a fighting chance.

    there’s not enough contrast between the text and the background

    If you mean the news page, it’s black text on a white background. Can you send me a screenshot?

  27. Can you edit summaries at all? The article I posted was actually from last saturday (feb 26) not today.

    oh and am i the only loser who +interesting’d their own article?