Re: [Asrg] Adding a spam button to MUAs

Nathaniel Borenstein <nsb@guppylake.com> Thu, 17 December 2009 18:35 UTC

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From: Nathaniel Borenstein <nsb@guppylake.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 2009 13:34:53 -0500
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Subject: Re: [Asrg] Adding a spam button to MUAs
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There's a difference between having an "A or B" bit, and having separate "A" and "B" bits that may be muddled.  If you don't know the right way to interpret the two bits, then the single bit is potentially much less misleading.

But as I said, this is something that could really be resolved by empirical study, and I'd prefer not to trust my intuition or anyone else's if we can figure out the facts about how people would actually use two buttons.  If the error rate is low enough, then two buttons will make sense, but I've rarely managed to underestimate the competence of the average user.   Two buttons is way more than twice as confusing as one, in this case.  -- Nathaniel

On Dec 17, 2009, at 1:25 PM, Seth wrote:

> Nathaniel Borenstein <nsb@guppylake.com> wrote:
>> On Dec 17, 2009, at 11:27 AM, Ian Eiloart wrote:
> 
>>> Twitter seems to think that users are smart enough to distinguish
>>> between "unwanted" and "spam". They give you a button for
>>> each. It's an important distinction that most people can make. 
>> 
>> Twitter isn't always right, and my intuition differs from yours on
>> this one.  Fortunately it's something that could be resolved
>> empirically.  I'd like to see such a study, because it wouldn't take
>> very many users who *can't* properly make that distinction to render
>> the two-button solution counterproductive.  I'd rather have one bit
>> of meaningful data than two bits of muddled data.  -- Nathaniel
> 
> One button is the "OR" of the two buttons, so there's no less
> information available.  Given enough data, it should be easy to get
> pretty accurate statistics on how reliable _each_ user is, and the
> unreliable ones can be mapped into the one-button treatment.
> 
> Seth
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