Saturday, December 29, 2007

And they look the same to me

So today, I was leapfrogging one of my articles on Helium.

(For those who are not familiar with Helium and the term leapfrogging, it is a process where you replace one version of an article that you wrote with one that you hope will do better in the ratings.)

Then, as is my custom, I started to rate articles. My theory is that is I do some rating, that means that my article will proceed though the rating system there at a faster pace than if I did no rating at all.

Besides, I am still trying to get back into the flow of things; call it a productive way of goofing off (it was either rate or do postings on MyLot). Either way, I figure I wasn't going to get much paid writing done today.

So there I am , rating away, trying to be useful to myself. And because I am rating, I am seeing the stuff that other people are leapfrogging (to successfully leapfrog one of your articles, the raters have to decide that it has as much merit or more than the original).

Maybe it is just me, but so many of these leapfrogs looked exactly the same. If there was a difference in them, I sure couldn't spot it. Now the leapfrog I am attempting (at this point, it is still pending) is a completely different version. It is not me trying to correct some small mistakes; it is me trying to get the article to sound more like me. So the raters that see my attempt are going to see a big difference.

And that is because there is actually a difference between the two versions. Even if it lands exactly where the previous was sitting, I figure I will be happier with the newer version (provided that the raters agree with me that it is the better version).

But this does make me wonder what is the point of leapfrogging an article that looks exactly the same as the original. Now, my crooked mind does tell me that perhaps they are exactly the same, and the writers are merely trying to get them rerated against the rest of the stack. In which case, I have to ask, "If you are unhappy with its placement in the ratings, don't you think that it will land in about the same position again if it is still the same article?"

In my mind, if you make no actual changes, then it should land exactly back where it was to begin with. And several of these leapfrogs could have used formatting changes at the very least. There was room for improvement.

I am pleased to note that one writer on Helium was leapfrogging for format changes. I could tell. I rated the better formatted versions higher than the originals (they were easier to read). And considering I tend to rate articles that have bad formatting down (if it is hard to read, it better be a really good article to stand a chance, or up against pure trash), they desired another go at being rated properly.

But outside of that, most of the leapfrogs I rated today seemed to be merely an attempt by some of the Helium writers to have another go at being rated without actually doing any more work. I wish them exactly the luck that they deserve; now, where is that eye of newt?

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