- Is it worth reading?
- Should I trust it?
- What points does it miss?
The voting form on the left is an example of meta-data. This data is concise, you can evaluate whether you should read a page from it quickly. It's possibly not trustworthy (I could fudge the vote) -- ideally it would be an <iframe> from a trusted site, with a trademark and a pack of suspicious shifty-eyed trademark lawyers making sure the trademark is never used without permission (a la eXTReMe Tracking). It doesn't allow points i've missed to be added, or complex discussion.
Comments are another form of meta-data (a feature Aether currently lacks). Comments are not concise, they don't allow you to evaluate whether you should read a page or not. Generally you read them after having read the page in case there are any gotchas the author failed to mention, or related interesting ideas. Comments hosted on the same site as a page are possibly not trustworthy, they might be fudged in some way, and are at the least moderated to delete link spam. Again, ideally they would be hosted by a trusted third party, but this is hard with the current HTML standard.
A third option is a discussion forum. People discuss, say, a blog, but the discussion is not tied to each individual blog entry. See for example Joel on Software. I kind of like this option. There are many existing third party discussion board providers. It means an interesting discussion doesn't get cut short because the blogger sees a pretty shiny thing and post a new blog entry.
My current plan is:
- A discussion forum for this site, possibly using ezboard
- An <iframe> version of the voting system, applicable to any web page that wants to use it. Possibly also providing an augmented Google search, using the Google API, that displays highly voted words next to each search result.