Naval-gazing time! (and a troll poll)

Bored of real estate? Let’s talk about this website instead!

First off, we heard you on some of the issues browsing this site on an ipad. It was unusable, but now should be much better. We fixed a bug that would not let you vote or view hidden comments on mobile devices. One thing still missing are time stamps and comment numbers, but we’ll go with ‘functional’ for now.

And speaking of hidden comments, it would appear that some people are personally offended by the community voting system in place here. For those of you new to the site, here’s how it works: instead of active moderation each comment can be voted up or down, one vote per reader. Highly rated comments are highlighted and comments with a total negative vote below -8 are hidden. Those comments can be unhidden to read and then voted back up if you want.

When the brilliant Vancouver Real Estate Anecdote Archive went on hiatus someone was unhappy with their recommendation of this site and has been posting this comment around:

I am strongly opposed to the recommendation by Vreaa to move to VCI (Vancouver Condo Info) to post commentary as it is just a hack site of sheep speaking to the same tune as one another and offering little in the way of genuine creative commentary on the Vancouver Real Estate situation. I will admit I have posted there once or twice but I really don’t consider it a useful or intelligent venue for discussion as its focus is popularity centric and voting counts for more than honest dialogue. The conclusion I have come to after only a few brief visits is that you must fall in line with your peers for validity or be cast out and down-voted into oblivion. That is self defeating in my opinion and does not represent true democracy (unless mobs of one-dimensional sheep are considered to be democratic all of a sudden) and it does nothing to foster genuine debtates or discussion. VCI gets my veto. Two very big THUMBS DOWN for that site. I encourage readers to move on to “The Greater Fool” or other open discussion forums that welcome more varied opinion and have a host with an actual personality.

On this site that comment currently has 20 up votes and 15 down votes. I don’t know about you, but I find that a bit ironic 😀

So we obviously can’t please everyone, but our goal is to please the majority of the visitors to this site.

With that in mind (and the recent spate of crap-flooding trolls) it’s poll time!

[poll id=”2″]

[poll id=”3″]

Any other thoughts on this site, compliments or complaints? Leave ’em in the comment section below!

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auric goldfinger
Guest
auric goldfinger

Thank You, You are the Best

Police Pursuit
Guest

Normally I do not find out content on weblogs, however I would choose to claim that that write-up quite urged me personally to view in addition to accomplish that! Your crafting flavour continues to be astonished everyone. Thanks a lot, good article.

patriotz
Member

Temporary foreign workers hired in areas with EI claimants

The minister responsible for the temporary foreign worker program was told last year that employers were hiring temporary foreign workers in the same jobs and same locations as Canadians who were collecting employment insurance, CBC News has learned…

One example cited in the briefing note revealed that “in January 2012, Albertan employers received positive confirmation for 1,261 TFW (Temporary Foreign Worker) positions for food counter attendants. At the same time, nearly 350 people made a claim for EI who had cited significant experience in the same occupation and province.“

Canada’s Economic “Action” Plan at work.

Bull! Bull! Bull! @ patriotz
Guest
Bull! Bull! Bull! @ patriotz

are you predicting vancouver prices will be 50% below peak, when? if not, what exactly is your point?

“This SFH in City of Seattle just sold for 50% of the sale price in 2007.

Can’t happen in Vancouver? They said it couldn’t happen in Seattle.”

Bull! Bull! Bull!
Guest
Bull! Bull! Bull!

The comment about Vreaa is ironic because vreaa forces dissenters posts to go through moderation ( through some IP filtering i assume ) and then simply doesnt approve their posts.

For example they like to act like boomers who sell now havent won the housing lottery. I pointed out that if a boomer bought in 1970 and sold now for 100k under assessed they have basically won the lottery and home ownership has treated them very well. This earned me an IP ban.

confusions
Guest
confusions

Comments should be hidden based on the net difference of the thumbs up and down.

1984
Guest
1984

@confusions

“Comments should be hidden based on the net difference of the thumbs up and down.”
Why, what is the purpose?
Hiding comment is a form of censorship.
What next? Blasphemy Laws?

Clockbike
Member
Clockbike
Q
Guest
Q
I tried to vote but it says error on page. I want to vote for hiding comments at -10 and never issuing IP bans. I feel really strongly that this site should not issue IP bans. If someone is truly trolling then they just end up embarrassing themselves so there is no need for a ban. But it’s not always the case that people are trolling when commenters on this site accuse them of being trolls. It does happen that sometimes someone has a very different view of things and they may argue their unpopular point of view persuasively, leading to cognitive dissonance among some of the regulars here. I think it is crucial to allow all points of view to be expressed. An IP ban would undermine the legitimacy of VCI as a forum to discuss real estate because… Read more »
Q
Guest
Q

“I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” –Voltaire

Guy Smiley
Member
Guy Smiley

@ Clockbike

That article makes me very happy. Many of us here have railed about number of RE affiliates running the CMHC.

From her profile on the CMHC site: “Prior to joining CMHC, Ms. Kinsley was Vice-President and Treasurer with two real estate development companies.

Hardly a comforting choice Pres and CEO of a company in charge of $586B of taxpayer liability.

Q
Guest
Q
One more thing regarding this debate that has been raging for days on end as to whether or not we can compare Vancouver with San Francisco. I have a background in urban studies and I compare cities quite often. I do not focus on real estate, but I compare cities in terms of a variety of other variables. My preference is to compare metropolitan regions instead of individual cities. The problem you run into when you compare individual cities is that there is no consistency between cities in terms of how much of an urban region an individual city consists of. It is best to compare Census Metropolitan Areas (Canada) and Statistical Metropolitan Areas (USA)–these are scientific, statistic-based geographic units that are comparable to one another. The problem with comparing individual cities or municipalities is that some cities make up… Read more »
Patsan
Guest
Patsan

I tend to disagree with Q #9 as I do not want to waste my time looking over dozens of comments with down votes. IP ban should be applied to insulting and abusive commenters.
Commentaries should adhere to the standards for public debates and it will elevate the value of this forum.

Guy Smiley
Member
Guy Smiley

@Q

“I disagree with what you say, but I will not vote you down unless your comment is retarded.” –Guy Smiley

IP bans make great sense. This is a blog, not the international court of justice, and it’s about pollution, not freedom of speech. I think honest commentary should not be hidden for being unpopular, but swimmers who pee in the pool should get kicked out.

Q
Guest
Q
I just looked up the numbers for San Fran to see how comparable it is with Vancouver. San Francisco MSA has a population of 4.4 million. San Francisco city has a population of 800,000, according to Wikipedia (which is quite reliable). That means San Francisco city has about 18% of the population of San Francisco MSA. These numbers are actually quite similar to Vancouver, with a CMA population of 2.3 million and a city population of 600,000, accounting for 24% of the CMA population. Based on this, I think the two urban regions and the two cities are quite comparable, keeping in mind that San Fran is a bigger version with a more diversified economy than Vancouver. Also, I think the US methodology is different for calculating Metro Statistical Areas compared to Canadian methodology for calculating CMAs. Most US SMAs… Read more »
Turkey
Guest
Turkey

Site mods, this is your site, and you set the rules. Be up-front about policy, but if a comment is decreasing the value of the site, delete it without a second thought. Don’t worry about being arbitrary: it’s your site.

Pagerank spam (comment #2) won’t stop happening unless you aggressively police it, since the URLs these comments embed are still visible. Moderation, as it currently operates, doesn’t work here.

I think it’s also clear that posters like FATHER needs to go. Comment flooding adds nothing, and is sufficiently irritating that it could impact readership.

As for other trolls, it’s up to you, and I’ll support your judgement as it evolves. Deleting posts is your prerogative as site curators. Please use it!

Q
Guest
Q

On the IP bans. It all depends on what kind of a blog this wants to be. Do we want a blog with a bunch of navel gazers who all agree with one another or do we want robust discussion and debate of different points of view? I think when you can debate two different points of view, you are more likely to arrive at something that looks like the truth.

Very Little Gravitas Indeed
Guest
Very Little Gravitas Indeed
@#8 Clockbike: Thanks for the links, that first one said “The Canadian banks didn’t need bailouts” so I thought I’d leave this here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2012/04/30/bank-bailout-ccpa.html [The CCPA report] says support for Canadian banks from various agencies reached $114 billion at its peak. That works out to $3,400 for every man, woman and child in Canada, and also to seven per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product in 2009. “At some point during the crisis, three of Canada’s banks — CIBC, BMO, and Scotiabank — were completely under water, with government support exceeding the market value of the company,” Macdonald said. “Without government supports to fall back on, Canadian banks would have been in serious trouble.” […] The Canadian Bankers Association disputes the notion that the funds in question were any sort of bailout, arguing they were routine transactions aimed at keeping… Read more »
Guy Smiley
Member
Guy Smiley

@Q on the ip bans….

I agree that we want a robust debate with divergent views and it’s the voting system, not IP bans that counter this. A perfect example is BBB#4 which will be hidden soon. Why? Because he’s a bull, his posts disagree with the common sentiment and he’s umpopular for that. His comment is a perfectly valid though. It’s not spam. Sampe thing happens to Troll and VDTF.

Ip bans would rid us of the disgruntled idiots who post nothing but juvenile taunts and other garbage.

vangrl
Member
vangrl

oddly i can’t vote or see the results on my mac using firefox

but i agree with this:

“IP ban should be applied to insulting and abusive commenters.”

Guy Smiley
Member
Guy Smiley

Sorry, that should have said BBB#5 was valid. Not BBB@Patriotz #4 – that post is getting repetitious and annoying.

southseacompany
Member
southseacompany

In today’s National Post (also in Province): “Changes coming fast atop shrinking CMHC”

http://business.financialpost.com/2013/05/06/cmhc-robert-kelly-karen-kinsley/?__lsa=b835-b106

““Looking back over the last decade, I see an unbelievable mandate creep where CMHC was doing things that would infuriate taxpayers and running a massive, potentially public liability in the process,” says Ben Rabidoux.”

“If there’s ever been a time to be cautious with giving out mortgage debt, now would be that time,” said Mr. Rabidoux. “What they are doing at CMHC is finally forcing it to act in the best interest of the general public.””

Ray
Member
Ray
The voting system on VCI is unique, and I’m constantly requesting it on every other blog I read. When you try to read 500 comments a day, and you miss a day, you are *very* thankful that the group of VCI members have properly voted the crap into oblivion. This saves me time and allows me to get “caught up” on the scene very quickly. VREAA was good but would have been EVEN BETTER if they had your voting system. It took forever to work through their threads… I’m still trying to get through old VREAA threads since my last vacation. IP ban crapfloods, of course, but IP ban anything else? No. Like other commenters have pointed out, the system is self correcting in that posters constantly voted into oblivion will leaving craving attention. God bless this blog and its… Read more »
chilled
Member
chilled

I am a little perturbed that we were not asked to vote on the option of voting!!

N
Guest
N

@Q

The IP bans could only be made by the Pope, and the Pope is not likely to ban someone for having a different opinion. IP bans are one way of taking care of people who are bored or drunk or or crazy or 14 and just post silly comments with the intention of being annoying. Nobody is going to get an IP ban for having a minority opinion on bond spreads or, for that matter, repeatedly claiming that it’s different this time.

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