folksr.de - more thoughts on distributed votings
1. Add a form to get the votes from a certain url in and immediately see the results.
I believe there should be at least one way to get the own votes in by doing something in a classical or familiar way. Publish something on your homepage, go somewhere else, annouce it. That's a process everybody knows and understands. It's probably some kind of root-experience with the internet. :) And even if that's to pathetical than it's at least a fallback mode that will reliably work when the other stuff fails.
2. Add some kind of ID to the votes to identify a vote as the same vote like another
As soon as any application adds any kind of sh*t ... sorry, parameter to the URL the vote will be counted more than once - be it something unRESTy like a SessionID or even my shiny Typo blogging engines URL layout: It will smash the whole purpose of publishing one vote-for link in one single go.
To stick with the example of my blog: as soon as I don't put the vote-for link in the "extended" content it will appear on the blog start page, on the articles details page, and various archive, categories ... etc. pages. I think something very similar will apply to practically every blogging engine out there, won't it?
I yet wonder if using MicroID would be applicable here or if there's something even simpler.
A MicroID is defined as:
MicroID = sha1_hex(sha1_hex("mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org") + sha1_hex("http://website.com"));
which would result in a hash like:
2067da21d6a17c4264c432a0d26535b09cbd6a2f and could be used
<a class="microid-a9993e364706816aba3e25717850c26c9cd0d89d" rev="vote-for"></a>
But of course the MicroID seems to be a bit more than what would be necessary at the very least: that would be any unique ID that's used with a vote-for link. The voting system would simply refuse to count a link with an ID that's already in the database. Or it (better yet) would remove the present vote.
This minimum of a unique ID would say: "To make sure that this (one) vote won't be counted more than once (even if it occures on different URLs) include this unique ID." No more. This would be the minimum.
The MicroID would furthermore include personal/social identity like in: "This (link) is the vote-for (option) X like placed by (person) A."
3. Check out the idea to parse the webservers referrer logs ...
... or simply check for the presence of a HTTP Referer at any request and get rid of the webbug stuff if that works.
Heck. Today I wonder why this hasn't occured to me before! :) But it was Brian Suda who suggested on the microformats mailinglist:
"You could just use your referrer log to find inbound links and then spider just those. The downside is that peole without traffic would not get their vote in, so the blogger themself would have to click the link to "activate" the vote. It is sort if the same effect as your 'webbug' idea without the hassel." Obviously. Thanks, Brian! :)
I yet have to think about pros/contras for either observing the logs or spider a page as a reaction on clicks only. Either way the application would require the user to activate the vote by clicking it AND would require him to use a browser that sends a valid HTTP referer string.
But both downsides are not really different from what the webbug would do - just simpler in that they both avoid a separate pixel/image.