But if you want to really get the most out of Contrarian Investors' News, have your own personal Featured page, submit stories, vote on stories, leave comments, etc. then yes, you need a Contrarian Investors' News account.
To fully experience Contrarian Investors' News, we invite you to do create an account. You can always cancel it later at any time.
Just click on the one you want, and your vote will be casted.
Once you vote on a story, you can not vote on it again nor change your mind. What you voted will be reflected by a grey thumb/arrow: it will be pointing up if you voted "up" or down if you voted..."down" :-)
You can add a story to your favorites by clicking on the circled image with a + in it that appears next to each story title:
Other themes, instead of the image, you'll see a link that says "Save":
Once added to your favorites, the circle is replaced by a yellow ribbon (or by the text "Fav!", depending on what theme you're using).
You can, however, from your My Settings page, modify this behavior and, if you like, set it up so that al stories submitted or voted up by at least one of your sources will appear in "My sources" page. Bottom line: you're in control, and it's very easy to do.
You can also see your site stats: How many stories you've submitted, votes you've made, how many people have looked at your profile, and how many people you've selected as sources, as well as how many people have selected you as a source (your fans).
Folllowing the "sources" and "fans" links in the Stats box, you can actually see who those people are, and add/remove them as your sources anytime you want.
The main difference between your Favorites and anything else, is that you can modify the title and description of your favorites, so you can describe them however it makes sense to you. After all, they are your favorites. Note however that when you actually go to the story page in Contrarian Investors' News, the original title and description are preserved.
In this page, you are also notified anytime someone posts a reply to any of your comments. That way, you don't have to be sitting on a story page and reloading it countless times to see if someone replies to you. Just come to your Comments page and if someone does reply to you, you will see the alert message with a link to the story page. Extremely useful especially if you've left several comments on different stories.
Other things affect your ranking of course, but without getting into great detail, if you use Contrarian Investors' News and are a good sport, your ranking will go up.
Remember however that in Contrarian Investors' News, the influence of a user when it comes to get stories in other user's Featured pages is determined by those who select him as a source, not by the user ranking. When you submit a story, when you vote, etc. you are treated the same as everyone else, regardless of ranking.
So, what's the point of having a ranking then? Well, 99% of what makes Contrarian Investors' News is the people who use it, and let's just say that we like to know who those people are. Why? Because as time goes by, it will matter.
Contrarian Investors' News also maintains two different rankings: one global and one that resets the first of every month. In fact, somehow we try to give the monthly ranking a bit more exposure than the global ranking.
This means that the very first day of each month, we all are equally ranked :-)
By the way, both rankings are updated only once every 24 hours, usually between 12-1am Pacific time. So if you're interested in seeing whether someone's position in the ranking has gone up or down, you really only need to visit the page once a day.
Contrarian Investors' News uses an internal "point" system to determine a user's position in the user ranking, where the user doesn't always get rewarded (or penalized) only depending on what she or he does. For example, a user accrues points when someone else assigns that user as their source.
And since I used the "selected as a source" example, it may be worth mentioning that a user won't gain nor lose points by being assigned as a source, then deassigned, then reassigned again, etc. If someone assigns you as a source, you'll get X points, and if later that person doesn't want you as a source anymore, you'll lose the same number of points you were given in the first place. And if too many people assign you as their source, the amount of points you get may decrease every time, depending also on a number of factors.
Most of the ranking rules are made that way, not to claim that it's impossible to game or trick it (it is not impossible), but to avoid making it at least too trivial to do so.
On the other hand, if you give thumbs down to a story that is already in your Featured page, for now it will still remain in your Featured page until new stories push it down, however very soon this will change so that stories you voted down do not show up in your Featured page.
Therefore, whether you check your Featured page via web or via RSS, usually you don't need to reload/update your Featured page more than once an hour in order to see whether there are new stories in your Featured page.
The number of votes and comments on a particular story are updated in real time.
For example, say today you add 3 new people as sources. These people's votes cause some stories to apear in your Featured page. Then, for whatever reason, you decide to remove them as sources. Those stories previously promoted to your Featured page will stay there until new stories "push them down". Once a story makes it to your Featured page, it'll stay there.
The only case where a story can be removed from your Featured page is if you give it thumbs down (read the previous FAQ 19).
For example, if you've configured that option as:
The only new stories you'll get in your Featured page will be stories submitted by your sources.
If you have instead (or also):
Then all it takes is for one of your sources to give a story a thumbs up to make it to your Featured page, regardless of who submitted the story. It's very straight-forward, really.
Things get a bit more fuzzy if you select Promoted stories instead of All stories, because now the promotion algorithm comes into play.
What this algorithm does is to look at how your sources (plus "sources of your sources" if you selected that option) have been voting on a story, then, depending how they voted plus a number of other factors, a story may or may not be promoted to your Featured page, regardless of whether the story was submitted by one of your sources or not.
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