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View Full Version : Capitalist Reputation - how does it work and why do we care?


Terez
06-06-2008, 08:09 PM
I suppose it's not a big deal if no one cares how we do the reputation system here at our shiny new home, but I thought I'd give a general breakdown of how it works and why I like it, and those who have experience with boards that use it can chip in as well, of course (Muttley, WH, and Brood are 3 that I know of who are familiar with it). It's not that much different, as far as importance goes, from your title or your post count. Your title reflects the community's (Tam's) qualitative appreciation for your participation here. Your post count is just a quantitative measure of your participation here. Reputation is a qualitative and quantitative measure of various individuals' appreciation for specific posts that you make.

Here's how it works, when there are no restrictions on it (Tam has some communist restrictions on it at the moment, but he might possibly be swayed):

In each post, there is an icon of balance scales in the top right corner, near the link for the individual post. Younglings currently can't see it, because rep is currently disabled for Younglings (you can receive, but not give). When you click on it, normally you would get the option to approve or disapprove of the post (there is also currently a communist restriction on disapproving). Whichever option you pick, there is a space where you can add a comment to go with your reputation gift (this part is the most fun, imo). Your comments are anonymous, but in my experience, most people sign their rep comments, because you want the person to know that it was you that appreciated their post, of course, and why, without interrupting the thread (though sometimes people interrupt the thread anyway to announce that they gave rep to a person, and that's okay too. Sometimes.)

The amount of rep that you can give someone is your rep power. Your rep power is determined by several variables, including your post count, join date, and total reputation points. Your total reputation points is the sum of all of the reputation you've received on the board, ever. You might have a total of 10,000 reputation points, and a rep power of 100 (that's a normal ratio, with normal settings, after the ball gets rolling with the system), which means that you add 100 to a poster's total reputation points when you give them rep (and by extension, possibly a point or two to their rep power). Your negative (disapprove) rep power is only half your rep power, though (for obvious reasons), so it would subtract 50 points from the poster's total reputation if you had a rep power of 100. If the restrictions were removed, your total reputation points and your rep power would be displayed in your posts with your post count and join date.

You can't just rep the same two or three people over and over again. I think Tam has it set really high right now - where you have to rep about 10 different people before you can rep the same person again. I think that's too high - it's lower at my other board (4 or 5 I think) and they have far more members there. I think 4 or 5 would be good for Theoryland...I don't think anyone here is really lame enough that they would just rep the same 4 or 5 people over and over again. That just makes the whole thing boring. Also, you can only give out so much reputation in a 24-hour period. At my other board, that's set I think to 10 or 15 times a day. I think 10 would be a good limit for Theoryland, since we're smaller - perhaps a bit lower, but not too much. It's rare anyone will max out that total.

In my experience, neg rep is really rare. The reason for that is no one wants to start a neg-rep war...even uberbitches like me. In general, it's used by more senior members with high rep powers to mark out trolls. One or two bad senior members who abuse it won't make much difference, but when you've got a troll, it's rather easy for the senior members to band together and mark the person with neg rep. I've never seen it done frivolously, and my experience with rep comes from a forum where people are in general much less...scrupulous...than we are here at Theoryland. :) Neg rep generally only used once in a blue moon, when someone says something particularly bad. Trolls and annoying noobs who will never fit in here can't do any damage to anyone's reputation, because they don't have any rep power.

This is what my User CP page looks like at the board where we use rep:

http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i111/Terez27/Picture2-1.png

As you can see, this is about one week's worth of reputation messages. You can also see that most people sign their comments (I think only one person didn't - the rooster emote is a signature). None of the Theoryland cross-overs are on there, so since most of you guys don't know these people, I don't mind displaying what they wrote. The links go directly to the post where the rep was given, so I can see exactly what they're repping me for, if it's not clear. Some of the rep is from serious discussion, and some of it is from frivolous discussion. All of it is positive rep - that's what the little green squares to the left indicate. If it was neg rep, it would be red, and if it was neutral rep (rep from a person with no rep power) it would be a bluish color.

So, in conclusion - as I said before, it's not any more...serious...than your post count or your title. In other words, somewhat significant, but only somewhat. But post count I think is the most trivial of the three, and titles are stagnant, especially for those that have reached the top already and have nowhere left to go. I think that the rep system is a lot of fun. It's not serious, but it's more interesting than beefing up your post count, and more of a daily interactive thing than trying to get raised. I know a lot of you guys are going to say it's stupid just because I'm saying it's not. :p That's okay, too...but I think that all of you (even my enemies!) would have fun with this, after we got used to it.

The point of it, I think, is that it actually helps maintain a positive atmosphere on a message board. Rep messages can be serious morale boosts, and even if there are some people who never rep you, there will be some people that do, and rep makes people happy. It's a bit frustrating for a noob trying to get noticed, but it's also quality control for noobs, and when noobs do get noticed with rep, it encourages them to participate even more - more so than a raising far on the horizon would encourage them (though of course that incentive plays its part as well).

So, I'm hoping that Tam will see the possible value of the rep system, and I'm hoping that everyone here will enjoy it. :)

caladanbrood
06-06-2008, 11:19 PM
Of course, some of us don't put out as much...
http://img362.imageshack.us/img362/2082/reppk4.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

But what Terez says is pretty much all true.

Terez
06-06-2008, 11:30 PM
See? I rep Brood all the time and he never reps me. :( I think I'll just go kill myself...

ShadowbaneX
06-07-2008, 12:17 AM
'Rep' will forever be associated with Yuku in my mind, which means I think we should get rid of it cause this ain't some popularity contest.

caladanbrood
06-07-2008, 12:27 AM
this ain't some popularity contest.
It's an internet forum... what else do you think it is:eek:

Terez
06-07-2008, 12:30 AM
'Rep' will forever be associated with Yuku in my mind
Why? :confused: There was no rep on Yuku...

Sarevok
06-07-2008, 04:19 AM
It's CAPITALIST, NOT capitalistIC :@

Terez
06-07-2008, 10:37 AM
http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i111/Terez27/pedanticbear.jpg

ShadowbaneX
06-07-2008, 04:48 PM
I won't reference what they called it, but they had it and anything similar to it will be forever associated with it and since all things yukuy are bad, this is bad and we don't need it.

It's an internet forum... what else do you think it is:eek:

No, this is a internet discussion forum. We discuss WoT (well, some of us only used to discuss it), not wage a popularity war.

Uno
06-07-2008, 05:38 PM
I don't know what it's like at other web communities, but chasing popularity has never been part of what we do here. Now, my ideal messageboard is one without any superfluous rubbish, including emoticons, which I loath to the core, so I'm perhaps rather extreme, but there's several things I don't like about the reputation system as outlined above.

I can envision several little buddy cliques trading points to rack up their popularity count, and while that may be harmless enough, it seems to me that a system where you get "reputation power" based on your post count only encourages posters to make empty and meaningless posts (near-spams, if you will), of which there periodically has been too many, due to the erroneous perception that post count somehow matters. Post count doesn't matter; popularity shouldn't matter. People may or may not like you, but you'll find that out simply by interacting with other posters. You won't need a popularity meter.

Oh, yeah, and Yuku called it "kudos."

Yuri33
06-07-2008, 06:10 PM
Uno, I agree with you about all the superfluous stuff in an board dedicated to WoT. I also agree that we don't need emoticons. The only reason I use them (and I only use one kind) is to avoid misunderstandings when I'm joking. A friend used to tell me that my sense of sarcasm stunk. So I make an effort to use an emoticon to be clear when I'm not serious.

As far as reputation goes, I will not be participating in it. Any time I spend on this board will go towards reading posts, writing posts, and thinking about posts. I don't want to spend extra time managing some other system. That said, I don't care if they enable it, as it doesn't interfere with the 3 things I do on this board. I just won't make use of it.

ShadowbaneX
06-07-2008, 06:31 PM
Oh, yeah, and Yuku called it "kudos."

Dammit, Uno, I was trying to repress that...

Terez
06-07-2008, 09:53 PM
I don't know what it's like at other web communities, but chasing popularity has never been part of what we do here.
Sorry, but that's bullshit.

<-- is laughing my ass off

You might not "chase popularity", but it's an inherent part of any social system whether or not you like it, and Theoryland certainly isn't any different.
I can envision several little buddy cliques trading points to rack up their popularity count, and while that may be harmless enough, it seems to me that a system where you get "reputation power" based on your post count only encourages posters to make empty and meaningless posts (near-spams, if you will), of which there periodically has been too many, due to the erroneous perception that post count somehow matters.
The post count doesn't have much to do with rep power - well, the way Tam has it set up right now, it does, but I already told him that I think it's too high (as it is right now you get one rep power point for every 10 posts you make, and I think it should be closer to one point for every 100 posts). Anyways, it's all adjustable. People don't beef up their post counts to beef up their rep power, because the association isn't readily obvious. People beef up their post counts to beef up their post counts.
Post count doesn't matter; popularity shouldn't matter.
As I said, it's not about popularity - or rather, it only is for some people. It's about encouraging people to make good posts.
Oh, yeah, and Yuku called it "kudos."
The "kudos" thing was totally different.

Uno
06-07-2008, 10:41 PM
You might not "chase popularity", but it's an inherent part of any social system whether or not you like it, and Theoryland certainly isn't any different.

Well, your in-depth analysis of social systems aside, that's not a mode of behaviour we need to encourage. We've never needed golden stars for good posts before, and I very much doubt that that's how it would work, anyway. What would happen is that people would trade the silly points with their buddies, and retaliate with negative points against people they for some reason don't like, regardless of how "good" their posts are. I've got a pretty good idea of how some of our local schemers operate.

Terez
06-08-2008, 12:10 AM
Well, your in-depth analysis of social systems aside, that's not a mode of behaviour we need to encourage. Of course it isn't. Did you ever see me say we needed to encourage it? There are a lot of good reasons why I don't think the reputation system encourages a "popularity contest" any more than the current environment does.
We've never needed golden stars for good posts before Posters pat other posters on the back all the time. We've always needed encouragement, in general.
and I very much doubt that that's how it would work, anyway. What would happen is that people would trade the silly points with their buddies, and retaliate with negative points against people they for some reason don't like, regardless of how "good" their posts are. I've got a pretty good idea of how some of our local schemers operate. I've already explained why the fear of neg rep retaliation is unfounded, and I don't understand why you're so convinced that it would get out of hand. Do you have that little faith in the Theoryland community? Only trust your buddies? Remember that the type of person that neg reps is in general not the type of person that will have a high rep power that would do any damage to a person's reputation.

Trading points with your buddies happens of course, but in general it's because you were attracted to your buddies in the first place because of the way they post. That's how we all get to know each other here, isn't it? Trading points with buddies in general doesn't tend to benefit any one group of buddies over another, though. Posters like Muttley that everyone likes are the ones that will have the highest reputations - that's guaranteed. Posters that always have thoughtful/useful things to say, or posters that keep us all entertained. But the total reputation points, as I said before, are fairly meaningless other than a means to encourage everyone to participate. The rep messages are the best part. I can't say that enough. :)

Reputation is an awesome way to get to know posters on any message board, and what I really can't emphasize enough is that it's an awesome way to encourage new members to stay, in particular. Scenario: a noob is posting in a discussion that you're reading, but you don't really want to post and get involved in. You appreciate what the noob says by giving them rep. You not only told them that you appreciated their post, but you gave them a gift along with it. All of us older and more active posters will tend to have more rep than noobs (just like we have higher titles than noobs, and in general higher post counts). We will probably fluctuate back and forth a lot, which will make reputation points just as meaningless to us as post count and title. The noob controls the post count, and Tam controls the raisings, but giving rep is something that WE can do to encourage good noobs to stay.

Private messages are formal, and some people don't send private messages because they don't feel comfortable knocking on someone's door like that - I know I feel that way a lot of the time. Sending someone a reputation message, on the other hand, is like knocking on the door with a gift in hand, so it's much easier to do - it's not intrusive, formal, or public. I can pretty much guarantee that having the system in place will not change Theoryland in any major way unless it's for the better - I really, honestly believe it would help us to maintain a positive atmosphere.

Uno
06-08-2008, 12:43 AM
Ok, saying that something is awesome is enough to put me off right away, but I'm in theory willing to entertain the notion that this may not be the end of the world, since you're so enthusiastic about it. I suppose I can see how it might conceivably be encouraging to a shiny newbie to receive positive feedback, although I'd like it understood that the normal guidelines about not flaming newbies over trivial points would apply also in the case of negative points. You know who you are, you lousy xenophobes.

Terez
06-08-2008, 12:49 AM
Yeah, neg repping is really bad form. Like I said, even uberbitches like me don't use it (I think I've neg repped like 3 people ever - one of them because they were dumb enough to neg rep me, and the other two because they were being serious trolls). Brood has neg repped me before, though. :D Still....it's really, really rare at Malazan, and like I said before, the posters at Malazan are much less scrupulous than we are. :p

PS - Thanks for fixing the title, pedantic bear. :p

Uno
06-08-2008, 12:52 AM
Yeah, neg repping is really bad form. Like I said, even uberbitches like me don't use it (I think I've neg repped like 3 people ever - one of them because they were dumb enough to neg rep me, and the other two because they were being serious trolls). Brood has neg repped me before, though. :D Still....it's really, really rare at Malazan, and like I said before, the posters at Malazan are much less scrupulous than we are. :p

PS - Thanks for fixing the title, pedantic bear. :p

You've managed to do what's supposedly impossible, to get me to change my mind. Don't go ruining it by using emoticons.

Terez
06-08-2008, 12:57 AM
If you had rep enabled, I'd give you some. :p

Terez, has the highest rep power on the boards currently...

Terez
06-08-2008, 09:11 AM
I just wanted to say that, interestingly enough, Uno's fears about the neg-repping came to life on Malazan this morning. Somebody went around neg-repping tons of people anonymously. Usually when someone gets neg repped, they post about it, and since this was obviously just a jerk abusing the rep system, people bitched. A mod took notice. Within a few hours, the neg repper had been uncovered and punished (easy to do within the mod settings). The punishment wasn't made public by the mod, but the neg repper posted a screenshot of his User CP to bitch about having been reprimanded, so therefore everyone knows about it now - and we also now know how easy it is to prevent abuse of the system. Good to know, eh? :D

Matoyak
06-19-2008, 03:15 AM
Hmm, still trying to learn the ropes of this board (while attempting to learn how to play My Guardian Angel on guitar).

Generally, rep tends to be a good thing, and when it does go bad, as long as the mods are competant the issue will generally be fixed within a few hours, at least in the boards I'm used to...and they tend to be populated by much more hotheaded individuals than here. (and being User Mod of Entropic, I can say I've only had to deal with that once, and by someone who used to be our main web designer who got miffed and deleted the entire website from our hosts server...that was a mess :S :? :s)