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Old 06-07-2006, 07:43 PM   #1
symestreem
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A Question About Reputation

Good evening.

I've been participating for the last few weeks in an effort by Johns Hopkins University to create a forum, known as Cogito, for children and teenagers Gifted in math and science. One of the issues that has come up has been the issue of a 'karma' system, or as it is known here, reputation, as a way of identifying more experienced members. Some of the other participants are unfamiliar with this system and skeptical of its success. Since I knew it had been implemented here, I volunteered for this dangerous fact-finding mission.

So, if you're willing to spend a few minutes of your time, what do you think of the reputation system? Specifically, what are the biggest problems that have come up, and how have you dealt with them? I'm interested in the points of view of the mods and admins as well.

Thanks in advance-- any answers will be greatly appreciated by all of the Cogitorians!
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Old 06-07-2006, 09:18 PM   #2
Diamond18
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Overall, I really like the reputations. It provides an avenue to make short, personal comments on posts and you don't have to clutter up the thread or PM box to do so. I tend to find the 10 members between reps, and no more than 10 reps a day rules to be somewhat frustrating at times, but I understand the aim to make the system more balanced.

However, I've had nothing but good experiences with it... meaning, I've never been negetive repped. I don't know exactly how it would feel to have that happen... so if that is what members are worried about, I can't give perspective. But, as with all other aspects of the board, the rep system is subject to review of the mods, and so if someone feels they are being unfairly targetted or attacked through reps, it should be easy enough to deal with -- just the same as if you were being attacked on the board or through PM's. Of course, that does create one more thing for the mod's and admin's to have to deal with, so.... That's an aspect of reps you'd have to get a mod/admin's opinion on.

I think that many general opinions are expressed, and questions/answers given in this thread. It's not open for posting, but should make for good reading on the subject.
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Old 06-07-2006, 09:28 PM   #3
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The only thing I can say right now is a double-edged sword - the way I see it, anyway: not all reps are given for scholarly merit. I'm sure it's safe to say that some BDers rep people for something "extra" in their posts - a personal thing, perhaps, or the location or the siggie or something else. In that sense it's not exactly a very trustworthy gauge of experience, at least in my opinion.

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Old 06-08-2006, 01:22 AM   #4
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I spy with my little eye what I would describe as greatest danger of the reputation system - it may become end in itself, not means it is designed to be. We (I hope) avoided that danger for we do care (I hope) for the thing we meet here for more than for reputation we may get for it (I hope)

I.e., you should be absolutely sure that 'children and teenagers Gifted in math and science' care for 'math and science' enough not to go astray. For some may indeed stop participating in the forum for the sake of 'math and science', but do so rather for the sake of 'karma' they may get there.
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Old 06-08-2006, 01:32 AM   #5
narfforc
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I absolutely love and adore the system, along with the bolt through my neck and the pig flying above my house. People can make their own minds up, whether a person makes sense or not, just because lots of people agree with their point of view does not make them right, imagine how many rep points Hitler would have in Nazi Germany as oppose to Germany today. Sorry I am not a fan of this sites Reputation Points, and it seems to stop at a certain point anyway, your point total goes up, but the bar that everyone can see does not change, after that you can only go backwards, if you had enough points deducted. I have often wondered what happens to people who have negative points for their very first post...............................?

P.S Look at HerenIstarion, he has posted ten times more than me, and joined four years before, but he looks like he is my equal, and has Mounted Taniquetil again, this must be wrong, he has to be senior to me in some way. Someone looking at that will think, narfforc has achieved that rank in half the time of Herenistarion, this is not a true reflection of his achievement.
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Old 06-08-2006, 06:29 AM   #6
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I think the main problem with the rep is that the "rep" weight has not been capped.

I joined at a time when the system was new and I remember thinking it was Christmas to get a 10 point rep from the extremely encouraging HI. Even with diligent posting it took a while to reach each milestone and they were much more significant.

My posts now carry a ridiculous amount of rep and those higher ranked even more. I certainly don't regard my opinion as proportionally more important than HI's was then but if I follow his generous example (and I try to) those I rep will progress at a stroke what it took a far greater number of repped posts to achieve at the same time.

I know that many far finer downers are below me in the rankings.

So it is always nice to know if you made someone think or made someone smile but I think it is a shame if people take it too seriously.
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Old 06-09-2006, 02:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lhunardawen
A spy! Lynch her!
Ulp. You found me out!

Thanks for your responses-- they've been very insightful. My next question is, how well do you think the reputation system functions at distinguishing senior members, specifically those who would be able to answer a newbie's questions? Specifically, in your experience does a high reputation necessarily equate with being a good role model?
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Old 06-09-2006, 03:47 PM   #8
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I guess we all live only with positive feedback. It is sad that there are people who never or just occasionally get a "reward" or confirmation of their importance or general acceptedness for being around. We need to be confirmed by others. I guess this is a general psychological rule that applies outside the Downs, in the RL. But if it does, so does it have any ramifications here?

Surely it has, I think.

I entered the Downs on Lommy's recommendation just in January this year. I have been an active ww-gamer (need a break soon) and I have participated in some RPG's. Occasionally I have had time to check in and comment on some of the more seriously Tolkien-directed threads. I have a lots of reputation and am quite at loss with how to cope with it. It sure feels nice, and let's face it, we all love it? But as I look at the posts of f.ex. Raynor and others making their learned discussions, I just think that my knowledge on Tolkien is just a drop in the sea in all this. I might have some good points occasionally because of my learning and life-experience, but still. I've read my Tolkiens the first time at the 70's, but still only a couple of times during my life. So I feel myself here like an amateur (somewhat in it's proper meaning: the lover) of Tolkien, enjoying the discussions and playing the fun (and addicting) games.

Sorry about the monologue, but after that you know from what viewing-point I'm looking at the issue...

- That the green bar for everyone to see does not change after eleven spots is good, I think. That lessens the want to compare the points each one has - but still works as somekind of an indicator of the person taking part in the discussions etc.
- The weight of the persons years at the downs & her/his posts are totally underbalanced. Just hanging around and posting a lot for a long time surely is no merit in itself, but tells more than just how one has fared somewhere (f.ex. the ww-games just bring you an outrageous sum of reps! I don't complain, but there's surely a structural problem here, if one wants to steer the reputation system somewhere away from its current trend) and surely is more justified - or at least more democratic - than making up a "council of Elders" deciding the amount of reputation each one will be able to spread.

So as Heren states, that:
Quote:
I spy with my little eye what I would describe as greatest danger of the reputation system - it may become end in itself, not means it is designed to be. We (I hope) avoided that danger for we do care (I hope) for the thing we meet here for more than for reputation we may get for it (I hope)
I wholeheartedly agree with him. The rep-system is great as it allows people to appreciate others for what they do (and give us the positive feedback so important to our mental sanity and wellfare), but surely some actions here merit more reps than others - and I'm not sure if they make it according to the spirit of this site's founders.

But as I said, I'm not the one who should complain. I just wanted to raise the issue.

The important thing, I think, is that different people find "a home" here and enjoy their time together. And maybe a full-time werewolfer gets some nice ideas from other threads as well as some "scholars" could find an addittional thrill from a ww-game?

I've loved my short time here so far and believe I will do the same in the future.
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by symestreem
My next question is, how well do you think the reputation system functions at distinguishing senior members, specifically those who would be able to answer a newbie's questions? Specifically, in your experience does a high reputation necessarily equate with being a good role model?
In this forum, with the WereWolf phenomenum the rep system has been... bent a bit. Usually, lots of green boxes show insightful posters, or at least well-behaved ones. Yet at this point in time the amount of green boxes does not exactly relate to how good of a role-model each poster is. For example, I'm still rather new around here and yet I've mounted Tanquetil again. While I try to be as good of a poster as I can, I'm still fresh in some areas.

But overall I think that as long as it is not taken as gospel, the rep system is a good starting point to see whom to look up to.
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:24 PM   #10
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I've found myself less enamoured of giving out reps the higher I've climbed its ladder- not so much because I don't feel that people are posting with less deservingness as much as because, as has already been complained about, there is no ceiling on what one's OWN rep is worth. I feel guiltier about silly Crazy Captions reps than I once did, since the weight being given is not proportionate to anything other than my own rep. For that reason, possibly, I'm more willing rep something that took time to write, like a really good Books post, or to rep one post with the noted intention of standing for a whole pile of them (contributions to WW or an RPG might fit along these lines).

Mind you, the above is what I think when I bother to think about it. After a year or so, the automatic hitting of the rep button when reading a really good (or funny) post is pretty much instinct. So much so that I've accidentally given positive rep instead of negative rep...
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Old 06-09-2006, 09:06 PM   #11
Diamond18
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I don't post in Books.

I don't think the rep system should be taken so seriously that we worry about whether reps are being given to WW posts, RPG posts, or Book posts (etc.) I think that a high to middling rep is a sign of someone whose participation (in whichever forum that may be) is appreciated and enjoyed by at least some of their fellow members. Obviously, since WW and RPG is so popular lately, and Books is fairly quiet, those who devote more time to WWing and RPGing are going to be getting a bit more rep because that's where the majority of posting and people are. It may be a flaw in the system, but then again, it might not. It might just mean that the majority of members is currently more interested in those venues... and that's an honest reflection of the board culture at this moment in time. Personally, I think that if you take a stance that Books posts are the most worthwhile and everything else is just fun and games (and therefore "less" somehow) you are obviously taking Books way too seriously.

In the end, rep is just a matter of popularity and should be taken as seriously, or not as seriously, as one would take the (dis)approval of others in any other situation. So, to answer this question:


Quote:
My next question is, how well do you think the reputation system functions at distinguishing senior members, specifically those who would be able to answer a newbie's questions? Specifically, in your experience does a high reputation necessarily equate with being a good role model?
Around here? Not very. This is a very recreational board. A high rep could just mean you're really funny. I'm not sure how such a system would translate to a scholarly math and science forum (somehow I am thinking of this as ruling out fun and games subforums, correct me if I'm wrong!)
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Old 06-09-2006, 09:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diamond18
I'm not sure how such a system would translate to a scholarly math and science forum (somehow I am thinking of this as ruling out fun and games subforums, correct me if I'm wrong!)
The current plan is for there to be three categories, "Work", "Fun" and "Life." I'm not sure whether, for example, a game of Werewolf would be allowed in the "Fun" category, but I can't see math or science-based games, or even WW as it requires quite a bit of logic, being unilaterally forbidden.
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Old 08-05-2006, 06:51 AM   #13
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Call me old school but...

What is this fascination with sigs, reps, # of posts and special titles? I came here to yak about Tolkien and yak is what I do. I really have no idea how the reps work, and Iím pretty sure I havenít ever gave anybody one. Itís not because itís not good, itís because I donít care what those little green bars mean. If I look at your profile, now thatís a compliment my friend! You have intrigued me enough to gather information on you! Yourself! I think Ďprofilesí are much more important then anything else.

I guess Iím making myself look like a fool because, I donít see how karma has anything to do with your Ďreputationí on an online Forum.
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Old 09-08-2006, 02:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
but surely some actions here merit more reps than others - and I'm not sure if they make it according to the spirit of this site's founders.
That's where I'll just have to personally disagree (not that I think you're wrong, as this is just my opinion). But to me, we have a variety of people here, all over the world, and we all enjoy different things. I do think there are some areas that go underappreciated, but we all enjoy different things. Basically, what I'm saying is if you like something, rep it, whether it be little crazy caption that makes you laugh, enjoying a fun game of Werewolf, or learning from an indepth, or for an excellent job in an RPG. Bottomline, since we all like different things, if you like something don't be shy from repping it because it wasn't a "big thought-provoking analytical post" that you don't feel is worthy of points. If a post reminds me of something from the past, gets me thinking, puts a good smile on my face, I rep it, because for me I felt that person deserved the points.

Edit:

zifnab
, certainly it doesn't sound foolish. But personally I like reps as it shows somebody has enjoyed what you had to say, or saw the same humor as you. The amount of posts, or how many 'green boxes' there are isn't as beneficial as knowing that someone else out there has enjoyed what you've said.
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by symestreem
One of the issues that has come up has been the issue of a 'karma' system, or as it is known here, reputation, as a way of identifying more experienced members.
My next question is, how well do you think the reputation system functions at distinguishing senior members
Does it have to be a reputation system that identifies the experienced? Couldn't titles/level markers be placed under the names like the personal titles? Given out by the admins to determine ranking based on acheivement/merit to the criteria of the site.
I don't use the rep system to see who the experienced ones are; I look at join date, how many posts and of course being an admin or moderator speaks volumes as to their experience.

I see the rep system as a private way to say something to that poster about what they've written wether scholarly or fun. And let's face it being experienced in something alone doesn't make one good. For example, myself, I am experienced in werewolf games but should have level1 under my name.
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