Home – New Forums Other discussions Should member’s messages total be ‘for all time’ or revised?

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  • #993289
    GuestMember
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    • Total posts: 318
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    Member’s messages are totalled. Here’s me:

    [ATTACH=full]995[/ATTACH]

    On the plus side, it presumably encourages continued engagement with the forums, giving people something to strive for, a sense of achievement, and a measure for readers of how active someone is.

    The problem is, it’s quantitative. I could get big numbers by being a moron, a nuisance, or the most helpful person in the community. Saying a lot in any community has no bearing on the interest value, validity, usefulness, etc., of the comments.

    In any case, ‘Likes’ is a more qualitative measure (although sometimes inflated by buddyism).

    So what does it do? Status presumably? Someone recently mentioned how many posts someone had made and that was deemed to make them important. Is that how we measure our standing in the community here?!

    There’s more. Let’s say I get myself 2000 messages and enter the Hall of Fame (Notable Members). Then I stop visiting FS so frequently. My stash of numbers would remain. It shows my for-all-time contribution, but not my recent contribution. People seem to be being marooned in the Hall of Fame if they contribute massively and then leave, rather like the deposits of a storm tide that are left high up a beach. Not a major issue. Just a thought.

    On our platform, we opted for a ‘shifting window’ approach measuring over x number of weeks. People are measured over a length of time that allows an average to be calculated but it remains responsive to changes in their behaviour. If someone ups their game after poor feedback it is responsive to that (all is not lost). If they start out well and then drop standards, again, it is responsive (they don’t continue to profit from poor value). Not volatile, but responsive.

    Here it would look like this:
    Contributions this month (or quarter, year): 122.
    OR
    Average contributions: 122 (over the month, quarter, year)

    By showing this quantitative figure, we’re saying it must be important (otherwise why have it?). My belief is that this should be more responsive to different members’ latest input and create a more level playing field for the newbies and a greater sense of community. A flatter, less hierarchical structure, whilst still giving those who put a lot of effort in a pat on the back.

    What do you think?

    #1190838
    Jason Ramage
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    • Total posts: 3,168
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    Hi Paul

    Hope you dont mind the input, although i must say this approach sounds good.. Focussing on regularity and so forth.. Will be interesting to see what the adminions see in this proposition, of conversation.

    The only negative i can see with this approach is that it may be easier for a potential scammer or fly by nighter quickly bolstering the statistics to make them look favourable or knowledgeable and get in quick – hit the noobies – and leave.. I’d hate to think this would happen, although i can see this as an area that may need to be looked at with a ‘fix’ implemented before deployment – if deployment was considered.

    Any ranking or rating system can be skewed, with merit or not and i liken it to the eBay stats.. Changed many times over the years from sellers able to neg buyers, to not to statistics on shipping to then having them removed and so forth – ultimately most stats are there to ‘ensure’ newer less frequent visitors the decorum of seeing who has, is or was a regular contributor at some stage.

    Especially love your post about likes, can be skewed and also be insightful.

    On frequency of posts, it is interesting how some will have a huge impact in a short period of time and then ‘burn’ out for whatever reason there is which leads us back to your other posts about attrition etc..

    Again, hope you dont mind the post.. Not sure i am sold on a review of the existing process and ratings etc, although also not sure how many hold these above peoples heads as a ‘look see what i got’ although in my time here those regulars in the top ‘posting stats’ (didnt even know there was a hall of fame) generally have posted relevant posts or engaged in the forum community building in some way – if they hadnt been relevant or at least partially relevant, over time they would naturally be weeded out through people ignoring them, not encouraging them or not liking the posts or input they provide. Albeit i tend not to monitor to such a micro level which appears you have the head to see this pattern…

    Love your conversations, input and how you bring a different way of seeing a platform like this that has been around a while.. refreshing..

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: hello@lucasarthur.net.au   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1190839
    GuestMember
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    Good point about people falsely doing that in the first few weeks. I think most would soon leave if they’re spamming. Also, moderation would remove those posts and presumably remove the numbers they were artificially boosting. I don’t know because I’m not sure how the system works.

    #1190840
    Peter – FS Administrator
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    Hi Paul,

    Interesting insights as always.

    To be completely honest, while we’ve looked at these a few times over the years, we’ve never placed a huge priority on these sorts of rankings. We did have a similar member list on the previous platform which was ranked by post number and alphabetically from memory. We also had a like/thanks type function. When we migrated across to the new platform earlier this year the likes/thanks data came across and the new system included ‘trophy points‘.

    While yes they are useful in that they do provide at least some sort of measure for people to get a feel for who is making comments and how long they’ve been around (especially likes), I think the content of the message itself and contributions over time are what will create an authentic reputation/credibility. And of course it’s also a small bit of recognition and feedback for regulars – it’s always nice to get a like as it shows people appreciate your time and knowledge.

    Also, while prolific posters of the old days do stay on that list archive, they don’t really show up on the site day-to-day if they no longer contribute. Watching the cricket this arvo I’ll liken it to Allan Border remaining on the all-times run-making list (over 10k), but David Warner getting all the kudos for scoring runs today (just past 4k). If I wanted a batsman in my team today I’d be going for Warner as I think AB’s hamstrings aren’t what they used to be.

    While ‘gamification’ and rankings can be very relevant in some applications/sites, it’s not something we feel is a strongly relevant driver to most of our members – open to thoughts of course!

    In your business case for example, your objective may be to rank experts on form/skills/activity etc to help people choose who to engage with I can see that your approach makes great sense.

    Cheers, Peter

    #1190841
    GuestMember
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    I didn’t really mean search and ranking though. I was just thinking about what we see on posts (the bit I pictured) and whether that is a helpful figure?

    I could contribute for a year, disappear for 5 years, come back and still enjoy my previous collection of points because it is a ‘for-all-time’ score. It never refreshes with my latest level of contribution this month.

    If it’s not particularly relevant or a driver to most members, we could ask why it is there?

    LinkedIn solves this on Groups by showing a constantly refreshing level of influence. If you post more, it goes up. Post less, it goes down, week by week. It doesn’t say ‘this person has been on LinkedIn for years and amassed thousands of points’.

    My belief is it creates a disparity between noobs and long-standing members. Some may say it thanks people who invested a lot and obviously I have some sympathy with that. They’ve contribute enormously. But it also creates unnecessary difference and, according to at least one long-standing member who said so a few times, differential status.

    Another issue could be the quality of posts. If people regard it as a badge of honour to have more points, could they be floating around the fora writing poor posts to clock up their number and influence? I think so and I think I’ve seen it, though hard to prove. And I even see the rules mention it so I know it’s been on the radar before.

    Personally, to add one voice to the mix, I’d like to see it removed or to be calculated (probably) monthly. A flatter structure, less vertical difference, and something some of the newest people can feel they can impact, and without posting poor content. That’s my two cents.

    #1190842
    Peter – FS Administrator
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    Thanks Paul,

    Regarding your question on why those stats on posts are there, as mentioned above I think they are useful as they do provide at least some sort of measure for people to get a feel for who is making comments and how long they’ve been around (especially likes) … it’s also a small bit of recognition and feedback for regulars. Well worth having, but in my view not a particular driver of behaviour for too many.

    If a member contributes well for a few years and then returns, then it does seem reasonable to me that their history remains, rather than only showing data from the past month. Equally, if they remain inactive they won’t be seen around the place.

    Quantity does not equal quality that’s for sure. And you’re right in that occasionally someone may come in with a spray of posts seemingly to boost their numbers – typically though this is with the futile aim of getting back links rather than post numbers. It can be hard to prove, but it’s easy to spot.

    Aside from all that, any real respect, deference or authentic relationships can only be built over time with genuine contributions and two-way discussions. I don’t think gaming the stats will fool anyone for long.

    It’s certainly one of those grey areas where it’s important to try and strike a balance I guess so we’re always open to adjusting as we go and all thoughts welcome.

    Cheers, Peter

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