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One Reason Why Rep Matters

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Raccoon

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BTW this is in response to the several posts in Dursban4e's "Cleaning up ADISC" thread http://www.adisc.org/forum/regulars-forum/11485-cleaning-up-adisc.html arguing to abolish the rep system, (mostly by one person.)

This is part of a PM I sent someone... I felt it was worth sharing...

You know, one of the things I like about the rep system is that some hypothetical 13 (or 63) year old, who for the most part, posts unextraordinary, run-of-the-mill chit-chat will once in a while make an amazing suggestion: and those who recognize it can reward him and point out his great post. If we lost the rep system and relied on peoples' memory for deciding on a person's reputation, made reputation unquantified, peoples' attitude to him would probably stay the same, and his stellar post disappear into unremembered history, especially among those who joined after his stellar post. A constantly brilliant poster could make one bad post and be instantly and permanently unpopular; peoples' memories are short, and you are no better than your last post. The rep system is part of the site's memory. And one's memory is a part of who one is, whether one is a real life person or a community. Another part of who one's identity is who one is in other peoples' memories; again, the rep system is part of that memory, and it is permanent.

Being a tight-knit community is, by definition, how well we know each other; how well we like or admire or respect (or hate) each other follows after that. Thus the rep system could be used to tie the community together. Because the post that got the +5 rep written by this hypothetical guy has the rep attached to it, if there were a way of showing the post being marked as having been highly repped (the # of rep need not be shown) the guy's post would be reviewed at least a bit more often, and he would become better known, and he would be less of a stranger. This point about how rep may be used to tie the community together is now going in Admin Stuff... not anything else from this PM... Just like I can refer to SOME things I learn in private spaces but I can't be specific or name names... Privacy matters. Stuff that has been said in public is fair game to cite and spread around within the site.

(A pox on the house of Redtails.)

So here is the suggestion... in the hypothetical... I know the mods are busy with immediate priorities... This could wait until things are calmer and there is more time to fiddle about with the systems...

Would it be a good idea to mark, somehow, the posts that have been +repped? No need to show how many +rep, or try to group the highest repped posts; that experiment was tried, in all sorts of ways, and a lot was learned from it.

Then, would it be possible to be able to pull up the archive of a member's posts, and have the options of listing those posts either in date order (recent to old) - AND (highest repped to lowest repped) ?

Now why would we want to retry an experiment we went through thoroughly earlier?

One of the things that characterized TBDL and early ADISC was that it was reasonable to read all the posts on the site, and that way everybody knew everybody else; and that produced the feeling of us being a community, with our comedians, thinkers, chatters, spammers, loudmouths, researchers, techs, furs, right-wingers, left-wingers, und zu weite. You liked some of them, got annoyed at some, respected some, rolledeyes at some, even ignored some, but they all meant SOMETHING to you. It was easy for a newbie to get to know the rest, and they him. Later on, one could ignore certain threads, say babyfur or gaming, and still feel one knew people really well, and that they knew you. Conversations in threads were continuous and did not look like chatlogs with a thousand active members all talking at once.

Now, threads expand so fast, in number and length that it can take a whole session just to read one of them. If one feels one should read the whole thread in order to make an intelligent response, by the time one has read it - or even, say, the last two pages in it, and after one spent time composing an answer, one's reply may look like a thread hijack, a total non-sequiteur. Fullmetal spoke of this
So it has become harder to really get to know an individual. Even a frequent poster, because he may spread his frequent posts among many forums and threads; without reading all those forums and threads, one may only see one or two of his posts and only have them to form an idea of who he is. I think this may be one important reason why certain people felt the site's flavour or atmosphere had changed for the worse: that there was a sea of brand new faces, even some few-month old faces, that they had not been able to get to know... And feeling they were lost in a sea of strangers.

So being able to get to know people is crucial to our sense of community. Say a recent joiner wants to get to know a particular oldster - or vice versa, they can pull up the list of their posts. But then they would have to wade through a bunch of posts that said very little about the poster to get to the ones that said a lot.

Simply tagging posts as +repped would make it so much easier to scan the archive and read the meaningful posts, the "greatest hits."

Let me surmise what it would be like for a new guy interested in just who this RACCOON feller is. Going back through, say the last week or two, one might surmise: he says he cares about the state of ADISC, though doesn't participate all that much. He is a bit full of himself, and thinks he knows best; he posts precipitously and hastily, and argues with the mods a lot; pretty hypocritical for such an infrequent participant.

His repcount might imply there is more to him than that: but I am damned if I can see what; and I am damned if I am going back through 1000 posts to figure it out. Maybe he is in a mutual-repping club.

And what about this Moo feller? From what I hear people saying about him recently... And the Moo wall is closed so I know none of that; never even heard of it.

While that does describe, superficially, my recent history, there is more to me than that. A list of my best-repped posts might help someone who wanted to understand what I am about figure it out. Or about Moo. Or about you.
 
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Moo

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If we marked out such posts, you'd still have to search through someone's posts to find the ones with that marking.

Perhaps we could, instead, display their 'greatest hits' as a tab on their profile... and include in that box their three posts that got the most +rep.

That said... if we want people to summarize themselves, why don't we just encourage people to put more info on their profiles?
Or perhaps provide a section on their profiles where they can link to 2-3 URLs which describe them well? They could be ADISC posts, their myspace page... whatever they think helps define them.
 

Raccoon

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If we marked out such posts, you'd still have to search through someone's posts to find the ones with that marking.
Hence the idea of being able to list their posts in order based on rep. If I ever got bored, I would love to go down through the site's best stuff. Not just to see a capsule summary of a member's character, but an indication of the whole site's character.

I could not guess how easy this would be to do or how much effort it would take - or how much it would be used, unless it were promoted and marketed.

Perhaps we could, instead, display their 'greatest hits' as a tab on their profile... and include in that box their three posts that got the most +rep.
:claps: Yes Yes Yes. :claps: Please please do this *makes puppyeyes*


Only, could we make it , like, 5 or 10 posts - and could the tab be in the postbit instead of the profile? The more obvious the feature and close at hand, the more it will be used.
That said... if we want people to summarize themselves, why don't we just encourage people to put more info on their profiles?
Or perhaps provide a section on their profiles where they can link to 2-3 URLs which describe them well? They could be ADISC posts, their myspace page... whatever they think helps define them.
Because many profiles are inaccessible to many people, and the questions are of a personal/private nature.

Encouraging regulars and VIP's to re-introduce themselves is one feature that exists and is already used, and many of us find it hard to describe ourselves; I don't want to sing my praises or list my flaws

But I would love to have my best posts speak for me, because those are the things that others have chosen to say about me, via their repping.

And we have a new way the rep system ties the community together.
 
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