the variable factors

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Moo

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I was thinking recently, that the current groups system (based primarily on post count and rep) has a few issues.

Examples :
(1) Someone can keep the title of "newbie" for years (so long as they don't post much)
(2) Someone can in theory keep the title of "regular" even if they don't visit the forum much (though I'm installing a mod to solve this)
(3) Someone who gets 10 rep and enough posts can keep VIP status forever, even if they don't post or otherwise do anything for a year or more.
(4) The system doesn't adequately recognize people like BitterGrey who have a very high rep/post ratio, but not many posts in total.
(5) The system doesn't adequately recognize people who contribute a lot in terms of wiki edits and gallery uploads, but don't post much.

I've been considering moving away from post count and reputation in favor of a kind of activity factor, or ratio, that could be used instead for promotions to regular and VIP access.

The ratio could be something like this (option A):
Code:
(post count + threads started + 3*wiki edits + 25*reputation + gallery uploads + blog entries) / days_registered_on_site
This ratio has the advantage that people who are inactive for awhile will gradually lose status (thus discouraging people from lurking here just to see the VIP gallery etc).
However, it also has the disadvantage that people who are away from the site due to no fault of their own, for long periods of time, would find it hard to get/regain VIP status.

Or perhaps this (option B):
Code:
(reputation*10 + wiki edits + gallery uploads /2 + blog entries + threads started) / number_of_forum_threads_read
The advantages of this ratio are :
(1) It rewards people who upload content (posts, images, edits, etc) instead of just browsing.
(2) It is a much more complete representation of the contribution someone makes to the site.

The disadvantages :
(1) It discourages people from reading a lot of threads, which isn't good.
(2) People could figure out how to read threads without increasing their thread read count.


There are a bunch of other formulas I could use.

The questions underlying the choice are :
(1) Should it be possible to lose VIP or regular access if you don't do anything for a few months? If yes, our stuff would be more secure and it would discourage lurking, but it might also annoy some people. Should regular/VIP status, once attained, be held forever?
(2) If yes... how difficult should it be to regain that status when the person returns to activity? Should it be very easy (like requiring only one post), medium difficulty (option B) or potentially very difficult (option A)?
(3) What should we most reward people for? Currently the system is set up to reward most for reputation, then wiki edits, on the basis that rep is a sort of user-driven moderation/reward system, and wiki edits are necessary to rebuild the articles section, which I feel might evolve to be a great internet resource.

So yeah...
(1) Should it be possible to lose "regular" or "VIP" access through prolonged idleness?
(2) If so, how hard should it be to regain?
(3) Are you guys interested in having a score, or ratio of some kind, which measures contribution to the site as a whole? It wouldn't be perfect, but would you be interested in an estimate?
(4) Are you interested in the idea of using this to determine regular/vip status, or is the post count / reputation method a better system?

If we stick with post count / rep... should I change that system, for example, by making it easier to rep people for wiki edits?

I'm trying to build a system that:
(1) encourages people to upload stuff to the site.
(2) stops people lurking here forever and reading everything without also contributing.
(3) rewards people proportionately to their community contribution.

On-topic suggestions/comments welcome.
 

Raccoon

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regular membership should be permanent; vip should be at a fixed rep but you could also include a days active when nobody loses anything but minimum rep/day or post/day could lead to vip/mod status dropping... but they could build up again easily... Anything to to with wiki I am against as many wiki edits are truthfully done to edit posts and make posts fit with other posts. Any modded person should have a usernote/pm automatically say "this is why your status dropped and here is how to fix it. When I was away I was dropped to newbie which I found very funny - with a grey title bar. I Changed my avi to Elizabeth1 who not only wore grey makeup but declared herself a virgin queen. A variation on the usertitle - striped maybe or anoher color would indicate the user is inactive
 

avery

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(1) Should it be possible to lose VIP or regular access if you don't do anything for a few months? If yes, our stuff would be more secure and it would discourage lurking, but it might also annoy some people. Should regular/VIP status, once attained, be held forever?
personally i don't have any problem with people lurking. if someone's posted enough and gained enough reputation to become a VIP, that means they're trustworthy, and they shouldn't be punished if they start feeling like they have less to contribute than they used to.

(3) What should we most reward people for? Currently the system is set up to reward most for reputation, then wiki edits, on the basis that rep is a sort of user-driven moderation/reward system, and wiki edits are necessary to rebuild the articles section, which I feel might evolve to be a great internet resource.
i like the idea of rewarding people for being long-term members who have been around for a long time. it would also make sense to divide reputation by post count and use that ratio to reward people somehow.

as far as wiki edits are concerned: point recently pointed out (heh >.<) that he has dozens of wiki edits but they're mostly for editing the page he wrote about himself over and over again. someone could write one brilliant article and get 1 wiki edit, while another person corrects 5 minor spelling errors and gets 5 wiki edits. it's hard for something like that to measure the extent to which someone is actually contributing. i have two wiki edits, but all i've done is post on discussion pages.

Should it be possible to lose "regular" or "VIP" access through prolonged idleness?
the reason we restrict access to the VIP sections of the site is because we want people to prove that they're trustworthy before they see any private or sensitive information. falling into a period of idleness doesn't mean someone can't be trusted anymore.


If we stick with post count / rep... should I change that system, for example, by making it easier to rep people for wiki edits?
that'd be cool! :)

I'm trying to build a system that:
(1) encourages people to upload stuff to the site.
(2) stops people lurking here forever and reading everything without also contributing.
we're a very VERY active forum. so active that it's pretty much impossible to read every post that gets made. is it really such a big deal if there are people here who don't make 20 posts a day and upload dozens of photos to the gallery? the way i see it, we're already growing every day as it is. if people were punished or demoted for idleness it'd just offend and upset them.

sometimes people fall out of the habit of checking the board and forget that they're registered here. rather than punishing them, a good way to remind them to keep contributing would be to send out regular monthly newsletters. i'll keep on helping you out with those!
 
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Some people simply don't have the aptitude to do lots of writing and edit wikis nor the care factor to keep a blog (and keep updating it). Others (like myself) aren't good conversation starters, so their "Threads Started" count would be incredibly low. Some people don't even visit the gallery, let alone uploading to it. But on the other hand, there are people who are quite the opposite in each scenario I've mentioned.

These extreme high and low values would simply throw the ratio's out of whack and not give an accurate representation of how much a person actually contributes to the site. Especially when put into an algorithm, as suggested.

(1) Should it be possible to lose VIP or regular access if you don't do anything for a few months? If yes, our stuff would be more secure and it would discourage lurking, but it might also annoy some people. Should regular/VIP status, once attained, be held forever?
I feel status should be kept. Quite frankly, they've earnt it and I see no real reason as to why they would have to "prove" themselves again just because of a long absence. From what I've observed, people who come back to the community after a long leave get treated the same as they did when they left. Their permissions should reflect this.

(2) If yes... how difficult should it be to regain that status when the person returns to activity? Should it be very easy (like requiring only one post), medium difficulty (option B) or potentially very difficult (option A)?
Perhaps, moderate difficulty. A few posts, a positive rep point or two, activity for a week or so. Something that would be rather easy to get, but also display that they are willing to be involved in the community again.

(4) Are you interested in the idea of using this to determine regular/vip status, or is the post count / reputation method a better system?
To me, the post count/rep system is better. I don't like the idea of someone joining this site, uploading a lot to the gallery, making extensive wiki edits and blog entries whilst hardly ever posting or making/viewing threads. Rep isn't all that important to me, but it does make me inclined to think that I'm at least somewhat respected amongst the community.

Regular and VIP status should be something given by the community, to the people who give to the community.

If we stick with post count / rep... should I change that system, for example, by making it easier to rep people for wiki edits?
Well, yes, in some regard... I guess what you could try to do is integrate people's forum/board/thread/post activity to how much weight they carry when they post blogs, edit wiki's or upload to the gallery. Kind of like how there are different levels of rep power. Get 50 rep, and then you are able to give out 2 points at a time. Get 100, 3 points, etc... The greater someone contributes to the community/people aspect, the greater each wiki edit, blog entry and gallery upload is worth. Then you could use the rep-count/contribution score to calculate a ratio.

Or you could just make it the same, no matter how much rep a person has.
 

Charlie

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it would also make sense to divide reputation by post count and use that ratio to reward people somehow.
Wouldn't encourage people to post less? I mean, to get the highest ratio you would have to have more rep than you do posts! And the only way someone would ever be able to do that would be to post really infrequently, but always post pure gold.


I agree that wiki edits are important, but I also agree that there's a big problem with wiki edits because they're easy to cheat...

I think rep should be the most important factor, even though it has problems itself... As long as unjustified rep is being deleted it isn't so bad.

Maybe:
(Rep*X+blog+gallery+thread+(post/Y))/days on site
X and Y are just reasonable numbers, whatever would work.
I think rep per day is more important than rep per post. Although they are both pretty bad because one's unfair on people who post a lot, the other on people who have to leave for a while...

Maybe a set of values. e.g you need 10 reputation points, 100 posts, 2 threads, and either: 2 blogs, 2 pictures, or 5 wiki edits.
Still not great, but definitely better than a ratio I think... There's never going to be a fair thing to divide by in the ratio.
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I don't think that there's anything wrong with someone getting to VIP status and staying there even if they don't post. There's rarely any untrustworthy VIPs.
The only way you should lose VIP status is if you get negative reputation, and drop below the boundary, or if you get banned from being a VIP.
 

Martin

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With option A you punnish the people that don't post frequently but still are a great asset for the forum. (People like for instance Rance and Titus, their posts are great every time but at least on the old forums they didn't post much.) And I don't think that's a good thing to do.

With B you make people want to read as less threads as possible.

If you only take rep/posts then you'll hit people that are important for the site by keeping it active. All I know as example on the old forum was myself. I had like one rep every 40 posts but I posted a lot and people generally found me to be a nice and trustable person (at least form what I got from how people respond to me).

I think it's best to do as Charlie said. A set of conditions. 10 rep + 100 posts + X thread + 3 months (I think time on the site is important as I think it should take a wile before you're let into the VIP part of the site though at the moment it obviously isn't possible due to everyone being new according to the site.) etc.

Though I do think VIPs should have the right to collectively bar someone from becoming a VIP (only if there is a good + valid reason)

---------------------

Should VIPs lose VIP status over time?
No.

What's most important?
REP rest should be the same and maybe some things even less important then the average (like gallery uploads. One thing I don't think you should add to it is referrals with the nature of this site I don't think you should go rewarding people for referring to the site. Some people simply can't refer people.

It would be nice if wiki edits are reppable but how would that be possible? Only if you compare the before and after. It'd take a bit more effort from the repping person.
 
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Squigma

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(1) Should it be possible to lose "regular" or "VIP" access through prolonged idleness?
(2) If so, how hard should it be to regain?
Well the name "regular" seems to imply they're regularly on the site, which could be a bit misleading if someone who hasn't been on the site in a year is called "regular". But if someone is having issues in real life or computer troubles, it's not fair to punish them for that.

And even if they haven't been on here because they didn't want to, if someone's contirbuted enough to the community and proved themselves trustworthy enough to earn VIP status, being inactive for a while doesn't take away their contributions or make them any less trusworthy.

So perhaps when someone is away for a long time, they could be called "idle", without actually losing any permissions? And then just one post could take them back to how they were?

(3) Are you guys interested in having a score, or ratio of some kind, which measures contribution to the site as a whole? It wouldn't be perfect, but would you be interested in an estimate?
I'm not too keen on the idea of a ratio. Dividing by how long you've been a member for seems to punish people for not being as fast as other people and nothing else, but doing things a lot faster doesn't really add more to the community. If someone gets 10 rep in a year, they've still contributed as much as some who's got 10 rep in a month, they've just done it over a longer period. And besides, gaining VIP status quicker seems like enough incentive to post more frequently anyway.

As for dividing by number of threads viewed? That idea just plain scares me! I don't know about others but I, at least, would feel pressured into replying to every thread I looked at, even if I didn't have anything constructive to say. Also, if someone made one gallery upload or one wiki edit and didn't look at any threads at all, they'd have a score of infinity!

I don't see what's so vital about stopping people lurking without posting - some people, such as myself, just quite often feel they don't have much to say.

As for rep/post count ratio, I guess it's good to reward people who make a lot of very good posts, but if someone just makes a few posts and gets loads of rep for them, they could become a VIP even if most people didn't even know them - and therefore didn't trust them. And that kinda defies the point of VIP status.

I do like the idea of rewarding people for blog entries, gallery uploads and wiki edits, but I don't know how someone could be repped for wiki edits. Maybe you rep the article and it gives rep to whoever contributed to it the most?
 

Moo

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So, the consensus is that :
* Regular/VIP status should not require a certain ratio/factor to get or maintain.
* Anyone who is inactive for more than, say, a week, should be displayed as "inactive" instead of regular/VIP. Simply to reflect the fact they're away right now.
* When someone who is inactive comes back, they should have to do something very minor, like post once, in order to get moved back to the group they were in before they went away (like regulars/VIP).
 

starshine

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Yep, I think if someone goes away it's not fair to take things away, but they should be placed on "Vacation" status. If lets say, their computer broke, and they won't be on for a couple months, 'specially if they are a VIP they should be placed on "Vacation" status. And then the vacation status could have the same rights as a Regular member? Or a Regular Member have the same status as a Newbie when they are on Vacation.

Only reason I say this is because, I'm sure there are a lot of people who will only contribute enough so they can see everything they want, then go back to lurking.
 

recovery

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* Anyone who is inactive for more than, say, a week, should be displayed as "inactive" instead of regular/VIP. Simply to reflect the fact they're away right now.
I feel that if you were to introduce a time limit that it is set more than a week, maybe two. Simply due to the fact that not every one checks the site everyday. But hopefully, they have time once a week to go on. So the user may not feel a little intimidated that they are a 'bad' member for not sticking around so much.

If this system is going to be automatic, what about people going away on holidays and have announced it before hand? Normally, I'll put these things in my Signature. But you may want to reflect "Organised/announce absence" over random abandonment. Thus they can avoid having to re-activate their account after return.

* When someone who is inactive comes back, they should have to do something very minor, like post once, in order to get moved back to the group they were in before they went away (like regulars/VIP).
I am not too sure on this. But if they were to return after random Abandonment, maybe having a title "recently returned" for a few days. Which means they have to be active for this 'trial period' in order to join back to their last status of Regular/VIP. But as for the minimum contribution/activity to enable it back... I am not to sure. I feel it should be the fact that logged in at least within 3 or so days after being inactive. so it is not mistaken for a random snoop. Then again, this may be difficult for members how are going through times where logging it that often may not be possible. So punishing them for problems out of their control seems a little unfair. That is why I feel an announced absence should be given their own status. This is so we know at least what the member is doing while they are away. But I cannot really see this being abused... So I see why not to have it.
 

Peachy

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VIP:
I think we have to differentiate between two definitions of VIP here:
Moo's definition is based on contributions for the site. By posting lots, adding stuff to the wiki or gallery, posting links, or even donating money, someone becomes a valuable resource for ADISC.
Everyone else's definition is based on the community itself, not on the site. In that definition, someone becomes a VIP when they're nice, helpful and trustworthy and thus a "good buddy" to be around. Yes, it's sort of a popularity contest that way, and someone may be a VIP even though they may not have posted any wiki articles or have an extraordinarily high post count.
Personally, I prefer the second defintion. People give (wiki articles, pictures, great ideas or just money) to ADISC out of choice, not to get some flashy badge or important title. I don't think you can encourage people to contribute to the site by giving them badges or titles - that didn't work in communist countries either! :tongueout: And you shouldn't make VIP status or anything else dependent on contributions - that's as silly as the British way of tipping: They add 12.5% to your restaurant bill regardless of how good or bad their service was, and if you wish to not pay it (which is your legal right, apparently) you had to make a fool of yourself and argue with them. No, contributing to the site (and tipping) should be voluntary! So leave the VIP status with the rep system - it's the only way for people to decide who they want to trust and who they regard as suspicious. The fact that most people use the VIP system to hide pictures or semi-sensitive information from untrustworthy people but otherwise make little use of the VIP forum shows that it's more of a status symbol and a real reward for contributions.

Idlers
I liked the way we handled them on the old forum: Make their account inactive when they haven't logged in in a month but give them their old status back when they return. People can disappears for a while for many reasons - illness, family trouble, work or study related stress... - and it wouldn't be fair to take their rights away and make them start over. If you're undergoing complicated surgery and miss the national elections, the government won'T take your right to vote away either.
So, just put the idle people in a special user group where they won't show up in the members list and cannot be contacted (except by the admin) until they voluntarily return.

Peachy
 
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