I’m hopeful

Reputation redesign

I was looking at the reputation that is displayed on my sites and I was thinking on how useful it really is. I don't know the exact way it is determined but is basically seems to be just an incemental number based on the number of comments one has made plus any votes he has been given. This unfortunately does not provide much of any information for anyone looking at the reputation of someone. How can you tell if someone posts little but says interesting things (thus voted up a lot) or if someone just comments a lot with short comments (think "I agree") which are never voted up. How do you know if someone is voted up because he is funny, insightful or Interesting. How do you tell if someone is a troll if he can just make a few comments somewhere else (on a friendly or fake site) and rank up his ratings again?
Generally the reputation system seems a nice idea but is not well thought out and I'm afraid it going to turn into something even less interesting than ebay.

I would like then to propose an alternative for the devs to think about.
First, I would suggest you read about ratings here. Take special note on how Ebay's simple system is a failure and why.

That said, the idea I would like to propose is this:
Instead of a simple voting button for each comment, have a system more similar to what Slashdot uses but not necessarily the same. Specifically, what I was thinking is a three (or optionally 5) different rating buttons for each comment that readers can press and give a point for that category to the comment and commenter. The categories could then be: Fun, Insightful, Interesting and optionally trolling, abusive and lame.

This way people could rate a comment (and the commenter subsequently) for the type of comments he makes with an easy system. The "Bad" Ratings could be optional (perhaps up to the blog owner) but I think trolling should always be an option. That way someone who misbehaves a lot on non-friendly sites would be painfully visible which would hopefully force them to change their ways (or switch to anonymity and lose all IDC benefits).

This rep system would, imho, really make IDC shine as commenters would have a real tangible and most importantly, descriptive rating for their account. And it would also allow space for further options in the rep system in the future (like pushing "good" commenters to the forefron (so to speak) or automatically hiding trolls.
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  • I’m also hopeful!
    I'm in full agreement with this... the simple ranking system isn't so good, and a slashdot style one would be better.

    To me though, the coolest thing about it would be a global "karma" meter that would apply to all intense debate enabled systems. A great idea!
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  • I’m excited
    Another rating option I think would be nice is something like "useful" or "helpful" for people who provide answers, solutions and the like.
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  • I’m excited
    Come on IDC team, tell me what you think.
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  • EMPLOYEE
    I’m excited
    Sorry for the delay. We've been chatting about this on our end and then got side-tracked.

    We’ve got plans to improve the rep system, and I agree that in its current form it’s overly simplistic and not as useful as it could be.

    I think the real key is to find more implicit ways to determine reputation, and perhaps move reputation to be category based instead of only one global value. In other words, I might have a high reputation in the tech category, but little to none in the knitting category. On some level we'll need to implement some features to lay the groundwork for a more useful rep system though - perhaps some sort of tagging that we'll need to hash out.

    But honestly, we've got to come to an agreement on our end of how to make our reputation point system more useful. We're not there yet...
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  • I’m excited
    Hmm, a category system does not make sense for me unless you are somehow rating knowledge only :-/ However most comments who are left outside of support forums are not knowledge related. Thus I might leave a comment in a tech forum that has nothing to do with tech but is funny. I might leave a comment at a knitting blog that has nothing to do with knitting but is interesting nonetheless.

    What you could instead do with categories like that is display in which topics one is more active but that has nothing really to do with reputation and more to do with amount of comments in a given category. Thus If I leave 50 comments in tech blogs, 30 comments in political blogs and 10 comments in knitting blogs (The type of blog possibly selected by the owner), someone visiting my profile could at one look see my general interests perhaps tallied by the top 3 categories. Now that would be useful but it still has nothing to do with reputation. You could, however, further merge it with my own idea and have the "insightful" type be related to the categories. So someone could be rated insightful and his "insights" would be related to the category he was posting at the time.

    As you can see, I'm interested in making the reputation system useful and as best as it can be. I would love to take part in your discussions and perhaps the other members of your team can join the discussion here and voice their ideas and concerns. Alternatively you can create a new blogpost and promote open dialogue with your community which might be even better.
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  • EMPLOYEE
    I’m excited
    Good point about the categories concept. It would however be useful to know that you're talking tech shop with someone who has a good tech reputation. But this doesn't make the universal reputation more useful.

    I like the idea of being able to give some sort of feedback or reason as to why you voted a comment up or down (some sort of menu w/ options like insightful, funny, etc.). The question then is how to equate that into a numeric reputation system. Is a numeric reputation system still the way to go? Not sure.

    Great thought about your comment history breakdown by category. We've toyed with the idea of adding categories/tags to blogs for various reasons, and this would be a great feature to implement with them.

    I think you're right about a blog post. I'd love to open this up to the rest of our users. I'll do some research (per your recommendation) to see what else is out there.

    Thanks
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  • I’m excited
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    Good point about the categories concept. It would however be useful to know that you're talking tech shop with someone who has a good tech reputation.


    Seriously, as I said, this is usually only useful in support forums. In the normal blogosphere this will 99% never come into play.

    I like the idea of being able to give some sort of feedback or reason as to why you voted a comment up or down (some sort of menu w/ options like insightful, funny, etc.).


    I would not prefer a drop-down option because it would require 2 extra clicks than normal. Here people can't be bollocksed to click the button once :-/

    he question then is how to equate that into a numeric reputation system. Is a numeric reputation system still the way to go? Not sure.

    You mean a simple vote up/down one-number system? I don't think you can and I do not think that is the way to go (I've explained why above)
    The reason I proposed the ratings I did is because it would allow you to remove the "minus" option and instead replace it with something more descriptive like "trolling" while the good votes would be again descriptive.

    As an example you might look at how ClickComments implements it. A very simple system but therein lies the greatness. Because a very simple system is easy to be used a lot whereas a complex system is just ignored.

    Looking forward to your blogpost and to further discussion. :D
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  • Thanks linking to the reputation redesign and bringing this up again. Of course we love the feedback and your recommendations here are a big help. We've got some really exciting improvements coming down the line in the near future. The rep redesign isn't on the immediate horizon but it is something that we will be working on soon.

    Thanks again,
    Michael
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  • I’m excited
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    I would divide reputation points by the time each user has joined the debate. this would give more space to newbies to be noticed and would make elders to care more for their reputation.
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