I have been thinking that it may be time for some sort of reputation adjustment on the tracker.
In particular, I’m noticing a lot of people are gaining tons of rep on discussion response types including yours truly. This has really discouraged us from using the steps-to-repro, workaround and design tabs. Having started a KB item gives you an unfair advantage, and I’m noticing people are getting reputation for merely saying thank you in some threads.
So I’m thinking of making every topic and response-type configurable as to how much reputation each upvote gives you. I want to use reputation to drive correct behaviour on the site.
How much should every upvote be worth on the various topics and response types?
I don’t know as to how much each up vote should be worth in reputation but perhaps make it a sliding scale so that with each up vote the amount of reputation earned is slightly decrease until 1 point is earned for each up vote.
I'm finding that even if I do use the steps-to-repro, workaround and design tabs, they're very rarely upvoted or accepted as appropriate steps. I'm not sure how to encourage that behaviour really… it’s possibly open to abuse, but we could offer a small reward to those who spend a lot of time going around giving rep to people appropriately. Perhaps you also get a small rep bonus for adding a post to one of those areas, but again, there’s the possibility of abuse.
I also think the comments need a bit of work – what do you think about giving them markup options and up/down voting capability?
My suggestion for general rep would be:
These steps would make badges the most rewarding, make them the goal and the indicator of contribution made.
Change phrasing from “I found this helpful” to “thanks for this post”. There’s a difference to having a positive post to the community and finding it helpful. There’s stuff I might not find helpful but appreciate the post.
Like Riccardo, I've had a few fixed bugs where there were repro steps but they haven’t been accepted by the fixer so that doesn’t encourage further usage, perhaps force steps as accepted on fixed…?
I'm going to type a lot of stuff with no forethought, ok ready …
… So I'm kinda of ticked that someone can get 400+ rep points for putting up some fan art, while a theme developer like Throg creates multiple themes and fixes several bugs has a lower reputation. Speaking as a developer shouldn’t we get fairly rewarded for actually implementing these features, bug fixes, creating plugins…?
Ok ignoring the above for a second. Why is discussion worth any points at all? If the idea is to encourage participation then posting a comment should be at most worth 2 rep points. Now if the user goes on to ‘report a bug’ or ‘design a solution’ they should get considerably more points. Additionally if people upvote an answer the author should get the points, up to a maximum before points start scaling back. Example: 15 up votes: First 5 are worth 10 points, Next 5 are worth 8, Next 5 are worth 6, and so on to a minimum of 2 points.
Forgive me for saying this but reporting a bug is quite trivial, in fact we get that feedback regularly however providing clear reproduceable steps requires more time and effort and should be given more points unlike now where they are worth the similar number in rep points – this seems wrong to me.
I think we need to refocus, and reward the people who report issues (find a bug, request a feature, provide a design..), and the other group who resolves issues (either bug fixes, answer questions, etc.). This fan art stuff should be significantly lower than the core functions of CT.
You need to overhaul the whole system, lots of threads are left unconfirmed even after being fixed, and people get reputation purely for confirmation on a thread, while the authour goes unrewarded. In its current format it is not worth having.
Personally, I use the rep indicator to indicate how useful someone is towards the CT and the community. They are more like “thank you” tokens and I wholely agree with soultakers points. However people that create the Fan Artwork should still get the rep.
Look at it this way, where the devs read and understand a programming language, these guys can navigate their way around a graphics program exactly the same as you just type away a program. Both are extremely time consuming and probably proportional against each other. 1 program/plugin to 400 Cover Arts.
As for your question Sam, I think discussion posts shouldn’t allow for any thumbsup votes only thumbs down. If you have a good suggestion/design/fix then there should be corresponding entry tabs as we do with the feature requests/bugs/etc. In here is where you can really make a good contribution to how anything maybe implemented or improved on.
Just my tupence worth
Like soultaker I'm just writing down some thoughts here, so don’t take this the wrong way:
Being one of the guys that has a lot of reputation, even some that isn’t really fair (take placeholder KB topics for example) I would hate to see my rep go down :)
However, that shouldn’t be an obstacle for changing the mechanism. Something needs to be done. Upvotes in discussion responses are given way to easy.
The difference between badge rewards and thumbsup rewards should be larger. However, limiting the thumbsup to 2 points for example wouldn’t be fair if it was a very elaborate respons that goes in great detail to explain things.
Maybe we can solve this with a star rating system. 5 stars for example that would reward 2 points for each star. So 2 stars is 4 point, 5 is still 10 points.
This could also calculate an average score for the entire post based on the number of votes. either between 0-5 or 0-10. A very informative post would get a 4.7 average score. An average should only be calculated if there are 3 or more votes.
Similar to how Windows Media Player rates music or IMDB rates movies.
Having x responses with an average score of y could give the user a badge z.
What to do with single 5 star votes, it would still be 10 points? Maybe tie that to the average which is calculated after 3 votes and reward the points then? (so only after 3 5-star votes are given). Give 2 points in the mean time.
How to give a negative score? I have no Idea. Perhaps a ten star rating. 5 positive, 5 negative. That would be a lot of stars though….
As for a bug or feature request, the topic starter can only get a badge once the feature is completed even though people like the request. Currently you can only give a wish to a topic and wishes and rare/limited. The result is that a lot of people post responses like “I agree / +1 for me” (which sometimes get upvoted!)
I think these kind of posts should also be rewarded. The star rating could be used for that as well. A Wish would further indicate that this is something people really want, but it could end up in the background because of many upvotes.
Once a feature is completed a badge should still be rewarded to both the topic starter as well as the developer that fixed it. These badges should be worth considerably more than 10 points.
With all respect to the artists, it’s a bit weird to see reputation increases that go almost vertical simply due to a single fanart topic.
I know it takes a lot of time and effort to make this artwork, but the reputation gain is out of proportion in my opinion. I do agree you guys do great work, but since most of you have a donate button in place, I guess you are compensated in other ways as well. (Of cource I don’t know if anyone actually donates)
A scalable system like Soultaker suggests would make things more fair. This would still show the importance of a post to others, but give a more fair reputation increase.
A bit offtopic, but once the mechanism is implemented and new reputation is calculated the number of available wishes somehow needs to be addressed. If I go under 2000 points a wish would need to be removed, but that has already been assigned to a topic. This should somehow be addressed.
Another thing that would need to be addressed is a way to give reputation to multiple “owners” of a topic. This applies to both Fanart and Knowledgebase topics. They can have multiple contributors and only a single person gets upvotes for it in it’s current form.
There are some issues that need to be addressed for this though:
A few of the guys here have mentioned in this thread that they don’t want to see their reps go down even though in principal they agree with the original points made. This is understandable since people like DemonSeed and Birkoff have put a lot of time and effort into what they've done here. Would it be possible to keep the rep points earned for those heavy contributers in tact as well as do the earning adjustments you've mentioned? Then any new points they earn would go with the new system but previously earned points would remain also? I think that would be fairest to those who've made so much effort.
As you can see from my own rep I haven’t got a whole lot to lose :( Unfortunately I get more time to pop in and out here to see whats going on than I get to use mediabrowser so I rarely have anything worth reading to say :) but for what its worth i think the sliding scale Throg mentioned is a good idea.