Reputation and Rewards System - Thoughts Please!

Wednesday, Jan 20 2010 by

As I'm sure you are aware, this site is very dependent on user contributions, and we'd like to create a system that 'gives back' as it were - providing extra features and functionality for the most regular contributors

I would like to stress that this is highly beta  and up for discussion only... we haven't modelled the numbers and the levels are indicative only.    Please give us all the feedback you can - don't hold back!

Here's the general idea...
If you post a comment or a new piece of content...
    •    for each up vote you receive 1 reputation point.
    •    for each down vote you lose 1 reputation point.

If a post of yours is moderated for abuse you lose XXX reputation points.  Between 10 and 100 - to be decided.

You can gain maximum of 10 reputation per day maximum.
If a piece of content is promoted to an article, or an event is accepted, you gain 10 reputation points.  
If you win a competition or challenge you gain 100 reputation points.

Amass enough reputation and you gain extra facilities as below.

  • Reputation 2 -  Vote up (Lurkers can comment but can't vote until their own content is voted up)
  • Reputation 5 -  can Report Abusive Posts
  • Reputation 10 - can Vote Down - (should it cost to vote down?)
  • Reputation 50 - Edit community wiki pages - e.g. Help Pages, general Wikis (more to come on this front!!!)
    Reputation 50 - Ability to view ‘New’ Post counts on threads since your last visit - (this is quite database intensive, and perhaps shouldn't be available to lurkers)
  • Reputation 200 - Access to Forum Moderation Tools - moderate, ignore etc
  • Reputation 250 - Create Events
  • Reputation 500 - Reduced advertising
  • Reputation 500 - Create Games
  • Reputation 500 - Retag other people’s content
  • Reputation 500 - Ability to ‘Close’ Threads to further comment
  • Reputation 1000 - Further reduced advertising
  • Reputation 1000 - Editorial aspects
  • Reputation 1000 - Edit other people’s content - controversial perhaps? - but will be transparent through the changelog
  • Reputation 1000 - Edit company Details and Pages
  • Reputation 1000 - Can promote content to articles
  • Reputation 2000 - Zero Advertising
  • Reputation 2000 - full access to editorial suite

Let us know your thoughts!!!

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20 Posts on this Thread show/hide all

tournesol 20th Jan '10 1 of 20

I think that's a great idea.


Could I suggest a tweak? I know that the carrot is better than the stick and that it is generally better to reward good behaviour rather than punish bad behaviour,, but would it be an idea to introduce sanctions against people who misbehave?

Something like:-

moderated for disruptive behaviour = minus 100 reputation points



minus 50 reputation points (could be from downwards votes or from disruptive behaviour sanctions) = 1 week suspension

minus 100 reputation points = 2 week suspension

The idea is that anti-social behaviour should result in some explicit consequences.



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promethean 20th Jan '10 2 of 20

Great Idea, thanks Tournesol - I'll add it to the list.

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doverbeach 20th Jan '10 3 of 20

I cant think of anything polite to say about it.

The last thing we want is people trying to gather points through getting thumbs up on posts.  And even worse if this encourages New threads where there is a perfectly good one already going.

Why cant good newbies just get stuck in an edit a wiki? or create an event?

Anyone who doesnt like the advertising can get rid of it all for free very simply anyway :)

By close threads, do you mean just ones you have started?  if you can close other peoples, it could get unpleasant.  Editing other peoples comments is a VERY bad idea.

I would like to get more posts coming in.  And on new stocks.  I think the multiplication of duplicated articles, mostly on macro ish topics, is tedious.

And I STILL think you should get rid of the daft submit post by choosing sentiment - who knows how many newbies have been confuced by this and just gone away?



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djpreston 20th Jan '10 4 of 20

On the whole, Im all for the idea but I really would not like to see reward for new threads when, as Db (Manzanilla) says, there could be a perfectly good thread in place.

I can see where Db is comign from regarding "newbies" editing a wiki but equally I could see a lot of downside risk here from trolls messing around. Id prefer to see a postrr gain a certain level of "reputation" before being allowed to edit wikis etc.

Tournesolf is also spot on re the need to penalise the disruptive posters and the idea of a "sin bin" for those who obtain a certain level of "negative rep" is spot on IMO.

Fund Management: European Wealth
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promethean 20th Jan '10 5 of 20

Thanks all...

re. threads vs. posts - we take your point. It might create a lot of noise. If we look at SOCO - there's a thread set up for each prospect, and why would you need another.

re. submit post - actually you may be in line for a shock... we are going to make it optional to submit your sentiment. Anyway - it does seem that everyone clicks bullish when they are bullish so it seems to be working!

re. advertising - I'm surprised at your comment db - I'd have thought it would be attractive.

re. macro subjects - that's a bit off thread, but the whole site is going to move to a category navigation system, so you won't have to see content on subjects you don't like. Stay tuned...

re. 'encouraging posts' - that's precisely what we are trying to achieve by a system such as this! We don't want to go down a route of giving everyone silly hats to wear and so on - extra facilities etc should be the preferred route.

thanks for the feedback.

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doverbeach 20th Jan '10 6 of 20

re. advertising - I'm surprised at your comment db - I'd have thought it would be attractive.

but it is so easy to get rid of all advertising!

Anyone who gets irritated by it (like me) will probably already have done this!


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marben100 20th Jan '10 7 of 20

Must admit, I'm with db on this. The idea sounds overcomplicated at this stage & fraught with "unintended consequenies". It MIGHT be something for consideration in the future, when the site gets really busy and if problems arise with abusive posters/wiki editors - but do try & keep it simple. The restriction of a max of 10 rep points/day would disadvantage high quality posters who don't post v frequently, which IMO would be wrong: you want to encourage such people rather than those who make frequent mediocre posts. One of the things I like about S/pedia is that the number of posts is not too high but the average quality is good: less is more!

I'd rather see priority given to the basics - eg share price movements/charts shown in thread headers are sufficiently unreliable (generally out of date) as to be worse than useless.

Also, as mentioned previously, I really see no point in distinguishing between articles & threads - & the slight functional differences in the comment editor that have resulted rather irritating. NB (& sorry to go O/T), now that you've made the editor in threads more lightweight by introducing the "show editor" button, please, please, please can we have the same functionality when a post is first created as that available when you subsequently edit it? It is annoying that many more editor toolbar facilities are available in "edit mode" than in "originate mode".



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emptyend 20th Jan '10 8 of 20

KISS should apply. I agree tournesol's point above and would suggest simplifying:

  • Reputation 2 -  Vote up (Lurkers can comment but can't vote until their own content is voted up)

......I'd set the bar higher. 10? 20?

  • Reputation 5 -  can Report Abusive Posts

.................anyone at all should be able to do that

  • Reputation 10 - can Vote Down - (should it cost to vote down?) down and up should be at the same level or 10 or 20

And then just two levels which bring additional editing privileges at 500 and 1000

Advertising is a non-issue doesn't bother me at all but, as db says, solutions are already available to those who have a different view.

Anyone should be able to close a thread they have started. And perhaps the top 2-3 contributors to a particular stock should also be able to close any old/redundant threads if they wish?


ps.....I also agree with virtually all Mark's points!

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promethean 20th Jan '10 9 of 20

Very valid regarding the text editor Mark - we'll implement that. Apologies for the inconsistency - in trying to be simple we have overcomplicated it.

Please point these issues out to us whenever you can... it's the little things that matter, and while we try and fix everything we can, bugs and odd UI inconsistencies do creep in...

The restriction of a max of 10 rep points/day would disadvantage high quality posters who don't post v frequently

Yes true - we could remove the cap perhaps... but I do think 'reputation' is a function of both quality and participation... so there ought to be a limit somewhere.

It will be a simple system when implemented - the whole point is to incentivise people to contribute to the site, and I think we all want to see the volume of quality contributions increase.

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deucetoace 20th Jan '10 10 of 20

I wasn't even aware that you had advertising, I automatically block it on all sites so as doverbeach says ability to block it is not a privilege

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SW10Chap 20th Jan '10 11 of 20

It's tricky for me to see the attractions of this at the higher end. Some basic 'qualifications' around being able to vote and so on may have some attraction, but not much else. And it really shouldn't 'cost' to do anything - otherwise we'd all leave it to someone else to do!

You've made a throwaway comment about 'silly hats' which I disagree with - whilst not an absolute guide it can be quite useful to have a little badge that helps you to gauge a poster's respectability. And it costs nothing - I'm reminded of the apocryphal story of the banker who is astounded that military people can be bought off with a small piece of metal and a ribbon rather than six-figure bonuses...

I think that tournesolf has a point - a sin-bin for posters is not a bad idea. The problem with dishing out 100 negative rep points is that, well, perhaps I would just go ahead and re-register under a different name/email address?


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promethean 22nd Mar '10 12 of 20

In reply to post #34672

We'd like to reopen the debate regarding the development of a reputation system. As you may have noticed, we have switched off the 'Add Collaborators' functionality for the time being. We would prefer to create a strict reputation system that allowed users of a certain level to contribute to other people's thread headers... i.e. much of the site could become a wiki for trusted contributors to collaborate with each other.

I know this would be slightly controversial, but it would be much simpler and more effective than people nominating each other as 'collaborators'. Yes this could be open to abuse, but all edits would be reversible and offenders would quickly lose reputation, privileges and be subject to suspension.

Let us know your thoughts, and whether you think this could be useful, I'm sure it could spark debate.

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djpreston 23rd Mar '10 13 of 20

In reply to post #38768

Hmmm, the "in reply to ..." doesnt seem to be working.

Anyway, I agree witht he principle of rolling the wikis into the threads as it were. It is so hard to maintainboth a thread header or headers whilst also maintaining the wiki - Ive never done it. Ive always felt that having a one stop shop that gives all the info on a company woudl be incredible useful but there is the problem of having several threads. Perhaps the "Wiki" coudl be the main (first?) thread and then new threads springing off as and when likely short term news or events occur?

As for the collaboration, I think that sharing the burden would work well and did have a few collaborators on some of mine but given that I "know" them well already, I woudl trust them and many others to contribute. As you say, all the edits are reversible and someone acting a s a wrecker woudl be very easily identifiable and could be stepped on quite quickly.

So yes, you have my vote. The bigger question is how to deal with the wiki/multiple thread/one header problem I mentioned above.


Fund Management: European Wealth
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doverbeach 23rd Mar '10 14 of 20

hmmmm not at all sure. Its quite nice to co=own a thread with someone - you can go on holiday knowing they will look out for problems on it.

But the real problem is that at the moment the site set-up doesn't really encourage long-term maintenance of threads and their headers. From the Activity page the very nice 'expand' capacity only expands the header, making it useless for long running threads, where you only want to see what is new. And the Thumbs up / down only reflect the header, not potentially much better posts on the thread - so anyone with a very good point to make would find it was much more visible if they start a new thread.

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promethean 23rd Mar '10 15 of 20

Darron - the old 'in reply to' functionality has been replaced with an automated system that actually lets you see the entire sub-thread from a single post.  You don't see the message in the text editor, but you do once submitted and if you click the link you can see the entire sub-thread in a single view.

Hope that makes sense?!

Doverbeach - yes there are of course compromises and issues remaining.  We want to keep the interface as simple, but powerful as possible without creating inconsistencies across different views. Please keep the ideas coming... we are still on a development push for the next six months so lots can be done.

Thanks for all the feedback - we've been much more pleased at the response this time around and hope we are making it easier for you guys to navigate!

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tournesol 23rd Mar '10 16 of 20

As an aside, I think at the moment there is no obvious way to report a thread header which is abusive/anti-social etc . A couple of times when I've wanted to do so I've had to add a comment and then report my own comment as abusive/whatever as a way of bringing the thread header to your attention.

Might I suggest that the report function be extended to thread headers (and any other element that can be abused by the anti-social) and that meanwhile anyone doing as I have done does not find themselves penalised for reporting their own posts as a workaround.

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omh 23rd Mar '10 17 of 20

You have had quite a lot of input here from regular time for some from a regular lurker maybe. If I am allowed to, that is - maybe I need to be a contributor for a while before I am "qualified" to comment here ;-))

There is a danger that restricting voting over much will lead to a self-selecting closed clique who end up reccing each others' posts "because they are there" rather than on the underlying merits of the post itself (see pretty much anything by Paulypilot or Carmensfella in another place for an examples of what I mean).   And also, perhaps, to idiot doppels voting for themself .

For myself I will continue to take more notice of those posts by posters whose previous posts I have appreciated, whether highly thumbed or not., so not a biggie for me.

I do have one big reservation though

"Reputation 50 - Ability to view ‘New’ Post counts on threads since your last visit - (this is quite database intensive, and perhaps shouldn't be available to lurkers)"

no, no, thrice thousand times no.

I already find it hard enough somethimes to work out where new posts have been made on existing threads and removing such a facility would make the site unworkable for me. V3.0 is an undoubted improvement, but I doubt you will ever get to the ease-of-navigation-and-use that I enjoy in that same other place.

True, I could probably garner 50 lifetime thumbs, votes or whatever but would the posts I submit to do so be of any more use than the posts I do not make now (because someone else has usually said what I wanted to say, often more eloquently) , or would I be just cluttering the site to get my reputation?

For a newcomer, of course, the lack of visibility of new material could well be sufficient to turn them away for good before they even start.  

Unless, of course, it is only long-term lurkers you don't want, in which case an initial free issue of  a large enough "reputation" to allow visbility of  New Post counts to everyone, with all "reputation" suffering some sort of atomic hald life decay.  but this is likely to be database intensive as well!!

Given that (I assume) the site is paid for by advertising, then you want as many hits as possible to maximise that revenue.  While the footfall is encouraged by the freely given content from the regular contributors, without the lurkers' continued presence there will, ultimately, be no site.


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doverbeach 23rd Mar '10 18 of 20

"Reputation 50 - Ability to view ‘New’ Post counts on threads since your last visit - (this is quite database intensive, and perhaps shouldn't be available to lurkers)"

very good point omh - this is an absolute basic of the system

And so is being able to give a thumbs up. Many many lurkers will simply never post!  You can't force people into posting - they will simply lurk elsewhere if they feel unwanted.


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promethean 23rd Mar '10 19 of 20

In reply to post #38792

Thanks omh and a very good point well addressed. Ok - we'll certainly remove that one!

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SW10Chap 23rd Mar '10 20 of 20

In reply to post #38768

much of the site could become a wiki for trusted contributors to collaborate with each other.

I think that this would take up some serious mental bandwidth and, without wishing to be too much of a doomsayer could result in the site self-destructing.

Let me explain.

The main concern must be vandalism. If I own a single flat in a building, it's fairly easy for me to check for broken windows. If own a few flats all in the same building, it's not very much more difficult. However, if I own flats in a variety of buildings across town it becomes a major effort for me to chack for broken widows and to spend time fixing them.

It's the same for posts. You've given us a grace period for edits, which is great, apart from that it should be somewhat akin to "fire-and-forget." Now, there are some risks associated with that; sometimes that means I have live with erroneous predictions and, from time-to-time, some embarrassing statements I'd prefer not to have made. On top of that, if I've put up a post, I regard it as being mine and so do most other people. I don't want it modified.

I would avoid wiki-ization of S'pedia: You run the risk of posts losing credibility, therefore posters losing credibility and ultimately the site losing credibility.


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