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Does SMF need an advanced reputation system?

Yes
No
Yes, but only as a mod
No, add more options to karmasystem

Author Topic: Advanced Reputation System  (Read 32777 times)

Offline erlend_sh

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Advanced Reputation System
« on: July 04, 2007, 06:31:58 PM »
Note: This mod is now up for testing! Expect this mod to be available for download as soon as SMF 2.0 is. Expect us all to be happy as well  :-*

Important Edit:

This thread's original intention was to convince the SMF Staff that the advanced reputation system was a feature that would fit best as a default feature in SMF. I have since changed my mind, and am now merely asking that a mod is made for this system. See the reason for my change of ways here.

I've found many threads about adding a so called "reputation system", but they all pretty much end in one out of two possible ways:
  • 1) Someone replies "we already have the karma-system".
  • 2) Someone replies "it would take too long to create compared to its usefulness".
In this post I will attempt to debate against arguments such as the examples above, as well as further explain why I think a reputation system would greatly benefit SMF as a default (and heavily supported) feature.

Rep system vs Karma system
So first off; yes we already have the karma system, but if you ask me, it's far from extensible enough, and I have yet to see a forum that has actually found a proper use for it besides using it as a warning system, which will be useless as soon as 2.0 is out.

Also, I used to be an active user in a community using VB's rep system. If you haven't tried it for yourself, trust me on this one: It felt a whole lot more rewarding to get that extra green twinkly rubie (custom pics) below my avatar, than the ocational +points you get with the karmasystem in SMF.

How would the SMF system work?

These are the basics for how I imagine this point-system to be like:

Part of the point behind this system is that it could completely replace post-count, should the admin wish so. So you'd have the option of whether or not to hide the post-count, and whether or not to count posts and threads in with the forum points.
 
  • Adds points for every reply made (ex: 1p).
  • Adds points for every thread started (ex: 3p).
  • Any member can award you with points for a post you made. It works as such:
    A member can choose between a 1-3 starrating of your post (all being positive), each star resulting in a bigger prize (ex: 1star=3p, 2stars=6p, 3stars=9p).
  • Certain boards could be set to award more points for posts and threads, even ratings (say there's an article board, and replies would be proper reviews)(ex: Posts=3p, threads=10p, 1star=5p).
  • Able to sort threads by starrating (amounts of starpoints and amounts of ratings).
  • Even doing certain acts of moderation could add small amounts of points. This would be a great way of making moderators take initiative.

This pointsystem would benefit greatly from having the postcount split in two. (Counting replies and threads seperately). Forumpoints could also be a part of certain groupings, like instead of letting someone join a certain group based on their postcount, it would be based on their forumpoints.

Thoughts?

Quote from: Old arguments
Who needs it, and why a default feature?
My original intention was actually to suggest this as a mod. I was planning to list several types of communities where people of certain skills could get a chance to stand out more and get a little extra acknowledgement for their talents, like programmers, visual artists and writers. Then it occured to me that there are people of exceptional skill, dedication or good will in any community, and these people deserve some proper recognition besides the ocational "thanks!" in a post from time to time.

So if you ask me, a reputation system could become just as widely used as a warningsystem if made properly. It's just important to properly seperate them as two completely seperate systems, with completely different purposes.

Also, the rep-system could (if desired, not necessarily a default) replace the way you get titles. As it is now, someone with 1000 posts will get a fancier title than one guy with 200 posts, and the 1000-guy will probably get more respect as well. However, as it turns out, 75% of the 200-guy's posts are extremely helpful, whereas only 5% of the 1000-guy's posts are. If the reputation system replaced the post-count's role in the title-feature (but amount of posts could still make a difference, even amount of time logged in and date of registration) then it could even work as a very effective protection against half-spammers (people making quick posts that aren't really spam, but still doesn't make a difference, so that they can get fancy titles).

  • User Warning System: Keeping track of troublesome members.
  • User Reputation System: Keeping track of talented, generous and helpful members.
In short, a warning-system is for punishment, while a reputation-system is for reward. To what big an extent each system should be usable by normal members should be up to the administrator to decide.

Difficulties in implementation
Not only does a proper reputation system in itself require a lot of coding, there are also other factors to consider, especially balance. First off there's the balance between rep added by members of different ranks (i.e. someone with a lot of rep, or in a special group). Then there's also the different kinds of users by talent, like an artist and a programmer. In a pure art-community this wouldn't be a problem, but in a modding-community, this might become an issue.

While a skilled programmer might release a program or some useful piece of coding once every 6 months, an artist might deliver a new picture every week. Still, the programmer might be giving support all the time for his released programs. The trick is to find an alright way to balance this so that the programmer gets the rep he deserves. To improve balance and fairness however, a program might not always be enough. Every community should probably have their own guidelines on how to use their reputation system if any important configurations have been made.

Still, with the needed amounts of work (and pre-thought) in mind, I still honestly believe that this is a system with ever growing potential. It's the kind of system that could be made in a very simple default version for general use,  but with big possibilities for advanced modifications done by talented contributors.

Keeping up with the competitors
Both VBulletin and now also IPB have their own advanced reputation system (see links). And it's not without reason that they have these systems. So I say start working on an intuitive reputation system that can compete with theirs, and maybe even outdo the others if enough thought is put behind it with the help of the users of course.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2008, 01:50:32 AM by BlackMage »

Offline johnboles

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Re: Advanced Reputation System
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2007, 05:16:04 AM »
I would find this very helpful and useful as a mod, but not as a feature already implemented.

Offline xcx

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Re: Advanced Reputation System
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2007, 07:05:09 AM »
I'd love it if this was implemented =D

Offline Kindred

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Re: Advanced Reputation System
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2007, 08:16:41 AM »
definitely a mod...

people are SUPPOSED to contribute to a community. Why do we feel the need to reward people for something that they should be doing anyway?

I (and most people) don't even bother to use Karma, why should the SMF devs waste time and effort on a function that most people would not even use?

again...  well thought out explantion, and request, but this is definitely a mod request.
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Offline erlend_sh

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Re: Advanced Reputation System
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2007, 09:18:48 AM »
definitely a mod...

people are SUPPOSED to contribute to a community. Why do we feel the need to reward people for something that they should be doing anyway?

I (and most people) don't even bother to use Karma, why should the SMF devs waste time and effort on a function that most people would not even use?
- That's what I'm trying to say here. With a similar system yet better and with more possibilities for further extensions by contributors, I believe the repsys would be widely used and extended by other users. I just think that having a base system made by the developers would give a much needed starting point for the rest of the SMF members to further build on.

Quote
again...  well thought out explantion, and request, but this is definitely a mod request.
- Well that might be true, and I added the poll to find out just that. If it turns out that most people want it as a mod I won't object of course as long as someone actually agrees to do it. I would be more than happy to contribute with ideas and research. Oh, and i forgot to mention this in the main post: Should someone find it in them to start working on this system, you might benefit from talking to this man. He has been a very important part of that big modding community for a long time now, and to my understanding he has been tweaking the VB rep-system throughout the years to best fit their needs.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2007, 01:11:12 AM by Sadr »

Offline waremock

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Re: Advanced Reputation System
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2007, 05:41:51 PM »
  • User Warning System: Keeping track of troublesome members.
  • User Reputation System: Keeping track of talented, generous and helpful members.
In short, a warning-system is for punishment, while a reputation-system is for reward. To what big an extent each system should be usable by normal members should be up to the administrator to decide.


I haven't used the Karma system just because not everyone likes everyone. I run a Christian board and at times there is truth said that others don't like to hear. I don't want my members punished for saying what is true. I want to reward them, I agree whole heartily with the above statement.

Quote
Keeping up with the competitors
Both VBulletin and now also IPB have their own advanced reputation system (see links). And it's not without reason that they have these systems. So I say start working on an intuitive reputation system that can compete with theirs, and maybe even outdo the others if enough thought is put behind it with the help of the users of course.

This should be part of the overall forum just for this fact alone. Competition is the only reason why developers try to make their product better. Why wouldn't we want to be the best?

Just my 2 cents.

Offline erlend_sh

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Re: Advanced Reputation System
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2007, 08:47:11 PM »
I gladly accept your two cents ;)

I see that most people so far actually want this as an in-build feature, and there's no doubt the majority at least wants it as a feature (although this is not surprising seeing as people usually want any new feature they can get). Maybe with enough votes though, we could show that this is a feature highly wanted by many. I doubt a large scale voting will happen though without some proper promoting of / redirecting to this thread.

Offline Kindred

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Re: Advanced Reputation System
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2007, 10:40:00 PM »
saying "most people" want this as a feature is not true... you have 8 votes yes and essentially 7 votes no...   that is not statistically significant.
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Offline erlend_sh

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Re: Advanced Reputation System
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2007, 02:56:14 PM »
If I put it as if I was talking about the majority of the SMF users then that's far from what I meant. I was merely talking about the majority of voters. And I did also add a "so far"

I'll have to point out though, that you shouldn't count those 4 "Yes, but only as a mod"-votes as no's, seeing as they do want the feature, just that they feel a mod would suffice. If you wanna start combining votes, then in my opinion it should be 12-3. But really, each vote represents a seperate opinion, and should be kept that way.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2007, 02:58:14 PM by Sadr »

Offline feildmaster

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Re: Advanced Reputation System
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2007, 01:34:51 PM »
personaly, I was considering making a mod like this because I wanted it. That's my reason for making my mods... I want them. Why else would they be made? anyway...

I am currently working on 4-5 other mods for my forum. Many of which I wish I could finish now instead of be on vacation. But anyway. Once I finish my other mods I will gladly make a warning system, PM me with verious features you would like to include in it... o.o

Pardon me for taking your time~Feildmaster

Offline Afterglow86

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Re: Advanced Reputation System
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2007, 01:46:25 AM »
To be honest, it would be something I would love the karma system to turn into. However, negative reputation could quite easily be abused and you'd see trolls / etc using it to give contributing members little red gems.

Offline Rouge

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Re: Advanced Reputation System
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2007, 03:14:53 PM »
I would say that we should convert the rating system
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uses. So that people can gain a reputation for certain things.

Offline metallica48423

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Re: Advanced Reputation System
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2007, 05:20:40 PM »
I personally feel that many communities would put it to use.

I know of very few vBulletin communities that do not use the reputation system mod (is it a mod? i don't use VB).  At least of those that I visit, and this is also a common request that I hear and see a lot.

I'm going to have to say that I support this but as a mod.

That is my personal opinion, not that of the team.  I lack the skills to create this mod, unfortunately
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Offline erlend_sh

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Re: Advanced Reputation System
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2007, 11:15:50 AM »
I am currently working on 4-5 other mods for my forum. Many of which I wish I could finish now instead of be on vacation. But anyway. Once I finish my other mods I will gladly make a warning system, PM me with verious features you would like to include in it... o.o
- First off, did you mean to write reputation-system, or do you actually think that this is a warning system? If you did, then please take a look at my main post and you'll see the difference between a warning- and a reputationsystem.

If you're interested in making this mod that would be great and I would surely like to help you out, but first off I'd like to see if we can make this become a default feature. I will explain why further down this post.

To be honest, it would be something I would love the karma system to turn into. However, negative reputation could quite easily be abused and you'd see trolls / etc using it to give contributing members little red gems.
- Most people never allow normal members to hand out bad reputation. I think the option (by admin) to let anyone hand out both bad and good reputation-points should be there, but I would personally recommend using the rep-system only as a tool of reward, not punishment. We have the warning-system for that. (I already explained this in the main post).

I personally feel that many communities would put it to use.

I know of very few vBulletin communities that do not use the reputation system mod (is it a mod? i don't use VB).  At least of those that I visit, and this is also a common request that I hear and see a lot.

I'm going to have to say that I support this but as a mod.

That is my personal opinion, not that of the team.  I lack the skills to create this mod, unfortunately
- I appreciate the support :)
I believe VBulletin uses the system as a default system, seeing as they list in their feature-list. IPB on the other hand offers it as a mod.

Now, I feel like I'm forced to repeat myself a bit here because obviously the length of my main main post made many people just skim through it, which is disappointing but understandable. We're all busy people here, the SMF crew in perticular. I can see how they already have their hands full, but here's how I see it: If they can find the time and strength to create the warning system as a default feature supported by the SMF crew, then they can do the same for the reputation system. Because I see the two systems of equal importance; they actually complement eachother.

Just like the warning system the rep-system is also quite a complex system, and needs steady support and development to succeed, as it might very well not be "perfect" on the first try. If this was to be a mod, it would require a very dedicated developer such as Daniel15 with his shopmod or Oldiesmann and his gallery2 integration. And even then, I still think it wouldn't serve the reputation-system's true potential. If it was a default feature then people could make mods for it couldn't they? Like was done for the karma system. Noone would bother making a mod for a mod... So if this system was made a default feature, it would much more easily get the rapid development and proper support that it so sorely needs. All you really need is a strong and customizable starting point from which the community can develop it further.

If they actually decided to create this system, my suggestion would be this: Make a grand brainstorming for features and extensions for the reputation-system. Then make a very basic system, with all of these suggestions in mind all along, but keeping just the possibility of most suggestions, not adding the feature itself. Thus inviting the community to create what they want for themselves.

Offline vortodox

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Re: Advanced Reputation System
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2007, 04:04:26 PM »
I think it's more than needed to have advanced reputation system in smf 2.0 (implemented), but it's supposed to be realy advanced system.
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Offline erlend_sh

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Re: Advanced Reputation System
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2007, 08:45:13 AM »
I think it's more than needed to have advanced reputation system in smf 2.0 (implemented), but it's supposed to be realy advanced system.
- Do you mean that as in "I want it to be really advanced" or as in "It will be take some hard work to make it because it's so advanced". Well, I can at least give a decent answer to the last question: There's always people whom with you can get help and guidance.

I already made a link to this guy for anyone interested in making this system to talk to, as he seems to have a very good understanding of it, and knows how to modify it to fit his community's needs. There are however probably plenty of other coders out there who is more than willing to share their extensive experience with this program. Heck, the IPB rep system was made as a mod, so maybe this guy Alex Firmani who made that mod could be willing to guide anyone who wishes to do the same thing for SMF.

Offline nitins60

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Re: Advanced Reputation System
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2007, 03:00:47 AM »
i haven't gone through replies, but i vote for "ADvanced Karma System" as deFAULT feature. it's untouched from SMF 1.0

Offline erlend_sh

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Re: Advanced Reputation System
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2007, 07:45:00 AM »
As said already in a seperate thread, I'm now off to Chile where I will stay as an exchange student for 6 months, and it's unsure how much access I'll get to the internet. So I just hope that the SMF staff will take my proposition in serious consideration and carefully review every side of the matter before making up their minds.

Sidenote: I have professional website plans that include funding and commercial competition, in which SMF has an important role. Whether or not SMF will have this rep-system is irrelevant compared to the end-goal, but I'm certain it would be a great tool for use in the community, and it could even serve as one of the website's unique features that seperates it from the rest. So should this feature finally be made, be it default or a mod, I would gladly donate money to the creator(s). I will have to admit that no matter what happens I will be registering as a charter member next year as I will be needing all the support I can get should I decide to truly realise my long planned ideas, not to mention finally giving something back after all these years of amazing software free of charge.

I hope others who want this feature as much as me will find it in them to keep fighting (not whining ;) ) for the cause, hehe.

Thank you for your time,
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« Last Edit: July 22, 2007, 10:42:13 AM by Sadr »

Offline erlend_sh

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Re: Advanced Reputation System
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2007, 04:49:59 PM »
Hm, this thread went as dry as the one about the unique board images :(

I have plenty of internet access over here in Chile but I'm kinda busy learning how to speak Spanish properly, hehe. I was kinda hoping other people would keep this discussion going so that it's not just forgotten, seeing as I don't have the time to do it myself and I feel like this is a feature that could vastly increase SMF's popularity.

So, this is my fingers-crossed-bump.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2007, 01:04:26 AM by Sadr »

Offline improv

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Re: Advanced Reputation System
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2007, 04:28:29 PM »
Well I do agree that the karma system should change into a rep system.
I'd want to give a long reason why it should change, but I won't submit that story now.

Just -> Lets get that system into it!