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?
Who needs it, and why a default feature?Difficulties in implementation
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).
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.
- User Warning System: Keeping track of troublesome members.
- User Reputation System: Keeping track of talented, generous and helpful members.
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
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.