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Knowl Paine

Honorary Rank

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I think we should make a distinction between reputation and rank.  One's reputation here on the forum, or anywhere else for that matter, is determined for the most part by history.  Someone regularly makes valuable contributions and after awhile their reputation improves.  I know that when I am scanning through a thread and I see certain people's names I will stop and pay attention.  

Forum rank is a completely artifical construct that in my opinion has very little weight.  I mean, when I see your name, I make a point to see what you wrote not because you have a little pink bit poking out but because I know from previous experience that what you write, whether I completely agree with it or not, is worth reading.  The "official rank" means little to me.  I mean I may note with some passing interest..."Oh look Knowl got himself an upgrade there." but if you only had a little yellow resident babypoo-smudge I would still stop and read what you wrote because of my past experiences reading your content.

Number of kudos and solutions is just an artificial method of trying to steer the "natural" process of establishing a reputation by LL.  I don't much care for that.  I think that I have the rank of "Cabbage Acanthus" and you have the rank of "Knowl Paine".  Each individual can determine for themselves what those ranks are worth.  People don't need LL's "help" in determining that (or at least the people that I want to spend my time with don't).

We have these ranks being handed out but we have no idea what the exact criteria for assigning them is.  I guess the value we place in them would in no small part depend on the faith we have in the reliability, consistancy, and overall fairness of the group who issues them.  Again it all comes down to reputation. 

One person might not think that LL has the best reputation when it comes to fair equal treatment of all residents and consistent application of their own criteria in all cases.  Someone else may disagree.  As a result they would value the ranks they assign completely differently.  

I do have a few concerns about the concept of membership having its privileges.  Exactly what privileges should an elevated rank have in these forums?  Think carefully about all of the implications of those of higher rank having "privilege" in a forum like this...

A lot of the long term residents seem to enjoy helping others out here, especially the newbies.  I enjoy helping out when I can so much that the fact that I am now doing a lot of LL's customer support for them for free doesn't stop me from stopping by the answers forum and pitching in every now and then.  I would put forward that most of us do this not for some title or privilege or some other "cookie" being doled out by LL but out of goodwill and a sense of community.

With no clear guidelines on how ranks are asigned that's all they are, cookies handed out by LL.  I'm not particularly interested in their cookie.  I'm not here for them.  

You and the others don't need that little pink badge.  Your reputations were established long before those little badges were handed out and worth far more than those little pink stickers will ever be.

 

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That would be a fair distinction. I will agree that it is a Residents contributions which gave them a reputation and that Rank by it's current undefined measure is a side effect of participating at this Forum. Bravo :smileywink:

It is an artifical construct; one of many and discussing other examples here would take this subject way off topic. 

Without asking the Majority what they think and with the understanding that LR is sailing forward without looking back, it is our duty to attempt to stand together to add weight. The ship only needs to lean a tiny bit for Residents to effect the course.

If aspects or components of this discussion were to manifest, we could begin to consider and discuss what might be a proper way to give thanks.

This small group I have spoke of have their own voices and my words are my own. In their wisdom a request was made to remove Rank. The request was denied. Now here we are. What next? The Lab won't remove it; does it hurt to ask them to modify it?

A group of Residents are doing the majority of the work. Be it a labor of love, a hobby or a way to pass the time, aspects of the work require looking, searching, linking and thinking. They are dedicated, professional and identifiable when measured by their "reputation" which is based upon known variables. A logical course.

I think the fairness policy is: on a case by case basis.

I don't like cookies either; hard to tell exactly how old they are.

Thank you Cabbage for taking the time to offer your viewpoints, I've reconsidered some of mine.  

 

This pink is painful, pink is my least favorite color. It's not easy being pink.

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I'm thinking of the six degrees of seperation.

I know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone, who knows someone, who knows someone who knows the person in charge at Lithium. Get that person on the horn, ask them to change it, problem solved.

As easy as 123456. :smileyindifferent:

I like the idea of "personality" rank if LL will not relent from ranking us.

You have plenty of fans :smileyhappy: One in the garage, one in the basement, 2 upstairs. That's probably why your so cool:smileyvery-happy: 

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Knowl Paine wrote:

I agree that "they" appear to enjoy helping. I also enjoy helping and like you, I don't always have a lot of time. I do enjoy the social interaction to but I know that if the "regulars" were not here there would be less traffic. Providing timely responses and interaction is not a random fluke or generated by coincidence; other Residents are holding down the fort whilst I am away.

Nobody needs to "hold down the fort" while you are away, and you are mistaken about there being less traffic if it weren't for people conciously ministering to other people's questions. Such ministering is not a job that needs dedicated people. The nature of forums is discussion, and the nature of many people is to discuss - in forums. There will always be people in forums who will answer other people's questions. That's why forums are successful, and they don't need any Rank system to be successful.

There is one big disadvantage with forum ranks - the idea that those with higher ranks know more than those with lower ranks. It's natural for newer people to see things that way, and it can sometimes leave them with wrong answers. It's more obvious with the Moderator rank though - when moderators participate, that is. The idea that, if a moderator says one thing and a user says another, the moderator is most likely right, isn't uncommon. And that's purely on the strength of the rank. It's unrealistic, but it's not uncommon. I can believe that a newer person might think the same about differing answers given by an "Advisor" and a "Member". It would be a mistake to think that the Advisor knows best, simply because it's an Avisor, but I can see it happening.

Those are my arguments against having user ranks at all. I've already stated that I'm against higher ranks being rewarded by LL, and I've read nothing here to change that view. But I have another reason to be against it....

Suppose LL did give rewards to higher ranks. You mentioned something like paying lower commision for marketplace sales, and something about land - 1024 tier free instead of the normal 512? Who would the rewards be given to? Those who have reached the highest rank? What happens then? Every forum user does everything they can to achieve the highest rank and receive the rewards, but then we'd end up with all forum users, except new ones, having the same highest rank, which would look silly, or LL would prevent so many reaching that level and the rewards wouldn't be available to all users, which would be unfair. And what would happen when a person has intentionally achieved the highest rank and its rewards? Perhaps s/he'd stop doing it and still receieve the rewards. If the rank is lowered because of stopping, and if the reward is land, what happens to the land? It's all very messy. 

Without any rewards, we've already seen that there are plenty of forum users who answer people's questions. That's typical of forums. There is no need for any rewards (or ranks) - it works perfectly well without them. You are mistaken if you feel that you and others *need* to do the job, as in "holding the fort down". Try not answering any questions for a while - you'll see that they get answered without you, or anyone, needing to "hold the fort down".

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There is definitely a group "holding down the fort".

I am not a part of that group, I am a casual user.

All users do not answer the majority of question, that is a fact.

In an ideal plan, Residents could create a set of rewards the Community believed to be fair. LL would only approve or deny.

It is worth mentioning that the current Ranking system has mechanisms in place to also lower Rank and not just raise it.

Any Resident can take the opportunity to gain greater Rank. Any Rewards are in the form of "USE OF". If a Resident loses Rank, they lose the Use Of or privilege. It is not pay.

I agree that "plenty" of Resident do lend a hand but the majority of the work is performed by a small "few". For the "plenty" to declare that this is equal is disrespectful to the "few"

I did need a break from answering Questions and 3 days later, I answered about 8 questions in the International Forums that had -0- replies. It is all on Record Phil, the questions have 1 reply, as do most of the International Q's. LL has all the information including inside information. It is shameful for LL to not recognize these facts.

The same Residents answer the Majority of Questions and I can prove it with facts. I will not surrender this position until the facts change.

As I have mentioned, Honorary Rank election would include the abilitiy to elect for de-ranking. If we can build you up we should be able to take you down.

A Jira is required for LL to even consider Removing Rank and the fact is, this all talk, an exploration in possibility. A Jira would be needed for Implementation of my proposal. The outcome of any Jira is at the discretion of SL/LL/LR/private investors. None of which may even be aware this thread exist. It could be just us. :smileysad: 

My purpose for creating this thread was to say, some Residents help out a lot here. It would be nice to do something for them.

Maybe I should have just said that.:smileyindifferent:

 

 

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I don't accept that any group of people is "holding down the fort". I never look at the Answers part so I've no idea what it's like there. I'm only discussing the forums.

I haven't said that all users answer the majority of questions. I've said that questions get answered, with or without the group you speak of. It's the nature of many people who use forums. Many people like to be helpful and they enjoy doing it. It's part of their SL hobby and pleasure, and I see no reason to add rewards for it. That enjoyment and the good feeling that being helpful generates is reward enough imo.

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The suggestion to review hundreds of threads to obtain an educated overview  was an unfair proposal for other Residents seeking facts, I can understand that. Over the past few months I've had the time to observe and review who is posting where.

I have no interest in misleading other Residents or to attempt to gain an unfair advantage. I would never intentionally harm SL. Without any assignment of quality or status I can only say; there are some people here who post everyday. You can believe me or not, or check the facts for yourself. I wish there was an easier way to say it.    

I apologize if I misconstrued your words. I agree and acknowledge that there is an active Communtiy outside of the small group I've referenced. The larger Community is an integral component and it doesn't need props because it is the underpinning. 

Opposition is healthy, I support it and welcome it. Growth is expansion and to expand, one needs to remain flexible. 

Some aspects of SL move forward with or without complete Resident support. If a privileges system was to be implemented; your insights and suggestions would be extremely valueable in ensuring that a fair and balanced system is created. 

I have a lot of ideas but most have one fatal flaw; they are dependent upon on honesty and goodwill towards others.

Residents who've challenged or supported proposals should remain active in the pursuit of those interest. With enough discussion, conclusions can be draw. I have gained insight as a result of this discussion and in light of this knowledge, I must reconsider my opinions or accept cognitive dissonance.    

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Perso, i have absolutely no time for any kind of hierarchical system whatsoever. It allways seems to me a rather perverse and unhealthy practise which encourages latent narcism and can reinforce compensatory behaviour in weaker personalities who may have existentiel problems, are unable to achieve any kind of recognition in real life etc .... if the fact of being unable to achieve a rank status on a forum makes one unable to sleep nights then maybe it's time to consult . 

I will say though that the majority of ranked members here seem to have a healthy and stable attitude towards their status and provide usefull and constructive information in a respectfull manner and thank them for kindly taking the time to help guide others throught the SL labyrinth.

 

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ranks are easy to figure out on the boards here... member is post count, above advisor is done strictly by answers in the answers section... I've tested this theory by avoiding posting to that section for periods of time, and noted that I only rise from contributions there. I missed out testing the transition from member to advisor, which may only need kudos.

once I stopped posting there, my rank has froze each time, currently I've put a self imposed freeze at my current rank, because I didn't feel like having a red icon. friends that have continued to post through there have risen in rank to helper.

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No offense to the high-ranking (nor to midgets), but isn't this whole ranking thing a bit of a "world's tallest midget" contest?

It would be different if the Forums were more popular.

And it would be very different if the rankings system were instrumental in making the Forums more popular.

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Nothing about these individuals has lead me to believe that they are behaving in a fashion which suggest that they lack recognition outside of SL. As there may be SL Residents who lack the qualities as you have suggested, I can assure you that not all Residents are like that.

 

I like hierarchical networks, http is one of them.

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To a degree it is and this is a good reason to improve the system by changing it.

When considering the amount and form of participation required to obtain elevated Rank and the possible end product of contributing in that style; I believe that minor incentives from participation would not be sufficent to satisfy Residents who seek Rank for personal gain.

  

 

 

 

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The only benefits of rank, if any, should be things that benefit the community not the individual, such as the abilities to contribute more easily on the KB or wiki.  I would be absolutely against any suggestion of personal reward for rank, because it would just encourage gaming.  The fact that most people find the ranks pointless is probably a good thing, because there is less incentive to game for a higher rank.

As long as people have the abilities they need to use the forums in the way that they enjoy the most, then the system works. Afterall we all like doing different things on the forums & where some people like answering the same questions over and over in Answers, others would rather watch paint dry than do that & they in turn may prefer to chat and have a laugh on fun threads in GD or hangout in one of the subforums discussing mesh or whatever with other people of similar interests.

The ranks have obscure names that don`t really make it obvious that one is higher or lower than another, personally I think a Helper sounds like someone that fetches coffee, a Contributor is someone that had a good idea once & an Advisor sounds like a smart person that gives guidance. If I was new to the forums I would assume the Advisor was the higher ranked & without looking it up I`m sure most casual visitors are just as clueless, so there is no real hierarchy either in reality or appearance, certainly not enough that it makes me feel particularly strongly one way or the other about the ranks.

They are just there & eventually everyone will end up as Helpers and we will all get lots of coffee. LMAO.gif

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Void Singer wrote:

see, that's why I'm not a helper =D

but I make awesome southern sweet iced tea =P

You will be soon and you can bring the donuts too!!!   I see you are already in the "Had a good idea once" team. lol LMAO.gif

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Knowl Paine wrote:

To a degree it [ranking] is [instrumental in making the forums more popular] and this is a good reason to improve the system by changing it.

When considering the amount and form of participation required to obtain elevated Rank and the possible end product of contributing in that style; I believe that minor incentives from participation would not be sufficent to satisfy Residents who seek Rank for personal gain. 

Personally, I kinda doubt that any fixes to the ranking system can really increase Forums popularity, but then I would never have predicted the success of StackOverflow badges, so what do I know?

I think I agree with the second point.  With or without the proposed incentives, rank would seem to recognize obsession more than greed.  That's good, given the choice between neurosis and cardinal sin. ;)

To be more direct:  It seems to me that a more pressing priority for the Forums and Answers is to increase participation by a broader set of users, not so much to keep the current participants motivated. That is, whereas I recognize the importance of retaining a deep bench of knowledgeable, eager, and pleasant answerers and discussants, I think the current situation is a relative dearth of posters needing help or with whom to discuss topics of interest.

I realize that's a different topic, so... never mind. 

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I agree completely believe that any changes to Rank should create measureable Community benefit and agree the forums should not be used to enrich an individual. The idea of Honorary Ranks is to allow for other Residents to nominate another Resident for a review of Rank. A Resident could be moved to a Rank that best identifies their contributions.

I understand that SL attracts creative, inventive, adaptable Residents and that gaming of any SL feature or function poses a potential for risk.

My concept of Honorary Rank has evolved as a result of insights provided by other Residents here at the Forum; thank you.

The meanings of the Rank's Title's are ambiguous, I agree.   They should definitely be changed in my opinion.  I completely agree.

A minor component to incentivize Rank would serve a dual purpose. It may encourage advancement in Rank and promote the ideals required to obtain rank.

A method to elect Residents for a rank review by a Community Manager would be helpful in ensuring that Rank represents quality based upon peer review.  

As Residents, we should approach Rank from every angle and offer suggestions and opinions on how to improve it. Only after we have exhausted every effort and have received no response or acknowledgement from LL, should we unite to remove Rank. 

 

Edit: for corrections and clarification. :smileyhappy: 

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I think changes to Rank would be positive when the changes are the product of a group effort. We can share differences of opinions and by using the varying insights provided by experience, we can construct safegaurds and promote oversight to provide for the quality and continuation of the Forum.

Dearth... I like your style, nice word choice. :matte-motes-grin:

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Knowl Paine wrote:

 

The meanings of the Rank's Title's are ambiguous and should definitely be changed, I completely agree.

 

I actually like them being ambiguous, i didn`t want them changed. The way it is now,  no one looks higher or lower than anyone else, they are just different. I wouldn`t mind the colours being changed though, red clashes with my badge lol :D

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It amazes me that anyone pays any attention what-so-ever to rank. The significance of rank may be lost on me because I use Cerise's script to hide everything except people's names on their badges; and I rarely find it necessary to move my cursor over a person's badge to expose it. Maybe if I saw everyone's rank all the time, I'd see some that would make me wonder why they aren't higher.

I know that when we first switched to Lithium, before I got the script, I saw a few people's ranks and wondered why they were so high. Sure they contributed a lot in the Jive forums, but what they contributed was imo of questionable quality, most of the time anyway. So that led me to believe that the ranking system had to have little value in deciding who really contributes quality content as opposed to who just likes to hear themselves type.

As for your idea, I think it would be a disaster. How would these people be elected or even nominated? People will start nominating the people they like, friends will vote for friends, what would stop people from pushing to get someone's rank elevated simply because they have the hots for that person?

How would the community manager (Lexie?) really know who's really worthy and who's really not? Except, maybe, by a predefined set of standards that they'd be able to research easily and not have to spend countless hours going through all of that person's posts to figure out if they actually qualify. Seems to me that is how the system works now, only it's automated.

Not only that, but this ranking system was a featured part of the Lithium software before LL decided on using it and could very well be part of the reason they picked it... have you seen the Lithium website? Specifically this... don't they make it sound wonderful?

That being said, I nominate myself for the rank of "Forum Royalty"... lol.

...Dres (Now I just have to decide if I want to be the King or the Queen.)

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I'm sorry that you think my idea would be a disaster.

Some Residents may take advantage of any system created. I also noticed some Residents who in my opinion have a Rank higher than I expected when compared to their contributions. I can think of a few reasons why they have varying Ranks but discussing those reasons here would take this discussion off topic.

I suspect that if LL started throwing money at Lithium, change would be possible.

Thanks for the reputation engine link. I think a number greater than 1% is circulating 40-60% of Forum content at the SL Forum; maybe 5%. Not sure what data Lithium has access to in order to be able say that a few "super fans" circulate the majority of content.

I don't mean to beat a dead horse (or live) and I apologize if I am. If LL won't remove Rank, maybe they will change it. 

Rank is clearly not satisfactory.

 

 

 

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Knowl, I think that this movie explains the best why ranks are needed, maybe it also explains why some people here have higher ranks than others, I think it is based on clever selection rather than based on a formula or contribution ..... but who cares ... without ranking there would be no movement and no activity in this forum!!! *meows*

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