My worry has always been that the raising of standing in the community with this point system is not entirely based on helpful or correct answers, and that is a bad thing. By basing the single judgement on those who don't have the expertise, it negates the value of more precise give and take analysis. This does not mean everyone doesn't have the expertise, it means most newbies don't - if they did, they wouldn't have to ask the question. The worse part is removing sequential improvement as a thread propagates through time zones and past more eyeballs, and iterative improvements as threads are repeated and become FAQs.
In other words, simply letting everyone comment on the answers with no rating has a qualitatively better result than this kind of point system.
People are welcome to disagree with my opinion. I'm just glad I'm not alone in it. As a volunteer, I want the system to support moving towards better technical advice, not popularity. It's popular enough.
Isn't this the only method we have to address the issue to forum management? Emails from one outlier isn't going change anything. Masses of posters asking for something will.
The point system in my opinion is not necessarily all about correctness and people's ego. Actually I think this is rather secondary. I think it can be a motivation factor for newcomers, but also be a perceived power handle and thereby stimulate reasonable feedback. Like I mentioned earlier, the forum might be a learning experience when going from asking to answering mode. I can see negative aspects about the point system, but I do not see where they outrule the overall positive effects.
…. By basing the single judgement on those who don't have the expertise, it negates the value of more precise give and take analysis. This does not mean everyone doesn't have the expertise, it means most newbies don't - if they did, they wouldn't have to ask the question. ….
I think this is where many experts should be more self-critical. It's sort of a of a self-made logic, which is easily perceived as arrogance. Asking a question and thereby not knowing the answer does not mean that judging the result of an answer is wrong or not useful, especially if one follows the often endless discussions of experts. There is also no evidence, and it might depend on the forum, that there was a general issue with wrong judgment. It rather seems to me that it is a problem for those of us who are less successful in providing helpful answers or are very self-opinionated.
By all means, and I have no possession of this place, everybody should be allowed to criticize or worship the forum reward system. However I think it is counterproductive and not helpful to bash on those who follow the forum etiquette and see some fun or motivation in the point system.
What I find inspirational is someone with doubt and lack of knowledge, gaining insight and experience. My enthusiasm comes from seeing a poster with a problem, get it - understanding the problem, understanding the solution, and walking away from a posting with a resolution.
OTN worked for many years (and more years), WITHOUT a point system. And worked well. Proclaiming that points are what gives inspiration and motivation, and results in enthusiasm? A very sad, and ego driven those-with-more-points-are-somehow-better perspective.
Fact. Points and guru status are about differentiating between posters - not postings. Why make some posters different and "better" than others? How does that serve the person posting a problem? Judging a book (posting) by its cover (how many points/what status poster has)?
Or is the meaning of not judging a book by its cover, lost on some/many here?
In short :these points are inspiring all of us to be more practical and enthusiastic, be active in forum
We shouldn't disregard this. Instead, we should be inspired to do our part.
It's a shame you really believe that.
I've joined several different forums over the years (not just technical ones). Of all the forums I joined, my motivation was always to take part in discussions on topics I'm interested in, with likeminded people. Most of those forums never had any form of 'virtual reward', or even "like" buttons, but that never put me off joining, as I wasn't there for 'rewards'. The Oracle forums (and many of the others that still do) used to give people a 'status' based on how many posts they had made. For most people it wasn't so much a case of trying to make posts to boost their status to some 'guru' or 'expert', but that was just an indication of how long the person had been around on the forums and how much they had contributed (one can never account for the quality of the contributions though). Of course there were always the odd 'newbie' joining up who would try and make hundreds of posts to boost their status, but they were soon spotted by the admin and dealt with for disrupting the forums... after all, most people just want contributions that actually add to discussions. The oracle forums are the only one I've used that has 'upgraded' to a system where people are 'rewarded' with points for what questioners deem to be correct or helpful answers. Now in itself, there's nothing wrong with the system of people marking things as correct or helpful (even if they don't always get it right LOL!) and more recently the addition of the "Like" button against posts for that more 'social' feel is ok too.
Interestingly, when the old-old forums changed a persons status from being based on the number of posts, to being based on the number of correct/helpful points awarded, everybody on the forums, overnight, became a "Newbie", regardless of how long they had been here. Who was it who complained the loudest about this travesty? Was it the experts who had spent years here gaining their status? No. It was the people who had hardly contributed, who were just one step up from being a newbie status, devastated at all the 'hard work' they would have to put in to get themselves off being a Newbie again. The long term members generally didn't care... they just carried on helping people and learning new things for themselves, and doing their jobs... and over time they just became Experts and Guru's simply because of their desire to help and the fact they did help, not through any attempts to gain points. With this latest 'glitch' in the points (that has now been corrected)... who are the ones complaining? Yet again it appears to be those who have been (virtually) least effected.
So, do these 'points' inspire me to be be more practical? more enthusiastic? more active on the forum? No, absolutely not. I was practical, enthusiastic and active on the forums before the points came along, and they haven't changed my reasoning for wanting to be here... to learn from others and to help others at the same time. That learning helps me to keep on top of the latest developments in Oracle technology, allowing me to do a better job in my work, and even assist my work colleagues etc. That's real reward, knowing that I'm doing the best I can.
From a psychological point of view, it's certainly interesting to see how people can place such value on something that is worth nothing in practical terms. As far as true 'newbies' are concerned, they're actually unlikely to know how the forum works or how points are awarded, so I cannot personally see how that could be seen as a motivation or inspiration for joining up and taking part (I suspect the main motivation for joining for most is that they just have a question they want answering). I would say, make your motivation or inspiration to be better at your job and become an expert in your field. By taking part in the forums, and learning and contributing, you can achieve that.
Something that worked good in the past does not necessarily work well in the future. Times have changed, for instance, people do not use Windows NT and MSDOS anymore.
You are obviously proclaiming a very idealistic view of the world and it seems to me you are promoting yourself by disregarding and belittling those who may be driven by basic, instinctual drives, such as ego. Nevertheless the ACE badge, which was giving to you without even asking for it, if I remember correctly, and the use of a real user ID, to me are signs of ego. It just does not look good to drink wine and preach water.
Left aside that the point system has obviously many uses, I do not understand what bothers so much about anyone who may use the point system to spoil their own ego. How much arrogance and inflated self-esteem is there to say that forum newcomers are unable to judge correct or helpful posts and that they are only here to post BS to gather points? Living and let live. Are you afraid that someone with less posts but more points might steal some of your limelight?
I think your example about the cover of a book does not apply and rather belongs to the circumstance of something or someone being misunderstood based on appearance. How about changing from cover to author? What makes a best selling author? It's just how people are.
the ACE badge, which was giving to you without even asking for it, if I remember correctly, and the use of a real user ID, to me are signs of ego.
That is an extreme statement. How can something that appears without Billy's consent reflect on his character? And how can you equate ego with having a recognizable user ID? I suppose I should look in the mirror, since I am not anonymous either
For instance, I do not understand how someone can like chocolate ice cream, but was that a legitimate reason to ban it? If people think the point system inspires and motivates them, why do you want to take it away from them? It the point system has no real value anyway, what is all the fuzz about it? I can imagine that there was quite some disappointment and unfairness when the point system was introduced, especially for those who had a good reputation and finding themselves appearing as newbies. Like you previously said, that's just how life is. Would it help or satisfy you if the point system was removed and all those who believe they build up a reputation by points fall back to the ground?
It may if you judge a promotion or recognition by downplaying its value, or imply that you really deserve it based on recognized personal compentence and not by having asked for it. However, ego is an important part of our life and there is nothing wrong with it. Let's not confuse ego with being egocentric. ok?
General understating can also be a cultural issue. The intention is to leave the impression that a person does not want to brag about some achievement, which is however accomplished by indirectly fishing for compliments or being admired. I think it is some form of a super-ego complex.
these points are inspiring all of us to be more practical and enthusiastic, be active in forum