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Thread: The post count/avatar thread

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    Registered+ Zathras's Avatar
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    The post count/avatar thread

    Hi

    Contentious issue, but with the nulling of everyone's post count and the accusations of spamming just to get avatars flying around, I thought a discussion about post counts would be good so everyone can get things off their chest and talk about their ideas.

    Firstly, some people seem far too concerned with their post count and how it compares with other peoples. It's mostly light-hearted, but a few people are getting annoyed at being accused of spamming. Why does it bother some people if others have a much larger postcount than them? Why is everyone so concerned? Post counts are a poor reflection on how much time and effort people put into posting. Someone posting single sentence replies or getting into the Word/Film game or cliquey off-topic discussions in threads can rack up an extremely large post count very quickly, whereas those who take time to answer people's queries and questions and write many hundreds of words per post will find it takes them a lot longer to increase their post count.

    At the moment we have a system where users can change their avatar after 500 posts (ignoring the reduced count for the next month or so), which promotes the posting of lots of small messages. The only reward exceptionally helpful board members who don't like posting in the more banal threads get is either MotM status or in very rare cases an invitation to the moderating team. It takes just as long, if not longer to write a well-researched and thought-out 500-word post than it does to post ten 50-word posts.

    The norm on other forums is to have a ranking system based on one's postcount. As described above, this does not always reflect the most respected or useful members of the forums. A few forums hide the post-count completely from public view and have no ranks, which means everyone is equal. However that does not reward the members who stay on the forums and someone who has posted hundreds of useful threads would appear the same as someone who had just registered.

    Now I personally felt that the 500 posts for a custom avatar then no extra ranking above that that we previously had was better than a graded system. However it may rather dissuade new posters for whom 500 posts seems an awful lot. I'd like to propose some options and see what people think of each.

    1) We could leave things as they are - custom avatar at 500 posts, still display post counts.

    This is what we had before. Forum members putting time into the forums will be rewarded with a custom avatar, and this promotes people posting. However 500 is a rather large number for newer posters to reach, and leads to a rather "us" and "them" situation. Some people seem obsessed with how large their post count is and how it compares to others. The post count is not a fair reflection on the value of each forum member.

    2) Custom Avatar at 500 but hide post counts.

    Similar to what we had and has similar pros and cons to option 1 above. However with post counts hidden it will be difficult to see the difference between a member with 499 posts but whose posts may have been exceptionally useful and a complete newbie. On the plus side, all members with post counts above 500 will appear equal. People will then post in threads because they want to and have something to add, rather than just trying to up their post count. Hopefully this should reduce some of the more obvious spam from the more senior members of the board, but newer members would still be encouraged to post many threads rather than concentrate on the quality of each thread.

    3) Ranking on post counts, say at 50, 100, 250 and then 500 posts.

    You'd get a new title after each milestone and maybe a new avatar. This makes the progression up the ladder a bit more gentle and posters feel they're getting places towards a custom avatar at 500 posts? Again though this promotes fast and short posts as opposed to longer less-frequent posts. We could either have post counts shown or hidden, again with consequences as described above, but the ranks should make it more obvious the standing of each poster.

    4) Not increasing post counts in General Discussion threads.

    This would promote the other more serious areas of the forum but may end up with spamming taking place outside of GD and a dearth of posts in GD. However we'd get people posting in GD because they want to post about or reply to something rather than use it as an opportunity to increase their post count.

    5) Rating posts

    Maybe a difficult one to implement, but it would be good to be able to reward useful or long threads and for one-liners or LOL type posts to be ignored. Ideally other members could rate posts and those ratings could go towards extra bonus points on one's post count or towards an increased rank. If post counts were not shown and we had a ranking system similar to in option 3, moderators or senior members could reward frequently useful posters with a promotion in rank.

    Personally, I'd like to have something like option 5 where post counts would not be displayed, but there would be a ranking system based on 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000 points say. Each post
    gets a point, but moderators could 'boost' those giving long or useful posts by however much they feel the post is worth. This would result in quite a bit more work for each moderator though, and one would have to have some sort of transparency to ensure people thought the system fair.

    Or we could leave it as it is as this is getting too complicated, it's only a forum, not many people really care about post counts, avatars, ranks and the like and those who browse the forum regularly know which members are the helpful ones, which ones solely spam and which members enjoy a bit of banter in GD and may be labelled Spam Kings but are actually much valued and very useful posters in threads elsewhere and on the forums as a whole.

  2. #2
    Smoke Me A Kipper! Slick's Avatar
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    I'd go with option 2, but reduce it from 500 to say 300. This way there would be little spam to get an avatar for people who use the boards regularly and there wouldn't be an incentive to spam to increase your status after you get an avatar.

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    HEXUS.social member Agent's Avatar
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    I think the general jist of it now is that we'll be coming down a bit harder on spam.
    Too many one liner "lol" type posts will be the thing thats being looked for.
    David summed this up nicely with something he recently said. "The forum is for discussion and not conversation ".

    We are always looking for ways for people to become more productive though, so thanks for that post, I'm sure the rest of the mods will be reading it to
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    Senior Member
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    Why not award avatar/custom titles on a personal basis, as well as on a postcount scale?

    Hexus has "member of the month" award - why not extend this to a basic "we think you contribute to our community a great deal, here are avatar and custom title rights".

    You could still have the postcount based system working alongside that as well.

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    Ol' Timer Bunjiweb's Avatar
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    i'd personally go with option 2 but Avatars @ 250.

    Post Counts are neither here nor there... they are NOT a representation of the quality of the member, their rank on the forums or anything like that, hence why i think they are not needed.......

    On virtually every forum i've been on post counts have sparked more spam and trouble than it's worth so personally i think removing the post count from the left of peoples post would make a big difference.

    Good post Zatharas.

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    HEXUS.Metal Knoxville's Avatar
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    I think as agent says spam should be cut down on, one line posts such as "LOL" are appropriate in some threads such as a joke or funny site etc. but are creeping into other threads.

    The rating system you discuss is a nice idea aswell, but hard to implement.

    maybe making it so that post counts are kept in profiles would be a good idea?

    it all needs some serious thinking about, because i believe that posts in qt are normally far more incitive and a better read, but then we all enjoy a joke from time to time aswell.

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    HEXUS.social member Agent's Avatar
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    I agree totaly Bunji, i would like to see post counts removed by the username, but still visable in profiles.
    I wouldnt mind somthing like a "Rate user" addon to the forum, but it may put off some people if somone ranks them down.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

  8. #8
    Ol' Timer Bunjiweb's Avatar
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    i think a "rate user" addon for the forum would also spark more arguements than would be worth.. Also remember these things need moderation...

    If it was a thing that's a scale 1-5 and 5 is good, 1 is bad... it's very easy for someone who doesnt even KNOW a member to get peed off with over 1 post and give them a 1..... if the member in question doesnt have many ratings then this is gunna bring their overall rating down by at least one notch.... 2 people do this... the member starts to wonder whats wrong with them..... and then we'd have to start a Councelling Corner forum......

    Ben
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  9. #9
    Registered+ Zathras's Avatar
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    That's one of the things I was thinking about Byatt. However, it can lead to people getting a bit upset about being left out, plus it does rather rely on you getting on very well with the admins/mods. Another place implemented this a while back, but from talking to a few current posters over there they seemed to complain that only those who agreed with the political outlook and ethics of the administrator were given this special status and others who had put in just as much work and effort and were respected just as much, if not more, by the membership, were told they were being ignored. Now I'm not suggesting that Hexus is anything like that, in fact far from it, but we've got to ensure that there is transparency in the way and the reason why people are rewarded. However I'm sure with the current mod team and the much more relaxed atmosphere on the Hexus boards we wouldn't have many problems with such a reward system.

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    Senior Member RoGuE|SaBeR's Avatar
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    Option 5 is very appealing but as has been said, is very hard to empliment without extra mods and more work for existing senior mods.

    5 is my vote atm but otherwise just a big clamp down on spam and perhaps avatars at 400 posts is a good solution.

    Also interested in hearing more about how this "rate member" system would work.

  11. #11
    HEXUS.social member Agent's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RoGuE|SaBeR
    Also interested in hearing more about how this "rate member" system would work.
    Basically every user has a rate button by their posts. You can click it and rate from 1 to 5 on how usefully you think they are to the forums. If someone is blatantly spamming and posting crap you give them a 1, if they are posting detailed information then give them a 5. The idea is people with low points start to realise their input isn't up to scratch and try and raise their standards, but it might not work like that. People get angry and decide to leave, or go on a flaming spree.

    On the surface its a good idea, but can have deeper consequences.

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    Senior Member Nemeliza's Avatar
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    I DONT LIKE HOW U LOT HAVE BEEN SPAMMING WITHOUT ME!!!!

    When did hexus come back online?

    Option 2
    Last edited by Nemeliza; 24-07-2003 at 02:02 AM.

  13. #13
    Batman
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    My vote goes to implementing options 3 and 4. The reason for this is because post count and ranks should in some way reflect a particular users knowledge, somebody who posts all day in General Discussion and spams around the boards is going to get a high posts count but they have no knowledge of the area that this board is aimed at that being computer hardware/software. I much prefer the stars and ranks to a simple post count i.e. 100 posts per star or something and different coloured stars the more you have. Then its always nice to reward helpful and regular members with a senior status to reflect there knowledge in the particular subject. I think you get the gist of what im saying anyway just my 2p

    EDIT: Also i vote option 2 a custom avatar is always nice, 500 seems a little on the high side but its reasonable, somebody has to pay the hosting bill, and the less bandwidth used the better
    Last edited by Zaphan58; 24-07-2003 at 02:08 AM.

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    Cable Guy Jonny M's Avatar
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    It doesn't bother me either way. Whatever happens, if people spam then they will get posts deleted and a warning.

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    Official Member luke313's Avatar
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    IMO it should stay the same as it has been. This is because if people have spammed big-time to get an avatar we know who they are. We also know who the people are that post useful posts everytime. I myself did spam quite a lot on the old boards but did post a lot of helpful posts in various Hardware threads and tried to keep it balanced. That is why I didn't get posts taken off me IMO. Once people have reached the landmark for avatars the spam dies down anyway and normality (If you can call it that ) comes back. So I think this matter has been blown out of proportion and we should leave it as it is.
    Don't quite know if that makes sense, but it it my opinion nevertheless.

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    daft ideas inc. scottyman's Avatar
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    All I want is a custom avatar - my grinning mug...
    I don't tend to use sigs that much, and I'm not worried about post counts.

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