23 Replies Latest reply on Aug 14, 2019 2:08 PM by clem57

    Points & Rewards

    dougw

      I am always trying to think of ways to increase forum participation...

      The points system is one of the reward systems on the forum.

      For some members it doesn't mean much, but for some it is quite satisfying reach the various point levels.

      It is also a type of participation leaderboard, but to get to the top of the leaderboard currently requires amassing points at a significantly higher rate than the current leaders, and maintaining that pace for a long time. This is not really feasible for most, so it diminishes the incentive to try to top the leaderboard.

      I think a useful way to increase the incentive provided by the points system would be to create a shorter term leaderboard - say points accumulated in the last 60 days. This would allow new members to have the possibility of making it onto the leaderboard. For those who find it to be an incentive to appear on the leaderboard, it would increase participation on the forum.

      It is probably non-trivial to keep track of running totals for each member, but it may be similar to metrics already used to quantify forum momentum or it may have value along the lines of quantifying forum performance, in addition to providing more incentive to participate.

      Are there other ways to leverage the points system to incentivize increased participation?

        • Re: Points & Rewards
          genebren

          Doug,

           

          I think that it is a good thing when member such as yourself are looking for ways to increase participation within the community.  I believe that it is this type of leadership ans commitment that makes this community such and active one (not many communities have achieved a 10 year milestone).

           

          Your idea is interesting.  I would think that a combination of metrics (total points, total points over a given period, number of likes, etc.) could allow for more members to see their names on the board.  Having said that, I worry that this could also lessen the quality and meaning of the community activities that generate the points, almost to the point of spamming the system (nonsense comments or worst yet negative comments).

           

          What has made my short time on this community interesting and compelling has been the friendly and helpful way that the mass majority of the members contribute to help and share ideas and knowledge.  I don't think that I have seen this level of harmony on other social sites.

           

          Keep up the good work!

           

          Gene

          6 of 6 people found this helpful
            • Re: Points & Rewards
              dougw

              I agree - we don't want to jeopardize the things that make this the best forum on the  planet. If an idea has unforeseen negative side effects, it can always be terminated.

              I am also interested in seeing more stats on forum participation, but there needs to be an incentive for them to be collected.

              Incidentally, I am sure you would consistently be on any short term leaderboard. Your participation is outstanding.

              What would be a catchy name for a short term leaderboard?

              5 of 5 people found this helpful
            • Re: Points & Rewards
              genebren

              Doug,

               

              I like 'Movers and Shakers' in a nod to a recent project14 contest,  also 'Rising Stars' or "dP/dT".

               

              The incentive that you mentioned, is that for members or the site management team?  For members, making it to the top of the activities list could be rewarded with a badge (generating more points) or some low level prize (swag or small shopping cart).  For the site management, it would seem that any stats that measure the engagement of members would be valuable (like counting total members).  In thinking about metrics, I would think that quantifying the overall level of active membership (number of members logging in daily/weekly, number of posts in a given period or other such metrics) would be a valuable tool for generating data to present to vendors to increase the number of roadtest or design challenge opportunities.

               

              Gene

              3 of 3 people found this helpful
                • Re: Points & Rewards
                  dougw

                  Cool suggestions.

                  Incentive - for the people who have to do the work.

                  Extra rewards are always good incentive to participate.

                  I'm sure they already track some metrics, maybe they could somehow be used without adding a lot more work.

                • Re: Points & Rewards
                  neilk

                  Doug, I think the points needed to achieve levels above Tesla are unrealistic. 100,000, 250,000, 500,000 and 1,000,000 imply a level of participation which is probably impossible for anyone leading a normal life!

                   

                  My first suggestion would be for these to be reduced to more sensible levels before making any other changes, or introducing new metrics.

                   

                  Neil

                  4 of 4 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Points & Rewards
                    dwinhold

                    What about bonus points on each 1 year anniversary you are a member?

                    3 of 3 people found this helpful
                    • Re: Points & Rewards
                      BigG

                      Interesting suggestion. I like it and I think it would work.

                       

                      As others have mentioned, it acts as an incentive. I think for points to act as an incentive it needs to be transparent and then promoted properly.

                       

                      For example. There has been some recent discussion over failure of some people not completing Road Tests. Now if it was promoted as part of the road test that a returned road test equates to XX points and if you get and average rating of above average (to ensure quality) then you get an additional Y points then this acts as an incentive to do a good job. Maybe some roadtests get more than others depending on complexity etc.

                       

                      The amount of points for different things might need a bit of tweaking too. For example, I posted a blog. You get just 15 points (not that I was doing for the points) where I can get the same number points in half the time by doing 3 actions at 5 points each.

                       

                      So certainly for Road Tests I would like to suggest we push up the value of points and promote on the road test the value gained to encourage more returns. Will definitely encourage more, especially if we have the "sprint" or short leader board.

                      2 of 2 people found this helpful
                        • Re: Points & Rewards
                          dougw

                          It has come up before that points are not proportional to the amount of effort expended, and this causes some members to ignore the points system. I would prefer a more proportional system as well. However it isn't quite as bad as it looks at first glance. If you take the time to publish a nice blog, it can result in lots of likes which earn points without any further effort, and these points can continue to accumulate for months. If you have enough great content published on the site, you can earn points on days where you didn't do anything. Another factor is that the number of points you can get by liking other members work are limited, whereas the number of points you can get from other members liking your work is unlimited.

                          2 of 2 people found this helpful
                            • Re: Points & Rewards
                              neilk

                              I agree with BigG that the points gained for posting a blog seem rather small, compared with the amount of work involved in writing the blog in the first place.

                               

                              I also agree with you, Doug, that, hopefully, more points will come later, and usually do.

                               

                              However, I feel that there ought to be a better balance, with more points awarded for the initial posting - most people like a bit of instant gratification - especially when you consider that a simple reply or comment can often earn a substantial number of like or helpful points.and will have cost a fraction of the effort of a blog.

                               

                              Finally, when you mark something as helpful, why should you get 10 points for doing so? It would be more appropriate to only get 5, making it the same as liking.

                               

                              My thoughts

                               

                              Neil

                              2 of 2 people found this helpful
                                • Re: Points & Rewards
                                  dougw

                                  I definitely agree that the initial points for a blog should reflect the effort better, but just to illustrate the potential for follow-on points lets use this simple blog as an example.

                                  So far it has been viewed only 213 times which includes multiple times by several members.

                                  It has generated 74 likes for the members who are participating in the discussion. That is 740 points for the comments that were liked and 370 points for the members doing the liking.

                                  It has generated 36 helpfuls which is 360 points for the comments that were helpful and 360 points for the members who clicked helpful.

                                  It has generated 17 comments which is 85 points for replying to a discussion.

                                  This blog was not intended to be a points generating engine, it was investigating the incentive potential provided by the points system, but it still has yielded an opportunity for members to rack up 1,915 points - so far. The originator (me) got around 555 of those points because I was actively thinking about and commenting on all the comments. 500 points for a small blog is way better than the initial points.

                                  This example may be a little unusual in that the members contributing to this discussion are putting a lot of thought into their comments and the number of likes reflects the quality of comments, but it still serves to show that a blog can generate quite a few points just because it is an interesting topic.

                                  I don't publish many discussion blogs like this - maybe one or two per year.....hmmm... maybe I should do more ....

                                  Actually I don't need more points.... I'm just pondering forum issues and participating while building up the nerve to attempt another design project.

                                  4 of 4 people found this helpful
                                • Re: Points & Rewards
                                  BigG

                                  These days with social media and web-pages all promoting self, we've entered a new age where there's an art and almost an acceptance to digital self-promotion. So, just wondering whether the number of views for blog pages, road test reviews etc. should count too. Hit certain thresholds and this triggers additional points etc. This might incentive members to tweet away / use social media to promote to a broader audience so as to attract newbies/others to click and hopefully read. Once viewed and read the content, hopefully these strangers feel inclined to become members etc. I think I'm correct that at the moment only members can like etc. Anyway just a thought.

                                  2 of 2 people found this helpful
                              • Re: Points & Rewards
                                jomoenginer

                                I like the old liner from Who's Line Is It Anyway: "the show where everything's made up and the points don't matter".

                                 

                                The point thing and leader-board is nice and all, but there are, or will be, folks that will just click away and post a comment everywhere just to boost their rating.  Just because someone is at the top of a points list does not mean they are any better or more knowledgeable than a person with less points.  It just means they more than likely spend more time in the forum posting than another.  However, I guess for some this is important.

                                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                  • Re: Points & Rewards
                                    dougw

                                    That is a good "point". Points don't indicate performance, knowledge, effort, or quality of one member versus another. They really don't provide any measure that can be used to compare members in any way, not even how active they are. The same point totals could be achieved by just liking content or by just commenting on content, or by just creating content. The number of points does not indicate what was done or contributed to collect those points.

                                    Points can indicate to you what your participation level is relative to your participation style - a personal tally. If a member is very selective about what they like or comment on, their points will reflect how relevant the content is to them. If a member likes all content where the author spent significant time producing the blog, then their points total is more a reflection of how much effort is going into content.

                                    It might be interesting to find out what different members use as criteria for "liking" content. I am sure there is quite a range of criteria.

                                    2 of 2 people found this helpful
                                  • Re: Points & Rewards
                                    sjmill01

                                    I like adding a short term element.  I joined element14 about 5 years after many of the leaders.  When I look at my rank, there is no incentive to do anything to move up.  I only look to see if I've slipped considerably.

                                     

                                    To be honest, what keeps me loyal to e14 is Tariq being so kind to showcase my work in his examples or throw me a swag bag every-now-and-then.

                                     

                                    For the "short term" contributions, here's a similar structure I've applied at work:

                                     

                                    I made a web application called STEP (Specialized Training Engine for Professionals).  Employees are assigned competency guides in it within a matrix that lays out their entire career.  The types of activities go from Read Document, Discussion with an Incumbent, Hands On Skills Demonstration, Classroom, External Certification, etc.  Their training matrix is similar to a college course matrix (year of study on the left and competency type on top).  This provides them with one mobile device friendly page that summarizes and links every reference, procedure, and targeted experience they need to be a top performer throughout their career.  With the content arranged as such, it also has a laser sharp search engine at the top of the page.

                                     

                                    As engineers, specialists, and supervisors complete their training they get points weighted on the complexity of the training.  This, in turn, contributes to a Personal Growth Index, aka ranking.

                                     

                                    Here's where the short term element comes in:  they also get points for training others.  This allows folks to differentiate themselves once more and more reach the top.  However, those points are a moving 2 year target.  So, if someone has a good, energetic year to train the masses, they can't rest on their laurels for the rest of their career or they will fall behind their peers who are training the new folks currently.

                                     

                                    Just like any approach, your top 10 go-getters are the ones most motivated by the approach.  But, I'm pretty sure they would not be as motivated to train others without this differentiating them.  Particularly, since training others inherently raises the trainee's rank.

                                     

                                    See ya',

                                    Sean

                                    4 of 4 people found this helpful
                                      • Re: Points & Rewards
                                        dougw

                                        Thanks for sharing - it looks like a nice approach to tracking accomplishments. I have lost track of most of the mini-courses I've taken over the years. Hopefully some of the knowledge stuck at least.

                                        On a forum like this it is even more important to be active in the short term, and any system that provides incentive to immediately participate is worth exploring.

                                        • Re: Points & Rewards
                                          clem57

                                          In a way the point system also helps those who answer questions. I started here long ago (in a far far place ) trying to answer questions. Why? I wanted to learn by looking everything up. After a while I noticed my points went up. To this day, I believe help and teach and ye shall be rewarded. Just my opinion.   sjmill01 have found a different way to enjoy this site which is quite valid. The thing is, we all find different ways to enjoy. That is what makes this such a great community! Go E14!

                                          Clem

                                          3 of 3 people found this helpful