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zygot

Ratings of posters

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I would like to suggest that you abandon or at least rethink your ratings of people posting to this site based on the number of posts. I myself, find that I have been given a rating one might associate with a dizzying level of competence simply by passing the century mark in posts. On the other hand there are posters who clearly are superbly knowledgeable and labelled as a "newbie". I think that this is a disservice to everyone but especially those who lack the technical knowledge to ignore it. By the way, it's not that I consider myself to be on the low end of competency and expertise among posters, including those on the payroll offering presumed technical expertise. I would hope that the whole idea of rating people isn't a cynical sales choice.

 

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Hi @zygot,

I agree that the current rating system is definitely misleading; some of the senior engineers at Digilent have a newbie status simply because they have only posted once or twice on the Forum (since it isn't their job to do so). The main problem at the moment is the software running the Forum (IPS) does not seem to have a way to sort the "Rank" (newbie, advanced member, etc), as they call it, differently than by number of posts, at least as far as I can tell from my admin page that I was recently granted access to. I don't immediately see a way to disable it, but I'll keep looking and see if there's a way to change the way rankings are calculated differently. At the very least, I can change the labels that are provided by the software to labels that don't have any indication of skill level. I only have the number of posts that I do since I've responded a lot to users stating that I don't know the answer and have asked another one of our engineers for input. :/

Alternatively, there is an option of reputation. Right now it is solely based on the number of "likes" the user has received on posts. I can change this to be more of a reddit style where you are able to upvote/downvote answers, but I don't think the Reddit model is appropriate for this Forum, but please let me know (and anybody else reading this thread) if you think that wouldn't be an issue. Right now all I have is a sample size of 1 with regards to that opinion, so not statistically sound at the very least.

The reputation can be set to positive and negative options, only positive, or only negative. My concern with the negative portions of those is that some poor soul who asks what appears to be a silly question may get downvoted into oblivion and immediately become discouraged from attempting to learn anything in this field; I'd like to think that wouldn't happen on this style of Forum but who knows? I'm curious to know your thoughts on this.

That's what I have at the moment. I'll keep looking into what sort of configuration options are available for the Forum.

Thank you very much your feedback!

Thanks,
JColvin

 

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I'm pleased that it isn't only me annoyed by this.

Not too fond of the social media style  "reputation" stickers idea. Since most of the comments are technical in nature having one's posting judged by people who may not have the technical experience is bothersome. As you point out this could become a means of retribution or even just a silly beauty contest.

My vote is no rating. Ideally, all questions would get the perfectly correct answer by qualified staff; but we all know that everyone regardless of our knowledge can unintentionally fall short of that or even misstate a reply. Thinking of the less technically sophisticated it's hard for me to come up with a way to vet respondents before they write a post. If I realize that I've made a misstatement ( usually 20 minutes after the fact or the next day ) I make sure to post a correction. Really, I don't have any ideas about how to do any rating that's helpful. 

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I think I got everybody now, including elodg (which I imagine prompted your comment on the staff labels to begin with). I also tried to change some of the former employees (mainly interns who no longer are here) status' from technical forum moderator to just staff to better indicate that they are no longer active on the Forum, but at the same time show that the responses they made are from Digilent.

Still don't have a nice solution on indicating competency level from a system point of view, but I'll keep looking to see if I can find a non-cheesy and effective solution (if it exists).

Thanks,
JColvin

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@JColvin,

How about rating competency level determined as a ratio of likes to responses they've written to posts.  The basis would be that if someone's posts get them 95% likes, then they must be *really* competent.  For those folks with fewer than, say, 20 posts, they might be given a different moniker such as "New to the forum."

It's not perfect, but it's a thought you might be able to move forward with.

Dan

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Hi @D@n,

Thanks for the feedback!

Sadly, it doesn't look like the software will let me something like that (despite how simple it sounds in principle), but I'll keep looking. I do agree that some sort of post count would need to be reached before such a rating were implemented though to help avoid any one-hit-wonders. That might not be a fair rating for any senior engineers at Digilent that happen to post an answer on the Forum when it's not their job to do so and never get above 10 posts, but at the same time I suppose at the same time they might be bothered by that anyway. Who knows.

I'll look to see what sort of plugins exist for this sort of rating, either by likes or something else, or I may just do something like changing the tag labels given to people based on the number of posts (otherwise by that regard I'd be labeled as the most competent person on the Forum which is a long ways from the truth and just a byproduct of having joined the Forum back in September of 2014).

Thanks,
JColvin

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Hey @JColvin ,

Even though I consider myself to be technically competent, I prefer being referred to as "Prolific Poster" than the other one. Good choice among a lot of bad ones. I don't use social media and cringe at the notion of posts being labelled for trustworthiness by people who may or may not have any valid criteria upon which to judge content.  Still don't have a good idea for that.... I have a generally negative reaction to the whole "like" thing... but admit that I've have on occasion noticed my name associated with a count... just not sure what to make of it.

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@D@n ,

Hmmm. uh.... I admit it I have nothing in reply...

But I do feel rather awkward having the same tag-line as you, comparing our relative contributions..... and a significant number of my posts are corrections to previous ones. But all things considered I guess that I should get a pat on the back for being conscientious.

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@JColvin,

Since I last posted on this thread Digilent has done a better job of identifying employees who post to the forums. Thanks for that.

Lately, as more and more newcomers post it's clear to me that the "newbie" association accorded to them is really confusing and misleading as some are obviously ( to me ) technically sophisticated. Unfortunately, those who aren't might not have the means to make a fair assessment. It seem reasonable to me to try and protect the most vulnerable, even if that affects sales. I don't think that doing so will do anything but boost sales over the long run; but that's clearly just an opinion.

The "reputation" rating is the most irksome, bothersome, and pernicious. How can a beginner evaluate this? You have prodigiously frequent posters with reputation ratings above 250 and obviously technically astute Digilent engineering staff with ratings below 25. Come on!

I appreciate your willingness to suffer my repeated posts on this matter. Marketing ploys aside, I know that you can do better. I suggest doing away with any ratings but still continue to identify staff and contractors ( paid with money or merchandise ) to be identified as such.

regards,

bill 

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