59 Replies Latest reply: Apr 14, 2012 2:35 AM by Gregory Misiorek RSS

Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value

Tom Van Doorslaer
Currently Being Moderated

I would like to trigger a little debate about the reward system on the new SCN.

I'm not much of a forum person, as most of the discussions and questions started on fora, are mostly about existing technology, which still has some glitches, or on which, people look for extra info. It's a very practical place for common knowledge, but to me, it's messy and the content is largely unstructured. It only happened a handful of times that I posted a question myself on the fora, and I can't remember any actually being solved. That's not because of the community, but simply because of my own way of working. I like to work with completely new stuff, or use existing technology in a way it hasn't been used before. As a consequence, little knowledge on these topics will exist in the fora.

Blogging on the other hand, is much more my cup of tea. I like to try out new technology and then share my experience on it with the community, in a structured (and hopefully well written) manner. When I noticed the new points system for blogs, I really couldn't be arsed actually, because I simply enjoy writing articles and I don't mind the community to judge on the quality of it. I didn't care, until I started thinking about the principle of rewards.

SCN and Community members reward each other for sharing information, experience and knowledge. The reward system is a form of recognition and credibility that is given to contributers. As a blogger, I easily put 2 hours in writing a qualitative article. In ye ol'e SDN, this was checked by community moderators, and appraised on a scale from 0 to 120. So putting in 2 hours or even 2 days, was well worth it to see your recognition jump that way.

On the new SCN however, you get 10 points for initial posting of your blog, and you have to count on the likes and bookmarks to accrue more recognition. I see some problems with this.

a) With a simple five minute forum post, I can get those 10 points too, and probably some likes as well (did the test, proved the point, gained 12 points)

b) My latest article only has 2 Likes, a bookmark and a rating so far, good for 18 points. I spend a lot of time in the bloggospace, and that's actually not even a bad result, it seems.

c) Posting a question as a blog also earns you 10 points. Not sure if you lose them when the blog is removed. Incentive to abuse?

I had more points in my head, but Monday morning is playing tricks on me again.

From a recognition point of view, it looks to me that blogs are currently undervalued in the new Community. There is less moderation on it, less recognition and the RSS troubles make it difficult to move your work into the spotlights. (plus, it's taking painstakingly long to get those last 64 points for gold status . I'm only human too, I care about status symbols in some way )

These considerations will not stop me from blogging, but it does weigh down on the overall quality and willingness to share info.

I would like to hear your opinions, extra remarks, ideas, or simply rants It would be nice if we could help SCN in balancing the recognition system.

 

edit:

A significant point which I have overlooked in my Monday blurriness is the fact that the new system allows you to accumulate recognition over a longer period of time, with a, ever growing audience, for a single contribution. Whereas in the past you had "instant" points, and that was it.

  • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
    Thomas Zloch
    Currently Being Moderated

    I share your concerns. As a moderator in the ABAP space I have deleted several simple copy/pastes from SAP Help already, posted obviously to gain a quick tenner. I have also deleted meaningless "good one" type of "reviews", that not surprisingly had at least one "like" (worth 2 points) by the blog author. Sceptical as I am, I see new forms of points gaming coming up by rings that post shallow content and rate and like their peers postings.

    I am of course also deleting blogs and documents that were meant to be a discussion (this is often done without bad intention), emailing the author the text so he can re-post it correctly.

    After deletion, all points are gone, I double-checked that.

    At the same time, good quality content will take a while to be recognized as such, because it takes a large number of dedicated and knowledgeable readers to vote it up.

    SCN management believes that this will work out OK, so what we can do is observe, vote up the good stuff while voting down the bad, leave critical comments, collect and report bad examples, etc.

    In the end, it might really work out OK, or they have to change the system to some extent.

    Thomas

    • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
      Tom Van Doorslaer
      Currently Being Moderated

      I agree that we still have to wait and see how things turn out. But it shouldn't stop us from thinking how things can be better. The fact that the points for blogs are gone after deletion is good. That would've been my first suggestion for improvement. It's one of those things that could have triggered intentional "mistakes".

      I too, am very curious on how the semi-self-moderating system will work in the long run. Other communities have applied such systems before. Some work really well (like tweakers.net | Tech news website) others fail entirely (like gva.be | news website).

      Key seems to be: having more active experts than occasional visitors who only come to ask for information. In other words: more push of info, than pull of info.

    • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
      Fred Verheul
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hi Thomas,

      First: thanks for all the new-style moderating you're doing to keep the new SCN as clean as possible.

      Second: thanks (again) for opening my eyes: as I was reading your remark about down voting bad content, I again (I've had this thought for days now) wished there was something like the downvoting possibility on Idea Place. I almost posted an Idea on Idea Place about this, when I suddenly realized it actually exists: giving a rating of 1 (or 2) stars. But that means that rating content you consume should become almost mandatory. Which really isn't possible/enforceable.

      So the next best thing is (IMO) to advocate rating content as much as possible, in order to get everyone to do it. Which I hope this comment helps to achieve .

      I'm still optimistic that in that case good content will resurface eventually, and that its authors will get rewarded.

      Fred

  • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
    Jarret Pazahanick
    Currently Being Moderated

    Very good article and I am similar in that I work with very new SAP technology and dont get much value out of the forum even though I am a forum moderator though have spent a lot of time with the 50 blogs I have written on SCN.  I am seeing cases in the new SCN where people are getting 60-80 points for answer 1 question while solid SCN blogs are getting 20-30 points in the new system.  While I dont care that much about points in general I do care about fairness especially as I know the time that goes into writing a quality blog.

    On the topic of blogs there appears to be some traction started to put in some baseline quality which I am a big proponent of and you can see some of the details in this G+ post

    https://plus.google.com/118281770914088081017/posts/7pBaD97Qe8w

    • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
      Ethan Jewett
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hmmm, I think there is some serious exaggeration going on here.

      To Tom, I would say, publicize your blog and wait for a little while. I think you'll start to accumulate a very nice number of points for such a blog as people will find it useful and interesting for some time to come. Already you are up to 24 points, if I am counting correctly. Under the old system you would be at 0 because it would not have been moderated yet

      To Jarret - 60-80 points for one answer? Are there seriously answers on the forum with 30-40 "Likes"? If so, I think that calls for moderation. I haven't seen anything like this myself, so I'm a bit skeptical.

      IIRC, posting comments on blogs doesn't net you any points unless people "Like" them. If they do, then I think that is a bug.

      Right now, I am liking how the system is working.

      • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
        Luke Marson
        Currently Being Moderated

        Hi Ethan,

        One responder got 70 points from one post on the Forum that I moderate, but as he and I are neck-and-neck for top contributor I didn't want to remove the points and make it look like I was trying to be the top contributor.

        Best regards,

        Luke

        • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
          Ethan Jewett
          Currently Being Moderated

          Hi Luke,

          Got a link? Sure sounds like something some moderators should take a look at.

          Cheers,

          Ethan

          • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
            Luke Marson
            Currently Being Moderated

            In order not publicly chastise someone, I'll DM you. I'll also raise it in the Mods Forum.

            • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
              Stephen Burr
              Currently Being Moderated

              Ethan/Luke,

              I find these last three posts concerning as I believe that the SCN member is me. Based on this deduction, my initial concern is that I think the statement " 70 points from one post" is incorrect. The person who started the thread (http://scn.sap.com/message/13123569#13123569) awarded 10 helpful responses to myself and 4 to Luke over the course of 6 days.

               

              I would offer up the following points for consideration:

              • Other than for collusion to game the system between two of more members, on what basis should a moderator "remove points" for helpful answers?
              • Members award points based on how useful they find the response. Is this not what matters most? Particularly when building community?
              • What are people's perceptions of removing points for what are in fact helpful responses? What impact does this have on the community and it's members?
              • The role of moderator clearly incorporates an element of policing. Should it not also include an element of support for contribution (rather that potential chastisement; I'm sure no-one supports "reprimanding severely" any helpful SCN members!)?
              • Should moderators be impartial to all contribution (good and 'not good') until someone else reports the contribution with the report abuse button, or should they take immediate action? If there is a balance between the two, where should the line be drawn, and who moderates the moderators ... the rest of the community, other moderators, SCN staff?
              • Is a restricted moderators forum the best place to discuss this? Is it not something that would benefit greatly from a community-wide contribution?

               

              I think the original discussion here is very good and I think there is a debate to be had for whether the points system is correct.  For example in forums, whether a points “per helpful answer” or points “proportioned at the end of the thread” is a better approach.  It was more the tone of "helpful responder has done wrong" that didn't sit well with me.

               

              Stephen

              • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
                Luke Marson
                Currently Being Moderated

                Hi Stephen,

                It wouldn't be fair to discuss the thread here, since I don't see the thread in question as an issue - although another moderator did ask me to look into the thread. I decided there was no reason to take any aciton on that thread since the points were applied to a number of answers that I deemed as being helpful.

                I agree with your points, particularly policing v contribution. Since the Forum I moderate has few contributors, I try to be more relaxed with the rules so that it doesn't scare aware contributors. For example, sometimes posters regurgitate previous posts on threads, but only if points are awarded to the regurgitated post would I consider removing (and it hasn't happened much or to the point that points would be deducted). Since moderating the Forum there have been no points deducted and only a few posts deleted (for not searching previously when the answer exists in other posts and in the Wiki).

                I also agree that removing points for any reason other than abuse is a dangerous game and does not promote contribution. Unfortunately a lot of points abuse does take place in various Forums and as a moderator I get to see this. I can see reasons why points should be rightfully deducted in some circumstances.

                I think moderators should definitely be impartial, but also they need to take good judgement on when to step in, such as the Abuse button or when other moderators request it. Sometimes it is appropriate to step in without these, if a clear case of abuse of the system has been committed.

                Thanks for your valuable contribution to this topic.

                Best regards,

                Luke

                • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
                  Jarret Pazahanick
                  Currently Being Moderated

                  Stephen/Luke - You are both great community members that I hold in high regard and I think something should be done going forward to ensure there arent 14 "helpful answers" to one question. I realize that "some" questions morph into more complex but knowing the deep expertise you both have I doubt if a client asked you a questions it would take 14 answers to get to the bottom of it.  It might be the case as Ethan mentioned of education the original poster.

                   

                  This may have been the way it always was and I just noticed it given the fresh new SCN but in the forum I moderate it is not the case although it is not as active and it seems like I am answering many of the questions (so I dont need 14 times) :-)

                   

                  No big deal but if I noticed it my guess is others did as well and I know both of you only want to help and getting 'point" is not why you do it.

              • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
                Ethan Jewett
                Currently Being Moderated

                Hi Stephen,

                I agree and I have said so privately a couple of times over the last day. I don't see anything particularly wrong with this famous "70 point" thread, though I do think it would be good for a moderator to nudge the OP and suggest being slightly more judicious when handing out points. Personally, I'd also like to see the "helpful" point reward reduced to 2 or 3 points, but it really doesn't make much difference to me.

                Cheers,

                Ethan

          • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
            Ethan Jewett
            Currently Being Moderated

            Regarding the ability to get massive points for forum answers, and why this is a good thing: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1732348/regex-match-open-tags-except-xhtml-self-contained-tags/1732454#1732454

            Enough said

        • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
          Tom Van Doorslaer
          Currently Being Moderated

          I sure hope these are exceptions, and perhaps it was a very good response, so it deserves the 70 points.

          However, the thin line between good intentions and abuse gets blurry here.

          I could post a painted article/blog/document/forum post, and mail all my colleagues to "like" my contribution so I could end up high in the rankings.

          That's very difficult to track and counter.

          Pointing out the flaws in the system must only be a first step. We (the community, the moderators, SAP, SCN team) must also think about how to make the system better. I like the idea of a self-regulating community, but you can't do that without some sort of a treshold. Otherwise you'll just open up the doors to trolls and your moderators will have more work than before. (I assume here that idea of self-regulation was also to reduce the workload of moderators)

          On Jarret Pazahanick 's G+, there's already some good proposals, but The specified item was not found. already set some restrictions:

          - it must be automatable

          - it must involve the community

          It would be nice to involve more idea's/people in the discussion. Perhaps we even have to create a Streamwork project for the brainstorms and post the final ideas to ideaplace? A good way to leverage all the power of the SAP Community as well :-)

      • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
        Tobias Hofmann
        Currently Being Moderated

        2 likes, 4 ratings, 7 replies (with this one), more than 100 views.

        In the old SCN this blog may have gained Tom 60 or 70 pts, in the new SCN he will be happy to get 40 pts. As long as people are reading contributions are not clicking on the like button the concept behind raising visibility to SCN content will not work. Currently more people rated Tom's contribution than actually liked it. 3 people rated it with 5 stars, but don't like it. More than 90 people accessed his post, but have no opinion about it, or do not want to contribute. There is something wrong ... with SCN or with the users.

        Either people do contribute more and give feedback or people will reduce the number or level of contributions. We will see how this will work out.

        • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
          Tom Van Doorslaer
          Currently Being Moderated

          Actually, this isn't even a blog. It's one of my very rare and seldom seen forum posts. I just seem to have hit bulls-eye in terms of touchy subject. Apparently, a lot of regulars share my concerns and now use the very system of self-regulation to voice their concerns. It is a bit ironic.

          So it is proven that you can actually get a lot of points by posting something in the forum.

          Now we just have to look for a way to balance this with the blogs. I understand that it's not a high priority at the time, but it is a nice excercise in which the very same community can help. (to cite Mark Yolton: Crowdsource)

        • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
          Ethan Jewett
          Currently Being Moderated

          Hi Tobias,

          A correction: This isn't a blog, it is a discussion. So on the old SCN it would have gotten Tom 0 points. So we're actually doing pretty well On the new SCN, starting discussions and posting blogs results in a very similar point structure, which I think is very interesting and it will be interesting to see what the affect on the community is.

          To everyone, I'd like to just stress that talking through the problems with the new system is fine, but I think we're all being just a bit to hasty to see problems where none exist, or see things as problems when it is really just that things work differently. Let's be careful to talk facts, cite what we're talking about with reference-able links, and take a measured tone.

          Cheers,

          Ethan

          • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
            Tobias Hofmann
            Currently Being Moderated

            Well, as Tom stated he normally does not write forum posts, for the points calculation I took his possible points count for a blog. That's why I wrote in the rest of my post: contribution. So, the points count for his contribution is negative compared to old SCN (after getting the points assigned). And for that: Tom's reputation.

            The basic problem is: 119 views, 3 likes, 4 five star ratings. If this kind of recognition really works out, we'll see. If in 6 months from now people are still not rating or liking contributions I'd really like to see a report "new SCN vs contributions".

      • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
        Ethan Jewett
        Currently Being Moderated

        Just to revisit: It looks like Tom is now up to about 50 points for this discussion, if I'm counting correctly. If it were a blog that would have been 60. Seems reasonable given the number of views (not a ton), the discussion it has generated (a good amount), and the fact that it will continue accruing points as time goes on.

        If you want proof that it is possible to rake in the points with blogs in the new system, I just came across one of Jarret's inevitable comment-fests, which has garnered no fewer than 128 comments and 67 (!!) ratings: http://scn.sap.com/community/career-center/blog/2012/03/12/valuable-lessons-to-make-the-most-of-your-sap-career

        If I'm counting correctly, Jarret has gotten something like 300 points for this blog so far. Wow. Can someone cap that guy's points?

        Cheers,

        Ethan

        • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
          Tobias Hofmann
          Currently Being Moderated

          Ethan,

          actually, that's a good example were only time can tell if new SCN works or not. There are topics that make it easy (or easier) to attract readers: write about SAP career, ABAP, mobile, certification, etc.

          If users are eager to gain reward through points, we will see this kind of content more often (give the mass what they want), but more specific content, specially in areas where contribution is rare but neverthless of great help may suffer: Why invest time when not enough people are giving feedback and preparing a blog / document there costs you 3 weeks of preparation?

          When the blog moderator assigned you 100 pts for a blog that gained less then 300 views throughout a year you were still motivated to continue. If you now get 10 pts and maybe 3 likes ... makes your contribution look totally worthless.

          Lets wait and see.

          btw: I find it strange that giving a comment is not raising someones reputation. Or is it? cc Laure Cetin

  • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
    Gregory Misiorek
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Tom,

    here are my "points" for you. i think that quality content takes time to be recognized but it will stand the test of time as well. if something is good it remains relevant even when the author is not around to actually exeprience it. i don't officially moderate anything, but i see good and bad content on both forums and blogs. i am more forgiving if i can learn something new from the content. 10/80 ratio seems a bit tilted, but as Ethan has pointed out you will get more and more likes as your content spreads, so 10 becomes 80 eventually.

    at this point, i still haven't found a sweet spot between blogs, forums, discussions and the like and they all look the same when they come by way of a short url, which more and more of them do. since i create a very narrow content which is of interest to a small group and i strive to be 'objective' i found wikis a good place to keep my notebook updated. the points are generous at the moment, but you cannot expect too many likes or dislikes of dry content, unless it gets removed when someone simply copies and pastes help files which happens in all 'spaces'.

    i'm keeping all my previous blogs in personal space forthe moment as i wouldn't even know how to keep them current and relevant in the new format.

    reaching for gold,

    greg

  • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
    Craig S
    Currently Being Moderated

    Maybe we should award points for "liking" or "don't like" (1 point) and "rating" (2 points).  While you would most assurdedly have folks clicking everything in sight just to get points, you could put some limits on this.  For instance you would be limited in points to be gained each month (not in the ability to like or rate however), this way to say 200.

    Those folks that blog, create discussion, etc... should see a large increase in the number of likes and ratings for a given posting, keeping their point totals well ahead of those who just like and rate and not really contributing.  Overall, everyone would have higher point totals but should still remain fairly relative to each other.  The point totals required for certain badges might need to be raised. 

    Joe FF

    • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
      Craig S
      Currently Being Moderated

      PS>  the speed to LIKE or RATE an object needs to be greatly increase.  It takes 5-10 seconds for the LIKE to update and the same with the RATE feature.  These need to be almost instantaneous for people to do it. 

      Joe FF

    • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
      Thomas Zloch
      Currently Being Moderated

      Fire Fighter wrote:

       

      The point totals required for certain badges might need to be raised.

      ...and "key performance indicators" in various organisations along with that, collecting 250 will be as easy as never before

      I think that voting 1 or 2 stars should deduct points from the author, just as 4 or 5 is adding them, were it not for the danger of systematic and quality-independent downrating for personal or competitive reasons...

      Thomas

    • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
      Tom Van Doorslaer
      Currently Being Moderated

      I see how this can definitely be an incentive to trigger active recognition. You already state the obvious flipside of the coin. Keeping that balanced is going to be a difficult exercise.

      I also notice that the topic is deviating a bit towards moderation. That's pretty normal as recognition and moderation go hand in hand. In a way, they're both ends of the same game. Which brings us to the essence.

      The entire recognition system is a form of gamification. From what I have seen in this discussion, on twitter, on G+ and via other channels, is that gamifying holds a couple of risks.

      • Gamification can lead to better performance/quality through competition, but can also lead to "cheating" (as you see in any form of competition).
      • Change the rules, and the behaviour will change as well
      • Different playing styles demand different forms of "scoring"
      • The goal may never be the competition itself
      • Competition can be individual, but it can also be for teams (which is not yet available today) This is a very important psychological difference, which has an impact on inclusion as well.
      • No matter how you turn it, 95% of the people are competitive. Just ask yourself: If you do something, don't you want to be the best in it?

       

      This discussion gave me a great thought for a new blog article (which I'll be writing soon)

      I also notice why I normally stay away from fora, as it's very easy for a discussion to go out the wrong way. I'd rather stay with the essence and discuss the rest over a cup of coffee. Especially since I have seem to have hit a touchy subject and I'm not much of a diplomat.

      Let's list some suggestions from different sources to balance the gamified rules and ease the life of moderators.

      • 350 minimum word count for blogs (Jon Reed)
        This should raise the treshold on blogs a bit and ensure a better baseline quality
      • Community moderation and coaching of new bloggers before automating their blogger status
        This alleviates the moderators, crowdsources on the regular members and hopefully increases quality and value. (Tom)
      • Advocate the use of recognition options. (Tobias)
      • Promote the use of recognition options by rewarding the use itself (FireFighter)
      • Wait and see how the new rules affect the behaviour and how things will settle (Thomas)
        Which is what we'll be doing anyway, since a change in the game rules probably have a big impact and are not really a showstopper, nor a priority
      • Use a "recognition to content - ratio" (Laure)
        could encourage people to create less, but better and more meaningful content
      • Dislike button / Wait And See / Report abuse (Prateek)


      Right, keep the suggestions coming. I believe we can have some valuable input for the long term here.

  • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
    Laure Cetin
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you Tom for initiating such an interesting thread and rich discussion.

    I think time will tell. I take your comments seriously when you say that there is an unfairness about points for discussions and points for blogs and documents. I'll continue to watch what others say about this and if necessary we'll have to think about changing point values. For the time being, I keep observing.

    I think with time  the community will understand how important it is to rate and like content. It should become part of our DNA, it's just a click or two when you're on a page, it's not difficult. We're not even one month into the launch, but as time goes by there will be more and more content, and people will see how much we rely on ratings, likes, number of comments and views to see what content is worth exploring.

    This leads to content reputation. Points are one thing, but I want us to move away from points a little bit and think about other ways to highlight and recognize quality content and those who provide it. This is just an idea I'm throwing out there, but what if we had ways to aggregate the number of likes/shares etc and calculate the score of someone (e.g. popularity for number of likes compared to the number of content contributed; expertise for the average of 5-star rating, etc etc)? What if we were showing this information in each space? Would it be valuable? Or would people be more encouraged to game the system?

    About gaming: I'm waiting to see what happens, I'd like to see the thread that got so many points, so maybe Luke Marson can DM me the link, or I'll try to find it in the Moderators space. This is information that is useful to me as I look into potential point limits.

    We have noticed how often discussion content is posted as blogs or documents, this is really annoying and benefits no one. We SCN Team, together with SCN Moderators, take action and delete the content and the points. We're also looking at ways to proactively avoid this - Jon Reed's suggestion about 350-word blogs is a good one and it's being explored at the moment, and we're making tweaks to better inform members before they publish a blog or document. For me this is the biggest quality issue at the moment, and it's a real pain I have to say.

    Best,

    Laure

    • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
      Luke Marson
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hi Laure,

      I've DMd you, but as you see in one of my posts above I don't see anything wrong and I certainly don't think points gaming was involved. I think the OP would've kept giving points if their allocation had not run out! No action has been taken on this thread and I don't see any reason to, but I'm happy to hear your viewpoint. I didn't raise the "issue" on the Moderator forum in the end. I think the "70 point thread" as it's becoming known, is not a problem but just a highlight of how the new system can be used to provide large amounts of points to a single user. But if that user is being helpful then it's not a problem, particularly if it encourages contribution. Since most contributors say they don't care about points then it should'nt really matter if it's 1 point or 5 points. I think 5 is a bit heavy, but if it doesn't change I don't mind. I have other bugbears with SCN and how many points a user gets for contributing is not one of them!

      Best regards,

      Luke

  • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
    Gareth Ryan
    Currently Being Moderated

    This is an interesting discussion...  Does anybody remember how the very early SDN worked when you could get points just for a simple 1 line response (like this!) and even just for logging in if I remember correctly?

    I think ultimately, some members are always going to try and "game" the points system. The question is always the same -what are they actually achieving? I'm quietly optimistic that all of the mechanics involved in the new SCN contents & points systems should hide the gamers and reward the true contributors. I guess we need more than a couple of weeks to see how that works out...

    Gareth.

  • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
    Tom Cenens
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hey Tom

    Nice discussion you got going here. What worries me also is that I didn't capture this discussion earlier. Looks like I have plenty of work to do to get my old vibe going to be able to shime in where I want to and get to the good stuff efficiently.

    Regarding the points system, I have noticed a similar effect as well as what you seen and what many others describe in this discussion thread.

    Some are already "gaming" the system and are on the lure for sure outputting crappy content, lousy discussion answers, requesting points to be awarded for each answer and so on.

    It was the case on the old SCN and it's not going to change now. There are lots of members who try to game the system and the only thing that can stop them is moderation and other community members.

    The thing about blog points and points over time is also tricky because what you didn't get before and what you will get now is that in spaces that are less popular or have a smaller population, blogs will not get rewarded equally compared to spaces that are very popular. Chances are very high that the blogs in #sapadmin space for example receive a small amount of points where-as a blog about SAP Netweaver Gateway or Mobile or whatever topic has a larger audience and will receive much higher point assuming both blogs are of equal quality of course.

    We didn't have that problem in the old SCN were moderators would "judge" the blog content as they have insight in that specific topic.

    Time will tell of course but the way it looks now, chances are high that if the top participants widget would form the base for Top Contributors you will be seeing community members on stage that are active on the forum and are not bloggers. Is that a problem? It depends because some discussions are very very basic.

    For example:

    Where can I find the installation guide for SAP Netweaver 7.3?

    That's a question that you shouldn't have to ask in the first place. Giving a quick answer to this takes two seconds and whoever answers that can get rewarded with lots of points for no good reason.

    The correct answer is type "SAP Netweaver 7.3 installation guide" in Google and click the first link so in fact the answer should be that the person posting the question should put effort in at least trying to find the information himself.

    Lets take this very drastically, this could happen:

    The result might be that when Top Contributors are called on stage at SAP TechED this year, for the #sapadmin space for example, you end up with a community member on stage who knows where the installation guide for SAP Netweaver 7.3 is located. I wouldn't exactly call out that they are "experts" or have certain "expertise" in one or more SAP area's.

    I have already expressed my concerns regarding the SCN reputation "pointers". There was a SCN reputation council consisting out of a number of SAP Mentors and community members and it looks like it wouldn't be a bad idea to get that council going again and to discuss things further in detail how the whole points system can thrive on the new SCN.

    Kind regards

    Tom

    • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
      Jelena Perfiljeva
      Currently Being Moderated

      Let me start with a disclaimer that I'm also not on SCN for the points.

      I have a blog outside of SCN (and hearing about all the pain with the blog migration - boy, am I glad!), so I know how much work goes into a really informative and thorough blog plost. Such posts deserve at least 100 points from the get-go.

      In the forum posts we used to have 3 "grades" ("helpful", "very helpful", "solved the issue"), now it's just two with 5 and 10 points. I actually think that 5 points (compared to 10 for blog) for a simply "helpful" post is a bit too much.

      Just this morning I was trying to find an explanation on what does the Rating and Like do exactly, but found only one blog by Laure Cetin, which, as nice as it is, does not really answer that. Perhaps more explanation on this is needed or, if it already exists somewhere, it should be more easily available.

      It was nice to hear that moderators are paying close attention to these issues - thank you!

      • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
        Tom Cenens
        Currently Being Moderated

        Hi Jelena

        I'm not on SCN for the points either, yes I was top contributor in 2011, do I need to be in 2012? No I don't need to be. If I end up Top Contributor then that would be fine as well but if someone else does I would like to see someone on stage who delivers quality content and not someone who games the system and puts crappy content on SCN.

        Why? Because we strive for quality content. How will we get there if we end up (accidently perhaps) rewarding community members who are not outputting quality content?

        So for me quality content is part of this discussion.

        What I'm missing is being able to sort on quality when using a browse option to the blog section of a specific space for example.

        I did see some spaces or pages that have a top five quality content, not all quality content surfaces yet by default because there is migrated content on which no one has yet voted / liked which is normal and there is not enough new content in some area's to get a top five that really features quality content.

        For the time being I'll keep my eyes open and try to point out to people what is "not ok" in terms of gaming the system and putting crappy content out there and hit the report abuse button to also notify the SCN team / moderators on specific behaviours.

        Kind regards

        Tom

        • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
          Prateek Raj Srivastava
          Currently Being Moderated

          Hello Everyone,

          How about a Dislike button or a Negative rating button which reduces point by 1? 10 dislikes and the gamers intention will backfire. Crazy thought, skip it.

          I have seen some similar trends in PI space and therefore wrote a blog about improving the quality of content in PI space. However, as I see its a similar problem in almost all the spaces.

          http://scn.sap.com/community/pi-and-soa-middleware/blog/2012/03/26/improving-the-quality-of-content-in-pi-space

          • A very important tool that we already have is "Abuse Report". Before migration to new SCN, we were really emphasizing on "Moderation by Exception". However, post migration, I believe we are not educating the community enough about it and therefore very few care about it. Personally, I haven't seen even a single Abuse Report in PI space since migration.
          • I too agree that 10 points for blog is less. So what can be done about it? A simple way (not sure about technicalities) would be to notify the Moderators when a blog is posted and allow them to award points, say 0-30 at their discretion in addition to the current system.

          As Laure mentioned, waiting and watching would be the best approach for now. It's too early to jump on any conclusion.

          Regards,

          Prateek Raj Srivastava

    • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
      Laure Cetin
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hi Tom,
      Thank you, you've put a lot of thoughts into this and these are very good points. I don't know yet how we will recognize the topic leaders in the topic spaces, to be honest. We have way more categories than before and I'm trying to figure out what makes sense.

      I was away part of last year but this year I definitely want to resume our conversations as part of the Reputation Council. I need a bit more time to do so, given the amount of work at the moment with the new SCN - and the fact that I want to observe behaviors a bit more.

      And I think I also need to find out how to log on to Streamwork again, last time I tried and it didn't work Stay tuned.

      Laure

  • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
    Lukas Weigelt
    Currently Being Moderated

    This might be a bit off topic but...

    Why are the points so very important to so many people on SDN?... I understand the points system tries to reflect someone's reputation "earned" in the community, but I honestly don't value any person's contribution higher just because his bagde is shinier than someone else's or he's got a golden-melon-badge or whatever else there is, do you? I understand the concept > better content results in more points, i.e. probably a higher level of 'suggested' expertise, i.e. a better reputation and so on but this whole concept is highly vulnerable to abuse and, in my humble opinion, simply not representative. I measure the value of content by the means it helped me with my work or broadened my horizon etc, and THIS makes me remember/respect certain people, NOT the amount of points they have.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I don't want to sound like "arrrrgh points are all stupid, this discussion is meaningless", although I probably do... . It's just, WHAT are these points to you?

    • Are they your flagship, so people might say "look them shiny badges, he must be competent!"
    • Are they... a gratification of your effort you put into the work for the community?
    • Does it just feel good having a lot of points to arch yourself up above others?

     

    I don't mean to provoke people, I'm merely curious. To me, points are were a good use to track threads which I contributed in but didn't set a "watch" out of laziness, quite convenient on the old SDN... didn't find out if there is such an option available on the new platform now

    BTT: Agreeing with Laure/Prateek on leaning back and wait to have more input for a reasonable evaluation.

    Cheers, Lukas

    • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
      Jelena Perfiljeva
      Currently Being Moderated

      Lukas, you need to ask that question to the "point gamers". It seems every participant in this discussion has already pointed out that points have little importance to them. This post is (or at least initially was) about the quality of content.

      Points inadvertedly became a "side topic". In the "old SDN" points were the only measurement of reputation (term that is widely used in other forums but not adopted on SCN despite many suggestions) and content quality in the forums.

      I think it is natural for the human beings to seek feedback and approval on what we do. Points were one of the ways for me to measure if I have been helpful and how I can improve. In the "new SCN" we have more tools, but it seems that we all still need to find the best way to utilize them to the benefit of the whole community.

      Just like you, I am also capable of distinguishing between good and poor quality content. But some more junior members might struggle with this.

      I think now I'm going to start a blog along the lines of "How we love Old SCN and how New SCN sucks" and bask in the glory of points and "likes" and ratings that will surely flow my way.

      • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
        Gregory Misiorek
        Currently Being Moderated

        Hi Jelena and others,

        what's the point of all this denial in this whole thread? nobody wants any points but they complain that this current system is not fair. i'm in it for points, plain and simple. it's not only the points, however, why i'm here. does this make sense? it feels great to have points added, but i have met so many great experts that haven't garnered one single point and they don't feel like they have to. this is fine by me.

        the point system has just been reorganized and now it's up to the community to figure out the best way to game it.

        show me who doesn't like playing games and i will tell you that it's only one part of their spiel.

        so, how many points did i make?

    • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
      Tom Van Doorslaer
      Currently Being Moderated

      I may have said that points are not that important to me, but they do provide a certain recognition for the commitment you show to the community. It does stroke my ego in some way.

      So actually, yeah I do like getting points and it feels good to see my contribution valued.

      That's one of the side-effects of gamification. Everyone is competitive (well almost everyone). So if you introduce a competition, expect to get one too

      I think we all secretly want to get points, it's just that none of us wants to cheat the system. We want to get the points because we worked for them and as a consequence we don't want to be perceived as hunters. (hence the title: Value for Work)

      I tried editing my initial post to add some extra thoughts, but apparently my edit doesn't show in view mode (only in edit mode, ironic)

      In my monday morning blurriness, I have overlooked the fact that a single contribution in the current system, accumulates recognition over time, instead of the "instant" recognition in ye ol'e system.

      So the remarks from Laure Cetin and Thomas Zloch are very applicable: "Kick back, relax and see where it goes to in a month or two"

    • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
      Laure Cetin
      Currently Being Moderated

      I think points are important for some members, especially those who're just starting on SCN. It's like a validation of their work. And yes I do hope that it's a correct validation of their effort, but I know sometimes it isn't. I think going away from points a little bit as we focus on content and member reputation would do us good, but I want it do be done wisely.

      Laure

  • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
    Jordan Lazarus
    Currently Being Moderated

    I totally agree with Tom. and Laure Cetin and others as well as we all have a different Point of View. While the quality of the content increases as you like and rate a content, the question is how many people actually do it i.e. rate or like a answer or a blog/document after reading it? There are many users who just ignore the thread after getting the answer for the question. Or read the document and learn and acknowledge that it helped them?

    Even though we contribute for the learning of each other, we all do like to be acknowledged. Points just show that your contribution helped. But there are many people who are in just for points.

    Also I'm sure most of us know that people put it in their resume too that they have so many points and it is also asked or talked about in interviews.

    And if points are not so important why do we have the reputation program or identification of active contributors or different badges for people..... I'm sure this is to encourage members to deliver quality content. And previously moderators would assign points for documents or blogs where as now I've seen people copying content from else where on the internet and its being left alone and even they get points for copying already posted content onto SCN (I'm sure this is not the quality we want). Where are the moderators now...

    Not to provoke anyone but just few thoughts

    Regards, Joe

    • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
      Craig S
      Currently Being Moderated

      Are points and badges really put on people's resumes?  Is it really discussed in interviews?  While I don't want anyone with a lot of points to be offended, if anyone were to put SCN points on a resume I was reviewing, it would go right in the trash can.  IMHO. If anyone is hiring based on points, that's a problem.  Now being a mentor I would say would carry some weight and I wouldn't have a problem with seeing that on a resume.  Just having points doesn't mean you should or shouldn't be a mentor either.  For instance.  In my space, (QM), we don't get a lot of discussions per day.  And about 80% get posted about 6-8 hrs before I'm up in the morning.  So most of the people from Indian time zones to the UK time zones get first crack at them and of course the easy ones are answered.  That doesn't bother me.  I'm happy to try and tackle the tougher ones.  Unfortunately for every one I get points for, other folks get points for 4 or 5 easy ones.  If you look at just points, I am a lightweight compared to many.  But that doesn't mean they are any better or worse than me.  It's JUST points!!!

      I liked SAP's donation program they did a ways back, (two years?).  They donate money anyway as a corporation so I'm not sure 'points' directly made them donate any more $$$.  But what would be nice would be that instead of an SAP charity, they allowed the top 3 points getters in a space/forum to designate a charity of their choice for the donation. 1$ per point say that the person earned over the year.

      FF.

      • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
        Jordan Lazarus
        Currently Being Moderated

        Fire Fighter wrote:

        Are points and badges really put on people's resumes?  Is it really discussed in interviews?  While I don't want anyone with a lot of points to be offended, if anyone were to put SCN points on a resume I was reviewing, it would go right in the trash can.  IMHO. If anyone is hiring based on points, that's a problem.  Now being a mentor I would say would carry some weight and I wouldn't have a problem with seeing that on a resume. 

        Answer is yes Fire Fighter.

        I dont know whether where you are from whether it happens or not, But in India, it definitely happens and contributions and earning points are made mandatory in few companies, and many people who are answering questions are doing so. I'm sure many people who read this and may not say anything but they know its true. I'm not pointing this to any company or anyone but this is a fact. Although majority of people do it to actually contribute for learning of self and others.

        Joe

        Disclaimer: I am not pointing to anyone or any company (just pointing out the facts).

        • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
          Craig S
          Currently Being Moderated
          Wow , Maybe I should update my resume!!  I haven't heard of the practice in the US.  Maybe it is used.  I still would not consider points in evaluating someone.  Or at least it would probably be the last thing I would consider.  FF
        • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
          Prateek Raj Srivastava
          Currently Being Moderated

          Joe, I agree and I know this happens in some of the few companies (worldwide service provider) in India.

          FF, it is not used during hiring. It is used within the companies as year end performance criteria.

          We see a lot of gaming during that period. Although, if we think from a companies point of view, they are just trying a way to engage their employees on SCN which I believe isn't completely unfair. However, if they enforce it as a mandatory KPI, it certainly is a problem. I know that this is not written as part of their policy, therefore it depends a lot on the supervisors discretion.

          Regards,

          Prateek Raj Srivastava

        • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
          Tom Cenens
          Currently Being Moderated

          Hello Guys/Girls

          Some of our customers don't want to see anyone active on SCN during Business Hours so the complete opposite exists as well.

          None of the extremes is good in my opinion.

          I don't think that being active because you have to be active makes sense. It can also be a source of garbage content in my opinion because forcing community members to reply, write and so on while they are passionate about it or not into it is just a bad idea.

          Coming back to the points system, there will always be "gamers" out there trying to game the system. That's "normal" when you set up this kind of points system. That's where moderation and abuse reporting and so on steps in. That won't go away.

          I do agree withLaure Cetin and Thomas Holz that we can wait and see. Perhaps things balance out after a while and it turns out alright. It is still early to say but you keeping an eye on things is definitely a good idea as well so I very much like this discussion.

          Yes blogs might be given less "start" points but if they survive and the content stays interesting those points can also add up quickly. The balance in the old SCN was not that bad really. You would see a mix of bloggers / forum contributors among the top contributors.

          The popularity and balance between places and so on does concern me because I don't think blogs will thrive as much as forum content in spaces that have a lower population / popularity.

          Quality is the goal and points are a mechanism to try and achieve that better quality. Points are also useful to get newcomers going and to keep them going by setting the next target (badge).

          When and if the mechanism works properly you can also expect better quality answers from someone who has a high reputation / contribution level. But that's only when and if of course.

          Can one be proud of his/her contributor level on SCN? Sure, why not? But it has to be for the right reasons and while some start out because the points are fun and the badges are shiny you will soon see they get the importance of quality content and change their behavior, shifting it from going for points to adding real value and providing quality content.

          I saw the word "lazy" in one of the comments and that's exactly what I see happening in the forums. It was there in the past and it's still there. Sometimes I even wonder if it's not gamification instead of laziness. Perhaps it's one colleague asking a "too" simple question to another colleague to score some quick points.

          Even some blog post scream out "lazy". I managed to do X by getting an expert involved. Honestly I should comment "All you had to do was copy the error message into Google and hit enter and click on the first link. Your solution would be right there." but then again I really dislike being that negative so I will try to comment in a constructive way, hoping they catch something out of my comment. In the end that specific blog post is bad quality content.

          Kind regards

          Tom

          • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
            Thomas Zloch
            Currently Being Moderated

            Regarding the "lazy" part, don't be too reluctant to directly address such misbehaviour and publicly challenge the people. You don't need to use that word, as a moderator I avoid it and rather use terms like "Please search before posting" when locking a thread in order to be polite and not too personal. Frankly, before becoming moderator, I loved to shoot sarcastic replies at those who didn't deserve any better.

            I know there is several ways to handle things. I am more on the stricter side and got used to occasional confrontations and being called names, because I just don't get it why IT professionals should not be able to use Google (or SCN search, when it works) and come up with efficient search terms to narrow down the information, other than being...lazy. We all know that when working things out yourself to some extent, your learning curve is much steeper than if everything is being spoonfed.

            Thomas (Zloch, not Holz)

            • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
              Tom Cenens
              Currently Being Moderated

              Hey Thomas

              I don't use "lazy" in my replies but that would be what would run through my mind if I would blur out the honest reply I could give.

              I also receive a lot of questions around the topic. I have blogged about finding the right information in the past already and I will probably repeat that because there are also community members who are not "lazy" to search but who search in the wrong way, in the wrong places.

              Finding the right information is valuable and one can learn how to do that of course.

              Kind regards

              Tom

  • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
    Julius von dem Bussche
    Currently Being Moderated

    I am increasingly gaining the impression that the new SCN is a belittlement of talented school kids (who also wont stick around for long) and not a professional IT community (which has a space for beginners).

     

    I was hoping very much that with the "likes" and "rating" that content would be given preference. That is was bolted onto the childish points system is a big disappointment for me. Four weeks down the line of the new SCN platform I can only conclude that noise is proliferating and the "repeat offenders" who trolled the old SDN are having a ball. Knowledgable contributors are still trying to find their spaces or wandered off to google as information users.

     

    The idea of having timeless and new content which is of guru quality being featured with less moderator intervention is what I was hoping for. Encouraging the search instead of posting a blog about "How to I find the table" without an attempt at finding a solution first which is very well documented already ...

     

    ... or using google.

     

    More google... More (release irrelevant) linkfarms...

     

    Good luck!

     

    Cheers, Julius

     

    ps: Please support the initiative that the points system be removed or degraded significantly., by thinking about it, what it means for you, and commenting.

    • Re: Debate: Rewards vs Work vs Value
      Gregory Misiorek
      Currently Being Moderated

      Julius,

       

      as much as i like the points, i think i will continue posting content to wiki's even though it seems to have stopped showering them for simply creating pages. the reason is quite simple, i plan to use my content in the future and i invite others to add to and to correct my pages. i'm also perfectly happy to keep my original blogs where they are, ie in my personal space. editing to make them usable again seems like too much effort for what it's worth as i'm still missing one simple entry point to view all the blogs and comments as they were coming down "the wire".

      on the positive side i like the twitterlike features with followers and status updates, even though i can't share content during my "working" hours. i don't see a need to attach points in those areas, either.