Most of you are using the forums either by asking a question / searching for an advice or by answering question, and are more or less happy with it.
Some of you have addressed your disappointment with the quality of questions and answers, a few of you even have called it points misuse. We have been listening and been investigating possible options, changes and what measures we can take to address this.
At the very beginning we have been totally focused on reaching critical mass and promoting forums, blogs and wiki. It took us 3 years to reach 1M post, another 3 quarters to get to 2M post and now we are at 2.5M – and have to recognize a growing number of points misuse and/or senseless topics in the forums?
What has changed? Why did it happen so unexpected or have we simply been too busy watching the sole numbers and taken by surprise by the quality issues?
No is a too short answer and it deserves a few more arguments.
The points system has been invented to honor your contributions and to attract more contributors or top contributors ( >250 points). As SDN became the well known brand over the time, our currency = points grew to a never expected value; being a SDN/BPX top contributor got so important that more and more members began to focus on achieving as many points as possible and as fast as possible. Unfortunately some of them simply took a shortcut and misused the system to get there.
We have recognized and been discussing this since early summer 2007, and decided to fight these issues immediately, but we first need to upgrade forums and wiki to the latest versions and to a more scalable landscape.
And then a bug gave us an option. Not all of you might have recognized the ‘downtime’ of the point system in the forums last week, but some of you have discussed this Points system finally removed? . Since Friday last week the point system is back; so you can provide & receive points, but you do not see the complete list of contributors in the forums, a small bug. Instead of coming up with a work around we decided to leave it in place as a potential step to overcome the points misuse.
We will closely watch the ramifications, maybe it will lead to less momentum but more importantly we hope that this along with other measures we are working on will lead to an increase in quality, we will also be paying close attention to your feedback.