Note: Please understand that this blog series is not complaining about our beloved SDN. I only blog about the topics I have discussed with other Community members and find useful. I think a place where people can discuss the often-appearing-ideas and suggestions one by one is needed and I hope my blogs about the common ideas and suggestions can create such useful places for such discussion. For previous parts check my Blogs list.
The magic formula of quality
I asked few (responsible) people about how does the procedure of assigning the points for blog posts work. I was told there is a group of people, who assign points. The first one, who can see a new blog without points assigned, assigns some points. So far so good.
But here comes the natural question in this situation: how does he/she know how many points to assign? I think, he/she uses his/her personal “magic formula”. Do you think if does not seem very clear? So do I. Let´s talk about the better ways and what are the alternatives (how to objectify things a little).
To have some fun I made up a magic formula of mine:
(50 + (how I like the author) – random number + speed of the wind) *
(topic not frequently covered around 1) * (length in #words/ average #words).
For those who didn´t notice: I exaggerate a lot here… (not only here, hope you don´t mind, no offense)
The people who reward points know “something” about the topic, so they can judge the quality of the content better than a random stranger. So the number of points should tell something about the quality (…tell the author, because other people cannot see the number of points…?). But it is not that objective, right? Example: if the blog would remain in the “not processed” posts till it receives three point number suggestion, the number would me a little more objective, wouldn´t it?
Let me elaborate on the reasons, why I asked the question about how it works first. You can check for yourself – I have been an active blogger for some time and have written blogs on various topics – some about what I can do and wanted to share with the beginners (to spare other people´s time), some about what I like and don´t like about SCN, some career blogs etc.
You can picture the time and “effort”, I had to “invest” to write those blogs. It was very different every time. Sometimes it took me days to find out how things work before I can blog about it (like my favorite: How to play around with SAP and Crystal reports, trial versions only blog) or just minutes to express my feelings and ideas (well, it took me more to make sure the message I want to tell makes sense… for example: The blogs: Roots of the tree of knowledge).
By the way I talk about it not because I think I was stolen points, I only think that there could be better ways how to judge the value of the content (and…by the way… this value don´t have to be static, read further). I am sure I am not the only one who was once surprised by the generosity of the “giving-so-many-points-away” group members or disappointed by the number .
The pulse to write this blog was a comment posted by Laure Cetin in this thread:
It is important to measure quality, I agree with that. We’ve been thinking about it … we’re looking at the possibility to go toward ratings. I’ve been reading what others (including some Mentors) have to say and, not surprising, there are pros and cons. But ratings together with page hits would be a powerful tool to evaluate and recognize good contributions. We’re in the brainstorming phase right now.
That has drawn my attention and I spend days and nights thinking about the ratings (and not only about them) and ways how could we measure the quality of the content and (especially) reward the quality content (because for so many people the points they receive for their time and effort are important).
There are so many people who care about the quality of the content – moderators, chronic complainers – cheers Harald – and all the people who want to use the forums (and other parts of SCN) quickly and efficiently, without having to browse through the duplicates, errors, spams and other “noise”. There must be a way how to motivate people to provide quality content and make it more visile.
Let me start with a random list of thoughts about how we could try to objectify the quality a little more. I will elaborate on the items later (one day…). I am sure this list or the ideas are not anything special or new, but this could be the place for the discussion, for gathering the opinions of the Community at one place.
Important: I welcome any comments, dear reader; you may have about the topic in general or about the items on this list!
- There are numbers of points assigned in return for the content (by the “blogging” team for blogs, by the man, who asked the question in the forums etc.).
- We could rate all the types of content (you can rate the article, but cannot rate a forum answer or a blog).
- There are the usage statistics we could use.
- Example: we can use the number of views for example.
- Example 2: we could appreciate the blogs which attract people to comment more.
- Example 3: we could try some more “complex” logic, for example use the distribution of visits/ views in time. If people use the same content for years, in my opinion it means that the contribution has been very useful, of a great quality and that it brought much to the Community. It could mean that other people build on these sources of knowledge, what is a value that must be rewarded.
- We can discuss, if we would like these “smart” mechanisms of “judging the quality” to change the value of the content in points. Example: auto-reward points for received comments under the blog, auto-reward every hundred of views etc. (something like +1 point for giving points).
I am not sure if I want anything from the list above to be implemented on SCN. If yes, which option or set of options to implement. I just think about it a lot and wanted to share my thoughts. Maybe the Community (through the comments) can express their feelings.
Here comes your turn, dear Community members. Tell me what you think about rating the content or rewarding some extra points by the machines. What are your ideas and feelings about ratings? How do you recognize the quality content and how would you motivate other people to create such content for you? Dou you think these mechanisms could be abused/ misused?
And there is one more thing I would like to talk about/ ask you about. How do you recognize if people think you provide quality content? Do you like receiving personal messages? Or you think the more points you get the better the content is? How do you gather feedback? How do you try to improve what you offer for the next time?
I hope I don´t ask too many questions to puzzle you. Please comment.
Best regards, Otto