The answer is no! Most of the time 😉
I have received a lot of feedback from people in the community who wonder where their points have gone. Most of the time people who think there is an issue don’t realize that the number of points next to your name above – see an example below – is the points accumulated over the last 12 months, and this number can change every day.
Before March 2012 (the new SCN), members were accruing numbers that were higher upfront, and didn’t take into account the feedback from the community. The system changed, as I explained in my blog back then, and you get smaller amounts of points, but more regularly. That means that today you can still see drops in 12-month rolling points, but after March 2013 that would no longer be the case. Your total of 12-month rolling points would fluctuate less dramatically.
You continue accumulating lifetime points on SCN, this total number always increases:
(This is taken from my user profile, reputation tab)
Now, I know that some of you have experienced weird point behaviors in some cases, and I’m still trying to figure out why you may be losing one point when one of your answers just got marked as correct. I am checking how often the system calculates the rolling points and will respond in the threads that raised the issue.
And recently you may have experienced a significant drop in terms of 12-month rolling points, which results in a lower status of Active Contributor, e.g. Silver instead of previously Gold. This may seem “brutal”, but it’s the only way we can track recent activity in the current system, by having points “expire”. Last year around end of November/early December some of you probably experienced a big bump of points when we gave additional points for TechEd presentations and engagement at Innojam and DemoJam. These point uploads are done manually and there is a lot of work involved, checking user IDs, not finding them, uploading the points, etc. Those of you who were indeed active in one of the TechEd event this year will receive additional points soon, and you will see your Active Contributor status go up again.
This is how it works, there is constant fluctuation. Is it a perfect system? Maybe not. But how much do points mean to you? Is it just a validation of your engagement in the community? Is it an end in itself? (I have to become Platinum this year!!). Or would you rather just focus on an increasing number of lifetime points, and other ways to measure recent activity in spaces (communities)? Maybe via leaderboards? I’d like to hear from you, find out what matters to you. As you may know, I am working to implement more game mechanics on SCN for early next year, with missions and badges that will make it fun to engage on SCN, and focus on the types of behaviors that bring value to the community. There will be some changes, hopefully for the better. Your feedback helps me as I plan the design of the new reputation program on SCN.
Stay tuned. Please start the discussion here by commenting to my blog!