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     If I have learned anything in the last few years it is that everything you post online becomes part of your identity and has a weight on your reputation, not only as a professional but also at a personal level.

Enough has been said about the do’s and don’ts of community behavior and a lot of time and resources invested in content and people management. The SCN rules of engagement clearly define the basic netiquette expected from all new comers and old wolfs, but somehow there is no much written about how to use SCN to your advantage.

SCN (former SDN) started as a collaboration platform for developers, somehow during those early days the community shaped itself to procure to a much larger audience, the amount of spaces multiply to accommodate the demand for segregated environments for the different subjects, some created on demand and others where simply hijacked. As the number of spaces increased so did the amount of users and with that policing became increasingly a priority. Simply, the community demanded an increase in the quality of the content and that translated into self-moderation. This is how the genius of a group of people that decided to stand aside and let the users do the talking and lead the changes gave us a place where collaboration has no limits.

SCN is now a place where anonymity is the exception rather than the rule, meaning that people are not afraid to be accountable for the content they post. In fact in a world where most companies procure talent online, having a clean presence in a site like SCN is an asset.

Aha! So?… What’s the point?

The point is SCN is not simply a troubleshooting tool; it’s a collaboration engine and a place where producing high quality content helps you build your reputation.

What about the points?

Points are just happy consequences!…

Love to hear your comments,

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  1. Luke Marson

    everything you post online becomes part of your identity and has a weight on your reputation, not only as a professional but also at a personal level

    Absolutely, and people need to remember that everything they say and do online can be traced.

    Points are just happy consequences!…

    I don’t agree – points are causing SCN to be flooded with poor quality content as people look to build a reputation based on points. These point hunters are degrading what made SCN so good in the first place – it’s content. Gamification has turned this into a nightmare.

    Great points on collaboration and SCN is a great place where customers can engage with experts. The only problem at the moment is the noise, but I’m hoping that SCN can work on removing this so that the important conversations can be heard.

    1. Juan Reyes Post author

      Well, what I mean by “just” is the fact that they are not an accurate measure for quality. Maybe I shouldn’t have use “happy” in the same sentence 😉

      One thing is for sure, the point system was part of the reason SDN worked in the first place, the way I see it it was an early shot at gamification. I’m not sure if SCN would have grown at the same pace without it.

      I do agree that it is a double edge weapon.

      Regards, Juan

      1. Sven Ringling

        The points system has the same issues as any formalised incentive system you use to align employee performace with organisational objectives. You get, what you incemtivise, and there’ll always be people, who find ways to play the system to their advantage without contributing that much. Take salesreps, paid solely based on turnover numbers: they will give discounts as much as they can to maximise their sales and hence bonus, whilst at the same time eroding the organisation’s profit margins. You need to have checks and balances in place – but at the end of the day, you can’t formalise everything. In the case of employees, there’s always that moment of truth, when they have to talk to their bosses, who will apply their common sense judgement to assess them above and beyond the formal KPIs ( even though the HR and compliance departments of this world try hard to drive business sense out of employee assessment and replace it by faulty spreadsheets). This mitigating force is very weak on the SCN. You have to do pretty awful things for moderators to take points away from you. Users, who post a lot of rubbish, don’t take any risk. If someone beliefs it, they get points, if not, no negative points are awarded. So, for people, who belief points help their career, but are not knowledgable enough to post high quality content, going by quantity pays off. As in employee performance management, the system needs to constantly evolve to find the best way of driving good quality. But those “quantity posters”  should also consider, what you said above: their shallow or wrong posts will still be visible years from now for potential customers or employers to read and laugh about.

        1. Eduardo Hinojosa

          Hi Sven

          There is a concept in Economic Theory with a perfect fitting for this topic: “Rent Seeking”. Change income by points, and “creating new wealth” by “creating new knowledge” (see this article in wikipedia )

          Call them free-riders if you want, but it’s a usual behavior in the human beings. It’s an annoying behavior, with a clear consequence, a kind of information jamming in the site, but you only can fight it with new innovations (for instance, filter some user ID with some levels of monitoring, so, if they find their contributions jams when they are upload, ie: more regulatory in their posts and contributions, for people with a huge level of abuse reporting, warnings by moderators and so on, with large deadlines,…) as you can fight against rent seekers (from some legal activities to fraud). Obviously, they will make new innovations when they will find new barriers, it happens always. Somebody discovers a new way, and suddenly you have thousands of followers and imitators.

          Thank you Pedro for sharing



          1. Sven Ringling

            agreed. it’s classic micor-economics.

            And it’s human – luckly, for all the species’ faults, we are all human here. I don’t know how many people have thought of any of my posts as SPAM even though they came with the best intentions.

            At the end of the day:

            – the system has to keep improving ahead of cheating techniques and

            – we must hope (and push) for good integrity getting the better of most of us. Not getting onto a rant about integrity again, but if you want to discuss that tangent, I invite you to my recent blog here What is the most important quality for a SAP HCM consultant? New Year’s musings on integrity and the man in the mirror

            so, perceived SPAM is kept to a minimum

          2. Juan Reyes Post author

            @Eduardo_Hinojosa,  Great angle… But that will happen regardless of what system is in place.  If SCN wasn’t a currency (in the means of exposure/reputation) it wouldn’t be worthy cheating the system 🙂

        2. Juan Reyes Post author

          Hi Sven,

          their shallow or wrong posts will still be visible years from now for potential customers or employers to read and laugh about.

          That’s exactly the point of the blog… for good or bad the only thing set on stone is whats left behind.

          I do agree 100% that the point system attract a lot of noise, I’ve been a Moderator for quite a few years and I’ve seen it all. My point above is that like it or not the point system does attract people. If it wasn’t true it would have been removed many years ago. A lot of time has been spent on discussions on a suitable reputation based replacement but somehow it has not materialized.

          Let me be clear, I do not believe the point system is a reflection on the quality of the content posted by the user. What I tried to portrait is that people should not be worried about points, if the content is good the points will arrive as a direct consequence.

          Regards, Juan

    2. chetan dalvi


      I agree with you Gamification always had drawback , Which lead to poor quality of content on site.Rather than good quality of sharing primary focus became points and badges .


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