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Points vs Ranks

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Spine-Health Announcements
We are in the process of moving back to ranks vs a point system. From the beginning, I could not find anything useful with the point system. It didnt make a lot of sense to me.
Almost all other forum sites go by ranks. It still means the number of post a person makes.
People generally start off as a "Newbie" and work they way up.
Everything then is based on the number of posts a person makes. So in theory its not that different from points, but instead of seeing points, you would see the rank of that member.
I have witnessed too many competitive members here that wanted to see their points higher than someone elses.
I am not into that scenario... I am more into what a person says. If a person who may have 5,000,000 points or have enough points to make them Spine-Admirals does not make any sense, I will not listen. On the other side, if a person has only 3 points but knows what they are talking about and tells it like it us, that is the person I will listen to.

I am not sure when this change will take place, but I just wanted everyone to know that it will be coming
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com


  • Ron,
    Why not institute a "Karma" type system? Let the user community rank posts as to their usefulness. Each user would build up an aggregate karma score over time which would reflect how relevant/appropriate/useful their posts are.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    an online forum that uses that. It is the beefed up versions of PunBB. Its a small group so the karma seemed ok. But I can just imagine in a large group how that would work?
    A bit scary
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I've watched the karma system become the breeding ground for friends campaigning for their friends, which skewed the rankings even more.

  • Ron, I fully agree with your statement

    "I am not into that scenario... I am more into what a person says. If a person who may have 5,000,000 points or have enough points to make them Spine-Admirals does not make any sense, I will not listen. On the other side, if a person has only 3 points but knows what they are talking about and tells it like it us, that is the person I will listen to."

    Why even bother with points based on posts, or ranks? I personally don't see the point in any of it, as like you said, a person who has only made a couple of posts with a pertinent contribution may be more beneficial than a person who has made scores of non-pertinent posts. The ranking system seems a little biased and misleading, when based on the number of posts made.
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • I really don't look at points or rank. I would like to know when I can cash in my points for the "Better a Spiney than Spineless" bumper sticker! :)
  • I agree Ron. Take the points away. As soon as this Drupal system was turned on we joked for weeks about the points. None of us ever won the toaster oven. ;-) We even had a few joking around threads in Lighten and Brighten where people posted nonsense just to get points bumps. We were kidding though. Some will take points as a competition, always. Want them to stop competing. Stop counting.

    I agree with C too. Karma, whatever. Another variation of points only your buddies can help bump yours more. Same thing.

    There is no need for points. This is not a competition.
  • Hello - my joke has always been, if you can't trade the points for "rootBeer" -- why bother.

    I have watched people race to post - in order for them to have higher points and expect that this leads to acceptance from the group.

    I read what each has to say - that gives me an idea of whether to listen.

    Cheers - C45
  • Why not have a set number of people - anonymous people - who would go through the posts and rank each one according to its usefulness towards the topic on which they're posting?

    They'd have to sign something or somehow make sure no-one ever knew who they were for it to be truly effective.

    I also realise it's a mammoth task! So to make it fairer and easier, you could swap in a different set of people after a period of time, meaning they'd be constantly changing.

    I apologise if that's one of the systems people are talking about above, or if it's been tried and failed miserably!

    I've also just thought of 2 ways in which this method would prove nigh-on impossible, so clearly this post would get nought points on any 'usefulness scoring system'.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    I have been against Points from day 1. I actually had a member pleading with me to give them extra points so that they would be ahead of another member!

    Karma system, is really just a popularity contest. All you need to do is get your friends to give you a vote and you become the top banana in the system. To me another failure.

    Vote system. What Val suggested has been used on several forums. I have not seen a lot of this, but on this sites, they may be 25 or moderators and they are the ones that determine what value you post is and add points based on that. Again, I see that as a way to build a rising star ot to blackball a nuisance.

    Today, I believe the Ranking system is the best overall. The ranks must be explained clearly and what the intent is. Which is to identify a 'rank' for a member based on the number of posts they make. The Theory is that when a person spends that much time making posts, they should know what they are talking about........... Notice Should.
    We still have those Post-a-manics. You know you ee them in every thread, the post to any topic and sometimes their words are the exact copy of what they said in another thread.... no thought process there. Say a bunch of words, throw in some smileys, keep it aside to do Cut/Pastes at will. Or you have the 3 word poster , we've got them. On my forum site, I have a minimum number of words that a post may have.

    Nothing is perfect, to me Ranking (just dont like the word) is the best when done and used correctly

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • That with the number of posts here, it would be a full time job for a huge crew of people just to try and really read through and evaluate the weight or worthiness or each and every post. Unless someone is getting paid full time to do it ....
  • I have a problem with a ranking system that lists someone as an "expert" if all they do is welcome new members to SH and offer words of support and encouragement. The "expert" tag could mislead new members into thinking that this person is an expert in spine issues when that's not necessarily true. It could also lead new members to realize that someone being an "expert" isn't necessarily one so who knows who the experts are.

    I've seen other forums where the members are listed as "Junior Member", "Senior Member", "Super Member", etc. based on the number of times they post without leading the other members to assume they are experts in that particular forum's topics.

    That's just my take.
  • My thoughts behind a Karma (or "usefulness of post" type ranking) is that especially with a large group, you will be able to see if the posts someone makes are just "welcome to the forum" posts or if they have some substance. With a large community participating you cannot have a popularity contest, the sheer number of people keeps that from happening. Maybe instead of karma, having the ability for people to rank each individual post as to its usefulness (like a 1-5 vote). Again, with a large user base making the votes, it will keep the numbers objective. Base the ranking on an average of the usefulness of the posts and put that under the username. That would be useful in my book. Again, usefulness is based on having a large community participating. If only a few participate it ceases to have any meaning.
  • Ranking means little to me and I don't see a need for it, in any form. If someone can tell me a logical reason for ranking, maybe I could be convinced to get on the bandwagon, lol. :?

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    and its not even the ranking, but number of posts.
    For myself if I see a questionable post and its from someone who should now better, I will let them know what they did and expect them to correct it.
    If on the other hand, its someone who is just starting out here, I will still contact them but do more explaining as to WHY what they said maybe shouldnt be used.

    So its no different in ways to a Freshman in college vs a Senior, or a Rookie in baseball to a seasoned veteran. Expectations are different.

    What the name associated with a rank doesnt really matter to me.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • So intead of basing it on number of posts, why not base it on how long the person has been a member? I've seen people here who have only been members for a month or so, and have 500+ posts, and people who have been members for over a year, and have less than a hundred, but for the most part, it's the people who have been here longer that make relevant posts.
    It's funny, as I never looked at the number of posts beofre, but since this one, look every time now LOL
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Ron, that's so true - I also look at the number of posts a member makes. (I keep meaning to look at my own, but keep forgetting. LOL)

    So I agree with you - how many times a member has posted does have relevance to me.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    Now I will contradict myself. I can easily confuse myself, so please stay with me on this one.

    The number of Posts do not always indicate how much a member thinks about each post that they make.
    And there are some here that dont post a lot, but boy when they do , you really listen.

    So, in reality its

    Number of Posts + Quality of Posts what really determines the positive impact and value of any given member.

    Jay's idea of a karma system sort of addresses that.
    But from the two online forums sites I witnessed with Karma points, it didnt last too long.

    But I do like the idea of not using words like Experts... The point system awards someone that title based solely on the sheer number of posts, has nothing to do with what is being posted.

    For the first time since we've been on Drupal, I am beginning to see that Points is really a harmless number. Except like many of you I am still waiting to see the catalog so I can redemm some of them
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Ron, the only place I've seen it work is in a technical environment. Specifically, a good example is the HP IT support forums. The problem there is that not everyone will assign points as to the "helpfulness" of a post. But it does allow others researching the same or similar problems the ability to read posts that have been useful for others or even solved others' problems.

    Otherwise, I agree in that the points are arbitrary and have no usefulness because I'm still waiting on the catalog in the mail to redeem them. Let's see... do I want a Dr. House cane? Or the walker with brakes and built in ladder and seat? Oh, the decisions... lol
  • My two-cents worth on the subject is that I like to know if the post comes from somebody who had never posted before, in which case I (and many other members) welcome them to Spine Health. Also, Ron's point is a good one, that if a new member post something not entirely appropriate he can direct them to the rules of the forum. In case of an established member, the considerations are different. So maybe a previously proposed distinction, like "newbie" , "established ? member" or something that indicates how long somebody had been on the forum.

  • Jay,

    On IT sites it is a good idea. Any site where people are providing solutions to problems using technical expertise. I use the HP and EMC sites and sometimes SUN. I also use a few car sites, racing sites, etc...

    I don't think site, per say, really falls into that category like IT. On the IT site you are talking about solutions that you have applied expertise in. Since we aren't doctors, and there is a constant reminder of that. You are purely stating your opinion.


    This whole points thing is highly over-rated and adding more people to review it becomes subjective. Again, since no one here is a surgeon. You have no technical expertise actually doing it. You're just passing on info you read somewhere else on the web. Or what a surgeon told you about your case.

    Leave it the way it is, remove the points, change peoples titles like most sites. Doesn't really matter. We already agreed no is getting a points catalog to turn in their points for fabulous prizes. So why get hung up on this?

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    a matter of getting hung up on this. There are so many different parts of this system, I dont think talking about it really is going to upset anything.

    And there is a lot more than people just reciting something they read from the Web or what a doctor told them.

    Experience, actually being through something is so very important. I have read several of your posts over the years and you also post something that you personally know about.

    Someone who has been there, who has been around the block once or twice can be an extremely valuable member. And those that help even more dont even need to recite a web page or repeat what a doctor told them.

    So really, I guess part of what I am saying about this entire thread is having something in place that helps separates those that just like to post words vs those that really try to help

    Again, this is just my humble opinion, Graham as always you are entitled to yours.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I get what you are aiming for. I'm not sure you can realistically do it. On most sites regardless of your title, rank, points, stars, whatever. I follow the posts. Then place faith in those that I see provide accurate and useful information for me. That is subjective so my rank and your rank we place on the same person would differ.

    Again, whatever you change it to is fine with me. I don't see it affecting how I view other members or their posts. I wouldn't really worry about other people doing a peer ranking of posts either. I'll still come to my own conclusions. That is where the whole ranking system falls apart for me. I want to make my own decision about value. Not depend on someone elses opinion of what is important.

    There most certainly is nothing wrong with discussing it. Sorry if I implied there was. Have at it. Sooner or later you'll come up with something or jut leave it as is.

  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    A person has made. If they only have a few posts. Then thats the person whos question I would like to answer if I only had time to do one.
    As for points, I don't understand them and have never cared to waste my time to find out.
    But if they can get me a tank of gas. Let me know!
    Jim :D
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • I think if you make it to 5000 points you should get a Spine health T-shirt. I need x-large please. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I thought when we got enough points we got that one way ticket to a tropical island, with a funny little man who would bring us drinks with umbrellas in them and give massages whenever we wished...

    Please don't take my points away, I've posted a lot of nonsense here, I feel so violated to lose my points :''(

  • As far as number of posts, points, quality, quantity, etc., we could always just look at the "member since ________" date.

    That way, as Jim pointed out, we will know who the newbies/probes are and address them accordingly... Plus, the new members usually (not always, but usually) introduce themselves in the New Member section...

    The only things a member need to know are: if the poster is a newbie, an authority, a moderator or administrator.

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