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chapter_8 [2009/11/18 18:21]
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chapter_8 [2009/12/01 14:45] (current)
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===== Using Reputation: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly ===== ===== Using Reputation: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly =====
 +Where <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_7">Chapter_7</a>&nbsp;</html>explained various patterns for displaying reputation, this chapter will focus on //using// it improve the application's user experience by ordering and sifting your objects
 +
<blockquote Clay Spinuzzi, Professor of Rhetoric, University of Texas at Austin> <blockquote Clay Spinuzzi, Professor of Rhetoric, University of Texas at Austin>
Reputation is a lens for filtering the content you need. Reputation is a lens for filtering the content you need.
</blockquote> </blockquote>
-Envision your application's data splayed out across a vast surface, like a jumble of photo negatives spread out on a light table. As you approach this ill-disciplined mess of information, you might be looking for different things at different times. On a Saturday, diversion and entertainment are your goals--“show me those awesome photos we took at the Grand Canyon last year.” Come Monday morning, you're all business: “I need my corporate headshot for that speaking engagement!” Your goals may shift, but it's likely that there are some dimensions that remain fairly consistent.+Envision your application's data splayed out across a vast surface, like a jumble of photo negatives spread out on a light table. As you approach this ill-disciplined mess of information, you might be looking for different things at different times. On a Saturday, diversion and entertainment are your goals-“show me those awesome photos we took at the Grand Canyon last year.” Come Monday morning, you're all business: “I need my corporate headshot for that speaking engagement!” Your goals may shift, but it's likely that there are some dimensions that remain fairly consistent.
-It's likely, for instance, that--regardless of what you're looking for in the pile--that you'd prefer to see //only the good stuff// when you approach your light table. There's some stuff that is obviously good: they're the best photos you've ever taken (all your friends agree.) There's some stuff that is arguably good, and you'd like to see it to decide for yourself. And then there's some stuff that is flat-out //bad//: oops, your thumb was obscuring the lens. Or… that one was backlit. You may not want to destroy these lesser efforts, but you certainly don't want to see them every time.+It's likely, for instance, that-regardless of what you're looking for in the pile-that you'd prefer to see //only the good stuff// when you approach your light table. There's some stuff that is obviously good: they're the best photos you've ever taken (all your friends agree.) There's some stuff that is arguably good, and you'd like to see it to decide for yourself. And then there's some stuff that is flat-out //bad//: oops, your thumb was obscuring the lens. Or… that one was backlit. You may not want to destroy these lesser efforts, but you certainly don't want to see them every time.
Think of reputation as an extremely useful //lens// that you can hold up to the content of your application (or its community of contributors.) A lens that reveals quality, obscures noise and is powered by the opinions of those who've sifted through the jumble before you. In this chapter, we'll propose a number of strategies for employing this lens: where to point it, how to hold it and how to read the information that it reveals. Think of reputation as an extremely useful //lens// that you can hold up to the content of your application (or its community of contributors.) A lens that reveals quality, obscures noise and is powered by the opinions of those who've sifted through the jumble before you. In this chapter, we'll propose a number of strategies for employing this lens: where to point it, how to hold it and how to read the information that it reveals.
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We're positive people, by nature. We really do want to find the good in people. So let's start with some of the more affirmative strategies for using the reputations that your contributors and their contributions have earned. We're positive people, by nature. We really do want to find the good in people. So let's start with some of the more affirmative strategies for using the reputations that your contributors and their contributions have earned.
-<note tip>+<box blue 75% round>
** Accentuate the Positive ** ** Accentuate the Positive **
Why is it a good idea to showcase high-quality contributions, front and center? Let's discuss the value of //imprinting// on your visitors and the effects it can have on their subsequent interactions with your site. Why is it a good idea to showcase high-quality contributions, front and center? Let's discuss the value of //imprinting// on your visitors and the effects it can have on their subsequent interactions with your site.
-We've already discussed Dan Ariely's //Predictably Irrational//in reference to incentives (see <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_5#Chap_5-Incentives">Chap_5-Incentives</a>&nbsp;</html>.) Ariely also explores the idea of //imprinting//-- a phenomenon first studied in goslings, who “not only […] make initial decisions based on what's available in their environment, but […] stick with a decision once it has been made.” +We've already discussed Dan Ariely's //Predictably Irrational//in reference to incentives (see <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_5#Chap_5-Incentives">Chap_5-Incentives</a>&nbsp;</html>.) Ariely also explores the idea of //imprinting//-a phenomenon first studied in goslings, who “not only […] make initial decisions based on what's available in their environment, but […] stick with a decision once it has been made.”
-This tendency is prevalent in humans as well, and Ariely explains how imprinting can explain our somewhat-irrational tendency to fixate on //anchor// prices for goods and services. An anchor is the ideal valuation that we hold in our minds for something: it is the price that we judge all other prices against for that thing. And it is largely a function of our //first exposure// to that thing. (Maybe the old Botany Suits ads were right all along -- “You'll never get a second chance to make a first impression!” )+This tendency is prevalent in humans as well, and Ariely explains how imprinting can explain our somewhat-irrational tendency to fixate on //anchor// prices for goods and services. An anchor is the ideal valuation that we hold in our minds for something: it is the price that we judge all other prices against for that thing. And it is largely a function of our //first exposure// to that thing. (Maybe the old Botany Suits ads were right all along-“You'll never get a second chance to make a first impression!” )
-How does this matter in the Web 2.0 world of user-generated content? When someone comes to your site, there are many indicators -- everything from the visual design of the site to the editorial voice presented to, heck, even the choice of domain name -- that communicate to them the type of place it is, and the type of activities that people engage in there. We would argue that one indicator that speaks loudly (perhaps loudest of all) is the type of content that visitors see on display.+How does this matter in the Web 2.0 world of user-generated content? When someone comes to your site, there are many indicators-everything from the visual design of the site to the editorial voice presented to, heck, even the choice of domain name-that communicate to them the type of place it is, and the type of activities that people engage in there. We would argue that one indicator that speaks loudly (perhaps loudest of all) is the type of content that visitors see on display.
-It is this type of evaluation, especially early on, that anchors a users opinion of your site. And remember that anchoring and imprinting aren't just short-lived dynamics: they will persist for as long as your users have a relationship with your site. If their initial valuation of your offering is //high//, then they're far more likely to become good citizens down the road -- to contribute good content, with some attention payed to its creation and presentation. (And respect others who are doing so, as well.)+It is this type of evaluation, especially early on, that anchors a users opinion of your site. And remember that anchoring and imprinting aren't just short-lived dynamics: they will persist for as long as your users have a relationship with your site. If their initial valuation of your offering is //high//, then they're far more likely to become good citizens down the road-to contribute good content, with some attention payed to its creation and presentation. (And respect others who are doing so, as well.)
If their valuation of your offering is low? Well… did you ever date someone that you didn't see much of a future with? You might have had other compelling reasons to stay in the relationship, but you probably didn't put a lot of effort into it, right? This is what you //don't// want for your community-based web site. An influx of half-hearted, lackluster non-enthusiasts. Maybe you want visitors to //come to// your video-sharing site for its generous storage limits, but you certainly don't want them stay for that reason alone. This does not make for a vibrant and engaged community. If their valuation of your offering is low? Well… did you ever date someone that you didn't see much of a future with? You might have had other compelling reasons to stay in the relationship, but you probably didn't put a lot of effort into it, right? This is what you //don't// want for your community-based web site. An influx of half-hearted, lackluster non-enthusiasts. Maybe you want visitors to //come to// your video-sharing site for its generous storage limits, but you certainly don't want them stay for that reason alone. This does not make for a vibrant and engaged community.
-</note>+</box>
=== Rank-Order Items in Lists and Search Results === === Rank-Order Items in Lists and Search Results ===
Ordering items in listings always presents something of a problem. Whether the list presented is the result of a search query, or just represents a natural ordering of items in a taxonomy, you generally have to wrestle with issues of scale (too many items in the list) and relevance (what do you show first?) Users are impatient and probably won't want to scroll or page through too many items in the list to find exactly what they want. Ordering items in listings always presents something of a problem. Whether the list presented is the result of a search query, or just represents a natural ordering of items in a taxonomy, you generally have to wrestle with issues of scale (too many items in the list) and relevance (what do you show first?) Users are impatient and probably won't want to scroll or page through too many items in the list to find exactly what they want.
-Simple ordering schemes only get you so far -- take alphabetic, for instance. True, it does enjoy a certain internal logic and may appear to imminently predictable and useful. But it's no good if your users don't know what items they're looking for. Or what those users are named. Or where, in a paginated results listing of 890 items, the “J” s might start.+Simple ordering schemes only get you so far-take alphabetic, for instance. True, it does enjoy a certain internal logic and may appear to imminently predictable and useful. But it's no good if your users don't know what items they're looking for. Or what those users are named. Or where, in a paginated results listing of 890 items, the “J” s might start.
-Ideally, then, you'd know something about your user's desires and direct them quickly and efficiently to that exact thing in a listing. This is the type of stuff -- personalization based on past habits -- that Amazon does so well. But a personalized recommendation approach assumes a lot as well: users probably have to be registered with your site. Or at least have a cookied history with it. But more importantly, they have to have //been there before//. After all, you can't serve up recommedations based on past actions if there are no past actions to speak of.+Ideally, then, you'd know something about your user's desires and direct them quickly and efficiently to that exact thing in a listing. This is the type of stuff-personalization based on past habits-that Amazon does so well. But a personalized recommendation approach assumes a lot as well: users probably have to be registered with your site. Or at least have a cookied history with it. But more importantly, they have to have //been there before//. After all, you can't serve up recommedations based on past actions if there are no past actions to speak of.
So, once again, your reputation system can come to the rescue. Reputation-ranked ordering is available regardless of a visitor's prior relationship with your site. In fact, community-based reputation can compensate for a whole lot of contextual deficiencies in a search setting. <html><a href="#Figure_8-1">Figure_8-1</a>&nbsp;</html>shows a typical search result listing on Yelp. So, once again, your reputation system can come to the rescue. Reputation-ranked ordering is available regardless of a visitor's prior relationship with your site. In fact, community-based reputation can compensate for a whole lot of contextual deficiencies in a search setting. <html><a href="#Figure_8-1">Figure_8-1</a>&nbsp;</html>shows a typical search result listing on Yelp.
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The query provided was a fairly broad one (the term 'pizza' scoped to Columbus, Ohio.) and lacks a certain amount of context about what I might want to see: I might have, for instance, given a more-specific search term like 'bbq pizza' and gotten a very different set of results. Or I could have been more specific in neighborhood locale. And remember, I'm just any old visitor, not a registered Yelp user, so there's no real context to be gleaned from my past history. The query provided was a fairly broad one (the term 'pizza' scoped to Columbus, Ohio.) and lacks a certain amount of context about what I might want to see: I might have, for instance, given a more-specific search term like 'bbq pizza' and gotten a very different set of results. Or I could have been more specific in neighborhood locale. And remember, I'm just any old visitor, not a registered Yelp user, so there's no real context to be gleaned from my past history.
-<html><a name="Figure_8-1"><center></html>// Figure_8-1: If I want a pizza in Columbus, odds are good I want the best pizza right? Best Matchpizza results on Yelp are flavored with reputation from user ratings. //<html></center></a></html> +<html><a name="Figure_8-1"><center></html>// Figure_8-1: If I want a pizza in Columbus, odds are good I want the best pizza right? Best Matchresults on Yelp are flavored with reputation from user ratings. //<html></center></a></html> 
-<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Ch09_YelpRepRankedSRP.png"/></center></html>+<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Figure_8-1.png"/></center></html>
-With a bare minimum of context to scope on, Yelp does a pretty good job of showing me pizza restaurants that I might want to consider. They do this by rank-ordering search results based on establishments' reputations. (Their community average ratings.) In fact, they present another facet that you can order results by -- “Highest Rated” that is even more explicitly powered by community reputation. In an example like this -- one with a broad enough context -- there's very little difference in the presentation of these two facets.+With a bare minimum of context to scope on, Yelp does a pretty good job of showing me pizza restaurants that I might want to consider. They do this by rank-ordering search results based on establishments' reputations. (Their community average ratings.) In fact, they present another facet that you can order results by-“Highest Rated” that is even more explicitly powered by community reputation. In an example like this-one with a broad enough context-there's very little difference in the presentation of these two facets.
<note caution>Beware of confusing your users with an overabundance of ambiguously-derived filtering mechanisms based on reputation. Most users will be hard-pressed to understand the difference between “Best Match” , “Highest Rated” and “Most Popular” . Either limit the number of options or make sure that you select the best default filter for users: the one most likely to reveal the highest-quality options with the //least// amount of user-provided context. <note caution>Beware of confusing your users with an overabundance of ambiguously-derived filtering mechanisms based on reputation. Most users will be hard-pressed to understand the difference between “Best Match” , “Highest Rated” and “Most Popular” . Either limit the number of options or make sure that you select the best default filter for users: the one most likely to reveal the highest-quality options with the //least// amount of user-provided context.
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<html><a name="Figure_8-2"><center></html>// Figure_8-2: Vimeo goes out of their way to welcome new visitors, including not one but three different Greeting Galleries. //<html></center></a></html> <html><a name="Figure_8-2"><center></html>// Figure_8-2: Vimeo goes out of their way to welcome new visitors, including not one but three different Greeting Galleries. //<html></center></a></html>
-<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Ch09-VimeoGreetingGallery.png"/></center></html>+<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Figure_8-2.png"/></center></html>
-Notice the view that greets you when you arrive at Vimeo (<html><a href="#Figure_8-1">Figure_8-1</a>&nbsp;</html>, a well-designed video sharing site. There are not one but //three// different ways to browse the site's best content--“Videos We Like” , “Explore” and “Right Now” . These tabs present three different types of reputation for video content: //Videos We Like// is an editor-influenced view (see <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_8#Chap_8-Editor-Controlled-Showcases">Chap_8-Editor-Controlled-Showcases</a>&nbsp;</html>); //Explore// appears to be quality-driven (probably based on usage patterns on the site, and the number of “Likes” that videos receive); and //Right Now// puts an emphasis on current, fresh content by incorporating decay. (See <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_3#Chap_3-Decay">Chap_3-Decay</a>&nbsp;</html>.)+Notice the view that greets you when you arrive at Vimeo (<html><a href="#Figure_8-2">Figure_8-2</a>&nbsp;</html>, a well-designed video sharing site. There are not one but //three// different ways to browse the site's best content-“Videos We Like” , “Explore” and “Right Now” . These tabs present three different types of reputation for video content: //Videos We Like// is an editor-influenced view (see <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_8#Chap_8-Editor-Controlled-Showcases">Chap_8-Editor-Controlled-Showcases</a>&nbsp;</html>); //Explore// appears to be quality-driven (probably based on usage patterns on the site, and the number of “Likes” that videos receive); and //Right Now// puts an emphasis on current, fresh content by incorporating decay. (See <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_3#Chap_3-Decay">Chap_3-Decay</a>&nbsp;</html>.)
Content showcases are not only useful at the front door of your site. Smaller, contextually appropriate showcases placed at strategic locations throughout the site can continue to communicate an expectation of quality and show the best contributions within that section of the site. Content showcases are not only useful at the front door of your site. Smaller, contextually appropriate showcases placed at strategic locations throughout the site can continue to communicate an expectation of quality and show the best contributions within that section of the site.
<html><a name="Figure_8-3"><center></html>// Figure_8-3: Buzz on the Boardshighlights message board threads based on activity (where are hot conversations happening) then sorts based on quality (which individual posts are highest-rated.) //<html></center></a></html> <html><a name="Figure_8-3"><center></html>// Figure_8-3: Buzz on the Boardshighlights message board threads based on activity (where are hot conversations happening) then sorts based on quality (which individual posts are highest-rated.) //<html></center></a></html>
-<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Ch09-BuzzOnTheBoards.png"/></center></html>+<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Figure_8-3.png"/></center></html>
-<html><a href="#Figure_8-3">Figure_8-3</a>&nbsp;</html>features wireframe designs for a mini-showcase, “Best of the Boards” , that never went live on Yahoo! UK's sports pages. The widget was designed to pull contextually-relevant conversations out of sports message boards and surface them on daily sports news articles. The goal was to educate casual, visiting article readers about the availability of community features on the site. Hopefully, to pull them //into// the conversation--as participants--at exactly the moment when they're most opinionated and ready to engage with others.+<html><a href="#Figure_8-3">Figure_8-3</a>&nbsp;</html>features wireframe designs for a mini-showcase, “Best of the Boards” , that never went live on Yahoo! UK's sports pages. The widget was designed to pull contextually-relevant conversations out of sports message boards and surface them on daily sports news articles. The goal was to educate casual, visiting article readers about the availability of community features on the site. Hopefully, to pull them //into// the conversation-as participants-at exactly the moment when they're most opinionated and ready to engage with others.
<note caution>There's a danger with showcases: if your design gives them too much prominence (or if your community embraces them too eagerly) then you run the risk of creating a //Leaderboard// situation. (See <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_7#Chap_7-Leaderboards_Considered_Harmful">Chap_7-Leaderboards_Considered_Harmful</a>&nbsp;</html>.) Placement in the showcase will take on a certain currency with members of the community, and their desire to see their content featured there may lead to some less-than-ideal behaviors. See [[http://www.richardsnotes.org/archives/2007/08/24/flickr-explore/|Richard's Notes on Flickr Explore]]for the contra-viewpoint on how reputation-based showcases may be a detriment to that community. <note caution>There's a danger with showcases: if your design gives them too much prominence (or if your community embraces them too eagerly) then you run the risk of creating a //Leaderboard// situation. (See <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_7#Chap_7-Leaderboards_Considered_Harmful">Chap_7-Leaderboards_Considered_Harmful</a>&nbsp;</html>.) Placement in the showcase will take on a certain currency with members of the community, and their desire to see their content featured there may lead to some less-than-ideal behaviors. See [[http://www.richardsnotes.org/archives/2007/08/24/flickr-explore/|Richard's Notes on Flickr Explore]]for the contra-viewpoint on how reputation-based showcases may be a detriment to that community.
</note> </note>
-You can also highlight your best and brightest community members in a showcase. <html><a href="#Figure_8-3">Figure_8-3</a>&nbsp;</html>shows a “Community Stars” module, also planned but never released for Yahoo! UK Sports. This module first pulls active and high-quality contributors from the system based on poster reputation, and then does a secondary sort based on those users' //posts// reputation. This guarantees that--not only will the best contributors appear here--but only their //top// contributions will be considered for inclusion.+You can also highlight your best and brightest community members in a showcase. <html><a href="#Figure_8-4">Figure_8-4</a>&nbsp;</html>shows a “Community Stars” module, also planned but never released for Yahoo! UK Sports. This module first pulls active and high-quality contributors from the system based on poster reputation, and then does a secondary sort based on those users' //posts// reputation. This guarantees that-not only will the best contributors appear here-but only their //top// contributions will be considered for inclusion.
<html><a name="Figure_8-4"><center></html>// Figure_8-4: This module is based on contributor reputation and the quality of the posts featured, but the language downplays this. No reason to create a popularity contest, right? //<html></center></a></html> <html><a name="Figure_8-4"><center></html>// Figure_8-4: This module is based on contributor reputation and the quality of the posts featured, but the language downplays this. No reason to create a popularity contest, right? //<html></center></a></html>
-<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Ch09-CommunityStars.png"/></center></html>+<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Figure_8-4.png"/></center></html>
The rules for people showcases are no different than for content showcases, but you may want to alter your approach to the design and presentation of this type of showcase. Labels that apply easily and comfortably to content may invoke the wrong effects when applied to the people in your community. The rules for people showcases are no different than for content showcases, but you may want to alter your approach to the design and presentation of this type of showcase. Labels that apply easily and comfortably to content may invoke the wrong effects when applied to the people in your community.
-Don't shower featured contributors with effusive praise-“Best & Brightest” for instance. Remember, for every person you single out for praise on your site--however well-deserved that praise may be--you are simultaneously //ignoring// a much greater number of contributors. Don't dis-incent a large number of your community. No one likes to feel that they're laboring in anonymity, especially when others seem to be basking in praise.+Don't shower featured contributors with effusive praise-“Best & Brightest” for instance. Remember, for every person you single out for praise on your site-however well-deserved that praise may be-you are simultaneously //ignoring// a much greater number of contributors. Don't dis-incent a large number of your community. No one likes to feel that they're laboring in anonymity, especially when others seem to be basking in praise.
<html><a name='Chap_8-Editor-Controlled-Showcases'></a></html> <html><a name='Chap_8-Editor-Controlled-Showcases'></a></html>
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The idea of a //completely// algorithmically-determined showcase may give you pause. After all, you're placing these elements in high-profile, high-traffic locations on your site. They're //bound// to draw out the spammers, and ne'er-do-wells , right? The idea of a //completely// algorithmically-determined showcase may give you pause. After all, you're placing these elements in high-profile, high-traffic locations on your site. They're //bound// to draw out the spammers, and ne'er-do-wells , right?
-You're probably right to worry. As we caution above--and throughout this book--if placement in the showcase becomes a motivation for some of your contributors, then they will undoubtedly figure out ways to achieve that placement. You may want to design in some safeguards.+You're probably right to worry. As we caution above-and throughout this book-if placement in the showcase becomes a motivation for some of your contributors, then they will undoubtedly figure out ways to achieve that placement. You may want to design in some safeguards.
At a minimum, the models that power your showcase should include consideration of the creator's karma, to ensure that content showcased comes primarily from long-standing and mostly reputable contributors. You should also provide controls for quick removal of abusive content that somehow makes it through the reputation filters. (See <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_10">Chapter_10</a>&nbsp;</html>for a detailed case study on community-driven abuse moderation.) And, to keep the content fresh and lively (//and// ensure that more contributors have the opportunity to be featured) also consider flavoring the model with decay. (See <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_4#Chap_4-Decay_and_Delay">Chap_4-Decay_and_Delay</a>&nbsp;</html>.) At a minimum, the models that power your showcase should include consideration of the creator's karma, to ensure that content showcased comes primarily from long-standing and mostly reputable contributors. You should also provide controls for quick removal of abusive content that somehow makes it through the reputation filters. (See <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_10">Chapter_10</a>&nbsp;</html>for a detailed case study on community-driven abuse moderation.) And, to keep the content fresh and lively (//and// ensure that more contributors have the opportunity to be featured) also consider flavoring the model with decay. (See <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_4#Chap_4-Decay_and_Delay">Chap_4-Decay_and_Delay</a>&nbsp;</html>.)
-If you're still anxious, there's no reason that a showcase gallery can't be completely editor-determined. And your reputation system can still play a big part in this workflow. Your human editors can use any combination of strategies outlined in this chapter to //find// the good stuff on the site--perhaps they just do a search, and rank the results based on various reputations. Or maybe they have access to some internal, eyes-only tools that leverage corporate reputations you may be keeping to quickly feret out all of the showcase-worthy content. It's still a lot of work, but it's //worlds// easier with a good reputation system in place than without.+If you're still anxious, there's no reason that a showcase gallery can't be completely editor-determined. And your reputation system can still play a big part in this workflow. Your human editors can use any combination of strategies outlined in this chapter to //find// the good stuff on the site-perhaps they just do a search, and rank the results based on various reputations. Or maybe they have access to some internal, eyes-only tools that leverage corporate reputations you may be keeping to quickly feret out all of the showcase-worthy content. It's still a lot of work, but it's //worlds// easier with a good reputation system in place than without.
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Reputation is no guarantee that //all// of the content on your site will be phenomenal. Once you've employed some of the strategies above for promoting and surfacing good content, you may still need to obscure the lesser stuff. Reputation is no guarantee that //all// of the content on your site will be phenomenal. Once you've employed some of the strategies above for promoting and surfacing good content, you may still need to obscure the lesser stuff.
-Remember our discussion from Chapter 1 (<html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_1#Chap_1-lots_of_crap">Chap_1-lots_of_crap</a>&nbsp;</html>) on the levels of content quality that your site may encounter. With these strategies, we're addressing content that falls on the lower end of the spectrum--content that is at best //OK//, but generally tends toward the //poor//-to-//illegal// end of the spectrum. Different tactics are appropriate at different points along the spectrum.+Remember our discussion from Chapter 1 (<html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_1#Chap_1-lots_of_crap">Chap_1-lots_of_crap</a>&nbsp;</html>) on the levels of content quality that your site may encounter. With these strategies, we're addressing content that falls on the lower end of the spectrum-content that is at best //OK//, but generally tends toward the //poor//-to-//illegal// end of the spectrum. Different tactics are appropriate at different points along the spectrum.
You may ask yourself: do I really //need// to actively police content quality at the midpoints of the scale? Content that is //OK//, or even //poor// certainly doesn't need to be punished, right? Isn't it enough to promote the good, and let the mediocre stuff just kinda vanish? Just let it slide into obscurity off the reputation-ranked end of the long content tail? You may ask yourself: do I really //need// to actively police content quality at the midpoints of the scale? Content that is //OK//, or even //poor// certainly doesn't need to be punished, right? Isn't it enough to promote the good, and let the mediocre stuff just kinda vanish? Just let it slide into obscurity off the reputation-ranked end of the long content tail?
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Perhaps, but you may want to be mindful of the community effects of allowing poor content to pile up. Perhaps, but you may want to be mindful of the community effects of allowing poor content to pile up.
-<note tip>+<box blue 75% round>
** Broken Windows and Online Behavior ** ** Broken Windows and Online Behavior **
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Much of the tone of discourse online is governed by the level of moderation and to what extent people are encouraged to “own” their words. When forums, message boards, and blog comment threads with more than a handful of participants are unmoderated, bad behavior follows. The appearance of one troll encourages others. Undeleted hateful or //ad hominem// comments are an indication that this is allowable behavior and encourages more of the same. Those commenters who are normally respectable participants are emboldened by the uptick in bad behavior and misbehave themselves. More likely, they're discouraged from helping with the community moderation process of keeping their peers in line with social pressure. Or they stop visiting the site altogether. Much of the tone of discourse online is governed by the level of moderation and to what extent people are encouraged to “own” their words. When forums, message boards, and blog comment threads with more than a handful of participants are unmoderated, bad behavior follows. The appearance of one troll encourages others. Undeleted hateful or //ad hominem// comments are an indication that this is allowable behavior and encourages more of the same. Those commenters who are normally respectable participants are emboldened by the uptick in bad behavior and misbehave themselves. More likely, they're discouraged from helping with the community moderation process of keeping their peers in line with social pressure. Or they stop visiting the site altogether.
-Unchecked comment spam signals that the owner/moderator of the forum or blog isn't paying attention, stimulating further improper conduct. Anonymity provides commenters with immunity from being associated with their speech and actions, making the whole situation worse...how does the community punish or police someone they don't know? Very quickly, the situation is out of control and your message board is the online equivalent of South Central Los Angeles in the 1980s, inhabited by roving gangs armed with hate speech, fueled by the need for attention, making things difficult for those who wish to carry on useful conversations. //Jason Kottke//+Unchecked comment spam signals that the owner/moderator of the forum or blog isn't paying attention, stimulating further improper conduct. Anonymity provides commenters with immunity from being associated with their speech and actions, making the whole situation worse…how does the community punish or police someone they don't know? Very quickly, the situation is out of control and your message board is the online equivalent of South Central Los Angeles in the 1980s, inhabited by roving gangs armed with hate speech, fueled by the need for attention, making things difficult for those who wish to carry on useful conversations. //Jason Kottke//
-</note>+</box>
<html><a name='Chap_8-Configurable_Quality_Threshold'></a></html> <html><a name='Chap_8-Configurable_Quality_Threshold'></a></html>
=== Configurable Quality Thresholds === === Configurable Quality Thresholds ===
-One of the dangers inherent in controlling content display by reputation is that of being //overly presumptuous//--who's to say that the decisions you make for your community about what content they do or don't want to see are the right ones? Why not let each user decide, for him or herself, what level of conversational noise they prefer? For information-rich displays (listings, comment threads, search results) consider providing a //quality threshold// interface element that lets users 'ratchet up' or 'ratchet down' the signal-to-noise ratio that they're prepared to accept. Another common pattern is allowing users to reverse the sort order of the content, worst evaluations first.+One of the dangers inherent in controlling content display by reputation is that of being //overly presumptuous//-who's to say that the decisions you make for your community about what content they do or don't want to see are the right ones? Why not let each user decide, for him or herself, what level of conversational noise they prefer? For information-rich displays (listings, comment threads, search results) consider providing a //quality threshold// interface element that lets users 'ratchet up' or 'ratchet down' the signal-to-noise ratio that they're prepared to accept. Another common pattern is allowing users to reverse the sort order of the content, worst evaluations first.
-The granddaddy of reputation-based content moderation is Slashdot, and they employ this strategy to great effect. <html><a href="#Figure_8-5">Figure_8-5</a>&nbsp;</html>demonstrates Slashdot's multiple levels of content obscurity: comments below a certain score are Abbreviated in a thread--just enough content from the post is left 'peeking out' to preserve context and invite the curious to read more; those that dip below an even //lower// score are Hidden altogether and no longer sully the reader's display.+The granddaddy of reputation-based content moderation is Slashdot, and they employ this strategy to great effect. <html><a href="#Figure_8-5">Figure_8-5</a>&nbsp;</html>demonstrates Slashdot's multiple levels of content obscurity: comments below a certain score are abbreviated in a thread-just enough content from the post is left “peeking out” to preserve context and invite the curious to read more; those that dip below an even //lower// score are hidden altogether and no longer sully the reader's display.
<html><a name="Figure_8-5"><center></html>// Figure_8-5: Slashdot seemingly hides more posts than it displays. It's a system that favors your rights as a discriminating information consumer over everyone else's desire to be heard. //<html></center></a></html> <html><a name="Figure_8-5"><center></html>// Figure_8-5: Slashdot seemingly hides more posts than it displays. It's a system that favors your rights as a discriminating information consumer over everyone else's desire to be heard. //<html></center></a></html>
-<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Ch09-SlashdotConfigurableThresholds.png"/></center></html>+<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Figure_8-5.png"/></center></html>
-To avoid the presumption trap, make these controls user-configurable. Let users choose the quality-level that they'd like to see. Don't bury this setting as a user-preference -- make it evident and easily accessible right in the main information display: otherwise it will probably never be discovered or changed. (A bonus to keeping the control easily accessible: users who want to change it frequently can do so with ease.)+To avoid the presumption trap, make these controls user-configurable. Let users choose the quality-level that they'd like to see. Don't bury this setting as a user-preference-make it evident and easily accessible right in the main information display: otherwise it will probably never be discovered or changed. (A bonus to keeping the control easily accessible: users who want to change it frequently can do so with ease.)
You may be concerned that providing a quality threshold will unfairly punish new contributors or new contributions that haven't had enough exposure to the community to surpass the level of the threshold for display. Consider pairing this strategy with Inferred Reputation (see <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_8#Chap_8-Initial_Reputation">Chap_8-Initial_Reputation</a>&nbsp;</html>) to give those new entrants a leg up on the quality game. You may be concerned that providing a quality threshold will unfairly punish new contributors or new contributions that haven't had enough exposure to the community to surpass the level of the threshold for display. Consider pairing this strategy with Inferred Reputation (see <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_8#Chap_8-Initial_Reputation">Chap_8-Initial_Reputation</a>&nbsp;</html>) to give those new entrants a leg up on the quality game.
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=== Expressing Dissatisfaction === === Expressing Dissatisfaction ===
-Remember //The Gong Show//? It was a popular American game show in the 70s -- contestants would come on and display a “talent” of their choosing to celebrity judges, any one of whom, at any point during the performance (okay, there were time limits, but that's beside the point), could strike an enormous gong to disqualify that contestant. Trust us, it was great entertainment.+Remember //The Gong Show//? It was a popular American game show in the 70s-contestants would come on and display a “talent” of their choosing to celebrity judges, any one of whom, at any point during the performance (okay, there were time limits, but that's beside the point), could strike an enormous gong to disqualify that contestant. Trust us, it was great entertainment.
-Today's Web has a smaller, quieter (and, sadly, less satisfying) equivalent to that show's “gong” . It is a judgmental little widget -- the Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down vote -- that often accompanies user-contributed entities as a form of participatory crowd judgment. (See <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_6#Chap_6-Thumbs_Up_Thumbs_Down">Chap_6-Thumbs_Up_Thumbs_Down</a>&nbsp;</html>.) Consider providing //at least// this level of explicit user voting for content on your site.+Today's Web has a smaller, quieter (and, sadly, less satisfying) equivalent to that show's “gong” . It is a judgmental little widget-the Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down vote-that often accompanies user-contributed entities as a form of participatory crowd judgment. (See <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_6#Chap_6-Thumbs_Up_Thumbs_Down">Chap_6-Thumbs_Up_Thumbs_Down</a>&nbsp;</html>.) Consider providing //at least// this level of explicit user voting for content on your site.
-It's probably best to provide your users //some// means of expressing an opinion about content. Otherwise, they will likely co-opt whatever other mechanisms are available to do so: either user comments -- and threads will quickly fill with back-and-forth bickering over peoples' spelling abilities and "+1" type posts; or Abuse Reports (discussed below.) And we don't want to encourage inappropriate abuse reporting. Sometimes arming the community with a simple, satisfying mechanism to say “I disagree” is enough.+It's probably best to provide your users //some// means of expressing an opinion about content. Otherwise, they will likely co-opt whatever other mechanisms are available to do so: either user comments-and threads will quickly fill with back-and-forth bickering over peoples' spelling abilities and +1” type posts; or Abuse Reports (discussed below.) And we don't want to encourage inappropriate abuse reporting. Sometimes arming the community with a simple, satisfying mechanism to say “I disagree” is enough.
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<html><a name='Chap_8-Report_Abuse'></a></html> <html><a name='Chap_8-Report_Abuse'></a></html>
=== Report Abuse === === Report Abuse ===
-Reporting Abuse is serious business. It is an explicit input into your reputation system unlike any other: it potentially has legal repercussions; it is basically a user-to-user reputation claim (which we generally discourage -- see <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_6#Chap_6-Good_Inputs">Chap_6-Good_Inputs</a>&nbsp;</html>; users should not //think// of it as an evaluative act -- is this content good or bad -- rather it should feel like a straightforward act of discovery: “Whoah! This shouldn't be here!” +Reporting Abuse is serious business. It is an explicit input into your reputation system unlike any other: it potentially has legal repercussions; it is basically a user-to-user reputation claim (which we generally discourage-see <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_6#Chap_6-Good_Inputs">Chap_6-Good_Inputs</a>&nbsp;</html>; users should not //think// of it as an evaluative act-is this content good or bad-rather it should feel like a straightforward act of discovery: “Whoah! This shouldn't be here!”
-Your interface design should attempt to reduce the likelihood that users will conflate abuse reporting with other, more evaluative, reputation inputs. Discourage users from reporting anything that is not actual abuse. <html><a href="#Figure_8-6">Figure_8-6</a>&nbsp;</html>demonstrates a number of design changes that the Yahoo! Answers team enacted to clarify the intent of all the controls, and -- as a side benefit -- to reduce the likelihood that users would erroneously file reports against undeserving questions or answers.+Your interface design should attempt to reduce the likelihood that users will conflate abuse reporting with other, more evaluative, reputation inputs. Discourage users from reporting anything that is not actual abuse. <html><a href="#Figure_8-6">Figure_8-6</a>&nbsp;</html>demonstrates a number of design changes that the Yahoo! Answers team enacted to clarify the intent of all the controls, and-as a side benefit-to reduce the likelihood that users would erroneously file reports against undeserving questions or answers.
<html><a name="Figure_8-6"><center></html>// Figure_8-6: Yahoo! Answers redesigned a number of reputation input mechanisms, both to make their semantic meanings more clear (adding labels to most of the icons, for instance) but also to remove the proximity of one of the most critical inputs, Report It. //<html></center></a></html> <html><a name="Figure_8-6"><center></html>// Figure_8-6: Yahoo! Answers redesigned a number of reputation input mechanisms, both to make their semantic meanings more clear (adding labels to most of the icons, for instance) but also to remove the proximity of one of the most critical inputs, Report It. //<html></center></a></html>
-<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Ch09_AmbiguousInputs.png"/></center></html>+<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Figure_8-6.png"/></center></html>
In general, here are some good guidelines for maintaining the fidelity of your Abuse Reports, to ensure that they remain good inputs that produce high-confidence content reputations:  * Keep the Report Abuse mechanism clear, and distinct from other possibly-confused reputation inputs. Place it at a visibly-noticeable distance from the piece of content that it acts upon. (Though, of course, this is a design balance: it should be close enough that the mechanism and the entity still appear associated.) In general, here are some good guidelines for maintaining the fidelity of your Abuse Reports, to ensure that they remain good inputs that produce high-confidence content reputations:  * Keep the Report Abuse mechanism clear, and distinct from other possibly-confused reputation inputs. Place it at a visibly-noticeable distance from the piece of content that it acts upon. (Though, of course, this is a design balance: it should be close enough that the mechanism and the entity still appear associated.)
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You've probably already spotted a potential for abuse of another kind here. How can you guard against spurious and malicious use of Report Abuse mechanisms? Inevitably, some in your community will decide that tarring others' content with the suspicion of abuse is an easy path to making their own content stand out. Or they'll use abuse reports to carry out a personal vendetta, or further their own political viewpoint, or… well, you get the point. You've probably already spotted a potential for abuse of another kind here. How can you guard against spurious and malicious use of Report Abuse mechanisms? Inevitably, some in your community will decide that tarring others' content with the suspicion of abuse is an easy path to making their own content stand out. Or they'll use abuse reports to carry out a personal vendetta, or further their own political viewpoint, or… well, you get the point.
-The concern is a valid one. Depending on your abuse mitigation process, the costs can vary. If all abuse reports are vetted by staff, then -- at the very least -- you've lost the time and effort of a staff intervention and investigation. If your application is designed to immediately act on abuse reports and make some mechanistic determination about the content, then you run the risk of punishing content unnecessarily and unfairly. If left to persist, that situation will harm your site's credibility over time.+The concern is a valid one. Depending on your abuse mitigation process, the costs can vary. If all abuse reports are vetted by staff, then-at the very least-you've lost the time and effort of a staff intervention and investigation. If your application is designed to immediately act on abuse reports and make some mechanistic determination about the content, then you run the risk of punishing content unnecessarily and unfairly. If left to persist, that situation will harm your site's credibility over time.
This is a compelling reason to keep accurate //karma// scores for all parties involved. Whether your mitigation process is hands-on, highly automated, or some combination of the two, swift and good judgments can only be aided by having as much information about both 'sides' as possible. Consider keeping a secret corporate reputation (call it //Abuse Reporter reputation//) that tracks users' past performance at finding and reporting abusive content. There are a variety of inputs that could weigh into this karma score:  * The reporter's own past contributions to the site. (Or length of membership, or other indicators of their value to the community.) This is a compelling reason to keep accurate //karma// scores for all parties involved. Whether your mitigation process is hands-on, highly automated, or some combination of the two, swift and good judgments can only be aided by having as much information about both 'sides' as possible. Consider keeping a secret corporate reputation (call it //Abuse Reporter reputation//) that tracks users' past performance at finding and reporting abusive content. There are a variety of inputs that could weigh into this karma score:  * The reporter's own past contributions to the site. (Or length of membership, or other indicators of their value to the community.)
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==== Teach Your Users How to Fish ==== ==== Teach Your Users How to Fish ====
-Up to now in this chapter, we've focused on reputation-related strategies for improving the perceived quality of content on your site. (Promote this, demote that, whoops lets hide this one altogether…) The hope is that, by shaping the perceptions of quality, you'll influence your user's behavior and actually see //real// improvements in the quality of contributions. You'll somewhat have to take it on faith that this will work, and -- to be fair -- the Virtuous Circle (<html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_1#Chap_1-virtuous_circle">Chap_1-virtuous_circle</a>&nbsp;</html>) is, at best, an indirect and eventual method for positively influencing your community.+Up to now in this chapter, we've focused on reputation-related strategies for improving the perceived quality of content on your site. (Promote this, demote that, whoops lets hide this one altogether…) The hope is that, by shaping the perceptions of quality, you'll influence your user's behavior and actually see //real// improvements in the quality of contributions. You'll somewhat have to take it on faith that this will work, and-to be fair-the Virtuous Circle (<html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_1#Chap_1-virtuous_circle">Chap_1-virtuous_circle</a>&nbsp;</html>) is, at best, an indirect and eventual method for positively influencing your community.
Aren't there some more direct ways? Why yes, there are. As it turns out, the methods and methodology of gathering reputation give us an excellent set of tools to help educate your users, and teach them how to be better contributors. (Or editors, or readers, or…) Using these techniques, you will be able to:  * Let contributors know “how they're doing” on an ongoing basis. Aren't there some more direct ways? Why yes, there are. As it turns out, the methods and methodology of gathering reputation give us an excellent set of tools to help educate your users, and teach them how to be better contributors. (Or editors, or readers, or…) Using these techniques, you will be able to:  * Let contributors know “how they're doing” on an ongoing basis.
-  * Give them specific and -- in some cases -- quantifiable feedback on the community's response to their contributions.+  * Give them specific and-in some cases-quantifiable feedback on the community's response to their contributions.
  * Suggest new and different strategies to them, in order to continually improve their content quality.   * Suggest new and different strategies to them, in order to continually improve their content quality.
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An approach that serves a number of different ends is the concept of //Inferred Reputation// for content submissions. With this approach, your application presumes a level of quality for a submission based on the karma of the content submitter and an appraisal of the intrinsic qualities of the submission itself. This appraisal may take any number of factors into consideration: the presence of profanity; the completeness of accompanying metadata; the length or brevity of the submission; and other community- or application- specific evaluations that make sense within the given context. An approach that serves a number of different ends is the concept of //Inferred Reputation// for content submissions. With this approach, your application presumes a level of quality for a submission based on the karma of the content submitter and an appraisal of the intrinsic qualities of the submission itself. This appraisal may take any number of factors into consideration: the presence of profanity; the completeness of accompanying metadata; the length or brevity of the submission; and other community- or application- specific evaluations that make sense within the given context.
-Once evaluated, the content submission is given an initial reputation--this can be displayed alongside the submission until it's garnered enough attention to display an actual, earned reputation. (How will you know when to switch over to display the actual reputation? When enough community members have rated the item that it's surpassed the //liquidity threshold//. See <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_3#Chap_3-Low_Liquidity_Effects">Chap_3-Low_Liquidity_Effects</a>&nbsp;</html>.)+Once evaluated, the content submission is given an initial reputation-this can be displayed alongside the submission until it's garnered enough attention to display an actual, earned reputation, as in <html><a href="#Figure_8-7">Figure_8-7</a>&nbsp;</html>. (How will you know when to switch over to display the actual reputation? When enough community members have rated the item that it's surpassed the //liquidity threshold//. See <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_3#Chap_3-Low_Liquidity_Effects">Chap_3-Low_Liquidity_Effects</a>&nbsp;</html>.)
<html><a name="Figure_8-7"><center></html>// Figure_8-7: In the absence of any specific knowledge of this post (only one person has rated it), Yahoo! Message Boards assumes that it's a 3-star post. //<html></center></a></html> <html><a name="Figure_8-7"><center></html>// Figure_8-7: In the absence of any specific knowledge of this post (only one person has rated it), Yahoo! Message Boards assumes that it's a 3-star post. //<html></center></a></html>
-<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Ch09-InitialRatingonYBoards.png"/></center></html>+<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Figure_8-7.png"/></center></html>
Why would you want to use inferred reputations? For a number of reasons. Why would you want to use inferred reputations? For a number of reasons.
-Inferred reputation is all-but-mandatory if your application features a Configurable Quality Threshold (<html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_8#Chap_8-Configurable_Quality_Threshold">Chap_8-Configurable_Quality_Threshold</a>&nbsp;</html>.) When users have their threshold for content visibility set too high, then--unless you show Initial Ratings--new postings will, by default, not appear at all in content listings. Which, of course, means that noone will rate those items, which means that noone will //see// those items... you can see the problem here. You will have created a self-referential //feedback loop//. (See <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_9#Chap_9-Beware-Feedback-Loops">Chap_9-Beware-Feedback-Loops</a>&nbsp;</html>.)+Inferred reputation is all-but-mandatory if your application features a Configurable Quality Threshold (<html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_8#Chap_8-Configurable_Quality_Threshold">Chap_8-Configurable_Quality_Threshold</a>&nbsp;</html>.) When users have their threshold for content visibility set too high, then-unless you show Initial Ratings-new postings will, by default, not appear at all in content listings. Which, of course, means that noone will rate those items, which means that noone will //see// those items… you can see the problem here. You will have created a self-referential //feedback loop//. (See <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_9#Chap_9-Beware-Feedback-Loops">Chap_9-Beware-Feedback-Loops</a>&nbsp;</html>.)
Inferred reputations can also help influence contributor behavior in positive ways. Their simplest, but perhaps most critical, function is to educate your users that the quality of their contributions have consequences. Put simply: if they post better stuff, more people will see it. A visible and tangible initial rating makes this case more strongly than any number of admonitions or reminders would. Inferred reputations can also help influence contributor behavior in positive ways. Their simplest, but perhaps most critical, function is to educate your users that the quality of their contributions have consequences. Put simply: if they post better stuff, more people will see it. A visible and tangible initial rating makes this case more strongly than any number of admonitions or reminders would.
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<html><a name="Figure_8-8"><center></html>// Figure_8-8: Don't like the rating that your new post is about to display? Fix it! //<html></center></a></html> <html><a name="Figure_8-8"><center></html>// Figure_8-8: Don't like the rating that your new post is about to display? Fix it! //<html></center></a></html>
-<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Ch09-JITReputation.jpg"/></center></html>+<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Figure_8-8.png"/></center></html>
-<html><a href="#Figure_8-8">Figure_8-8</a>&nbsp;</html>shows one such embodiment of these just-in-time principles. This draft of a design for Yahoo! Message Boards affords the message-board poster an opportunity to reflect on what they're about to post, validate it against community standards and -- if desired -- change the message to improve its standing.+<html><a href="#Figure_8-8">Figure_8-8</a>&nbsp;</html>shows one such embodiment of these just-in-time principles. This draft of a design for Yahoo! Message Boards affords the message-board poster an opportunity to reflect on what they're about to post, validate it against community standards and-if desired-change the message to improve its standing.
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LinkedIn keeps a very simple, but compelling, type of reputation that serves this end. (<html><a href="#Figure_8-9">Figure_8-9</a>&nbsp;</html>.) It shows you the degree of completeness that your LinkedIn Profile has achieved. LinkedIn keeps a very simple, but compelling, type of reputation that serves this end. (<html><a href="#Figure_8-9">Figure_8-9</a>&nbsp;</html>.) It shows you the degree of completeness that your LinkedIn Profile has achieved.
-<html><a name="Figure_8-9"><center></html>// Figure_8-9: Only 25% complete?!? Better get crackin'! //<html></center></a></html> +<html><a name="Figure_8-9"><center></html>// Figure_8-9: Your LinkedIn profile is only 25% complete?!? Better get crackin'! //<html></center></a></html> 
-<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Ch09-LinkedInProfileCompleteness.png"/></center></html>+<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Figure_8-9.png"/></center></html>
The motivational benefits of this feature are enormous. There is a certain, compulsive game-like quality to its presence. Author and online community authority Amy Jo Kim has written and presented about the appeal of “collecting” (and the power of completing a set) in game mechanics, and the applicability of these impulses to online experience. This LinkedIn widget deftly takes advantage of these deep underlying impulses that motivate us all. The motivational benefits of this feature are enormous. There is a certain, compulsive game-like quality to its presence. Author and online community authority Amy Jo Kim has written and presented about the appeal of “collecting” (and the power of completing a set) in game mechanics, and the applicability of these impulses to online experience. This LinkedIn widget deftly takes advantage of these deep underlying impulses that motivate us all.
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<html><a name="Figure_8-10"><center></html>// Figure_8-10: Favorites, comments and views all feed your photos reputation on Flickr. The Statsfeature breaks them down for you. //<html></center></a></html> <html><a name="Figure_8-10"><center></html>// Figure_8-10: Favorites, comments and views all feed your photos reputation on Flickr. The Statsfeature breaks them down for you. //<html></center></a></html>
-<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Ch09_Flickr-Stats.png"/></center></html>+<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Figure_8-10.png"/></center></html>
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But, you still won't know much about Mary, will you? Once introductions are out of the way, what will you possibly have to talk about? The addition of reputation to your site will provide that much-needed final dimension to your users' identities: depth. Wouldn't it be nice to review a truly rich and deep view of Mary's identity on your site //before// deciding what you and she will or won't have in common? But, you still won't know much about Mary, will you? Once introductions are out of the way, what will you possibly have to talk about? The addition of reputation to your site will provide that much-needed final dimension to your users' identities: depth. Wouldn't it be nice to review a truly rich and deep view of Mary's identity on your site //before// deciding what you and she will or won't have in common?
-Here are but a few reasons why user identities on your site will be stronger //with// reputation than they would be without.  * //Reputation is based on history// and the simple act of recording those histories -- a user's past actions, or voting history, or the history of their relationship to the site -- provides you with a lot of content (and //context//) that you can present to other users. This is a much richer model of identity than just a display-name and an avatar.+Here are but a few reasons why user identities on your site will be stronger //with// reputation than they would be without.  * //Reputation is based on history// and the simple act of recording those histories-a user's past actions, or voting history, or the history of their relationship to the site-provides you with a lot of content (and //context//) that you can present to other users. This is a much richer model of identity than just a display-name and an avatar.
  * //Visible histories reveal shared affinities// and allow users with common interests to find each other. If you are a Top Contributor in the //Board Games// section of a site, then like-minded folks can find you, follow you, or invite you to participate in their activities.   * //Visible histories reveal shared affinities// and allow users with common interests to find each other. If you are a Top Contributor in the //Board Games// section of a site, then like-minded folks can find you, follow you, or invite you to participate in their activities.
<note caution>You'll find contexts where this is //not// desirable. On a question-and-answer site like Yahoo! Answers, for instance, don't be surprised to find out that many users won't //want// their questions about gonorrhea or chlamydia to appear as part of their historical record. Err on the side of giving your users control over what appears, or give them the ability to hide their participation history altogether. <note caution>You'll find contexts where this is //not// desirable. On a question-and-answer site like Yahoo! Answers, for instance, don't be surprised to find out that many users won't //want// their questions about gonorrhea or chlamydia to appear as part of their historical record. Err on the side of giving your users control over what appears, or give them the ability to hide their participation history altogether.
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-  * //A past is hard to fake//. Most site identities are cheap. In and of themselves, they just don't mean much. A couple of quick form-fields, a 'Submit' button and practically anyone (or //no one//-- bots welcome!) can become a full-fledged member of most sites. It is much harder, however, to fake a history of interaction with a site for any duration of time.+  * //A past is hard to fake//. Most site identities are cheap. In and of themselves, they just don't mean much. A couple of quick form-fields, a 'Submit' button and practically anyone (or //no one//-bots welcome!) can become a full-fledged member of most sites. It is much harder, however, to fake a history of interaction with a site for any duration of time.
<html><a name="Figure_8-11"><center></html>// Figure_8-11: People will pay more for a developed identity on World of Warcraft than they paid for the game itself. (Even when you factor in 12 months of subscription fees!) //<html></center></a></html> <html><a name="Figure_8-11"><center></html>// Figure_8-11: People will pay more for a developed identity on World of Warcraft than they paid for the game itself. (Even when you factor in 12 months of subscription fees!) //<html></center></a></html>
-<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Ch09-WOWIDSforSale.png"/></center></html>+<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Figure_8-11.png"/></center></html>
-We don't mean to imply that it can't be done -- harvesting 'deep' identities is practically an offshoot industry of the MMORPG world (See <html><a href="#Figure_8-11">Figure_8-11</a>&nbsp;</html>.) But it //does// provide a fairly high participatory hurdle to jump. When done properly, user karma can assure some level of commitment and engagement from your users. (Or at least allow you to ascertain those levels quickly.) +We don't mean to imply that it can't be done-harvesting “deep” identities is practically an offshoot industry of the MMORPG world (See <html><a href="#Figure_8-11">Figure_8-11</a>&nbsp;</html>.) But it //does// provide a fairly high participatory hurdle to jump. When done properly, user karma can assure some level of commitment and engagement from your users. (Or at least help you to ascertain those levels quickly.) 
-  * //Reputation disambiguates identity conflicts//. Hopefully, you've moved away from publicly identifying users on your site by their unique identifier. (You //have// read the Tripartite Identity Pattern, right? [[http://habitatchronicles.com/2008/10/the-tripartite-identity-pattern/|]]) But this introduces a whole new headache: identity spoofing. If your public namespace doesn't guarantee uniqueness (or even if it //does//-- it'll be hard to guard against similar-appearing/l33t-speak equivalents and the like) then you'll have this problem. +  * //Reputation disambiguates identity conflicts//. Hopefully, you've moved away from publicly identifying users on your site by their unique identifier. (You //have// read the Tripartite Identity Pattern, right? [[http://habitatchronicles.com/2008/10/the-tripartite-identity-pattern/|]]) But this introduces a whole new headache: identity spoofing. If your public namespace doesn't guarantee uniqueness (or even if it //does//-it'll be hard to guard against similar-appearing/l33t-speak equivalents and the like) then you'll have this problem. 
-Once your community is at scale, trolls will take great delight in appropriating others' identities -- assuming the same display name, uploading the same avatar -- purely in an effort to disrupt conversations. It's not a perfect defense, but always associate a contributor's identity with his or her participation history or reputation to help mitigate these occurrences. You will, at least, have armed the community with the information they need to decide who's legit and who's an interloper.+Once your community is at scale, trolls will take great delight in appropriating others' identities-assuming the same display name, uploading the same avatar - purely in an effort to disrupt conversations. It's not a perfect defense, but always associate a contributor's identity with his or her participation history or reputation to help mitigate these occurrences. You will, at least, have armed the community with the information they need to decide who's legit and who's an interloper.
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<html><a name="Figure_8-12"><center></html>// Figure_8-12: You're judged by the company you keep. Even a simple list of groups that you've joined on LinkedIn says a lot about your interests and how you choose to use your time and energy. //<html></center></a></html> <html><a name="Figure_8-12"><center></html>// Figure_8-12: You're judged by the company you keep. Even a simple list of groups that you've joined on LinkedIn says a lot about your interests and how you choose to use your time and energy. //<html></center></a></html>
-<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Ch09-LinkedInAffiliations.png"/></center></html>+<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Figure_8-12.png"/></center></html>
-<html><a href="#Figure_8-12">Figure_8-12</a>&nbsp;</html>shows a typical LinkedIn profile with group affiliations displayed. These can be considered self-selected reputable contexts -- the particular combination of them can tell an evaluator a lot about a person, and provides opportunities for establishing shared interests.+<html><a href="#Figure_8-12">Figure_8-12</a>&nbsp;</html>shows a typical LinkedIn profile with group affiliations displayed. These can be considered self-selected reputable contexts-the particular combination of them can tell an evaluator a lot about a person, and provides opportunities for establishing shared interests.
//Earned// reputations can also provide deeper insight into a users affiliations and interests. <html><a href="#Figure_8-13">Figure_8-13</a>&nbsp;</html>shows a user and the participation medals he's earned on Yahoo! Message Boards. Here, affiliation information is a powerful tool for assessing this user's competencies. //Earned// reputations can also provide deeper insight into a users affiliations and interests. <html><a href="#Figure_8-13">Figure_8-13</a>&nbsp;</html>shows a user and the participation medals he's earned on Yahoo! Message Boards. Here, affiliation information is a powerful tool for assessing this user's competencies.
<html><a name="Figure_8-13"><center></html>// Figure_8-13: Participation history adds another dimension to your affiliations. Now you can see not only where Jonny Reb spends his time, but exactly how much he's invested in each context. //<html></center></a></html> <html><a name="Figure_8-13"><center></html>// Figure_8-13: Participation history adds another dimension to your affiliations. Now you can see not only where Jonny Reb spends his time, but exactly how much he's invested in each context. //<html></center></a></html>
-<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Ch09-UKFootballMedals.png"/></center></html>+<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Figure_8-13.png"/></center></html>
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There are other important pieces of historical information that you should consider providing. Perhaps just a simple listing of a user's last //N// contributions to the site. Yahoo! Answers uses the user profile as a centralized, easy-access “dashboard view” onto a person's history of contributions. (See <html><a href="#Figure_8-14">Figure_8-14</a>&nbsp;</html>.) There are other important pieces of historical information that you should consider providing. Perhaps just a simple listing of a user's last //N// contributions to the site. Yahoo! Answers uses the user profile as a centralized, easy-access “dashboard view” onto a person's history of contributions. (See <html><a href="#Figure_8-14">Figure_8-14</a>&nbsp;</html>.)
-<html><a name="Figure_8-14"><center></html>// Figure_8-14: Let your users' words speak for themselves. Yahoo! Answers lets you review a user's Questions and Answers from the profile, regardless of what context the question was originally posted. //<html></center></a></html> +<html><a name="Figure_8-14"><center></html>// Figure_8-14: Let your users' words speak for themselves. Yahoo! Answers lets you review a user's Questions and Answers from the profile, regardless of which context the question was originally posted in. //<html></center></a></html> 
-<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Ch09-YAnswers_History.png"/></center></html>+<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Figure_8-14.png"/></center></html>
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<html><a name="Figure_8-15"><center></html>// Figure_8-15: Stack Overflow awards badges for any number of user achievements. woot!for instance, celebrates users who have visited the site each day for 30 days. //<html></center></a></html> <html><a name="Figure_8-15"><center></html>// Figure_8-15: Stack Overflow awards badges for any number of user achievements. woot!for instance, celebrates users who have visited the site each day for 30 days. //<html></center></a></html>
-<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Ch09-Stack_Overflow_Achievements.png"/></center></html>+<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Figure_8-15.png"/></center></html>
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<html><a name="Figure_8-16"><center></html>// Figure_8-16: There's no need to leave the page to see this reviewer's bona fides. //<html></center></a></html> <html><a name="Figure_8-16"><center></html>// Figure_8-16: There's no need to leave the page to see this reviewer's bona fides. //<html></center></a></html>
-<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Ch09_AttributionBadges.png"/></center></html>+<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Figure_8-16.png"/></center></html>
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It helps, when doing this, if you've set reasonable boundaries for the exclusivity (See <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_9#Chap_9-Exclusivity-Thresholds">Chap_9-Exclusivity-Thresholds</a>&nbsp;</html>) of reputations. Otherwise, everything will be tagged as special and nothing will stand out. <html><a href="#Figure_8-17">Figure_8-17</a>&nbsp;</html>is probably on the borderline of how much reputation information you should attempt to codify into your content listings. It helps, when doing this, if you've set reasonable boundaries for the exclusivity (See <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_9#Chap_9-Exclusivity-Thresholds">Chap_9-Exclusivity-Thresholds</a>&nbsp;</html>) of reputations. Otherwise, everything will be tagged as special and nothing will stand out. <html><a href="#Figure_8-17">Figure_8-17</a>&nbsp;</html>is probably on the borderline of how much reputation information you should attempt to codify into your content listings.
-<html><a name="Figure_8-17"><center></html>// Figure_8-17: Sporting News assigns contributor ranks to each blogger, and annotates lists of blog-entries with their Star Rank. //<html></center></a></html> +<html><a name="Figure_8-17"><center></html>// Figure_8-17: Sporting News assigns contributor ranks to each blogger, and annotates lists of blog-entries with their Star Rank. (But, boy, that's a whole lot of stars!) //<html></center></a></html> 
-<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Ch09-DifferentiateInListings.png"/></center></html>+<html><center><img width="65%" src="http://buildingreputation.com/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=Figure_8-17.png"/></center></html> 
 + 
 + 
 +==== Putting It All Together ==== 
 +We've help you identify all of the reputation features for an application - the goals, objects, scope, inputs, outputs, processes, and the sorts filters. You're armed with a rough reputation model diagram, design patterns for displaying and utilizing your reputation scores. These make up your reputation product requirements. In <html><a href="/doku.php?id=Chapter_9">Chapter_9</a>&nbsp;</html>we describe how to turn these plans into action: building and testing the model, integrating with your application, and performing the early reputation model turning.
chapter_8.txt · Last modified: 2009/12/01 14:45 by randy
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