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The psychology of forum and online dynamics

mippus

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So, perhaps the "rep" system has become a sort of currency. Those with a lot, are like investment banks, encouraging new members to spend a little of their currency to buy a long term benefit...

Others are using "rep" to barter for friendships, for influence, for clique-forming, and subsets within a wider crowd.

Some, use it just to give feedback on something they enjoyed reading and want to mark that fact.

Interesting, isnt it?

I don't know. After 2000 you get the "god(ess)-status" which is pretty soon. After that, nobody sees the difference between 2001 and 200000. So what is the profit? It is about compliments, true, but you would get those without the rep-system as well, through reactions on the forum or in PM...
 

Geoff

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I don't know. After 2000 you get the "god(ess)-status" which is pretty soon. After that, nobody sees the difference between 2001 and 200000. So what is the profit? It is about compliments, true, but you would get those without the rep-system as well, through reactions on the forum or in PM...

To an extent that is true, but also people view the member list sorted by reputation so they can see who is at the top, and at what place in the top 10 etc. Yes, really! :shock:
 

CzeCze

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To an extent that is true, but also people view the member list sorted by reputation so they can see who is at the top, and at what place in the top 10 etc. Yes, really! :shock:

Let's chalk this up to an admin conspiracy and start a rumor mill!

Oh, yes let's!

:claps:

Edit:

Wow - I had no idea! I just checked it out. I'll withold comments because this could definitely be used as a tool in later debates. :devil:
 
Last edited:

alcea rosea

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To an extent that is true, but also people view the member list sorted by reputation so they can see who is at the top, and at what place in the top 10 etc. Yes, really! :shock:

I don't do that.
 

mippus

you are right
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To an extent that is true, but also people view the member list sorted by reputation so they can see who is at the top, and at what place in the top 10 etc. Yes, really! :shock:

Never thought of doing that, but couldn't result a quick peek now...:blush:
Amazing how little gods and godesses there are. What does that mean? That the active part of the forum consists out of a handful of people? Or that nobody actually cares about the rep system?
In both cases, using it as a reciprocity tool would make little sense... :huh:
 

elfinchilde

a white iris
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No way. :dry:
Are you serious?`
Embararrasing, I don't want to be on any list.
I'll put the rep off then.
Now.

LOL. that's why after a while, most of us put the rep scores on invisible. To avoid this damn popularity game.

But it does get irritating, this constant emphasis on points, because it's the comments that are important, not the scores. those who view the points as some kind of popularity-oh-you-are-so-shallow-*roll eyes* thing are perhaps forgetting that in a forum, there are many types: especially in a personality-related one: some will rep for rationality/good insight posts, others will rep for empathy or relatedness, yet others will rep for humor/wit.

to say any of these are "wrong" or "shallow" or "fake" would be like saying it is wrong to be a Feeler vs a Thinker, or a Sensor vs an iNtuitive.

just my thoughts.

Edit: personally, at times, i use the rep system to show succint agreement/compliment for a point i feel is well made. Which if posted, would be a derailment; yet doesn't quite merit an entire PM on its own to a stranger.
 
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personally, at times, i use the rep system to show succint agreement/compliment for a point i feel is well made. Which if posted, would be a derailment; yet doesn't quite merit an entire PM on its own to a stranger.

This is pretty much all I use the rep system for. I agree with the posters that said the rep system is basically nonexistent anymore...after all, when everyone is a "god among (wo)men", then no one is. I think the exponential explosion of rep points is something the mods didn't expect to happen so quickly, and at this point it's pretty meaningless. This is why I haven't turned off my green boxes; at this point, it's more of an affectation to turn them off than leave them on. I enjoy checking the comments I'm left, so to turn the boxes on and back off again feels like a lot of effort to try to show people that "I don't care about rep points".
 

alcea rosea

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I enjoy checking the comments I'm left, so to turn the boxes on and back off again feels like a lot of effort to try to show people that "I don't care about rep points".

This is pretty much what I wrote about the rep system today afternoon in my blog. But I hate being on any "who is favourite" list so I turned the thing off. Maybe soon I'll turn it back on because I cannot decide which is better, to be on a list or to be able to read the comments easily.
 

elfinchilde

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hehe. well alcearos, if you're like me, i love reading the comments too, so i'm always disabling and enabling the system, and hoping no one notices. :ninja:

would be nice if we could see the comments without having to able/disable the scores, though.
 

miss fortune

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ditto above- I don't like my jewels showing for fear that someone will go check where I am ranked with everyone else :ninja:
 

alcea rosea

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hehe. well alcearos, if you're like me, i love reading the comments too, so i'm always disabling and enabling the system, and hoping no one notices. :ninja:

would be nice if we could see the comments without having to able/disable the scores, though.

ditto above- I don't like my jewels showing for fear that someone will go check where I am ranked with everyone else :ninja:

I think Javo was about to write something about giving comments without rep points to somebody. :thinking: It seems many people do love the comments (I do too :yes: ) but do not wish to have the rep lvl to be seen.
 

Seanan

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ditto above- I don't like my jewels showing for fear that someone will go check where I am ranked with everyone else :ninja:

Oh, now I get the black boxes... how do they see? Do you just mean "mouse over?"
 

CzeCze

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People say that rep is given too freely, but given that so many people (including more vocal members) have a ton of rep and it's kinda a given that everyone will eventually reach deity status -- I'm really of the mind to give newcomers rep points to help them on their journey to Olympus. For one thing, it makes the rep system seem less intimidating and like a 'popularity contest' and it's a useful tool in making new members feel more like part of a community. It's like saying, 'Let's get the party started!' Perhaps that's just me though. I also have to say, I enjoy the rep comments, it's fun! :nods:

Also, I guess I don't see rep as a popularity contest (and if it is, I'm bitter, hahaha) and even if it were, I don't think it would affect my posting on the forums or how I see members.

Even without rep and rankings, you know who the core posters are and people are constantly coming and going so there's a nice flux and feeling of growth as opposed to being a static clique for a small core of 'veteran' posters.

If people are afraid that's going to happen, I doubt it will happen anytime soon and I also don't think rep will have much of anything to do with it.

I dunno, I really don't think the maturity level and focus of the forum as a whole is as susceptible to posturing and popularity baiting as people seem to think. The rep boxes, while fun and a nice tool for connecting, are basically harmless and if anything fluff-y. The popularity rankings are more or less meaningless -- I don't see them having any hard currency in the forum.

The only sites where I've seen rep can affect threads and matters to members is in hardcore hobby forums like gaming or sports or tech forums where by nature, all members are playing who's got the biggest d*ck contest (you know, like rubber duckies) and being adversarial is more commonplace, even accepted. Moreover, membership in these forums is generally heavily adolescent to mid 30s males, with a high concentration of men in their early to mid 20s.
 

Geoff

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All good points... the comparison with "macho" sites is quite an interesting one...

Perhaps we've buried the rep subject for a while now..
shall we move on to another part of the original post and other follow up comments?

How about revisiting why people Blog? Does it represent a "home" in cyberspace? Is it pretend privacy? A place to show off?

Is the phenomenon of it being present on forums like this just because it is trendy? Or is it because people feel disconnected in a virtual world and want the equivalent of their own "bedroom, work desk" whatever to customise and feel is their's - ie is it about part ownership in a society....?
 

disregard

mrs
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Yes! The subject of blogging.. great direction, Geoff.

I see my blog as my desk.. "These are the ideas I'm going to work on tonight" and then I dump them on my desk and get to work.
 

Geoff

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*bump*

Blogging : Discuss! Perhaps we should start to carve these out into separate threads... /lazy.
 

Totenkindly

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I see my blog as my desk.. "These are the ideas I'm going to work on tonight" and then I dump them on my desk and get to work.

Yes. I dump my brain into my blog, just so I can see what's in my head.
Then I take the good stuff and polish it.

(Plus it's my bitch line.)
 
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