Solved New Reputation Score. How does it work?

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August 26, 2011 at 19:06:26
Specs: Windows XP Home Edition, Intel Pentium 4 @ 3.20GHz, 4 Gigabytes RAM
So I was just looking at a users profile page, and it had a reputation score. I just was wondering how the scores get generated. I know that Justin will know :). Anyway, hopefully any replies to this will help others who have the same question.

Thanks in advance,
RMT2

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#1
August 26, 2011 at 22:03:59
✔ Best Answer
Quote:
Your reputation or R-score on the site attempts to show your level of reputation compared to other users. Reputation is a representation of the difference between questions you have answered on the site and questions you have asked on the site. As you answer questions, your reputation is increased. As you ask questions, your reputation is decreased. Your reputation is then normalized for comparison to other users.

Note: You must have answered at least 3 questions on the site to have any reputation. This data is updated every 24 hours.

No, I don't know why those words are bold, but I'm thankful because I can't actually read anything longer than two lines without a picture or random text decoration.

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#2
August 26, 2011 at 22:45:11
Hey,

Yeah, Razor is correct (as that is taken from the medals and reputation page on your profile)...

Basically, our idea is this: every user can help someone. You might not have a million points on Computing.Net, but you might have the skills to answer a specific question. The reputation score (or r-score) attempts to show this. It takes the difference between your questions answered and questions asked (sort of a "strength of knowledge") then it sorts them. All users who have a positive value of this difference of at least 3 are ranked in order. Then they are distributed along a normal distribution with a mean of 50 and standard deviation of 10.

This means that you can see your ranking relative to users, and see who you might be able to help. Also, it gives a number that is more manageable (in a persons mind) than saying so and so user has x thousands of points.

It's a work in progress, but I like the concept.

Justin


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#3
August 27, 2011 at 05:35:44
I looked at my R-Score, and saw it was in the 99% tile. I was going to joke about how I couldn't possibly have that good of a reputation. Then I came in here and noticed I had a lower score than literally everyone else here. Now I'm going to go over there and cry. :(

On a related note, what's up with the static bell curve graph?

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Related Solutions

#4
August 27, 2011 at 07:08:00
Okay, now it makes sense :). Thanks Justin and Razor2.3.

@Razor2.3:
LOL 99% is better than my 97 :).

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#5
August 27, 2011 at 08:44:35
Razor,

Well, its not static, it would show where you are on the bell curve. However, since your ranking is so high (the 99.8 percentile), I doubt you'll move very much. Basically, its saying you have a higher R-score than 99.8% of Computing.Net users who have posted at least three answers. That's pretty amazing :) Sure, some people might be higher, but, honestly, the difference between you and whoever is #1 is practically nothing.

Its really more of a useful tool for people who are new to the site and trying to build a reputation. Not guys like you who are already fully established.

Justin


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#6
August 27, 2011 at 09:01:10
Well I'm no jam, whose reputation apparently succeeds him.

Something seems off about this whole thing; I've been randomly clicking on names and everyone either has a score in the high 90 percentile, or they have nothing. Are you including those without 3 answers in the average?

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#7
August 27, 2011 at 11:20:52
Hey,

No, those without three answers aren't in the average. Its not off, its just that the vast majority of users who answer questions on a regular basis answer a lot of questions... so, randomly clicking won't really help you find someone with a middle of the road percentile.

However, if you look at someone like him, you'll see it works.

Justin


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#8
August 27, 2011 at 13:30:06
@Razor2.3:
Well yes jam has a score of 100%, but they haven't posted in nearly a year.

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#9
August 27, 2011 at 15:22:38
That was my ever so subtle dig on the new system, yeah. I've always argued the "score" system (now systems) should degrade your "score" with inactivity. Does the name jam even mean anything for you (in the context of CN)?

And whatever happened to Mechanix2Go? I swear, I leave for two months and every regular on the Programming board up and disappears before I get back.

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#10
August 27, 2011 at 15:26:44
You've been here for 2 years + but I have only been here for a few months. How am I supposed to know who jam is? Its funny how there are almost sorts of cycles when users are posting and when they are not.

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#11
August 27, 2011 at 15:57:05
Hey,

I see your point... but, to give the counter example, just because Jam has been gone for so long, would that mean his knowledge still wouldn't be there if he ever came back?

Also, if users found an answer of his on an older post, wouldn't his credibility still exist?

Justin


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#12
August 27, 2011 at 19:46:10
Can I conclude that RMT has now lost a bit of reputation by raising this post and I have now gained reputation by asking? However, RMT has gained 15 more points towards a medal, which is more than one gets by helping a poster. If all this is correct the logic defeats me rather.

Or doesn't any of this apply to The Lounge? If it does, anyone taking all this seriously
[I know of at least one] will avoid raising topics on here once they have the top medal.


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#13
August 27, 2011 at 20:57:43
Justin Weber:
Ah, I think we found the conflicting viewpoint. We each perceive this system as measuring two completely different variables.

The system is a ratio of threads started vs threads responded. It's measuring participation. I would go so far as to say it measures your reputation for answering questions on this site. Knowledge and credibility do not factor into the equation, outside of how it affects the user's willingness to participate.

So to answer your question, not participating on this site should decrease your reputation of participating on this site.

Really, the system would need to be far more convoluted to measure the opinion of the user base, because that requires asking users. Probably the users with a metal on that forum, as you'd avoid the common spamed to credibility attacks, ensure the people giving an option have an informed one, and it'd give the metals more significance than token bragging rights.

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#14
August 28, 2011 at 03:57:54
Well, like most helpers, I'm content to just assist posters where I can, which I still consider to be the basic reason for the existence of this forum.

What everyone makes of all the statistics is of-course entirely up to them. As I see it the posters basic criteria is unchanged - if they get useful help they will go away from this website with good vibes.

Maybe I'm being too simplistic or something.


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#15
August 28, 2011 at 08:29:06
Razor,

Yeah, measuring what you are talking about would be more complex, and probably no one would understand it.

Derek,

You are correct. However, to borrow Razor's terms, the points system measures "participation" plain and simple... That is why asking questions also gains you points. The reason asking questions gains more points than answering is because people answer way more questions than ask them. I mean, to answer one question might involve 10 followups, if you gave the same number of points for a followup as the original asking, it would be completely out-of-whack.

The R-score tries to measure how good a user might be at answering a particular question. In other words, how many questions he has answered, but eliminating any questions he has asked.

Justin


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#16
August 28, 2011 at 13:13:56
I think the rationale behind the system still needs a bit more clarification. I'm currently sitting on 4 un-answered questions - does this actively count against me?

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us..." Pink Floyd


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#17
August 28, 2011 at 13:48:34
Justin, it seems to me that you are measuring quantity rather than quality. Of course, it's much easier to just measure quantity, but does it really tell us anything useful?

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#18
August 28, 2011 at 19:49:02
johnr,

What do you mean by unanswered questions. Who asked them? If you are answering questions, it can't hurt you, only help you.

ijack,

Of course, but there is no real way to measure quality that I know of without really advanced machine learning, etc. That might be something we can play with in the future, but not in the near future.

Justin


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#19
August 29, 2011 at 01:25:13
I guess that the "Best Answer" system provides some measure (albeit not perfect) of quality. I would certainly say it provides a better measure than just number of posts. And I really fail to see the logic that asking a question (which may be a very sensible or thought-provoking question, particularly in The Lounge) decreases reputation whereas making any answer, even a wildly inaccurate one, increases it. Is this answer more valid than the question that provoked it?

If the concept of "reputation" is to have any value it must take some account of the quality of questions and answers, IMO, and if it is not of any value then what is the point of it? The suspicion is that it is just a gimmick.

The medals system suffers from the same fault (IMO) of being purely a measure of quantity with no quality involved. The system used on the Tom's Hardware forums, where medals are determined by the number of "Best Answers" rather than the number of posts seems to me to be more valid. Of course it is not perfect, but it unlikely that posters will consistently be awarded "Best Answer" if their answers are not really relevant. Thus a relatively high number of best answers are required to achieve a medal, and that number varies depending upon the forum.

This does all beg the question of whether anyone takes any notice of medals, best answers, or reputations.


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#20
August 29, 2011 at 01:32:36
"What do you mean by unanswered questions. Who asked them? If you are answering questions, it can't hurt you, only help you".

It's me that has the unanswered questions.

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us..." Pink Floyd


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#21
August 29, 2011 at 06:02:18
ijack,

I like your idea in theory. However, the major problem with it is that so few people award best answers, it wouldn't be fair. I mean, if a user posts a good answer on some question where the OP just never comes back to mark a best answer, he gets no benefit in the system you describe. For that reason, it is fairly random.

Again, I think all the regulars here may be missing the point of the system. Its more for newer users to encourage them to participate with the realization they can always help someone. Regulars scores are so high, the numbers do become fairly meaningless. I mean, the 98 vs. 99 percentile is kind of a wash. However, if a new user sees he's in the 30 percentile, he might realize there are all those people below him he can help.

johnr,

That sort of follows onto your point... technically yes, but your ranking is so high, that practically, no... not unless you ask hundreds of questions.

Justin


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#22
August 29, 2011 at 15:25:37
"Its more for newer users to encourage them to participate with the realization they can always help someone"

I get the idea but don't folk do that naturally if they have sufficient interest and enthusiasm? I suspect most current helpers did so without any encouragement - we seemed to get plenty of helpers back in the late 1990's.


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#23
August 29, 2011 at 15:59:18
Derek,

I tend to agree, but even if it gets a few more, I think that's the more the better!

Justin


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#24
August 29, 2011 at 16:44:42
Justin - Re #23

Yes, maybe technology advancement itself reduces the number of good helpers. With more smart phones, user friendly OS's, etc., computers get junked if they are too troublesome, so less folk need to know or care about technicalities.

That could also be the reason why we now get questions that seem to be asking where the "Fix everything button" is located. I'm still trying to find mine LOL.


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#25
August 29, 2011 at 19:03:13
Hey,

Wouldn't that be a great invention!

Justin


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#26
August 30, 2011 at 16:52:40
That could also be the reason why we now get questions that seem to be asking where the "Fix everything button" is located. I'm still trying to find mine LOL.

Probably the same place as the any key. I'm still trying to find that but the space bar usually does the job.!

Stuart


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#27
August 31, 2011 at 05:58:53
If I remember correctly the 'any key' excluded the shift key, possibly others.

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#28
August 31, 2011 at 20:53:20
I've been hanging around CN for a few years now and I think I sort of get it. It seems the idea behind the rating system, best answer, and now the R score is to give those that only pop in looking for help an idea of who to take advice from. That being said as long as I do not post anything offensive or blatently attempting to sabatoge someone I could post thousands of totally wrong responses and have the best overall scores.

It appears to me that for any of this to honestly work would require a board of certified techs go over each and every response and label them good or bad. I don't know many techs that would do this for free. Also if you have these guys doing this why bother with the rest of us just go ahead and make this a paid for help forum.

The only true thing any of these systems do is provide topics for discussion. They can't even be good for bragging rights. We can't list our accolades on our resumes? We don't earn points towards the purchase of CN t-shirts?

I did find my "Fix everything button". It was in my shed. Weighs 16lbs. and has a long wooden handle. Sadly I was trying to help someone reformat a computer yesterday and she asked me "Where in the heck is my any key?". I told her not to worry I couldn't find mine either but the "Enter" key seemed to work on most computers.


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#29
September 1, 2011 at 07:40:11
After reading through this I see once again I missed the boat.

I keep missing things, like the medals and "best answer" until I see a post about it in here. I totally missed this reputation thingie too until I read this thread.

I suspect my problem is, I just don't care. I'm not here for accolades or recognition. I'm just here to (hopefully) help people having problems.

***Edit*****

I just looked this over after posting it and clicked on my name and there's this cute graphic and my reputation score. I guess the biggest reason I missed the boat on this one is, I never click on my own name .......... lol

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#30
September 1, 2011 at 09:21:17
I guess the biggest reason I missed the boat on this one is, I never click on my own name .......... lol

Know thyself is a good philosophy to follow. Nobody know me as well as I do!

Stuart


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#31
September 1, 2011 at 11:19:09
shelbyclan,

I agree, it is very difficult to use quantitative measures to try to arrive at some sort of qualitative outcome. I do think that having some measures for people who are new to the site to look at is beneficial. That's why we developed these systems, even if they aren't perfect.

Justin


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#32
September 1, 2011 at 19:08:46
Hey Justin...

re: "Really, the system would need to be far more convoluted to measure the opinion of the user base, because that requires asking users."

But you do ask the users for their "opinion" when you email them asking them to choose a Best Answer.

As I have mentioned ad nauseam, having the OP - who often knows very little about what they are asking about - to choose the Best Answer can lead to erroneous choices since it's the opinion of a person who doesn't always have the knowledge required to make the best choice.

Do Best Answers carry any more weight than just "answers"?

If not, shouldn't they? Shouldn't the R-Score of a person whose answers are consistently being mark as Best be higher than someone who simply "answers"?

I ask that even as I point out the flaws in the Best Answer system - I am so conflicted! ;-)

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#33
September 1, 2011 at 20:20:44
Hey,

The issue with that is, since, as I said, the R-score is more targeted toward newer users, letting them know they can help at least some people on the site, regardless of experience, Best Answer weighting would be pretty random. As you know, only a small percentage of users even come back and mark best answers. For regulars, this is fine as that percentage would work its way out over all the questions they answer. However, for users only answering a couple of questions, it would really be hit or miss if they happen to answer ones where the user bothers to come back to mark a best answer. It would end up skewing the scores for the exact users I'm trying to target.

Justin


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#34
September 2, 2011 at 02:48:51
DerbyDad03

In real life I don't take a lot of notice of all this stuff but I think there are a couple of misunderstandings. As far as I know Best Answer is selected by the OP from an icon at the top. I don't think Justin uses email (it would be one heck of a task).

If you go to My Computer, Medals and Reputation it shows the affect of various actions on points earned (including Best Answer).

If I'm wrong on this no doubt Justin will put me right and I'll slink away LOL.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#35
September 2, 2011 at 06:41:22
Derek,

Nope, that's right! No need to slink away :)

Justin


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#36
September 2, 2011 at 09:09:10
Justin,

I'm not sure how you can say that Derek is right. (nothing personal, Derek!)

Perhaps I shouldn't have used the word "you" when I said "But you do ask the users for their "opinion" when you email them asking them to choose a Best Answer."

I guess I should have said "But computing.net does ask..."

We discussed in this very forum the email reminder that "questioners" get asking them choose a Best Answer. We've discussed the fact that some questions aren't even questions yet we get emails asking us to choose a Best Answer.

That was the point of my post: When the "system" asks the OP to chose a Best Answer, it is asking for their opinion related to the answers received.

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#37
September 2, 2011 at 09:54:14
As far as I know email (automated) is only used for personal message notification.

But if I'm wrong then this is my chance #2 to slink away LOL.

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#38
September 2, 2011 at 11:27:21
Hey,

Yeah, sorry, my mistake. The system does e-mail them one week after they made their posting, if it has any responses. Its just a generic e-mail, and they have to still select the best answer through the link to their question.

Justin


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#39
September 2, 2011 at 12:13:11
I've just slunk off LOL.

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#40
September 2, 2011 at 15:40:51
Derek, feel free to slunk on back whenever you feel like it! ;-)


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#41
September 2, 2011 at 16:01:02
Geez now I'm slunking and unslunking ;-)

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#42
September 4, 2011 at 21:25:13
Derek is that legal?? Don't you have to declare something before you "unslunk"?

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#43
September 5, 2011 at 06:45:57
It depends on which definition of slunk you are using.

One has legal requirements, the other one doesn't:

No legal requirements

slunk past participle, past tense of slink (Verb)

Move smoothly and quietly with gliding steps, in a stealthy or sensuous manner.

Some Legal Requirements

slunk (Noun)

Underage, often premature, calves trailing afterbirths and bacteria, generally in unsanitary and unfit condition. A calf may not be sold as food until it reaches a minimum age of six weeks. Prior to that time it is classified as a slunk.


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#44
September 5, 2011 at 09:45:42
I don't think I'll bother with the sensuous bit (or the afterbirth for that matter).

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#45
September 5, 2011 at 13:53:49
Yeah, when I posted the definitions I was having trouble deciding which visual was more disturbing - a cow's afterbirth or Derek trying to be sensuous. ;-)


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#46
September 5, 2011 at 14:40:26
Oh my god I am in tears here.

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#47
September 5, 2011 at 15:18:43
It's a tie, both would make me cry!

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#48
September 7, 2011 at 12:23:11
Wow, with all the replies I think this is the longest thread I've ever read.

The ideal Reputation system in my opinion would be one similar to the torrent-type "seed" and "leech" system. I wonder if that would be a better name for it.

I think it would be helpful if the algorithm factored in measuring

% "set as best answers" / total answers the user has contributed during their membership

Anyone could give 100 wrong/inaccurate answers which would increase their "reputation" so the system in its current form doesn't really judge someone's "repuation" or "credibility".

Because there is no way for the system to 'judge' correct or misleading information, I think the number should rely on someone "setting as best answer".

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#49
September 7, 2011 at 12:49:50
re: "Because there is no way for the system to 'judge' correct or misleading information, I think the number should rely on someone "setting as best answer"."

Keep in mind who is choosing the Best Answer.

It chosen by the OP who came looking for help and might not know a Best Answer if it slapped him upside the head.

I can point you to threads where the OP choose a response as the Best Answer only to have better (bester?) answers come along later.

I can point you to threads where the OP choose a Best Answer only to come back shortly afterwards to clarify the original question, making the Best Answer obsolete, yet still marked as such.

I can point you to threads where the OP choose a Best Answer only to come back shortly afterwards to say "Sorry, but after further testing I've found that your suggestion doesn't work."

I don't really care about my reputation, but if it's going to be calcualted and posted, I don't think I want it calculated based on the opinions of those that can't even choose a Best Answer correctly.

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#50
September 7, 2011 at 14:00:36
Or you could just batter on regardless and ignore all this stuff (right or wrong).

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#51
September 7, 2011 at 15:18:25
Which is basically what I do, except when it comes to discussing it here.

This is how I have my fun. ;-)

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#52
September 7, 2011 at 15:19:45
Me too LOL.

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