Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Measuring success on
Published on January 15, 2005 By Draginol In Blogging

Every registered user and every blog has points associated with it. These points are added together set up the different ranks of users and blogs on this site.

Why have a point system at all?

What motivated me to set this up was that I wanted to set up a medium in which people could write articles and that the popularity of that article would be based, at least in party, on merit. All too often, what gets read on the Internet is purely a matter of luck - some very popular website links to some article and then everyone reads it.

No points system is going to be able to overcome lots of sites linking to a given article. But a points system can make a big difference when all other things are equal.

And points basically come from a number of sources - number of people who read your article. Number of people who respond to it. And people giving it "insightful" or "interesting" ratings. And while such things are subject to abuse (and no doubt will be abused), something is better than nothing. And our system is designed so that opinions of users who are trusted (i.e. not prone to abuse the system) will count for a lot more points when they rate something.

The more points something gets, the more places throughout the syndication system the article will be seen. That means sites ranging from to and even places like and (depending on the topic and # of points).

You receive points in 3 forms: Points from your personal site (i.e. your blog), Points from your articles, and points from your activities (writing comments, writing articles, etc.).

N = User's Access Level (1 for Citizen, 9 for Admin).

Point System: Details

Activity Points you receive Points your article receives
You write an article 5 N/A
You make a comment on your article 1 N/A
You make a comment on someone else's article 5 N/A
Someone gives your comment an insightful rating 2(N-1)^2 N/A
Someone gives your comment a "trolling" rating -(N-1)^2 N/A
Someone reads your article N/A 1
Anonymous user comments on your article N/A 1
Registered user comments on your article N/A 5
Someone reads your article as part of a home page view N/A 1/10th of a point
Someone gives your article an "Interesting" rating N/A (N-1)^2
Someone gives your article an "Insightful" rating N/A 2(N-1)^2

When we measure top "blog sites" such as on, we do this by adding up the total points your articles have received in the past 30 days.

When we measure top "users" such as on we do this by adding up the total points the user has received in the past 30 days.

(some of this is still under construction).

Comments (Page 1)
on Jan 29, 2004
Thanks you for putting this up. I'll bet you get a lot of points for it. I haven't visited a lot of other blog sites but am sure they fall prey to the vices you mention. It's good you are a democratic thinker on how to solve the problem. (laughs). I do know that many a site would throw out politically adverse information and I am glad you exercise your own self-regulation to be as fair and tolerant as you can. What about outside referrals? I would think getting hits from outside is beneficial to all members of the blog site as it brings the traffic and prominence we want.
on Jan 30, 2004
The information is useful. Thanks for laying it out.

I had always been happy for the points that I have been getting, and I assumed that there was some rationale behind the points. I just didn't know what I was getting points for. I did know that my more popular topics garnered more points for me.

on Jan 30, 2004
One question, when a blog shows total point and "last 30".....

Does that mean:

Points given to the last 30 posts
Points given in the last 30 days
Points given to posts that were made in the last 30 days
on Jan 30, 2004
Is it possible to change the email of a user? I couldn't find how.
There is a bug, when you post an article you get 15 point that are not removed when you delete it.
Don't you think that it can fuel some kind of race to the top that is not necessarly good for the quality of the article even if I think that overall this system it make sense.
on Jan 30, 2004
Thanks for explaining. i was really curious about how it all worked.
on Jan 30, 2004
Hey thanks, I can manage to go on with my life again now that this is all cleared up
on Jan 30, 2004
re What about outside referrals?

Outside referrals are also key. When someone links to your article, it means someone is likely to visit and read that article which gives you points. The main reason I have the most popular blog on JoeUser is because of outside referrals.

Jeremy - last 30 days.
on Jan 30, 2004
So that's how it works!
on Feb 02, 2004
What about the forums?

I notice that you can't award bonus ratings on the forums. Is this likely to change? I tend to use the forums for most of my reading and I miss the ability to click articles as interesting or insightful.

on Feb 02, 2004
Come to think of it, I don't think any points are awarded for posting on the forums at all.

on Feb 02, 2004
I think the trick to points from the forum is in the Q icon; but I wish Brad would explain how it's done.
By the way, Brad, how did I lose a couple of days ago 100 plus points overnight--is it owing to "trolling"?
on Feb 02, 2004
I'm pretty sure the Q icon is for quoting. I do need to practice using it though.

on Feb 05, 2004
Thanks for explaining... I'm glad the bugs are starting to get worked out. I've enjoyed watching the site develop.

on Mar 08, 2004
Oh my gosh, am I ever relieved to ahve some idea of what's going on finally. I think I bugged Brad to tell me how it works for like forever when I started out and now that I know I know that I just want to cry from happiness. Thanks a lot.

Capt. over and out!
on May 18, 2004
Please forgive me, but would someone explain what the numbers at the top of the article mean? "Home" does this mean the number of people who have seen the article? Thanks for the help.