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 2)
on May 19, 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?

I'll take a crack at this.

"Home" refers to when someone clicks onto the "main" (or "home") page of your site, rather than clicking into a specific article. Your last 10 articles are displayed on that page, so you get one tenth of a point each. So, I believe, that number refers to the number of times your main page has been viewed since you posted that specific article (divide by ten for the number of points that gave you). In addition, if one of your articles becomes "featured" on the opening page of the whole site (i.e., "") those viewings will also register as "home" viewings. Being featured will really drive up that number. My article on dating actresses was featured and the "home" count for it is 4726 right now.

"Selected" is when someone clicks directly into your article, such as by clicking its title on the sidebar.

"Channel." You can surf JoeUser by "channels." See "Most Popular Channels" at the top of your blog? Click on one. It will bring up a page of aggregated articles, similar to a "home" page. I believe that the channels number refers to the number of times that article has been seen in this manner. I'm assuming the 1/10 point applies here as well.
on May 19, 2004
Thanks. I appreciate your help.

on May 21, 2004
Can you explain the power user thing? The other day I was pleasantly surprised to be a level 2...but now I am back to a level it simply arbitrary? just curious...
on May 27, 2004
Kind of confused as to how I can be like #13 in terms of "Users" and my blog can be #100. I was like #9 a few months back, though I did take a vacation. I'm not getting the nuances of the system, I guess.
on Jun 12, 2004

How do you find out the number of times you've been voted interesting/insightful
on Jun 13, 2004
Page Views: Home: 4 Selected: 30 Channel: 5
Replies: 120 Points: 32

I've been trying to figure this one out. I'm just curious, is all.
Are there times you decide to not let an article get points?
on Jul 22, 2004
Hi Brad

Can I put a site counter? Please let me us put one so that we may know how many times page is viewed.

on Oct 10, 2004
Who is eligible to be a power user?
on Jan 16, 2005
on Jan 17, 2005


I once made it into the top 20.  But while I look at my points, it is not important.  What is important is a place to express my views and comment on others.  The total points just gives me a means of seeing how much I am doing, but not the quality.

I will be a second (or third) tier player as I really dont care about points as much as discussion.  But I will be the first to say, this is the best Blog site I have ever seen, and being a desciple of Google, I have seen a lot!

Thanks for the explanation.  Just ice cream on the apple pie tho!

on Jul 10, 2005

Impressive system, insightful article which musta been a lotta woik! You probably know about this, but when making an internal test blog with pics etc. classified as being visible only to me and not to be released in the forums either, cause I wuz testin free blog editors (in the meantime, I got blog editor pro for a starter), I found this gave me points. In a way, that seems fair to a certain extent, I was working, also indirectly to make other blogs possible in better quality which ARE to be released.

Then I deleted that article, which was of course, never released anywhere at all, and did not contain anything worth reading at all, why should it. Even the first other blogs I DID release and my first comments were simultaneously tests, which is somewhat embarassing yet inevitable.Theoretically speaking, there could be a chance of this type of points not being deleted totally, either? Wonder how good that seems, yet, I did work, didn´t I.

Another feature I appreciate on WC (effect above was on JU) is being able to recommend my OWN article(s?). On the other hand, shouldn´t there be a limit (maybe there is, I don´t want to take advantage of that, though) as to how many articles of YOUR OWN you can recommend? Still learning. Wonder if I could every make a system that good myself.

Thanks all over! Sure was worth the 18 points I gave it. By the way, in my first week, I am not sure whether I trolled 1 or 2 people thinking this just a funny flavor of interesting instead of making them insightful or interesting. Sure apologize. Is there a way to see what I rated when with which rating so as to CORRECT my rating? Or can´t I correct my rating? No, there ain´t. Need that option in the future, maybe.

By deleting my test blog, I also nuked my access to personal site information on WC for a week. This issue also belongs in other threads, so many thread issues, so little time.

on Jul 10, 2005
this explains a lot...
on Jul 12, 2005

By the way, the more often I hit my own site myself, the higher my ranking goes up that given day. This is not why I am doing it; I am just working on my site, that is all. Yet either there should be a separate ranking or evaluation of your own hits and other peoples hits on your site, or this figure should not be influenced by your own hits. Polar bears are O.K. on your own site, its a nice pic, but what makes that a forum post. I was not sure the man wanted to
cause much harm when I saw this first, now I am though. Seems more like something that could be changed a bit in the next update of the systems.

on Jul 12, 2005

To outrule more misleading effects like these in future rating systems, you must also do something about people being able to click on their own articles and sites being LOGGED OUT, and thus like an outside clicker, which in the current system makes the amount of fictitious other peoples hits on your article or site go up. Still, this could give you, if evaluated separately, another reason not to close down a site too early, because some cat is still working on his site, and may want to reup his subscription because of that, which could help the community. AND the stuff on a site like this could soon have a different quality more worthy of reading once a series of heavy editing measures and construction performed on it is over, or more up to date. But it should be separated from normal rating.

I think it is possible not just to recommend, but also FEATURE your OWN article. Internally on your site, that is fine. As soon as you have more than 1 page full of articles of your own, you might want to spare other users from having to browse around too much to find what you have updated in opposite to some other things which may be less relevant, but too hard to delete or edit without killing your site management for a week.

On the other hand, now that I know what shameful side effects this generates in the current rating system, I have to leave off this nice feature so as not to be outed justly or make the wrong impression, at least. Which is a bit sad.

I am not trying to overcriticize. It is a technical miracle to create a 4 million visitor site complex like this and keep it running; sure could not do this at all, leave alone, any better myself, and it´s almost free con-
sidering what you can download included in a fee not worth mentioning, really. Yet when I cleaned this comment up with a blog editor July 28, 2005, in the meantime Bailey=SuperLiberal and maybe also LiberalCrusader, all of which are now blackmailed on 2 sites of mine and should expect further countermeasures no matter how many times they change icons, names, and site names by users with access levels above mine if still spamming up headlines with intentional junk, was reading my pointed out system flaws and might have been abusing them as well. This is more urgent than I thought and might have to be altered even when server is still in maintainence procedure.

Let us just hope for the best and await new features when the system is adapted bit by bit.