Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
I'll tell you why.
Published on August 6, 2005 By Draginol In Blogging

The points system doesn't exist to promote fairness.  It doesn't exist to encourage competition.  It's not even designed to encourage bloggers to blog more.

The points system is designed spefically to promote articles and bloggers that have already gained a readership.  It doesn't care what you write about.  It doesn't care whether you're a liberal or a conservative.  It doesn't care what color your skin is or what sex you are.  It simply designed to promote those who have already succeeded.

And it does this because we assume that those who have gained significant readership of either their articles or their blogs will have written things casual visitors to the site might be interested which in turn might make them more likely to return visit or create a blog themselves.

That's why we have it.  And as a practical result, people who consistently write about cool and interesting things tend to gain readers over time who in turn return to read other things they've written. 

That's what motivated me to create this site in the first place.  I have seen so many good bloggers creating truly insightful things on the net on various "blog" sites only to find that they never get read.  Never get comments. And hence get lost in the noise of cyberspace.

But on Joeuser, what you write gets syndicated to other Stardock.net based sites.  Recent articles all get their shot by being listed in the newest articles.  People who consistently blog have a good chance at being ranked highly. And so that same great blogger, here on JoeUser, is likely to gain a readership. 

I've seen, over the past couple of years, bloggers who have left for one reason or another. And they quickly discover that all the comments and readers they got on JoeUser don't transfer too well because, despite how obvious the JoeUser idea is, it is still (to my knowledge) the world's only blog community on the net (of course, given the technical hassles JU has, it's obviously non-trivial to implement such an interconnected system <g>).

The foundation for all this is the points system.  Without it, we're just another blogspot or live journal or whatever in which people write in perfect isolation.  And I don't know about others, but if I wanted to write things that no one else was going to read, I'd keep a private journal .


Comments
on Aug 06, 2005

I had heard through the JU grapevine that someone had suggested that everyone who blogs here should get featured in the name of 'fairness', and I'm hoping that you're not even going to entertain such silliness.  Say it aint so....please?!

When I first started blogging here I was very aware of the points I had and how the system worked.  Now though...I really don't pay much attention to them.  Occasionally I'll check and see my placings and my blog's placing on the rank list, but it's not a big deal to me anymore.  I understand why the point system exists, and to be honest I do think that, for the most part, it works the way it's supposed to.  It's up to individual bloggers to utilize it the way it was intended - and not manipulate it for their own gain.

I honestly think that this is by far the best blog site on the 'net.  Yeah, it has some issues, and I've said a couple of times that I wanted to leave, but it wasn't because of the site.  Despite all of the technical issues of late, JU is still the first place I visit in the morning.  There are some amazing people blogging here, folks who have (albeit unknowingly) taught me a lot (yourself included). 

Thanks again for the free ice cream.....

on Aug 06, 2005
I love JU, Brad. Points or not, I'd be here any way. JU has allowed me to sort out lots of things, tell people I love them, I miss them, and vent a whole lot of anger. It's allowed me to interact with an exceptional group of people from all over the world that I never would have been in any sort of communication with otherwise.

JU is definitely worth the technical problems, so thanks to you and your team and all the hours you all put in to keep JU up and running. Thanks for allowing just regular "Joes" like me to borrow some space from you so the world can know who I am.
on Aug 06, 2005
I like the way JU is set up. The forums are terrific. JU allows me to write and actually get feedback on what I write, and the forum is what keeps me here.

I've looked at other blogging sites when JU was down for extended periods, and there are plenty that have some appealing features that JU doesn't have, but with the others, it's difficult to attract new readers, or even let regular readers know that you have something new up.

And a nice side benefit of the community set up is that I've gotten the chance to get to know a wide spectrum of people through their writing and my interactions with them.

JU feeds my desire to write and share my thoughts, and also provides an opportunity to make friends and expand my horizons a bit.

Nice little combination, I think.
on Aug 06, 2005
I haven't been keen on points, ratings, download numbers, etc. since the beginning. I think I can safely say it isn't jealosy, since I don't seem to do too badly.

I do, though, understand where you are coming from, and I think there does need to be a way to spotlight good work when it is done. Since I have nothing better to suggest, I have to go with the points thing, I suppose.

I don't think the problem with the points is what they say about the blogger, I think it is what some bloggers need the points to say about them. It was the same with the download numbers at the old skin sites, etc. Somehow the material, the focus of the site, becomes secondary to the statistics.

I remember people at skinz.org that would have been happy uploading 50 peices of crap a day as long as it kept the downloads streaming in. At some point your self respect as an artist/writer/etc., falls behind your need to APPEAR successful. In the end, though, crap is crap no matter how many times it is viewed/downloaded.
on Aug 07, 2005
It would be nice if you had your points thing run in the background somehow as a statistical analysis that the users did not see in the exact fashion that they currently see it. Sure, they could see the placement, but leave it at that.

Competition is fine, but if someone is in 3rd, and they want 2nd, it should be enough to know they aren't in 2nd yet. They don't need to know how many points away from it they are which encourages them to just crank out crap in order to narrow the gap.

It's probably also not good that they can try a web parlor trick, closely monitor how it affects their points, and then tailor it for maximum pointage.

I like the Insightful/Trolling thing. I wish your points system were more closely tied into that so as to encourage creativity versus volume. Then you would draw audiences that think as opposed to audiences that like reading weather reports, laundry lists, and the ongoing political wars.
on Aug 07, 2005

Little Whip, as I've pointed out on many occasions, being able to "manipulate" the system to give yourself a 100 points here in there is trivial.  The bug with being able to get points for commenting on your own blogs was a different matter (and clearly a bug) and has been taken care of.

It is still, I think, unfortunate that people think the path to "easy" points is through comments on blogs when I've demonstrated time and time again that that isn't the case.  My article on Windows Vista has over 50,000 points now. Only has a few comments.  It's about readership. And it's a lot easier to get readership than to spam your comments are with "hi".

on Aug 07, 2005
Rotating only works after premonitoring whats rotated into places it is not overlooked easily, to boost something overlooked because it was lets say posted on a vacation morning with the wrong countries system time. This helps making more people come back here again and click here more. Good contributors cant stay awake for 72 hours just for it to be the right system time etc. in all countries theyve registered to forums in and still, what Draginol says is:

That is their problem. We have got enough successful things here. True, yet sometimes a bit US based geographically, excepting Norway, Australia, the U.K., Canada, Germany and some I may not have seen yet, hmmh a lot of exceptions, hhm. It is working rather WELL, as far as attracting traffic is concerned. Most of it is good enough for me. The forum titles might even rotate already.

If anyone has problems being successful let me spam by saying hi, thanks for "'The value of working hard", a link title for a different official title though, plus Good Online Writing Techniques and How to make your Blog Popular. I keep mixing up Brad with Draginol, so anyway thanx for the Adrenalin Vault article on Internet Law suits and the foundation of the company. I cannot get popular by saying so and do not need to. Keep it up.

Those of you wondering why this was not fixed earlier, go here: http://forums.joeuser.com/Forums.aspx?ForumID=27&AID=26674 and read an important time schedule.
on Aug 08, 2005

The points are like the temperature.  We watch as it goes up to 100 and think, WOW!  HOT.  But in the end, it does not change what we do, only perhaps when we do it.  And nothing we do is going to change the temperature.

The points are here, they are here to stay.  I am here for the blogging and interaction.  And that is all, really.

on Aug 08, 2005

Little Whip, as I've pointed out on many occasions, being able to "manipulate" the system to give yourself a 100 points here in there is trivial. The bug with being able to get points for commenting on your own blogs was a different matter (and clearly a bug) and has been taken care of.

Brad, just some free testing on my part.  The 5 points does not work in the forums, but does work through the JU other pages.  I just tested and picked up a nickle in my response to Karma Girl on the PETA thread.

on Aug 08, 2005
BTW, when someone deletes their articles, it will take the points with them in the future.
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