Explained: Trust Levels and Badges

(Asa) #21

They certainly should be, for sure. Don’t get me wrong Seb, I think it’s a fun and funky little way of generating a sense of inclusivity and an all-round positive vibe. That’s why I thought I’d point out how close some of these guys are to the next trust level, see if even one or two might want to give it a try. But it’s a redundant system if the majority of the regular members aren’t doing it. Taking Phil above as an example: He’s a long-time contributor to this site and a hugely valuable asset. But his trust level numbers don’t tell that story at all, because although discussions on genre cinema interest him and bring him here, Discourse’s trust system doesn’t. And that’s perfectly fine, of course, but if there are not enough members taking it on then the data it provides becomes skewed, there’s little evidence or indication to new members that it’s something we want to encourage, and eventually the few that are doing it will lose any incentive to keep plugging away since their own trust levels are dependant on the contributions of others (“Likes Received”), making progression virtually impossible and regression an inevitability.

I wasn’t asking if the “like” button itself could be removed though, I was just wondering if its use (or lack thereof) had to remain an integral part of the trust system since it seems to routinely prove the difference between the trust system taking off in earnest or dying on the vine. If the trust system wasn’t dependent on the “like” button we’d have had a few more level 3 members over a longer time - which might in itself have seen the system flourish as an incentive - and it would no longer matter in the slightest if most of the core membership never used the “like” button again . Those who wanted to could, and those who didn’t, needn’t.

All merely IMO, of course.

(Sebastian) #22

Well the purpose is not to track the stats and do whatever is necessary to obtain a higher trust level. That’s not an end in itself.
There are a number of things that are just prerequisites, like reading things, writing things, using a plethora of forum functionality and being here for a certain time, before a higher trust level is awarded. Since these trust levels also bestow a larger range of permissions, its purpose is that by the time you reach a trust level, it is ensured that you know what you’re doing.
Now, we can tweak the numbers etc, but I see zero reason in doing away with these.

(Toscano) #23

I don’t know the first damn thing about ‘trust levels’, ‘rules’ ‘red tape’, bureaucracy…but I do know that a site that relies on encouraging long-time members to contribute, and ‘new members’ to join, should be open to new ideas and suggestions.

…Just my nugget in the dust…

(Sebastian) #24

Precisely that’s what these trust levels are for, encouraging engagement, fostering trust, building capacities. They’re not a bureaucracy, if you don’t care or know about them, just carry on as usual :slight_smile:

(Toscano) #25

Let’s agree to disagree…

Sincerely…Have a very Happy New Year, Sebastian! Wishing you nothing but good health & wealth for the New Year…


(Sebastian) #26

What was it we disagreed on? I think there is a misunderstanding :slight_smile:

(Toscano) #27

No misunderstanding, Seb…

I think you’re doing a cracking job!!..it must be difficult to please everyone, all the time…and I don’t envy your job.

Let’s start 2017 with agreement that ‘SWDB’ will go from strength to strength :slight_smile:

(Sebastian) #28

I second that :slight_smile:

(Asa) #29

:grinning: Of course it is! How can a non-existent, virtual badge be anything but an incentive to carry out the tasks required to be awarded it? You said yourself - absolutely rightly - that the “like” buttons were one out of many criteria for establishing trust and adding incentive. But if our activity on the forum is not to be influenced in any way by the reward-based system Discourse provides, then why bother? You’ll just be awarding a badge or an additional trust level to someone who wasn’t aiming for it, had no idea they’d achieved it, or how they’d achieved it, and who has no stake or interest in maintaining the level of involvement which won them their award in the first place. Pretty much every tablet/phone-based game or app hands all sorts of virtual treats, awards and prizes for the completion of this task or that, encouraging the user to reach for the next prize, the next treat, the next level. And yes, the trust levels and badges DO ensure that the user knows what he/she is doing, because they have to try out every function the forum provides. But how will they know what they need to tackle next if they’ve not going to check?

And yet, despite all that, it’s still the trust level’s dependence on the likes which is the problem. You believe that, eventually, the most productive and valuable forum members will stumble to the more responsible trust levels? Well, maybe, eventually (though they’d get there a lot quicker if they chased their fun little targets down, since that’s literally what they’re for :slight_smile:) but that won’t happen while too few people are “liking” posts. Come on mate, @Stanton has never given out a "like ", ever. If he doesn’t want to that’s fine, but he’s never going to reach trust level 2 let alone level 3, no matter how valuable an asset to a spaghetti western forum he demonstrates himself to be again and again and again. To me, that sounds horribly at odds with your belief that the system will elevate the most dedicated and valuable posters.

Now, if you respond and I don’t answer it’s not because Im ignoring you like a stroppy tart, but it’s New Year’s Day, we’ve got relatives over and I’m tapping away blindly at my tablet while everyone else is drinking all the gin. And I’ve got to get to my The Simpsons: Tapped Out Game, I’m only three missions away from levelling up and unlocking Sideshow Bob’s cowboy outfit (it’s not a real cowboy outfit of course, it’s just one of those silly incentives they give you for achieving a set of tasks…) :slight_smile: xxx

(Toscano) #30


Happy smiles all round.

(Sebastian) #31

No, I said that the system is set up in a way that those who do achieve a higher trust level are by definition those that showed a high level of interaction with the forums characteristics.

But to cut this short, i didnt come up with this, and i dont think its perfect, but it is not really problem either is it? So if there is a specific problem (e.g. the barrier for likes is too high) then we can tweak that. Otherwise I would say we just let likes be likes. And we can keep educating others about it, maybe some folks to wanna look at how they are doing.
There is also a new version of the forum software coming out every 6 months, changing this and that, including trust levels and badges and all that

(Asa) #32


(Toscano) #33

I think that pre-Christmas ‘blues’ may be setting in…let’s put an ‘amen’ to it…and just enjoy the New Year.!!

…2017 will bring enough troubles of it’s own…

(morgan) #34

Thanks for the information, LC. Seems that I will go to a new trust level sometimes in 2017 without changing habits, which will be an honor for sure. The SWDB forum is by the way my first and only social medium and will probably remain so.

(Søren) #35

Thanks amigo. Just leveled right back up to Level 3.

(Sebastian) #36

In case anyone’s wondering…

(Phil H) #37

For what it’s worth I would vote for a reduction in the number of “Likes” required to attain these levels. For me it is a meaningless measurement of someone’s contribution to the forum. Especially when the levels are titled"Trust". Any fourteen year old who stumbles onto the forum will have more “likes” added in 10 minutes than me or Stanton are likely to rack up in a year. But we have both been around here a very long time and I know that the actual level of trust we enjoy here is significantly higher than our official rating implies. All a bit irrelevant to a certain extent but it does mean we are currently without access to functions we used to have on the forum and as far as I can tell it is only our “like” stats which are in the way of that. Just my two cents.

(Sebastian) #38

It is one of many measurements only. I don’t really see the big problem. If there is a functionality you’re lacking, I’m more than happy to bestow it on you manually (which ones are they?), as you rightly point out your trust is beyond doubt :slight_smile:
Also, I wanna make more folks actual moderators, but that raises some expectations on part of the forum members so I don’t want to burden folks with that title who don’t actively want to assume that responsibility.

As for likes, TL3 requirement is 15 likes received and given over the respective time period. I find it hard to believe there aren’t 15 valuable posts by other members that usually warrant this kind of “tumbs up” reaction. Think of it as a replacement for short one-worded posts like “I agree” or “Great post, thanks” etc…

But if everyone’s of the opinion that 15 is too high a threshold, we can lower it, no problem. To where? 10?

(Phil H) #39

Only 15? Jeez I am really shit at that aren’t I. :grinning:

(morgan) #40

Phil is one thing. Stanton is another. There is no way you will get that one to like anything, even if he likes it, unless he likes to, which is not very likely.