what is karma, and how do i use it?
for a little background, our little community has been around for nearly nine years, with a pretty decent signal to noise ratio. the big rewrite that was launched last winter opened up most of the site to the public -- many of you know that you used to have to register to be able to even see what you were getting into, but i wanted to allow people to get a sneak peek. the downside of this is that more people know what they're getting into, and register just to fuchsia with people. that, and some members just like to snipe on people without contributing meaningfully to any discussion.

instead of allowing people to just filter who they don't like, we wanted to allow the community to elevate those who contribute meaningfully to the discussion, and let those who suck fade away into the darkness. hence, the karma system. as you can tell by the name, it's somewhat inspired by slashdot's karma system, but does not share a line of code, does not use the same point system, and doesn't really follow the same guidelines. it does use some of the descriptions, though, such as 'intelligent' and 'troll'.

karma is calculated based on how long you have been a member combined with how many messages you have posted to our boards. large bonuses and decrements are then calculated by individual karma grants or deductions on the posts you make in the message boards. the amount of karma you have is used to calculate how many 'grant points' you have -- each person is only allowed to make a certain number of up-ratings or down-ratings in the boards, to prevent people from storming the karma system and gang-modding. because there's a larger calculation in determining karma, modding someone up on one post won't automatically make their karma go up a point or down a point, and a certain amount of negative karma is forgiven based on post volume and tenure. this makes it so someone who makes a lot of posts in a short amount of time can't start squelching a longtime member who has contributed a lot to the community.

from the getgo, no one can possibly have negative karma. you can only achieve negative karma by being modded down repeatedly by your peers. someone has already achieved it but, if you notice, any messages by this individual are now only shown with a quick bar showing their username, their karma, and the subject of their message. on the right hand side is a 'show' link, allowing you to see their message anyway.

you can control this filter in the board preferences. the default is to filter anyone with a karma below zero, but you can change it to anything from -10 to +10.
for more help, feel free to contact us!
this entry was created on 2008-12-02, last modified 2009-10-14.
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