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Thursday, April 05, 2012

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shockwave yareach

Nothing here guarantees that Rewarded == Productive.

In this approach, Rewarded == Popular.

Let's say I stay in my lab (which I do, mostly) and do my job to perfection. 3 people may know my name and know what I do (and how many lives my fixes have saved). But Bob across the hall in the cubicles, he brings donuts every other day, but doesn't do a lick of actual work. I accomplish something in silence while others accomplish nothing, but do so very loudly.

Guess who will get rewarded?

Hamlet Au

That's not how it happens, actually. Read the article, one of the most rewarded person in this system was a remote worker. I interviewed folks at IGN, who implemented a Love Machine-type system after meeting with Philip, and a similar thing happened: Instead of the most points going to some prominent kiss-ass or well-known manager, as might be expected, they went to a low-paid, low ranking tech support person.

Ezra

What you describe is a system that rewards good work, a specific activity to build such a system around.

Similarly Reddit's system rewards quality link submissions, StackExchange rewards good questions and answers. A Second Life karma system would reward what exactly?

There's no 1 core activity a karma system could be built around for Second Life. It'd be pointless, and harmful to Second Life judging by the amount of backlash the idea got in your last post about it.

Rin Tae

It is easy to implement a 'Karma-system' when there is something that can be mesured or when the mesured system is only based around one activity.
In SL, everone is doing something else and everything is subjective .. builds .. looks .. ideas .. one persons great build is awful to others, one look of the avi might appeal to one and be disliked by others and the core idea of one group and the things said in this groups discussions might not be liekd by those who beleive in something else.

The only thing the idea of such a karma system achieves is to get more traffic to this blog ;P

Hamlet Au

"Similarly Reddit's system rewards quality link submissions... A Second Life karma system would reward what exactly?"

Reddit's system also rewards creative cartoons, Photoshopped images, witty comments, insightful posts and stories (a guy got a book and film deal from a Reddit thread), etc. etc... so, you know, user-generated content, like SL.

Rusalka Writer

The sort of thing that would end, in any environment where I've ever worked, in tears and gunfire.

Ezra

"Reddit's system also rewards creative cartoons, Photoshopped images, witty comments, insightful posts and stories (a guy got a book and film deal from a Reddit thread), etc. etc... so, you know, user-generated content, like SL."

Reddit's karma system still ultimately serves the 1 purpose of bubbling good links to click to the top of a subreddit regardless of what kind of content clicking those links result in.

A karma system for Second Life would have what similar purpose? You suggested using it as a disciplinary measure in the last post, which sounds antithesis to the 'Love Machine' you bring up now, unless Philip's 'Love Machine' also dictates who gets fired. But, what kind of positive purpose would it serve in Second Life?

On Reddit you'd earn karma due to me liking a link you posted, that I want thousands of others to see, that karma would have nothing to do with me wanting to see your score go up. Why would I give you karma in Second Life? What could you do that I witness that my clicking a upvote button would benefit the 50,000 other concurrent users, and by side effect earn you some karma?

Arcadia Codesmith

Try it with something other than play money and get back to us.

And there's no way in hell it would work in a system where bad actors can change identity at will.

A.J.

Best to just purchase Karma points directly from Linden Labs and at least let them make some money off of the scheme. Anything else would simply be another Second Life popularity contest disguised as merit.

Those who would reap the most rewards from this system would be Inworldz and Avination. There are many paying adults in Second Life who would find this little trip back to high school intolerable.

Pussycat Catnap

"Nothing here guarantees that Rewarded == Productive.
In this approach, Rewarded == Popular."

- That.

And now we see the motivation of the post two posts down about SL needing a high-school dramaz system.

And just because a remote worker got the biggest share in this particular sample from a select pool of folks in on the concept, doesn't mean the concept overall isn't dramatically flawed.

Hitomi Tiponi

Does anyone who has looked at Coffee and Power ever think it would ever become real money? It is just a testbed for Philip's ideas about new ways of working together.

Pussycat Catnap

It looks more to me like a testbed of new ways for 1%ers to exploit workforces - finding ways to get workers to pay their employer for the 'privilege' of getting to work...

But that's another topic, based on prior articles about the whole crowd-sourcing scam.

Hamlet Au

"Reddit's karma system still ultimately serves the 1 purpose of bubbling good links to click to the top of a subreddit regardless of what kind of content clicking those links result in."

No, Reddit karma is bestowed both on links and comments, which are by definition user generated content. That's why Reddit comment threads tend to be as interesting as the links they're associated with. Good Karma rises good comments up, dumb/trollish/off-topic comments down. And in any case, much of the links (I'd estimate 30%) are themselves user-generated content -- photos, drawings, comments, etc. created or captured by the OP.

"A karma system for Second Life would have what similar purpose?"

I explained that in the original post, feel free to read again.

qarl

Hamlet - you've got your reddit terminology mixed up, and might be conflating two different ideas.

the "score" of a post is what moves that post up and down. "karma" is the collected score of an individual across the lifetime of their account.

are you advocating user-based voting for content for SL - or for a per-user score?

because even the guys on reddit think collecting karma is lame. (hence the vicious downvoting of your recent article over on reddit.)

Ezra

"I explained that in the original post, feel free to read again."

I asked for a -similar- purpose. Your original post was about using a karma system to dictate sim access, yet you just described that Reddit's karma has nothing to do with disciplinary action and everything to do with bragging rights for good content.

I ask again, exactly what content of yours in Second Life would I upvote or downvote so that you could earn karma?

There's no "give karma" button on Reddit but it seems that's what you're advocating for with Second Life, and for reasons completely disconnected from the purpose karma systems serve.

Karma scores like Reddit's are best as token tallies that at a glance give others an idea about how well a person participates around the core activity shared by all. On Reddit, a lot of karma means someone submits a lot of good links. In Second Life, a karma score would mean what...? A good sport at bukkake bliss island? Donated the most in a Relay for Life charity drive?

Part of what makes Second Life great is content can be anything, or nothing. It's completely fine to stand around and do jack, add nothing to the world and chat. It's perfectly fine that what's objectionable to one person can be the best thing ever to another, and that's fine. A karma system would add nothing to Second Life because there's no single common core activity like link submitting, upvoting and downvoting as with Reddit, that we all share and a karma system could be built ontop of.

Hamlet Au

"yet you just described that Reddit's karma has nothing to do with disciplinary action and everything to do with bragging rights for good content."

Sorry, that's not a fair summary of what I wrote, and it's not how Reddit works. As I said, Reddit links and comments that are downvoted enough disappear from view -- essentially a disciplinary action.

"even the guys on reddit think collecting karma is lame. (hence the vicious downvoting of your recent article over on reddit.)"

Qarl baby, it's the height of irony to be downvoted on a karma system for suggesting that there should be a karma system.

Zarkinfrood Miami

Ezra - Reddit's karma system also works because of subreddits. If I posted a well written joke in the askscience subreddit, I will not only be downvoted into oblivion, my reply will most likely be removed.

"But, what kind of positive purpose would it serve in Second Life?"

While I personally don't feel that Karma would influence my day-to-day activities in SL, I could see how having a "subreddit style" karma system could be useful.


" In Second Life, a karma score would mean what...? A good sport at bukkake bliss island? Donated the most in a Relay for Life charity drive?"

Helpful to noobies? +1 friendly karma. Awesome builder,scripter, or good with textures? +1 to worldbuilder Karma. Inappropriate act involving naughty poseballs in a PG place? -1 to your decency karma. By having a dozen or so metrics that someones activities can be measured on, adding it together and displaying an overall karma score, it would be pretty easy for a noobie to tell a good apple from a bad one.

In a more specific environment, If someone asks a question in a scripting group and gets 3 different answers, the submitter could look at individual scripting karma and see who is considered more of an "expert" by the scripting communities. and by either giving karma to the person with the right answer, or taking it away from the person with the wrong answer, the community gets a better idea of who really knows their stuff.

Every problem with this goes back to human nature and gaming the system. As Shockwave Yareach commented in the blog regarding implementing a Karma system in SL:
"...a good number of honest folks and builders who are most of the time in their own little corners and not bothering anyone get labeled as undesirables when they do look around, because they have zip for "karma" points."
(shockwave, I love your idea regarding a slap score.)


Until a satisfactory control system is set up, Karma in Second Life would be useless. But the idea has merit and could benefit the community immensely.

Ezra

"Sorry, that's not a fair summary of what I wrote, and it's not how Reddit works. As I said, Reddit links and comments that are downvoted enough disappear from view -- essentially a disciplinary action."

Content disappears on Reddit, not people. You suggested upvoting/downvoting Second Life residents so that THEY disappear.

Ezra

@Zarkinfrood

Nice suggestions, but again, to what end? Reddit, Quora, and similar site's upvote/downvote systems serve the purpose of bubbling good content to the top. If any answer in one of Reddit's Q&A type subreddits is upvoted, then it gains better visibility for whoever might stumble upon it later. The answerers' karma score going up is just a side effect, its not the point.

These karma systems work when connected to content that needs better visibility, and when visible is visible for ALL users. Disconnected from content as with Hamlet's upvote/downvote for sim access idea, or in a bubble detached from the other 50,000 online at any time as with helping a newbie, karma systems are just empty coercion of human behavior that when suggested get the kind of backlash that resulted here.

Second Life residents are already decent by and large. Answers already get answered in scripting groups, charity goals are routinely met, performers get tipped, newbies are already helped, subs find Doms, and there's already banhammers for naked people in a PG sim.

qarl

Hamlet - you miss my point (again) - the "score" is good, "karma" is bad. they're not downvoting you to give you low karma, they're downvoting your post because the idea is wretched.

but feel free to continue to rationalize, Hamlet baby.

Arcadia Codesmith

Be nice, qarl. You're right, no need to rub it in :)

Roger

I like the idea that we all call each other "[name] baby" now. Its like karma system, the more baby the more reward.
Roger baby out

Hamlet Au

Qarl, I'm not at all surprised the idea of karma systems provoked a negative reaction in this context, for several reasons, but that's for another post. However, I still think you're missing the irony of people expressing that they don't want to use a karma system in SL by using a karma system in Reddit.

qarl

Hamlet - i am genuinely having a hard time understanding why you continue to conflate "score" with "karma" even after i've called attention to your error.

there is no "irony" here with the people voting on your post - there is merely staunch thickheadedness by the writer. it's very odd and creepy, honestly.

Hamlet Au

Qarl, on Reddit, score is tied to karma -- when it goes up via upvotes, your karma goes up, when it goes down via downvotes, your karma goes down. Click your Reddit account and check your link karma and comment karma, they're tied to your aggregate scores. I suppose the distinction between the two categories could be made, but I think that would unnecessarily confuse things.

qarl

> I suppose the distinction between the two categories could be made, but I think that would unnecessarily confuse things.

actually, no - it would help you understand what everyone here is talking about.

Melponeme_k

This, and most of Philip's ideas, are very idealistic in an almost delusional fashion.

The system doesn't take into account the gaming of the system. They have proof that this set up doesn't work already in the history of Linden Lab. The JIRA system has all the primal earmarks of every "new" idea included for Love Machine, Coffee and Karma. And it has shown that these ideas tribalize the workplace and form fighting groups that champion their own causes at the expense of the company as a whole.

Krinkles Q Klown

Oh he's so visionary! Such a guru! What a mover and a shaker!

Does it work like crap like the SL Grid did Easter weekend?

Bwahahahahahahaha!

Ajax Manatiso

Any such system requires it to be applied fairly, and LL is notorious for it's unfairness. There are unpublished discounts for the big players in SL -- and rumors LL games their own traffic scores for those who generate the most revenue for LL. Will the big landowners who own many sims get bad karma scores? I think not. Will small players be able to get any kind of karma score? Remember -- all posts on Reddit are equal but SL is all inequality.

Hamlet Au

"it would help you understand what everyone here is talking about"

Qarl, I'm not sure it's accurate to say "everyone" is talking about the particular point about Reddit karma you're making. But in any case, I'm still not following why you think the distinction between karma and upvotes is relevant in this context. If you can more patiently and civilly explain it here, please do, I'd like to understand your perspective.

qarl

Hamlet - i almost missed your response.

as i said in my earlier posts here but somehow you didn't hear - the distinction is important because even the redditors feel that one of these is a good idea, and the other a terrible idea.

when you don't understand something someone has said - the best option is to say - "i don't understand" - not to continue on as if you did - thereby completely ignoring their points.

i wonder if this might be the ultimate basis of all our disagreements.

Hamlet Au

Qarl, I'm not ignoring your points, I'm just not sure I follow how they lead to the conclusion you seem to be suggesting. But let me make sure I understand: Are you arguing that because Redditors generally hate karma whoring, it follows that Reddit's karma system is a bad idea?

qarl

well, yes. you hold reddit up as a model of a working karma system - when in fact the people who use reddit the most dislike karma the most. i'd say that's pretty damning, no?

Hamlet Au

Qarl, I'd need to see some pretty compelling evidence that the heaviest Redditors dislike karma the most. Especially because, almost by definition, Reddit's most active users engage with Reddit's karma system most. I do think Redditors dislike karma *whoring*, but that's not slamming the karma system itself, just its apparent abuse. If they were really that against it, they could successfully upvote a "Get rid of the karma system!" campaign. I haven't seen anything like that, least in the last year or two.

All that said, here's the crucial thing: Reddit keeps growing in terms of active users and total pageviews. So either Redditors dislike the karma system, but don't dislike it enough to leave, or are neutral/have mixed feelings about it. Or... most of them actually more or less like it.

qarl

heh... ok - let me try one more time -

there are two different ideas here. one is the score which is voted upon for each posting (and comments) and the other is the aggregate score for each submitter over the lifetime of his/her account.

the individual score is very useful - it ensures that a good mix of good content reaches the front page.

the aggregate lifetime score (karma) - is not used by the site software in any way - it does not contribute to reddit's success in any way, and is openly mocked by the oldtime users (despite your disbelief.)

score = good. karma = bad.

nevermind whether you agree or disagree with what i'm saying here: can you assure me that you understand my point? because it genuinely seems like you do not.

qarl

are you aware that karma on reddit is not used in any way - it is merely decorative?

Hamlet Au

"the aggregate lifetime score (karma) - is not used by the site software in any way"

That's not accurate. I talked with Reddit's general manager about karma in January. Yes, in fact, from what they tell me, a user's Reddit karma ranking is indeed used in relation to submissions. Not the only weight, but it is used. Maybe this is why we've been talking past each other, because I based my essay in part from my conversations with Reddit.

I do understand how Reddit score and karma are two different (if parallel and somewhat overlapping) metrics. From talking with Reddit, I think they're both important to yield the quality ecosystem of content and community they have.

qarl

Hamlet - that simply is not true. i believe you misunderstood what he said to you - karma is SLIGHTLY used for brand new accounts as a part of the spam filtering - but the placement of postings and comments is determined solely by score.

but yes, i agree - i believe this is the crux of our misunderstanding.

qarl

https://www.google.com/search?q=reddit+karma+is+worthless

Hamlet Au

Karl, I just talked with Eric Martin, General Manager at Reddit, who told me (when I asked him) that karma does have some influence on how user submissions rise to the top. Understandably, he didn't explain exactly how, but my personal guess is that submissions from high karma users tend to be more prominently or more often displayed than low/zero karma Redditors. That would make sense, because Reddit gets assloads of submissions.

Also, that link you posted leads this article:

http://www.blueglass.com/blog/could-reddit-be-the-worlds-most-influential-website/

"One of the unique aspects of the Reddit community is the idea of 'karma.' Karma is a system of points that are given or taken away from users based on how much the community likes or dislikes the content they submit or the comments they make. Although 'karma' is worthless in a monetary sense, it has a social value for Redditors. The more karma a user has, the higher regard or esteem they are generally shown within the community. Gaining high levels of karma has become important to many Redditors and is an incentive for participation."

I think that's about right, and is a value to a karma system however it impacts Reddit submissions. It's another reason I think it's a good idea for LL to try implementing a similar system.

qarl

see - that's extremely odd - because in fact reddit's code is open source - and looking at the source i see that this is simply not true.

https://github.com/reddit/reddit/blob/master/r2/r2/lib/db/_sorts.pyx

i also see no reason for him to be mysterious about it - given these circumstances.

the article you link to agrees with me - it says that karma's value is merely a social one - and does not give any advantage to the rankings.

you're not making things up are you? perhaps you can forward me his email and we can discuss it together?

Hamlet Au

I spoke with him by phone, but I'm happy to double-check, and blog what he says.

qarl

you might also try just asking on reddit itself? the answer is fairly well known.

qarl

ok - well - just in case my point got lost somewhere, let me recap:

you are conflating two different ideas at reddit - the score of postings and the karma of users.

you are absolutely right about the score - by crowd-sourcing the ratings of posting reddit ensures that it has a never ending source of quality information.

karma - on the other hand - is easily manipulated (as has been pointed out by dozens of people here) and your shining example of successful karma - reddit - doesn't actually use karma in the way you believe. (again - i think your confusion here stems from the above mentioned conflation.)

as has been explained ad nauseum above - user to user rating systems are easily abused in the worst case - a popularity contest in the best case - and not seriously used by any major successful community.

and let me add an additional nugget of information - even back at the lab - in an extremely favorable environment with all participants acting in good faith - the rewarder and the love machine were viewed by many as an overblown popularity contest. there was great concern that extremely hard working but quiet members of the team were left out.

qarl

tl;dr - very very bad and ill thought-out idea.

Hamlet Au

You're actually the first former Linden to be negative about the Love Machine, and I've talked with dozens of Lindens about it. Even the folks who've been fired or were otherwise unhappy with LL told me they basically liked it. (Though some point out it isn't perfect for similar reasons you note.)

As for Reddit and karma, I'm planning to talk with Eric soon, because I think it warrants a whole fresh new post/article, rather than us slogging it out in an old comment thread. (Soon as I finish an article on Reddit and advertising.)

qarl

i wouldn't say i was negative on the love machine - but maybe yes on the rewarder. regardless, there was MUCH concern about the failings of the two.

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