[maemo-community] Sprint task: Refine the karma system

From: Randall Arnold texrat at ovi.com
Date: Wed Jan 13 03:01:02 EET 2010

> ----- Original message ----- 
> From: "Sebastian 'CrashandDie' Lauwers" <crashanddie at gmail.com>
> To: "List for community development" <maemo-community at maemo.org>
> Subject: Re: Sprint task: Refine the karma system
> Date: Wed, 13 Jan 2010 00:33:07 +0000
> Valerio,
> Thanks for putting this discussion up.
> Now, I'm not a big supporter of karma at all. I believe it is a flawed
> system which encourages cheating and ego-trips, and neither of those
> have citizenship in this community.
> There is no moderation on the discussion lists, which means anyone who
> even pollutes the lists receives karma. Same thing for tmo, a lot of
> redundant discussions mean a lot of redundant karma. At this point,
> trolling is the best, effortless way of amassing heaps of karma. Sure,
> off-topic doesn't count anymore, but I have yet to see (non-spam)
> threads be deleted instead of locked in most other fora.
> Rewarding app developers is a great and noble idea, however I honestly
> doubt karma is the most appriopriate medium for it. More than
> anything, I have to side with Dave and notice that this implementation
> is highly developer-focal.
> If I were crazy enough, I would post the suggestion that karma be
> removed as a whole. If someone is active on tmo, you can see this by
> his number of posts, and the thanks ratio. If someone offers well
> formulated and mature advice, it should ring with your own mind. If a
> dev writes a new app every week, I hope the website and app manager
> will allow to "Browse by developer", and maybe the dev's stats will
> indicate he has contributed positively on a number of occasions. The
> real important thing is that if the main argument *for* karma is that
> it allows newcomers to *know* who is *good*, and this is also
> extremely flawed.
> If there is a worry that false information may be spread by unsavy
> users, then this is a useless worry; a waste of time. People don't
> care about an unknown status on an unknown forum. They will care, and
> will listen to any person who echoes their thoughts and resonates
> their ideas. Whether that person is "true or false" doesn't matter,
> and neither does their karma rating.
> My main issue is that there is no such thing as karma in real life, so
> why have any in our community? There is no formal rating of every
> single individual on the planet on a website like rottentomatoes,
> where people can check if they should agree or listen to this
> politician or this sportsman; why would our community rating have
> something which is, by lack of better words and lack of proof
> impossible to create.
> I like politician X, but how does he match up against the NFL Top 10?
> Thanks for reading, and apologies about the rant.

And I continue to believe the concerns over karma abuse are significantly overblown.

Worries about cheating and abuse assume that such activities represent the norm or at the very least a dangerously high percentage of all activity.  That defies probability and even human social behavior.  I don't have proper data to perform an analysis here but I'm curious: what do karma opponents guess the abuse percentage to be?

Karma serves a valuable purpose: it's a value system that strives to put various contributing activities on a level playing field and make them highly visible.  Of course it's not perfect, and that would be an irrational avenue to argue down anyway given that nothing can be.

Comparing a microcosm like maemo.org to real life is disingenuous as well, but if you want to go down that path one can make arguments that there ARE real-life rating systems, job salary being one.  Educational grades are another, etc etc etc.

But while I don't quibble with the concept of karma, I can understand the distrust of some formulae and applications.  I believe we need a karma system, and I also believe we need to monitor it for success as well as abuse... and continually refine it as needed.


> On 12/01/2010, Attila Csipa <maemo at csipa.in.rs> wrote:
> > On Tuesday 12 January 2010 20:46:14 Valerio Valerio wrote:
> >> All suggestions/improvements are welcome, but please keep in mind that the
> >> karma should be simple to calculate.
> >
> > Brainstorm seems to be missing (maybe the generic vote/comment score can
> > apply, but surely proposals/solutions themselves are worth something ?).
> >
> > The current scoring scheme does not take into account developers who don't
> > develop end-user software (like libraries). No idea how to honor that except
> > for download/spike counting.
> >
> > Also, you don't mention bugs.maemo.org, with more karma for apps it's
> > somewhat
> > better (reporting 3-5 bugs, regardless of report quality was roughly equal
> > to
> > writing (!) an app). Anyhow, if possible, maybe it would make sense to
> > include
> > bug status (i.e. karma for developers fixing the bugs in question, or no
> > karma
> > for duplicate, invalid, etc bugs). Yes, this can be tricky with projects
> > handling their own bugs, but then again, it's the same now - you get karma
> > only for reporting bugs on projects in b.m.o.
> >
> > Overall, I feel maybe the new proposal is noticeably tilted towards
> > developers, non-dev community members will very likely have difficulty
> > 'keeping
> > up' with dev karma (which may or may not be what you want).
> >
> > Regards,
> > Attila
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> > maemo-community at maemo.org
> > https://lists.maemo.org/mailman/listinfo/maemo-community
> >
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