Just curious about one thing you said: "the only immediate tool you offer is an approval button." What about the Report button? Or do you not see that?
If in fact you don't see the Report button, then that is shocking. Rep points, silver, gold, platinum, etc., emit warm fuzzies, but if a serious CP member doesn't have access to a key feedback mechanism like the Report button, then this should be addressed immediately, with divine intervention if necessary.
1. it isn't clear what it does, I'm just guessing it sends a notification to the editors; and whatever it does, there is no immediate result. When voting on an article or forum message, the vote count goes up, the average gets adapted, so as a reader you have several options and see some, albeit minor, result. Other readers also see the updated average vote. Clicking "report" on an article entry has no immediate or noticeable effect.
2. it is rather extreme, and I would use that with care; to me it means "I absolutely don't want this article to appear" which is quite a strong statement; as is the "I approve" button, which basically says "no matter what others think, this article now becomes public".
You post a single article and then from then on each time a member reads and up-votes your article you get points
I can churn out ten messages in programming forums in a matter of minutes, and collect over 100 points on them. It takes a couple of days to provide a decent article
I have to agree with Luc here. Some articles can take a long long time to produce. I have a few in progress that are serious works that I have, believe it or not, spent many months working on, one of them has been over a year in progress already - meant as a study subject for myself but with a view to CP publication from the outset.
I will post them here at CP because I love the site and the philosophy - not because I want a pretty colour on my profile page! However, we have the pretty colours because they do mean something so should accurately reflect what they are rewarding. An article in itself without any votes should be worth more than 100 points. Maybe a stronger reduction if downvoted would be required to restore a balance if it's garbage if it were changed.
When we first released the beta version of the reputation system back in August there was a lot of discussion on the topic of how to award points on an article based on the effort put into it. It's impossible to say "an article is worth 100 times a forum posting" because one person may whip up an article in an hour, and another (like yourself) may spend months. We have no "How long did you spend on this article" field in the article wizard, and scoring an article by its length would not be realistic.
The discussions centered around trying to realistically reward authors for their actions, and the only method I could see that was fair was to have the community - those who actually use your articles - award you. If we increase the base award for articles then that applies to all articles, even the crud that gets submitted after final exam time. I, personally, don't think it's fair that an author churning out rubbish has a chance at Gold or Platinum status. It should simply be impossible for them to get it. Having the automated, one-size-fits-all award be modest means this is less likely, since the true value of the article will be in the votes, not the initial post.
This raises another side issue: what if an author spends a great deal of time on an article but it's simply of no value? It could be a long, well formatted article written over 3 months, but it could be simply the worlds most convoluted Hello World app. Our system can't (and should no) make s judgement call on this article. The readers who actually read and use the article should make the call.
Since we're now talking about metaphysical reality, how about giving each CP editor (I mean employees here) 10000 points per month, to award to articles as they see fit? Sort of like "editor's choice" rep points. Presumably, these would be awarded based on actual usefulness and merit.
Too limited, lacks flexibility. I'm sure your editors all have different opinions, and they each see something different in an article, concerning its relative merits. Why not just trust their judgments?
OK, so instead of fixed points, they can vary the points?
Hmm, I dunno. I'm prefer to have those who use the articles vote on them, instead of an editor pinning a start on, say, 5 articles a month while another 20 of equal value go unrewarded. My thinking is that a jaded editor will only award an article if it's really special, and will award big. Editors only get to briefly view all the articles that come in during any given month so the combination of running out of points and missing some deserving ones will mean it's uneven coverage.
Just seems fraught with potential for lots of emails begging to have points awarded to an author's articles.
I know it's complicated, Chris - that's why you get the big bucks.
I can't give you any solid proof for this, but I'm coming to the conclusion that many CP members vote on articles based on whether it's useful to them at the present time. Maybe they think that by voting that way, they can influence what articles get written? I don't know, but I think that the CP editors will have better judgment than these idiots.
I'm sure that CP editors each have different opinions, and letting them award points separately makes sense. They are also more likely to consider the whole package: code, article text, screenshots, and design issues/background.
Yes, it's possible that an editor might overlook some articles, but by forcing the selection of only a single article, you're overlooking a lot of articles. You can still keep the present system's net result: the article with the most editor points is the editor's choice.