Here will be my one-and-only comment on the mini-profile indicator.
As previously indicated
, and often repeated (far too often than necessary), our
primary motivation in creating a new visible indicator in user mini-profiles was to give a visual thank-you to the members who create the
that drives conversations here on ATS.
Initially, there was a great deal of gripes, complaints, whines, grumbles, grouses, and whatnot (along with a fair amount of awesome, great, cool, and
good-job comments)... so we did our best to evolve the system to embrace a broader spectrum of metrics into the visual display. But in the end, no
matter what we did, or do, or promise to do, or say, or say we're going to do, or say we didn't mean it that, or whatever, there will be the
consistent voices of dissent who seem to take sport in complaining about something.
Well, I'm sorry, but I've had it. Since it didn't much matter how hard we worked to make a broad-spectrum system, there were always those who
complained about the wording, the colors, the titles, the ranks, the numbers, the clash with avatars, and so on. So, I just went back to my initial
gut-reaction, and rolled-back the mini-profile indicator to the ultra-simple "thank you" I originally intended, a measure of flags-earend. (With the
previous new badges moved to your profile page.)
And then, the new round of grips started. First that we'd remove the new indicators/badges, then that the newest indicators were purely focused on
flags. Too bad. Really.
We are a social content community
, a descriptor that aptly defines that we're much more than a simple discussion board.
Popular discussion boards
survive on rapid-fire posts and free-form involvement... actual content is secondary
Social content communities
survive on new ideas and interesting thread-starters... actual content inspires
It's an important difference. A difference that makes us proud. A difference that (hopefully) inspires thoughtful posts. A difference that can be
The flagging of threads has been the consistently successful way that our content rises to awareness for both members and visitors through the
, the newsletter
pages, the weekly summaries
the monthly summaries
, the forum
, the RSS feeds
, and more.
I've heard all the other "supposed" complaints about thread flagging, and frankly, each and every one is based on errant assumptions and never
takes into account the actual threads that rise to the top because of the flags... so please, you're not going to convince me.
As a social content community
we live and die by the ability of our thread topics to attract members to reply and visitors to read. In
the thirty months since flagging began (accompanies by the pages that feature top-flagged threads), we've grown three-fold in traffic and gained
three million new posts. In fact, our growth-curve significantly accelerated at exactly the point where we started flagging threads.
Flags are important. The members who create threads that receive flags are important to all of us. Without them, your options for replies would be
limited... and we'd be just another discussion board.
This "FLAG CONTRIBUTION LEVEL" indicator is a simple and clear system that should be used for:
(1) Showing our appreciation for the members who create flag-worthy threads
(2) Inspiring us to consider how to make more "flag-worthy" threads
(3) Taking comfort that we have so many members who create threads that get flagged
Yes... we need those who reply.
Yes... we need those who read.
Yes... we appreciate all types of members and their contributions.
But... those who create the noticeable content that drives the community forward deserve our special recognition, thanks, and honor. And most
important, it matters not if you agree with their topics, politics, beliefs, or opinions... these are the members that inspire our thoughts and
voluntary recognition through flags... we should all value their contributions and take pleasure in seeing a full-blue indicator.
A little about the new flag indicators.
Your indicator will be blank until you receive 50 flags. After that, each notch to the right is worth another 50 flags. The system reaches maximum at
1,750 flags, where any amount over that has no effect on the indicator.