posted on May, 8 2010 @ 09:12 AM
reply to post by Kandinsky
W is your Way Above Top Secret WATS index.
Once upon a time WATS was a member vote button that could be used on any post that the member felt was exceptional. A member had three votes per month
to give out (or not give out depending). At the end of the month, the votes were manually tallied and a member was awarded the WATS for the month that
included the addition of a badge to a member's profile avatar. It sort of looked like the FSME badge.
You might think that determining a WATS award for the month that way would be impossible now with the volume of posts and members today. But the last
WATS vote was maybe 300 votes between 20-30 posts, if my memory serves. So WATS was done away with partially due to low participation. But mostly
because of it becoming time consuming and overall post quality as there were many months of no "super" posts compared to past winners.
WATS was essentially replaced by Stars and Flags. Flags remain how there are today, credit goes to the OP for starting a thread, but no real direction
has ever been given as to why specifically to flag. We used to be able to see the last 3-5 thread that we recently flagged from our profile page (as
could others) which was useful tracking threads that you wanted to keep up with that you had not posted on. Some people to this day will only flag a
thread that they feel the OP is WATS worthy (which was my criteria for a time). Others flag if they feel others need to see the topic which is the
only real official guidance ever given (and current criteria).
Stars on the other hand have changed. Originally a member could give 1-5 stars to any post. And there was a star rating in the side profile. Mine was
4.7 or 4.8 when that practice ended. Why so high? Most members would only star if it was worth 4-5 stars. The exception was the 1 star bandits. People
would actually go back over old posts and drop 1 star on them to lower another person's Star rating. Star ratings were a simple average of total
number of stars divided by total number of posts that were starred. complaints of the 1 star bandits and complete rookies such as myself at the time
with high Star ratings forced the change to what we see today. One star per post per member. Which is much better than the old system in many ways.
So with that history out of the way, WATS or W for the 2010 redesign is determined by a formula that takes in account Stars, Flags, Total Posts, Total
Replies, Threads Started, ATS points and Applause...any other criteria I may have left out. So W is a measure of total contribution to ATS in a way.
Without knowing the formula (and I hope it is never released so there are not any arguments over it) I would guess that some variables have more
weight than others namely Flags and Threads Started, then maybe Total Replies or Total Posts.
So what does W do for you? It determines where you fall in this list
. A list ordered strictly
by WATS index or W. And honestly, there are no real surprises on that list other than perhaps the order and seeing a couple that I still remember
their first thread and think of how far they have come along.
[edit on 8-5-2010 by Ahabstar]