That’s fine. Whatever floats your boat, but the fact is you have nothing to do with it. Other users give you stars and flags based on their own criteria. Sometimes you get stars because of your humor. Other times you get stars for expressing the prevailing opinion and being politically correct. Other times you earn stars for being a contrarian to prevailing opinion. To claim getting stars is a popularity contest is a simplistic opinion. It’s more complex than that.
And sometimes stars “aren’t fair.” You see completely inane posts being given stars and those that take hours to prepare slip beneath the ATS consciousness with no stars at all. Meh? It’s a fickle business. But OVER TIME stars come to those who put some effort into their posts and elude those who don’t take posting seriously.
How you use stars is your own business. If you don’t care about stars, you probably shouldn’t be reading this post. From my perspective I simply cannot read all posts on ATS. If I’m moving fast, I’ll pay more attention to posts with stars or people who have accumulated many stars and just skip those with none. I don’t have that much time to waste. On the other hand, I give a person a break if they are new. Hint: Karma can help identify bright new posters here. See below.
Many members have suggested that ATS incorporate a way to express disagreement with a post, a kind of “negative star” system like a thumbs-down. This is discussed quite often in the Board Business forum. Quite clearly ATS prefers “positive reinforcement” as opposed to any sort of negative rating system and they have opposed any suggestion of such.
The issue is that even on ATS there is a prevailing point of view. Having a negative rating system would tend to encourage dumping on contrarian views. You can still disagree with a post and vehemently argue your own point of view, but don’t expect an anonymous negative rating system any time soon. It has been discussed and rejected many times.
Simply a tally of how many posts you have made. Posts feed into the Karma and Wats scores, but not always in a positive manner. See why below. Though short posts are frowned upon, they aren’t really illegal here. A short post CAN be pithy or very funny. It’s just that posts like, “I agree.” Or a simple smilie will likely get dinged. They don’t contribute anything worthwhile.
I’m indebted to member Sherlock Holmes for figuring out these formulas. As far as I know, ATS management has never been explicit about the current scoring system. I believe Sherlock may have back engineered the formulas mathematically. I’m not really sure. In any case,
It's ((stars * 15) + (flags + applause) * 10)) / posts. So if you take the following example you get:
7466 stars 3979 posts 524 flags 87 applauses
((7466 stars * 15) + ((524 flags +87 applauses) * 10)) / 3979 posts
(111990 + 6110)/3979
118100 / 3979 = 29.68, rounds to 30
So the K score is 30. Note that the overwhelming variable here is stars, which are multiplied by 15. You get much less for flags (starting threads) or ‘exceptional’ posts that earned applause, both of which are multiplied by ten. Applause, which can earn you 500 points a whack, are counted the same as a single flag here. “Applause” amounts to a staff-given flag. So right off the bat flags and applause are worth two-thirds of what stars are. But the whole thing is divided by number of posts, which means the more posts you have, the lower your Karma Score. If you had 5,000 posts instead of 3979 in the example above, your Karma Score would be 24. If you only had 2000 posts your Karma Score would be 59, twice what it is. Therefore, making posts that do not earn stars is to your detriment. It is better to make one pithy post than two throw-away comments that don’t add to the conversation.
Here’s where new posters get a break. It’s not as much a measure of quantity as it is a measure of quality. Someone with 100 posts can have the same Karma as someone with 10,000 posts. Note there is a minimum. People start out with a Karma of 20 just as a baseline. It goes up or down fairly rapidly depending on how you do after that.
One way of looking at this is the posts to stars ratio. Someone like me has a 2:1 ratio, i.e.: Two stars per post. I’m not claiming that’s stellar performance, but it’s probably okay, but it’s nowhere near someone like sandman, who has a 5:1 ratio. When you see a ratio like that, as well as the resulting high Karma score, sandman is someone to pay attention to. He does not waste his posts and usually has something interesting to say.
Karma is discussed in a very lengthy thread here: www.abovetopsecret.com..., where Skeptic Overlord says, “The karma calculation places a high weight on stars, a secondary weight on staff applause, and a tertiary lesser-weight on Flags; then compares all that against the number of posts. So that it is indeed possible for a new member with few threads, but great ideas in lots of replies, to achieve a higher "KARMA" than long-time high-WATS members.”
The sentiment is right but the information is no longer correct. Flags and applause have the same weight. But this was two years ago, which just shows that things can change. Nevertheless, the Karma score is essentially a weighted ratio calculation with more emphasis on stars.
edit on 9/19/2012 by schuyler because: add