Reputation - An explanation of e-karma.
This thread aims to shed some light on the topic of the Reputation system that is used within these lovely forums, and clear up any possible queries you may have. So, first things first -
1 - What is Reputation?
Much like the outside world, respect has to be earned. It's the same principle around here too, only now you have proof! ^_^ Reputation is a reward, if you like, that can be given and recieved by any member of these forums.
2 - How do I give Reputation?
Very simple: Underneath every member's Username, Avatar, etc, there is a small box with the "+R" on it, and if you hover your mouse over this box, it will say "Add to [insert member's username]'s Reputation". Click on this box, and wait. A small pop-up-like window will appear (relax, it's not a real pop-up. You won't be asked to buy time-shares in Mozambique), and it will give you three options. The first two are to establish whether you approve or disapprove of the member's post, and the third gives you the option of leaving a little message to accompany your gift of Reputation.
3 - Wait, did you just say....disapprove?!
Why, yes I did. The Reputation system isn't just for praising good behaviour, it can also be used for correcting negative behaviour. Read on for more information.
4 - What types of Reputation are there?
Believe it or not, there are three types of Reputation that can be recieved. The first is positive Rep. Essentially, you like/agree with what a member has just said, and you reward them by approving of their post and donating positive Reputation.
The second type is negative Rep. If you feel that a member is flaming you, or they persistently annoy you after you have told them to stop, or they post a racist/religion insulting/sexist remark, then you may disapprove of their post, and donate negative rep.
The final type is neutral Rep. It sounds silly, but if you are a new member who hasn't received any Reputation yet, and you donate some to another member, it won't count for anything. I presume that this is so the sillier new members cannot award negative Rep "as a joke lol lol". However, once you've been here for a while and have received some positive Rep from senior members, you'll be able to start sharing the love!
Where might one view their current Reputation?
Well, since one asked so politely, I'll tell you. If you scroll to the top of the screen, you should see the three big buttons: Site, Content and Forums. Click onto Forums, and a second set of buttons will appear underneath. Click on "User CP", and you will be sent directly to your "New Subscribed Threads". Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and a second table will appear, titled "Latest Reputation Received". Here we go! Opposite this title will be however many Rep points you actually have in total, and below will be the instances in which you have been awarded rep.
At this point in the tour I would like to direct your attention to the little boxes, and explain them further. A green box means that you have been awarded positive Rep for your post (if you are curious as to which post exactly, click on the title next to the box, and you will be directed to the post), a red box indicates negative Rep, and a blue box indicates neutral Rep. Next to the boxes there will be the Reputation donor's comment(s) about the post, essentially giving a reason for their giving of Reputation.
There is another way of viewing your Reputation. On one of your posts, you will see, underneath your Username, Avatar etc, boxes, much like the ones previously mentioned. Depending on how people have given you Rep, it will either be between 1-6 green boxes, 1 grey-blue box, or 1-6 red boxes.
By the way, hovering over your box(es) will give you a short piece of script that explains your current Reputation level. For instances, those who have received little or no Rep will have the text: "[Username] is on a distinguised road". I have two boxes, so mine says: "[Username] has a spectacular aura about".
5 - I'm new, so is there any point of giving Rep?
Of course there is, silly! Even though at first your Rep won't count for anything, by putting a friendly comment people will realise that you're a good, kind member, and will return the favour. So, it's a karma circle - you give positive Rep, you receive postivie Rep, meaning you want to give more positive Rep, meaning you receive positive Rep.
6 - How much is each Reputation point worth?
It depends on three things:
1. How long you've been at the forums.
2. How much Reputation you have.
3. Whether you are a member of staff.
So, the longer you've been here, and the more points you own, the more your donations will be worth! Also, Moderators, Administrators, Directors etc can bestow large amounts of Reputation, so be nice, but don't suck-up. ^_^
7 - Anything else I should know?
I suppose there is!
A note about the comment(s) you can attach to Rep donations - your Username is not automatically tagged onto the end, so unless you tell them in the comment that it was you who gave it, they won't know who to possibly return it to. Here's an example:
"I agree with your views, and I like your Avatar!
"Please don't post such rude things, they could upset people ~[Username]
Generally, people don't post their Username when giving negative Rep as they don't want to receive some back. However, you can if you want, and most of the time it's pretty obvious to tell who gave you negative Rep by their comment. But, on a happier note, by posting your Username in the comment(s)of a positive Rep donation, you're more likely to receive some back!
Once you give somone Rep, you cannot give that same person Rep for a while after. You have to "spread some more Reputation around" to at least 10 other members before giving it to the same person. I presume that this is to stop "Rep-Cheats", who make accounts to claim tons of Rep. The staff will know if you're doing this, and will swiftly ban you and any other accounts from your computer. You have been warned! ^_^
8. So, why do it at all?
Because it demontrates to others that you're a mature, kind and generous member, it increases your chances of receiving more, and it is a system that makes people feel good about themselves. So, don't delay, donate today!
Thankies for viewing, have a great time!
Please note that you will only have the ability to give negative rep. after you reach the 1000 posts mark.