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  Reputation incentives for tasks without inbuilt incentives

+ 1 like - 0 dislike

On certain other Q&A sites, one obtains 2 reputation for every suggested edit but no reputation for an unreviewed edit. This is not the best approach for us tot take here, obvuously, because this does not even measure the value of the edit, and whether it was suggested or not is a meaningless parameter to take into consideration. The moderators there argue, that a suggested edit needs approval, but an unreviewed edit does not and therefore is less likely to be constructive. But this is a meaningless argument, because a suggested edit is just reviewed by other 2k+ users, whereas a 2k+ user themselves propose the edit in the case of an unreviewed edit. Yes, two users need to approve the suggested edit, but that in itself is silly because a single user could carry out the edit themselves.         

Anyway, so I think that we should certainly not copy that feature from many Q&A sites. But I wonder if we could have some sort of a feature to reward tasks that don't yield any incentive otherwise, including editing, voting to ________, etc., on main. I.e. we could have a thread, offering an incentive of say, 50 reputation, or 100 reputation, for different such tasks and people could propose other people (or themselves if they're greedy : ) ) to get one of these incentives, and with enough votes on the nomination, the number of reputation points can be awarded to the proposed user by an administrator (it is simple, just go to the profile page, and add "bonus points").   

Actually, I don't even have an opinion on this myself, but I'm just proposing the idea, because I think it may encourage users to make constructive edits, help with moderating Physics Overflow, etc. The thread would be in the "Community Moderation" category, so that only reputable users can vote for users to get the awards.  

This could be especially useful in the "Reviews" section, where users should be able get quite a lot of reputation, say 200 or 250 points, for making edits to submissions, since they help summarise the paper's results to people.  

This is just a proposal, I don't even have an opinion on it myself, actually.  

asked Apr 6, 2014 in Discussion by dimension10 (1,985 points) [ revision history ]
edited Apr 6, 2014 by dimension10

Also note that I am not proposing any automated process for this, so there will be no additional code required.  

1 Answer

+ 1 like - 0 dislike

I think creating incentives for doing administratives / moderation tasks as suggested here, which are similar in spirit as the badge system on other Q&A sites, is a bit dangerous and the following thing IMHO be kept in mind.

  • When offering badges or rep for administrative / moderation tasks, this can lead to many useless up to inappropriate edtits, closevotes, etc ...
  • It might attract people who are less interested in the topics of our site but, enjoy the "kick" earning points, badges, or obtaining power gives them.
  • It might lead to an overmoderation (by people who are not deeply knowledgeable about the topics of the site)

These objections are not pulled out of thin air, I saw them happen on other Q&A sites... So I think it is wiser to have only those members of PhysicsOverflow helping with administrative/moderation tasks etc who feel naturally (because they really want the site to be high-level for example) inclined to do this, whereas others just enjoy doing / learning physics here without being bothered by "meta issues" if they dont want to.

answered Apr 6, 2014 by Dilaton (6,240 points) [ no revision ]

Oh, yes, this is a very good point, forgot about it! Even though such awards should be awarded manually be other users with enough reputation, such a process is very unstable because once a bad user gets this award, accidentally, they can ruin Physics Overflow by kicking a vicious cycle through such incentives...   

However, I think that a reward for summarising papers in reviews cannot be harmful, can it? 

Writing good, correct, insightful and clear summeries of papers, is a good honest physics task not every dimwit can do, so rewarding this should not be harmful IMHO.

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