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Author Topic: How I handle Merit, and why  (Read 605 times)
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DannyHamilton
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January 25, 2018, 04:03:03 PM
Merited by xhomerx10 (5), pawel7777 (5), TMAN (5), ebliever (4), malevolent (3), Vod (2), EFS (2), SopaXT (2), Quickseller (1), DGulari (1), Avirunes (1), BitMaxz (1), Joel_Jantsen (1)
 #1

EDIT: Some hints for those that feel their posts aren't getting recognized by me...
  • All of the following are generalizations, and ideals that I strive to.  However, I may choose at any time to behave differently than what is written here. If you feel that I've failed to give merit where I've said I would (or you feel that I've awarded merit where I said I wouldn't), get over it.  I'm human. I get tired, I get bored, I get annoyed, I have bad days, I feel generous, I have good days, I make mistakes, I change my mind. The fact that I've taken the time to write this policy does NOT mean that you can use this policy to control, manipulate, or change my behavior.
  • If you have ever had a signature ad, then I've almost certainly already clicked "ignore" on you before I've ever read even a single post of yours. I generally wont see your posts no matter how high quality they are unless I stumble across them some other way.  You'll significantly increase the chances of your posts being noticed if you have NEVER had an ad in your signature.
  • I don't care how good (or bad) your english or grammar is.  If you are sincerely trying to learn, or helping with CORRECT information where you can, then you deserve merit.
  • Posts that are completely unrelated to the thread discussion, WILL be reported to moderators, will result in me clicking "ignore" on you, and will probably result in your post being deleted by a moderator.
  • If it's obvious that you've posted in a thread without reading the earlier posts in that thread, your post WILL be reported to moderators, will result in me clicking "ignore" on you, and will probably result in your post being deleted by a moderator.
  • While appreciated, correcting my spelling or grammar mistakes will NOT earn you any merit (however, I'll likely review your posting history to see if you deserve merit for other posts).  Correcting any of my maths mistakes, or factual mistakes WILL earn you merit.
  • I spend most of my time in the Bitcoin Technical Support, Development & Technical Discussion, and Bitcoin Discussion sub-forums. I'm much more likely to see your posts in those three sub-forums than any others.
  • Being ACTUALLY helpful in the Bitcoin Technical Support or Development & Technical Discussion sub-forums (without a signature ad) will VERY LIKELY earn you merit from me. HOWEVER, don't try to be helpful if you don't know what you're talking about.  Incorrect information posted in those sub-forums WILL be reported to moderators, will result in me clicking "ignore" on you, and will probably result in your post being deleted by a moderator.
  • Asking well thought out questions in the Bitcoin Technical Support or Development & Technical Discussion sub-forums (without a signature ad) with a sincere interest in learning about something specific that confuses you will VERY LIKELY earn you merit from me.  HOWEVER, nonsense questions, questions that are ridiculously vague, and questions that appear to have no thought or actual interest behind them WILL be reported by me to moderators, will result in me clicking "ignore" on you, and will probably result in your post being deleted by a moderator
  • I ACTIVELY AND INTENTIONALLY AVOID the following sub-forums; Speculation, Off-topic, Politics & Society, and everything in Alternate Cryptocurrencies. Posts in those areas will rarely get noticed by me at all.
  • If you post in a thread that is more than 3 pages long, it's very likely that I'll never see your post. I find that (most of the time) long threads no longer have anything new or interesting in them.  Therefore, unless I've been actively following an interesting conversation in such a thread, I generally won't even bother opening the thread to read anything posted in it.

The Merit system is quite new, and I'm still trying to think through all the pitfalls and benefits.  As such, this post is likely to change over time.  That being said, I've made a few preliminary decisions about how I am going to handle the Merit sending process.  I'm setting my policy here so that it is publicly available:


Policy: The vast majority of Merit that I send will be 1 2 Merit points.

Reason: There are MANY quality posts on this forum, and a limited amount of Merit to award. High quality posts will already earn a significant amount of Merit since they will receive Merit from many users.
EDIT: I am finding it difficult to find enough merit deserving posts to use up my sMerit as fast as I receive it.  As such, I've decided to increase the default Merit that I send from 1 Merit to 2 Merit.  This means that anyone that receives Merit from me will receive AT LEAST 1 sMerit as well.


Policy: As an exception to the previous policy, I will award additional Merit points at my own discretion to posts that teach me something that I didn't already know (and which I wanted to know) about Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies.

Reason: Any post that teaches me something new is highly valued by me, and allows me to better help others.

Policy: If, unsolicited, you send me a PM request ing that I review a post to potentially assign merit, I will NOT review the post and I will add you to a personal DO NOT MERIT list, and I will not send you ANY merit for ANY posts for a period of 3 months.

Reason: I'm concerned about the possibility of my message inbox being flooded by people hoping to get my attention so they can get merit from me.  To discourage this, users that attempt to request merit will be punished with a lack of merit.
EDIT: I have found a need to distinguish between someone that believes a post deserves merit and someone that wants merit without earning it (begging).  Unsolicited request of review of a post will result in NO MERIT.  Begging (See next policy) will result in negative feedback.


EDIT: New policy added
Policy: If you beg for merit (make any request that someone give you merit), you will receive negative feedback from me.

Reason: Merit is intended to be earned.  Begging for it means that you are trying to acquire it without earning it. This is a dishonest way of earning Merit and implies that you are an untrustworthy person.

Policy: I do not sell merit.  Any user that offers to pay me for merit will be PERMANENTLY added to a personal DO NOT MERIT list, and will receive negative feedback.

Reason: If someone is offering to buy merit from me, then it is almost certain that they are offering to buy merit elsewhere. The fact that they may acquire undeserved merit will offset any merit that they would actually have otherwise earned from me.  Furthermore, it is my opinion that purchasing merit (or offering to do so) is an untrustworthy behavior and therefore is deserving of negative feedback.

Policy: If someone identifies a substantive error (not a spelling error, or grammar error) in a post of mine, and posts a reply with a correction to the error, they will earn Merit.

Reason: Most of my posts are an attempt to help others. I can be busy or distracted at times and make mistakes in what I write.  Correcting my mistake helps the person that I was trying to help, and deserves Merit for keeping me from accidentally misinforming the person I was attempting to help.

Policy: Posts in threads that I have already posted in will not earn Merit from me unless I feel they are on-topic for the thread AND I feel they add significant value beyond what has already been said in the thread.

Reason: I'm concerned about the possibility that users will post in threads that I have participated in just to catch my attention to get Merit from me. If your thread is not on topic for the thread, then it should be a new thread.

Policy: Posts in threads that already have more than 60 posts will not earn Merit from me unless I feel they are on-topic for the thread AND I feel they add significant value beyond what has already been said in the thread.

Reason: As threads get excessively long, the likelihood shrinks that a user will read far enough into the thread to benefit from new posts to the thread.  The best, most well thought out, most eloquent post isn't very useful if nobody that cares ever reads it.

Policy: If you have already received 10 merit points from me in a given month, then I will not be sending you additional Merit points in that same month unless I have more send-able Merit points remaining than 10X the number of days left in the month.

Reason: If you have received 10 Merit points from me, then you are very likely receiving Merit from plenty of others as well. As such, I'd like to reserve at least 10 points per day for other users that are deserving of Merit and which have not received as much from me yet.


If you have any suggestions on changes or additions to my policy, feel free to add them to this thread.  Any posts in this thread that are NOT for the purpose of suggesting improvements to my policies will be removed.

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DannyHamilton
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January 25, 2018, 04:03:20 PM
 #2

Reserved.

Quickseller
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January 31, 2018, 12:03:44 AM
 #3

I might suggest adopting a policy to refrain from sending merit for posts in threads in which you have given merit for another post in said thread, and are reading the thread a subsequent time. The rationale behind this would be to not encourage people to post in threads you have already given merit in (similar to #6 of your current list).

DannyHamilton
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January 31, 2018, 01:01:00 AM
 #4

Quickseller,

While I get the idea behind your suggestion, I've decided not to include that as an official policy.

Here are some more details on why I chose the rules about sending me requests and posting in threads that I've already posted in:

My initial concern was that I could become inundated with messages from users that were trying to build up enough merit to be able to participate in a signature ad campaign.  Unlike an email system, the messaging system here doesn't have a good SPAM filter, nor any good way to filter incoming messages.  That could have had the potential to make the messaging system entirely unusable to me.

Once I set the policy about messaging, it dawned on me that those same users could spam every thread I ever post in with off topic or poorly thought out posts in the hopes that the thread would show up on my watchlist and catch my attention.  That could make it difficult for me to participate in any thread conversations.

I realize that both of these concerns are rather self aggrandizing, and I try not to think so highly of myself as to assume that every user on the forum would be begging me for merit.  I just wanted to make sure that this new merit system wouldn't cause the forum to become less usable than it already was.

That being said, on multiple occasions now, I've found myself giving merit for a question that appears to me to be an honest attempt to learn or understand, even if I don't have the time to respond to the question right away. Some of these are repetitive questions that I've answered many times in the past, but a new user may not yet have been exposed to any of the past answers that any regular forum users may have given.  Giving merit does not add the thread to my watchlist, and as such I may never see the thread again.  However, if I do happen across the thread again and see some reasonable answers, I give merit to those that have taken the time to actually learn something and share their knowledge.  Then I may come across the thread another time and found that an "expert" has taken the time to write up a detailed and thorough answer to whatever was asked.  If so, then I'll leave more merit for taking the time to help everyone in the thread get a better understanding of the entire concept.

Therefore, I won't be adopting a policy of refraining from sending merit in threads where I've already sent merit. Additional posts in such a thread do nothing to try to grab my attention, do not hinder my ability to participate on the forum, and can often build on earlier posts that already have earned merit from me.

Generally, if I've taken the time to respond to a thread, then I've typed up a rather lengthy and detailed explanation.  It is rare that a post after that adds anything significant that hasn't already been covered in the thread.  Most posts after that are one of five things: Clarification for someone that wasn't paying attention. Off topic posts that should be their own thread. Differences of opinion that want to tell people that I'm "wrong". Trolls trying to start a flame war. Sig Ads trying to boost their post count.

None of those will get merit from me.

In the instance where someone has added significant value or corrected an substantive error in my post, I've already identified those as exceptions to my policy.

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February 22, 2018, 03:31:06 PM
 #5

The Merit system is quite new, and I'm still trying to think through all the pitfalls and benefits.  As such, this post is likely to change over time.  That being said, I've made a few preliminary decisions about how I am going to handle the Merit sending process.  I'm setting my policy here so that it is publicly available:
It's really amazing DannyHamilton, as a newbie here I appreciate what you do
But, How is your policy for quality posts missed by you?
I think you need add your policy to this, because a lot of quality posts are neglected, they need people like you
like my posts, https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2901152.msg29880354#msg29880354
do you think is worthy of a merit from you ?
I hope everyone can follow your step, this is very fair and professional

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DannyHamilton
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February 22, 2018, 05:00:16 PM
 #6

Policy: If you send me a PM requesting merit, I will add you to a personal DO NOT MERIT list, and I will not send you ANY merit for ANY posts for a period of 3 months.

like my posts, https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2901152.msg29880354#msg29880354
do you think is worthy of a merit from you ?
I hope everyone can follow your step, this is very fair and professional

Wow!  Congratulations.

You are the first to be foolish enough to actually ask me to refuse to give you merit for 3 months.

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February 27, 2018, 01:43:24 PM
 #7

I just received some Merit form you. Thank you for noticing my posts and awarding the effort I made with those posts.

I would like to suggest you a new policy for you to consider.

Instead of letting people beg for merit, you could allow people to suggest posts that deserve Merit points but are not their own.
This can be done only by a high ranking member for a post made by a low ranking member.
This should make sure that shitposters and low rankers would not be able to abuse this policy or end up spamming you.



I think you need add your policy to this, because a lot of quality posts are neglected, they need people like you

Merit is a privilege, not a right. So no, there is no obligation that a good post always has to be merited.

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DannyHamilton
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February 27, 2018, 03:32:31 PM
 #8

I would like to suggest you a new policy for you to consider.

Instead of letting people beg for merit, you could allow people to suggest posts that deserve Merit points but are not their own.
This can be done only by a high ranking member for a post made by a low ranking member.
This should make sure that shitposters and low rankers would not be able to abuse this policy or end up spamming you.

I considered this, but decided that there are too many sockpuppet accounts on this forum.  There's a high likelihood that I'd get flooded with requests from people suggesting posts of their own which they've created under other userIDs.

Instead, I decided that whenever I've got the time, I'll:

  • Check the posting history of anyone I've recently awarded merit, to see if they have other posts also deserving of merit
  • Ask other users whom I respect if there are any posts or users they think I should consider
  • Look through the "request merit here" or "earn merit here" threads that merit sources have created, and read through the posting history of lower ranking users that apply in those threads
  • Look through the merit stats for users, posts, and threads that have recently earned merit and then check the posting history of users that have earned some merit recently

ebliever
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March 22, 2018, 03:23:25 AM
 #9

My own merit policy: What he (Danny) said. ;-)

Seriously, this is well thought out and helpful for the rest of us. I'm on the same page with this thinking, though I don't Ignore anyone and visit a few different subforums.

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Ephesians 2:8-9
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