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Author Topic: sMerit participants – a worrying descending trend (!/?)  (Read 1480 times)
DdmrDdmr
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September 15, 2018, 11:53:36 AM
Merited by TMAN (20), Welsh (10), Foxpup (9), SFR10 (5), suchmoon (4), mprep (3), dbshck (2), bones261 (2), theyoungmillionaire (2), qwk (1), LoyceV (1), Taki (1), Coin-1 (1), Piggy (1), iasenko (1), entrepmind23 (1), jonemil24 (1), VB1001 (1)
 #1

1.   Introduction
This is not an in-depth analysis, but rather a specific focus on three basic elements that I regularly monitor and publish on the Merit Dashboard (Global Summary Tab – Weekly Ratios). Nevertheless, when one charts the underlying data, it sometimes becomes more comprehensible.
What worries me is how each month that goes by, less merit is awarded, by less people, to less people. There are multiple reasons behind this, which I do not wish to depict now, but rather focus on the fact that participation in the Merit System shrinks continuously overtime, be it as a merited or as a merited person.


2.   Awarded Merit

This is not new really, as coinlocket$ publishes a similar graph nearly every week on the Merit & new rank requirements and the Merit Dashboard tracks it too in a tabular manner. Nevertheless, it gives us context to the charts below. The reading is that the overall amount of awarded sMerit declines as time goes by, not as steeply as during Q1, but never reaching a zone where we can say it is at least stable for a few months in a row. Q2 ended with a 28,4% decrease in sMerit awarding comparing the quarter’s beginning and end weeks, and likewise Q3 (not ended yet) is down 19% so far.
The additional Merit Sources added over the past few months probably have stopped a stepper decline though, but even so.


3.   Senders

Logically correlated to the above, the total number of merit senders per week declines as time goes by noticeable. This is for me a rather significant fact, since it means less people have the capability or interest in awarding sMerit.

The nFrom column shown the number of forum members that have awarded sMerit each week. For the most recent complete week this September (03/09/2018 .. 09/09/2018), only 657 people awarded sMerit. That must be very far from what the initial idea was I’d say… Two months before, the figure was around 834 people, and two months before that 946. That’s around 30% less people playing ball as sMerit senders in four months.

The nFromNew column represents the amount on people that are new in the sending role; that is, that have never sent sMerit on a previous occasion. It therefore represents the set of forum members that join the game of merit sending. This number was of 129 people on the most recent complete week (and probably many of those run out soon enough of sendable merits). This logically also decreases overtime, but I wonder just how much this factor can go down before practically having an irrelevant role in the scheme of things.
I’ve also checked out of the 119 resent senders how many of those have never received sMerit before, and are therefore airdrop-only senders for sure: Nearly 40% (same results roughly on average over the last month). That means that every week, as of late, we get around 50 forum members that start meriting for the first time from their initial airdrop. Better late than never, but there must be thousands of accounts that, having airdropped sMerit, have not entered the game be it because they have no wish to, or because they are not active.



4.   Receivers

sMerit receiver trends are similar to the above both for the total amount of people that receive sMerit on a given week (nTo) and those that are new and have never receives sMerit before (nToNew).
The number or Receivers is greater than that of Senders as one would expect (merit sources are few but they award sMerit to many), but the overall figures are low: For the most recent complete week this September (03/09/2018 .. 09/09/2018), 876 different people received sMerit. Out of those, 198 were merited for the first time. Basically therefore, we’ve got as of late around 800 new people being merited per month. That doesn’t sound too bad, but since the sMerit/TX is really low, the base of receivers widens but with little awarding capabilities.


5.   In summary
My basic concern is focused on the sender’s side, since they are the origin of sMerit TXs. These numbers shrink week after week, so less people are factually playing this vital role in the system and, as side-effect, Merit Sources become more and more important as time goes by, with a very vital role concentrated on a small subset of forum members (see sMerit Senders & Receivers – Weight of top 100 and 200 weekly contributors). In my opinion, this trend has to be closely monitored and ideally flipped around, getting more people participating as awarders and not less week after week.

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September 15, 2018, 12:03:30 PM
 #2

I might be guilty of this. I'm having a major sort out in my personal life, and I'm gettng rid of some of the shackles from the past. I spent yesterday scrapping one of my vans. It should have been an easy job, but anything that could go wrong did. I got up at 5am today to finish it off, and it's gone now, but I feel a bit tired. I didn't use the computer at all yesterday.  Hopefully I'll be back to normal tomorrow with loads of sMerits to give away.

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September 15, 2018, 01:39:01 PM
Last edit: September 15, 2018, 02:14:43 PM by eddie13
Merited by suchmoon (4), Foxpup (2), vapourminer (2), dbshck (2), DdmrDdmr (2), LoyceV (1), vlad230 (1)
 #3

It would be pretty simple for sources to realize this and start awarding 3X-10X the merit they are awarding, just type in a bigger number..
Instead of awarding 1, 2, 5 merits, which seems to be the norm, they could take the lack of merit in circulation into account, and award 5, 10, 20 merits instead..
It wouldn't be any more work and would get more smerit flowing out there..
The sources do basically have a surplus of smerit to send don't they?


I understand it's pretty easy to decide what posts deserve merit, but how do you decide how much merit they deserve?
Obviously more merit for better posts but how much is a lot and how much is so small it's just insignificant?

I guess you would have to decide how much the person deserves to rank up VS how much merit it takes to accomplish that for them..

Theymos awards many 10, 20, and 30 blocks of merits, maybe he is trying to lead by example?
In comparison if you look at LoyceV, this person awards merit a lot, but they are almost all just 1s and 2s..
Jetcash, almost all 1s 2s and 5s..

Why not 5s, 10s, and 15s?
If it's worth your time for the clicking and deciding isn't it worth more than just 1?
Trading with satoshis is fun but it doesn't get you anywhere quick..

Also, how good does a post really need to be to be worthy of merit? I guess atleast worth your time to click the buttons (which could possibly be more efficient)..

But I mean, with the average quality of posts around here, how much above and beyond a non-shitpost does a post need to be to be worth merit?
If it was an easier one click deal, just simple constructive comments may be as worthy of a merit as a simple like click on youtube..

Maybe someone could come up with a little bot, script, or browser extension or whatever, so when you click the +Merit button it automatically just sticks a 2 in the box, clicks send, and closes the new tab that popped up..
So you could just set that mofo to full auto and one click, bam, 2 merits, and you could merit a lot more posts small amounts of merit more easily..
To bypass the bot and award a 10 merit block, right click the +Merit, open in new window, so the bot doesn't act on it, and fill it out manually, but have your 2 merit on speed dial..

Maybe something like that would let them put down a lot more volume of merited posts if they like their 1s and 2s so much..

I think suggesting to have it changed in the forum software is eh, maybe after a long time..
I would almost like to suggest activity period smerit airdrops similar to the original airdrop but I don't think suggesting changes to the forum itself is the answer.. We should try to do the best we can with what we have to work with, imo..


suchmoon is the most generous.. https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=merit;stats=topsend
This source seems to be awarding all 4s, previously all 7s and before that all 5s..

2nd is chimk
all 1s, 2s, and 3s..

Foxpup @ 3
1s-6s

qwk @ 4
mostly 1s and a few higher here and there..

Are 1s even worth clicking for?

It would be pretty easy for any of them to get to the top of that board by doing what Suchmoon does, awarding all 4s instead of so many 1s.. Or even higher..
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September 15, 2018, 02:02:11 PM
Merited by Foxpup (3)
 #4

It would be pretty simple for sources to realize this and start awarding 3X-10X the merit they are awarding, just type in a bigger number..
Instead of awarding 1, 2, 5 merits, which seems to be the norm, they could take the lack of merit in circulation into account, and award 5, 10, 20 merits instead..
Some sources increased their default amount, suchmoon for example went from 1 to 5, then 7 and now 4 Merit most of the time.
I still believe Merit is supposed to be earned from as many different users and for as many different posts as possible. It doesn't feel right to bump a Newbie to Member-levels if he makes one decent post.

Quote
The sources do basically have a surplus of smerit to send don't they?
I've never been able to empty mine, although it's at the lower 25% nowadays.

Quote
I guess you would have to decide how much the person deserves to rank up VS how much merit it takes to accomplish that for them..
I don't want to be the one deciding this, I just want to give a small part of the total Merit each user earns. By receiving Merit from different sources, personal bias is averaged out.

Quote
Theymos awards many 10, 20, and 30 blocks of merits, maybe he is trying to lead by example?
In comparison if you look at LoyceV, this person awards merit a lot, but they are almost all just 1s and 2s..
Jetcash, almost all 1s 2s and 5s..
I started with small amounts long before I was a Merit source, and continued like that. I believe in meriting more different posts.


I'm still trying to get my source Merit under 10 or even at 0, I have 300+ sMerit "of my own" left to give, and haven't touched them in months.

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September 15, 2018, 02:12:27 PM
 #5

In my opinion, this trend has to be closely monitored and ideally flipped around, getting more people participating as awarders and not less week after week.
Though you don't clearly state out but I think you have the same opinion with me: there should be more merit sources. I see some nice applications out there but unfortunately no one has been approved yet.

It would be pretty simple for sources to realize this and start awarding 3X-10X the merit they are awarding, just type in a bigger number..
Instead of awarding 1, 2, 5 merits, which seems to be the norm, they could take the lack of merit in circulation into account, and award 5, 10, 20 merits instead..
I wish that all of the merit sources will be as generous as you are but I think the number of merits awarded each time greatly depends on how many smerits one merit source has (different merit sources are allocated with different number of smerits, I think). Besides, each merit source may have to balance between quality and quantity. If he is too generous, he'll run out of smerit soon and hence, the number of merit receivers becomes less.
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September 15, 2018, 02:13:43 PM
Last edit: September 15, 2018, 06:27:51 PM by LeGaulois
Merited by LoyceV (1)
 #6

@DdmrDdmr

You're maybe making it more difficult than it is in reality. It isn't something worrying in my opinion. A simple reason could be thay a lot of forum users have already sent their available Smerits and with a 1/0.5 ratio, it is normal to see a trend like this one. If the senders don't deserve to be merited they can't have any more smerits to reward.
Also, you can't exclude (?) the users with several accounts who self-merited their own posts. Your stats could show that the abusers have, at some level, finished to self-rewards their alts. If then you compare from March to now it is regular

what u think

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September 15, 2018, 02:20:27 PM
Last edit: September 15, 2018, 02:55:07 PM by tweetbit
 #7

I think to compensate for the lack of s/merit a 1 merit : 1smerit rather than .5 most of the time. In my opinion, this will give more merit sources a bit competitive to the demand of it.

Edited: To shorten the thread with many replies.

That would still present the problem of rewarding g account farmers.  There needs to be the reduction to .5 so that merit swapping can't occur; without it, one could farm an account with 1 merit going back and forth.

The temptation of sending merit to an alternative account will be higher and will always open weaknesses /mistakes on their part. So it would be an easy policing.

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”They generally avoid temptation unless they can't resist it”.

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September 15, 2018, 02:30:29 PM
Last edit: September 15, 2018, 03:13:58 PM by Don Pedro Dinero
 #8

It would be pretty simple for sources to realize this and start awarding 3X-10X the merit they are awarding, just type in a bigger number..
Instead of awarding 1, 2, 5 merits, which seems to be the norm, they could take the lack of merit in circulation into account, and award 5, 10, 20 merits instead..

That would be a good idea but it depends on each individual. On the contrary, adding more merit sources can be done by theymos and that would increase the merits in circulation as well.

I think what happened when the system started is that many people didn’t understand the system well and were awarding too many merits for simple post. Some people thought that they would get more fresh smerits by default every month. I’ve seen some people rank up who got between 20 and 50 merits for one post, which clearly didn’t deserve that much.

Another factor was that those of us who are not merit sources got an initial amount of smerits depending on the rank, so the first months we were spending those but when we run out we could only spend if we earned merit.

And then, as it has been mentioned:

@DdmrDdmr
You're maybe making it more difficult than it is in reality. It isn't something worrying in my opinion. A simple reason could be than a lot of forum users have already sent their available Smerits and with a 1/0.5 ratio, it is normal to see a trend like this one. If the senders don't deserve to be merited they can't have any more smerits to reward.

I think the best option that can be implemented today and doesn’t depend on people’s will is to add more merit sources.

By the way, it is quite a sarcasm that you are asking for posts to be rewarded for 3 to 10 merits and up till now you only got three single ones for such a well-researched and explained post.
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September 15, 2018, 02:31:32 PM
 #9

I think to compensate for the lack of s/merit a 1 merit : 1smerit rather than .5 most of the time. In my opinion, this will give more merit sources a bit competitive to the demand of it.

That would still present the problem of rewarding account farmers.  There needs to be the reduction to .5 so that merit swapping can't occur; without it one could farm an account with 1 merit going back and forth.


It would be interesting to see how many sources do not make it through their allotment each month; or what their average distribution is. This might show that it's less about the number of sources and more about finding posts they seem worthy.

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September 15, 2018, 02:38:27 PM
Merited by TMAN (10), Foxpup (2), LoyceV (1), Coolcryptovator (1)
 #10

I hear what OP is saying here, and it's a valid point.  I tend to agree that there isn't enough merit flying around bitcointalk and I'm sure there are members who deserve it who aren't getting it--and that's been discussed before.

On the other hand, I'm very glad there are members like this fuck who have an activity of 210 and are still a Jr. Member.  That's a win for the merit system.

As I've said before, I try to give out my sMerits fairly quickly and I can usually find decent posts in a short period of time.  I'm not a merit source, though, and I imagine it's much harder when your sMerits keep getting topped up to the max.  It isn't like even 1-in-10 posts are worthy of merits.  It might be more like 1-in-50, depending on which section we're talking about, and I don't think anybody ought to lower their standards just to get rid of the sMerits they have. 

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September 15, 2018, 02:43:16 PM
Merited by LoyceV (1)
 #11

It would be pretty simple for sources to realize this and start awarding 3X-10X the merit they are awarding, just type in a bigger number..
[...]
qwk @ 4
mostly 1s and a few higher here and there..

Are 1s even worth clicking for?
I'd give more, but I don't actually have that many.
Also, even if I had more, I'd probably rather go through my list of previously awarded merit and double up on them before I'd start awarding 2s to new posts. Which would result in a huge number of 1s again. That's just my fairness nerve tickling me Wink

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September 15, 2018, 03:00:41 PM
Last edit: September 16, 2018, 11:43:06 AM by LoyceV
 #12

It would be interesting to see how many sources do not make it through their allotment each month; or what their average distribution is. This might show that it's less about the number of sources and more about finding posts they seem worthy.
I think theymos increases the source amount if sources empty their supply. That would explain why the top of the Most generous merit senders, all time has sent such a large amount.
I'll try something new: whenever I have more than 10 source sMerit, I'll re-merit posts I've merited already. That shouldn't take too much time. I'll do that right now, starting with my merit transactions (the posts should still be relevant). Okay, it took more time than I thougth, but I've unloaded 17 sMerit.
Update (a day later): I now finally have less than 10 (9 Cheesy) source sMerit left. I think I can keep doing this.

Theymos awards many 10, 20, and 30 blocks of merits, maybe he is trying to lead by example?
Theymos doesn't sent Merit often (source):
Code:
   25. 614 Merit sent by theymos (#35) to 93 unique users in 107 transactions
    37. 369 Merit sent by theymos_away (#349090) to 60 unique users in 66 transactions
Maybe he's trying to make up for that by sending larger amounts at once?

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September 15, 2018, 03:03:06 PM
 #13

I've just checked my wallet, and I've got 191 source and sMerits to award. I really like to give them to people who initiate good discussions, or who make helpful and well informed replies. I'll have a look at the JetAid thread tomorrow, and see if I can give any away in that.

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September 15, 2018, 03:14:11 PM
Last edit: September 15, 2018, 03:33:37 PM by Piggy
 #14

I believe there should be more merit sources to at least improve the coverage on all boards and lessen the work load for the current merit sources. In this way if somebody is busy for a week or a month there shouldn't be any great impact in the total circulation

Then all the process to select a merit source would need to be simplified and faster, since the way merits are getting assigned are under the eyes of everyone, so there is no chance for funny business.
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September 15, 2018, 03:14:38 PM
 #15

merits are hard to hand out, I want to help newbies out - even started my own threads, but after a while its a tiresome job dealing with the Pajeets. Unfortunately 1 in 10 (total guestimate here) are legit users who are missing out due to all the shitters in this place.

For me handing out merit goes in bursts, checked now and I have plenty to hand out - but I dont have the time now to score through 20 threads with a shit ton of crap in them, so I hand out to people I know are deserving, OP cos all his data threads are awesome and TPT as he always hands out merits fairly and should be a source (sorry if you already are)

as JC always says handing out merits isn't easy and does take time if you want to do it fairly

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September 15, 2018, 03:20:02 PM
 #16

Given the exponential decrease as merit is distributed down the line (1 -> 0.5 -> 0.25 -> 0.125 -> etc), it is entirely expected that the total awarded merit would follow a similar exponential decrease curve following the initial airdrop.

I'm not convinced we are still decreasing. Numbers for "nMerit Awarded" for the last 6-8 weeks have been within the margin of error for a steady state, but we would need more data to confirm or refute this.

The question is whether we are happy at the steady state level we are at, and I think the general consensus is no. I don't think we should be forcing people to give out more merit than they would otherwise - better instead to make more merit sources and therefore keep the merit system as decentralized as possible.

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September 15, 2018, 03:25:01 PM
 #17

Regular members should have more merits to spend (x merit/month) and merit sources ( we need more of them) should give more to high quality posters this way they will have more sMerit.

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|ROULETTE
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September 15, 2018, 03:27:11 PM
Merited by DdmrDdmr (1)
 #18

Perhaps the merit system has just been implemented, many merit sources may be too harsh for Smerit's send, only demanding high-quality posts, have to say that some posts may not be of such high quality, but these posts are indeed In order to help others, it may be these posts may not be helpful to others, but it is more important to consider the motivation of the poster, rather than seeing if the post is really helpful, as long as the poster’s motivation is to help others, I think merit sources can give merits.
Should change the concept, think more about the purpose of posting, rather than just looking at the post is really helpful.

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eternalgloom
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September 15, 2018, 03:33:04 PM
Merited by qwk (1)
 #19

I've almost run out of sMerit myself, now I kinda wish I hadn't merited a lot of those overview threads or the many historic threads, since they might have received a bit too much.
Especially in cases where the author isn't even active anymore on the forum.

I try to focus more on giving out merit for posts that have helped me personally.
Could be anything really, even if it's just an interesting article someone's posted.

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September 15, 2018, 03:34:25 PM
 #20

Regular members should have more merits to spend (x merit/month) and merit sources should give more to high quality posters.

So reguler members should have sMerits per month? I dont understand this idea of yours.

Should you guys, who are merit sources, make a same standard on how to give merits to a post? Maybe some standard on how much points to be given to a post too ? This statistics given by DdmrDdmr is worrying and it can lead to an abstain of giving merits in the future.
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