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Author Topic: Could the merit system demotivate lurkers?  (Read 302 times)
Bozza (OP)
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September 06, 2021, 06:44:07 PM
Merited by Pmalek (2), Quickseller (1), ABCbits (1)
 #1

The merit system is excellent as it is in my opinion. It prevents spammers and scammers from creating accounts and flooding the server with unwanted messages.

As it is though could there be a possibility that it could demotivate a long time lurker and take away from the creative process?

If someone has been lurking for a long time and has suddenly got a lightbulb moment where they have an excellent crypto related idea but they would have trouble sharing it because they can't easily do so, because of the high barriers to entry.

I was always under the impression the Bitcoin philosophy meant the barriers to entry are supposed to be extremely low to empower and give financial freedom to anybody who seeks independence.

Could there be a way to reward lurkers and other people who contribute to the cause while still differentiating them from spammers?

Before I signed up to the forum in 2013 I was lurking for quite a long while. I was writing a dissertation at the time for my business management degree at university. I signed up to this forum because I was interested in asking a question about academic writing.
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=147652.msg1568102#msg1568102

I did write the dissertation about bitcoin. The title of the dissertation was "Bitcoin - The Wild West of finance or the future of Money". The dissertation and the defence for which I held a presentation with prepared powerpoint slides went rather well. The university professors advised me strongly to not write about Bitcoin because at the time it wasn't well known and was only used by geeks or dark web markets. Against the advice of the professors I still went ahead with the dissertation.

I was desperate to ask my question about the dissertation here in the forum and I remember having to post in a special section for newly registered users first. All other forum sections were locked for newly registered users.

Doing something off-line like writing a dissertation or anything else to help the cause will obviously not get you any merit points. In this case you could be a legitimate person who has been religiously following the development and who has contributed to the cause in other ways. In this case you are useful but there is no way to determine if you are legit or not in the eyes of bitcointalk.

Sometimes I think back to the times when I would walk into Pizza Hut on buffet Wednesdays without a single dime or a way to pay for the food. I would take my laptop with me and start searching for work. I would have enough time to eat, receive work from clients all over the world, receive bitcoin nearly instantly and load up my Xapo Visa card with bitcoin and still have more than enough time to pay for the bill. There was nothing else around at the time that was comparable to bitcoin. Being able to receive transactions nearly instantaneously from any location in the world without barriers to entry is the very reason why I believe in bitcoin.

We all have fond memories of bitcoin transactions, I am sure.

Important aspects of bitcoin in my opinion include awareness, philosophy and understanding. A lot of people just like to speculate or invest into crypto without understanding it whatsoever. Maybe there can be some fun interactive quizzes or games that test how well someone understands the technology, philosophy and the economics of bitcoin? Would it be a possibility to earn some merit when playing these games?

Thank you for reading
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suchmoon
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September 06, 2021, 06:50:09 PM
Merited by Foxpup (1), DaveF (1)
 #2

Merit system doesn't prevent anyone from posting. It doesn't prevent spammers, let alone scammers from posting. It may prevent some users from ranking up but that's really irrelevant for someone who just wants to ask a question or otherwise participate in the discussions.
Bozza (OP)
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September 06, 2021, 06:51:42 PM
 #3

How about the interactive quiz idea?
How about off-line contributors? Are those people important?
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September 06, 2021, 06:57:38 PM
 #4

Your post is an interesting read, you have good writing skills which you should share more on the forum.

The merit system is excellent as it is in my opinion. It prevents spammers and scammers from creating accounts and flooding the server with unwanted messages.
The merit system does not prevent spammers or scammers from creating new accounts. It only demotivates users from posting only for activity as it's no longer enough to rank up.

As it is though could there be a possibility that it could demotivate a long time lurker and take away from the creative process?
I do not see how it can. Merits is just a small section of the forum, quality discussions used to be had long before it was implemented.
It shouldn't really matter much to a user, long term or lurker.

Could there be a way to reward lurkers and other people who contribute to the cause while still differentiating them from spammers?
By lurking and actively reading you gain knowledge; this is one of the most important rewards.
They also post better content when they get active and rank up quickly.

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September 06, 2021, 07:02:52 PM
 #5

How about the interactive quiz idea?
How about off-line contributors? Are those people important?

Some users have been offering merits for things like being able to sign a message with a Bitcoin address. I'm not a big fan of it, since merit is supposed to be given to good posts and it's not really that difficult to make a good post.

But still, the bottom line is that no one needs merit to be able to participate in the forum so you're trying to solve a non-existent problem.
Bozza (OP)
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September 06, 2021, 07:13:51 PM
Last edit: September 06, 2021, 07:54:02 PM by Bozza
 #6

Your post is an interesting read, you have good writing skills which you should share more on the forum.

As it is though could there be a possibility that it could demotivate a long time lurker and take away from the creative process?
I do not see how it can. Merits is just a small section of the forum, quality discussions used to be had long before it was implemented.
It shouldn't really matter much to a user, long term or lurker.


If merits shouldn't matter to a user perhaps I don't understand the reason for having it in the first place.
If people can get merit by posting not so funny memes perhaps it will motivate others to do so and turn it into a popularity contest instead?
In this scenario someone with more merit might receive more approval or a larger audience than somebody with better quality content but without a voice.


How about the interactive quiz idea?
How about off-line contributors? Are those people important?

Some users have been offering merits for things like being able to sign a message with a Bitcoin address. I'm not a big fan of it, since merit is supposed to be given to good posts and it's not really that difficult to make a good post.

But still, the bottom line is that no one needs merit to be able to participate in the forum so you're trying to solve a non-existent problem.

If merits are not "needed" to participate why have them?

I am not suggesting that the merit system is broken. I am suggesting that awareness and understanding is vital to Bitcoin. Even though these forums exist a lot of people choose to invest because of greed without understanding the underlying technology, philosophy or economy. While this may push the price up momentarily it also stifles innovation. I was thinking that awareness and understanding can somehow be also rewarded in a fun way. And btw understanding and awareness will push the price up far higher in the longterm than blind greed.
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September 06, 2021, 07:18:00 PM
 #7

If merits are not "needed" to participate why have them?
Reason for merit system is simple; to prevent spammers and shitposters ever reaching higher ranks as before that all you had to do is write 14 posts in two weeks and eventually you reach higher ranking account that you can sell. Rinse and repeat.

Or, this is how theymos put it

I'm hoping that this system will increase post quality by:
 - Forcing people to post high-quality stuff in order to rank up. If you just post garbage, you will never get even 1 merit point, and you will therefore never be able to put links in your signature, etc.
 - Highlighting good posts with the "Merited by" line.


By the way, I was a lurker here for quite some time before I registered because as an introvert I like to observe things first before joining. Eventually I reached the point where I was lurking for hours on the daily basis so I thought to myself "might as well register and start actively participating".

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isaac_clarke22
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September 06, 2021, 07:28:45 PM
 #8

~
If merits shouldn't matter to a user perhaps I don't understand the reason for having it in the first place.
If people can get merit by posting not so funny memes perhaps it will motivate others to do so and turn it into a popularity contest instead?
In this scenario someone with more merit might receive more approval or a larger audience than somebody with better quality content but without a voice.
~
Not really. Just contribute at the best you can, and don't let the ranks and the merit count of others stop you from contributing.
Higher ranking members still help those newbies who posts quality contents or are/were contributing. You can see it in this thread.
([TOP-200] Members who support newbies - Thanks!)

About that "people with higher merits might receive more approval or larger audience", there is this thread.
([self-moderated] Report unmerited good posts to Merit Source)

Look at merits as a pat in the back.  It's nice to have a pat in the back once in a while, even if it does not matter in the way that it is really needed or required.
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September 06, 2021, 07:30:35 PM
 #9

If merits shouldn't matter to a user perhaps I don't understand the reason for having it in the first place.

If merits are not "needed" to participate why have them?

Not needed for genuine users. Definitely needed to slow down shitposters, as Rikafip already pointed out. So adding additional ways to earn merits is not really necessary and could even have a detrimental effect if e.g. shitposters could get merits by cheating in the quizzes you proposed.
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September 06, 2021, 07:49:08 PM
 #10

No, I don't think that merit system demotivate lurkers. Merit system don't prevent you from posting ideas here, sharing knowledge or asking legitimate question. Actually, I saw many times when users who asked questions got merited just for that.
I think that most people who are lurking here don't care much about their rank. If you're not planning to join signature campaign, higher rank don't give you many benefits. So, for lurker merit isn't something desperately needed. I can tell from my own experience in other forums where I'm lurking - I don't really care what is my rank there.
While I think that merit system demotivate users who came here just to earn money and who aren't interested in crypto. They struggling to get merits and rank up and most of them give up eventually.

If merits are not "needed" to participate why have them?
If you been lurking here back in 2017, then probably you wouldn't ask this question. Shortly, to save forum from fasly increasing number of shitposters who come here just for signature campaigns and bounties. And so far nobody haven't offered any better alternatives to merit. And it's impossible to create system which would satisfy everyone.

Bozza (OP)
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September 06, 2021, 08:06:17 PM
 #11

If merits shouldn't matter to a user perhaps I don't understand the reason for having it in the first place.

If merits are not "needed" to participate why have them?

Not needed for genuine users. Definitely needed to slow down shitposters, as Rikafip already pointed out. So adding additional ways to earn merits is not really necessary and could even have a detrimental effect if e.g. shitposters could get merits by cheating in the quizzes you proposed.

Perhaps I should have named the title of this post "Why awareness and understanding is vital for Bitcoin" instead. My point is that posting to try and satisfy the merit system will not always lead to better quality content but will instead lead to people trying to satisfy the human limbic system instead. It is the geek version of girls posting quite revealing content to instagram or tiktok for likes.

But that is just my opinion and I do agree that spammers and shitposters have to be kept out.
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September 06, 2021, 08:55:07 PM
 #12

I understood your post, as I wanted to contribute according to how I understood, I observed something that confused me.
You registered 2013, that is about 8yrs now. Did you take a break or you were lurking this while?
From your post history, you didn't seem interested in the merit system. However, if you feel that you need the merits now, you can apply in the threads provided above and continue to make quality posts in the forum. I have read somewhere about new generation newbie and old newbie. I believe you can get an accelerated ranking as an old newbe only if you are willing to share your bitcoin knowledge with the forum.

Regards sir!

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September 06, 2021, 09:16:44 PM
 #13

Perhaps I should have named the title of this post "Why awareness and understanding is vital for Bitcoin" instead. My point is that posting to try and satisfy the merit system will not always lead to better quality content but will instead lead to people trying to satisfy the human limbic system instead. It is the geek version of girls posting quite revealing content to instagram or tiktok for likes.

But that is just my opinion and I do agree that spammers and shitposters have to be kept out.

I understand your point. Some members might be tempted to analyze other posts that have received community recognition and try recreating that content in their own posts in order to gain more merits.
While such attempts have been noticed, it doesn't always work; and more experienced members pick up on them quickly. The merit system is our best option at the moment, so we have to make the most of it.

R


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September 06, 2021, 10:46:55 PM
Merited by Rruchi man (1)
 #14

I disagree with your conclusions, and your premise, however you appear to make a well thought out argument that should provoke discussion. As such, I have given you sufficient merit to become a junior member.


It appears the majority of your posts are in marketplace threads that are generally niche in nature. I would say that someone who primarily posts in these types of threads, and does not frequently discuss bitcoin (even if they read about it) will be disadvantaged by the merit system as they will have more difficulty in ranking up. These people can still post, but with more disadvantageous limits. If you are mostly lurking, this may not be an issue, as by nature, you are not posting frequently. Although it may make it more difficult to conduct business.
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September 06, 2021, 10:54:45 PM
 #15

I was always under the impression the Bitcoin philosophy meant the barriers to entry are supposed to be extremely low to empower and give financial freedom to anybody who seeks independence.
That sounds all good and well, but barriers to entry for a form of money?  That's just not possible.  You have to have money to own bitcoin; the empowering aspect comes from not having the banks or government involved in your financial transactions, not the owning of bitcoin itself.

And note that bitcoin and bitcointalk are two different things entirely.  Things are rough on newbies--at least as far as ranking up and some other restrictions--because this is a discussion forum with a long history of problems caused primarily by new members.  As far as a lurker who has something really important they want to share, there's absolutely nothing stopping them from registering here and posting about it, especially not the merit system.  A member at the rank of Newbie can post whatever they want except for images (and there's a time limit between posts), so I don't see what the problem is.

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September 06, 2021, 11:56:40 PM
Merited by Quickseller (1)
 #16

I disagree with your conclusions, and your premise, however you appear to make a well thought out argument that should provoke discussion. As such, I have given you sufficient merit to become a junior member.


Thank you for my first merit! I will cherish it. I am always happy to contribute and I am looking forward to the day when I will gift my first smerit.

I was always under the impression the Bitcoin philosophy meant the barriers to entry are supposed to be extremely low to empower and give financial freedom to anybody who seeks independence.
That sounds all good and well, but barriers to entry for a form of money?  That's just not possible.  You have to have money to own bitcoin; the empowering aspect comes from not having the banks or government involved in your financial transactions, not the owning of bitcoin itself.

And note that bitcoin and bitcointalk are two different things entirely.  Things are rough on newbies--at least as far as ranking up and some other restrictions--because this is a discussion forum with a long history of problems caused primarily by new members.  As far as a lurker who has something really important they want to share, there's absolutely nothing stopping them from registering here and posting about it, especially not the merit system.  A member at the rank of Newbie can post whatever they want except for images (and there's a time limit between posts), so I don't see what the problem is.

The reason why I started to contemplate about the merit system was because I wanted to order flyers from the guy that makes everyone's flyers for their campaigns. This is when I realised that it wasn't possible for me to post images in the forum anyway.

Why do you need money to own bitcoin, when bitcoin is the money? Smiley The low barriers to entry to bitcoin is exactly that what you say it is. It can't be regulated and is a trust less system. It can be used by anyone in the world.

By barriers to entry in the bitcointalk forum I meant the ranking system. I do understand why it is there and I like it as it is because there probably isn't a better way. I am just pointing out that it might lead to users making posts and content just for the sake of getting some more merit, while a lurker who might have something useful to post might be disgruntled by it. I hope this makes sense.

Perhaps some other lurkers can chime in who have been lurking but not posting much. What do you all think?
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September 07, 2021, 02:48:45 AM
 #17

Merit help good members with good contributions to rank up.

Many good members ranked up with merit system and many members are crawling closely to their new ranks. Bitcointalk Ranking-up pipeline- Those close to their next rank (lacking Merits)

With 972.379 total smerit, it is not hard to receive one or a few if you have contribution on the forum. 40.646 users received merit according to DdmrDdmr

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Jawhead999
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Activity: 1638
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September 07, 2021, 04:12:29 AM
 #18

Doing something off-line like writing a dissertation or anything else to help the cause will obviously not get you any merit points. In this case you could be a legitimate person who has been religiously following the development and who has contributed to the cause in other ways. In this case you are useful but there is no way to determine if you are legit or not in the eyes of bitcointalk.
Not underestimating you, but I just want to ask... what development or your contribution about Bitcoin? If you have contributed before, your name will be written on this list [1] since anyone can contribute right as long as you're useful right?

Of course if you only lurking or become a silent reader in this forum, no one can know who are you and your contribution (if you ever made it) but... it's same as in real life you need to prove yourself about your skills to get a job isn't? No one will hire you become public speaker if you only shut up your mouth.

Perhaps some other lurkers can chime in who have been lurking but not posting much. What do you all think?
It's possible, this user [2] only create 3 post and earn 27 merits. Quality over quantity, if you create 1000 posts with low effort I don't think you will get any single merit (e.g. Bounty hunter spam)

Can you explain to me why merit is important for those lurkers? To be honest I think they doesn't care about merit in this forum except at least earn 1 merit to attach images or they could buy copper membership.

[1] https://bitcoin.org/en/about-us#service_contributors
[2] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=3260358

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_Miracle
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Activity: 904
Merit: 657


Do due diligence


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September 07, 2021, 05:42:23 AM
Merited by Bozza (1)
 #19

The merit system is excellent as it is in my opinion. It prevents spammers and scammers from creating accounts and flooding the server with unwanted messages.



Before I signed up to the forum in 2013 I was lurking for quite a long while. I was writing a dissertation at the time for my business management degree at university. I signed up to this forum because I was interested in asking a question about academic writing.
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=147652.msg1568102#msg1568102

I did write the dissertation about bitcoin. The title of the dissertation was "Bitcoin - The Wild West of finance or the future of Money".


"Could the merit system demotivate lurkers?"

You already answered your question quite well in your first sentence.

I also lurked for almost a year before making an account, the merit system wasn't part of BitcoinTalk at the time so I had to read through a lot of nonsense to get the info I really wanted (mining info).

Current lurkers have the benefit of the merit system, they don't have to interact.


Merit is to motivate good posts:

"Bitcoin - The Wild West of finance or the future of Money"  ----that sounds like an interesting topic to post

There 'used' to be more truth in forums than anywhere else.  Twitter:  @cryptobitchicks  Spock: "I am expressing multiple attitudes simultaneously. To which are you referring?"  INTJ-A
Bozza (OP)
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September 07, 2021, 09:21:03 AM
 #20

I understood your post, as I wanted to contribute according to how I understood, I observed something that confused me.
You registered 2013, that is about 8yrs now. Did you take a break or you were lurking this while?

I followed all the major technological changes, developments and debates about implementations, forks and other topics. I didn't read the forum every day though if that is what you are asking. The epic "I AM HODLING" post was made before the merit system. I love to re-read that sometimes. I think this post embodies some of the Bitcoin culture and passion. The post was so genuine and we all felt it at the time.
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