Gill Sinclair's picture

iSpot reputations

As those who have been on iSpot for a while will know, the 'reputation' system was changed some time back with the result that some of us 'lost' one of our icons as a result. I've been working hard to try and restore my fourth mammal icon ever since but I don't seem to be making any progress!

I'm a bit mystified as I have three reputation icons in both mammals and plants yet, whilst I have posted a similar number of observations (37 mammals and 35 plants), I have made/received/given 119/423/1295 identifications in mammals vs only 35/113/zero in plants - quite a difference!

I fully understand the general principles of how the reputation system works (there is an explanation in Help), but is it now in fact feasible to achieve four reputation icons in mammals or is the bar set very high because of the relative ease of observing and photographing organisms in the other groups, such that I will never get beyond three?!

(I could blizt the site with literally hundreds of wild mammal photos taken on overseas holidays, but I don't want to do that on principle as that's not the purpose of iSpot).

Does anybody out there have four reputation icons in mammals, in which case I'll be interested to look at your profile?

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Comments

miked's picture

It may be because there are

It may be because there are very few experts in mammals. Its the experts that give most weight and if very few of your ID's have been agreed by experts but instead only agreed by much lower level people then the points add up much more slowly. This same situation would apply to anyone in mammals. (I have 3 'stars'in mammals with 46obs 49ids 155rec 55given). There are lots more people with high reputation in plants so the points can add up more quickly. Will have to think about the system more and see if any other modifications are needed, if you can think of any other experts in mammals that you can persuade to join then that might get this group moving more quickly.

Gill Sinclair's picture

Thanks for that explanation

Ah yes, I can see why that would make a difference - if the reputation system is weighted so that, for example, who agrees with your IDs is much more important than how many IDs you give yourself, a shortage of mammals experts would certainly put a bit of a 'ceiling' on reputations.

Gill Sinclair
OU Certificate in Contemporary Science
www.gillsinclair.net
Twitter @Gill_Sinclair

Fenwickfield's picture

reputation system

I understand how you feel Gill I lost then regained an icon on plants but there are a couple of very active plant experts.I will also try to rattle my brain and encourage some experts to join.I also feel we have the same problem with Fungi as there are only a couple of experts and I think one person who is very knowledgeable who should I think have more icons,also what is the maximum on icons,is it five.If it is five were do you go from there,do you get a knowledgeable badge.

Fenwickfield

Jonathan's picture

5 is the max. It would be

5 is the max. It would be sensible to go to knowledgeable from there, but we have not made this happen yet. The way the system works, is that it is progressively harder to earn your next icon, so this will apply to the 5 icons --> knowledgeable step if/when we implement that. The reputation system, like most other aspects of iSpot, will be developed over the coming year. One thing I think we shall do is display the actual number of reputation points in the user's profile, alongside the icons. This should make the system much more transparent.

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

Gill Sinclair's picture

Reputation points

I would welcome being able to see the number of reputation points, which will certainly help to explain the 'exponential' (maybe not quite!!) nature of the system and allow us mammalers to compare ourselves more meaningfully with users who major on other groups of organisms.

Gill Sinclair
OU Certificate in Contemporary Science
www.gillsinclair.net
Twitter @Gill_Sinclair

Jonathan's picture

Thanks for the suggestion,

Thanks for the suggestion, Gill, which we have been discussing. There is probably no way that we can really make reputation match across groups. For one thing, the groups are not even biologically or taxonomically equivalent, as is obvious. Mammals are a related group of vertebrates, 'invertebrates' are a huge miscellaneous collection containing several phyla.

Perhaps the best thing is to point this out in the reputation FAQ?

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

Gill Sinclair's picture

More info. in FAQ

Hi Jonathan - yes, I think a brief explanation of why reputation isn't comparable across groups, including the influence of experts, would be helpful.

In thinking further about displaying reputation points, I'm not sure now whether that would be good or not - do we think it might make iSpot a bit too competitive if some people were trying to beat others' scores? At the moment one great thing about iSpot is that on the whole it is very mutually supportive and I wouldn't want to lose that by turning it into a bit of an online game:-) What do people think?

Gill Sinclair
OU Certificate in Contemporary Science
www.gillsinclair.net
Twitter @Gill_Sinclair

Fenwickfield's picture

exact

Thanks for this comment Gill as I was thinking the same thing this afternoon about how important the reputation points really are and came to the conclusion that there not really.I too would not like it to become competitive as it would spoil what I think iSpot is about,an on-line community of people interested in nature and such a mixture of levels of knowledge.I think it is about us learning and helping and encouraging other's to do the same.I have personally decided that I don't have a problem with the way the system is now as I to think we may lose focus on what it's about

Sheila

Fenwickfield

Jonathan's picture

Interesting to see you say

Interesting to see you both say that as it is our thinking too. Thanks for your comments.

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

dejayM's picture

ain't broke

I've just entered here...late again!
I'd like to point out that there are two sorts of reputations in iSpot (I believe) Take a look here (I know Jonathan frequents that place!)
http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/322136#comment-116870
beyond which I think the system works fine, possibly apart from the small glitches that rarely occur in the 'sway' of Likely ID.
Please do nothing to make it even slightly more competitive. It ain't broke..
ðerek

Jonathan's picture

Thanks. We certainly don;t

Thanks. We certainly don't want people competing. That's not what it is about at all. Its about learning and biodiversity (in case you wondered!). Any changes to the reputation system will be relatively minor and we shall announce them in advance, explaining what they will be and why. The improvements will be based on the feedback we have received from users. Its months away yet, though.

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

Will Avery's picture

iSpot : "your place to share nature"

I was indeed surprised by how fast I acquired not just a second, but a third plant icon. I now realise this is down to the attention paid by the experts.

Anyway, looking at Jonathan's Observations I've just been pleasantly surprised to find that I'm not the only person who posts pictures of Goats Beard and Nipplewort when he knows full-well what they are.

Jonathan's picture

Yes, iSpot is a place to

Yes, iSpot is a place to accumulate observations of what you know as well as to find out about those that you do not. The data are interesting, but also valuable as scientific records.

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)