Answering system rules (comments welcome)

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Ryan Norton
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Answering system rules (comments welcome)

Post by Ryan Norton » Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:23 pm

Chinese Version

OK, this is obviously not finalized yet since I'm the only mod doing this currently - but here are my (semi-proposed - I've already went through many old posts) rules. Comments welcome

This forum runs a custom version of PHPBB that has a reward system in place. After a question of a poster is answered, the poster first assigned assisted answers - people who helped with the answer, and the accepted answer to the person who really had the best answer or helped the most (this can include the poster itself if the poster answered its own question).

Keep in mind that a lot of our more knowledgeable posters don't post a whole lot because they have busy jobs or related work, so the award system isn't perfect (and generally should be taken as a form of entertainment).

  1. After you choose the accepted answer you cannot chose any more assisted answers - so choose the assisted ones first
  2. Moderaters will not modify the answers unless there is very strong indicator that they were done incorrectly, so if all else fails send a Moderator a private message and they will most likely correct it for you
  3. Threads with no responses after a week from the original poster that appear to have been solved are marked as solved from posts a Moderator deems appropriate
  4. After a month, if there is no update and no answer to a thread, the thread is either bumped by a moderator or marked as solved by the original poster


Have fun!

Edit by upCASE:
To clearify a bit more, here's a description of how the wxAward system works and what it does.

Apart from the standard phpBB posting types "Normal", "Sticky" and "Announcement", this forum implements a new type, "Question". This type is set by default when starting a new thread. Setting the type to "Question" means, that
1. The posted text is a question you need an answer to.
2. Subsequent posts to this thread can be marked as full answers or assisting answers to the problem.
3. Marked posts will award wxAwards (points) to the ones who posted them.

Post with "Question" types show up a bit differently in the list of threads.
This icon will be shown for question posts Image
This icon will be shown for question posts with answers Image
This icon will be shown for solved posts Image
This icon will be shown for solved posts with new answers Image

In general the system is pretty easy to use. Let's say poster A has a question, poster B has an assisting answer (meaning not a full solve, but a partial answer) and poster C knows the exact answer to solve the problem.

Poster A opens a new thread, writes his question (please be descriptive here) and marks the thread as "Question". Posters B and C simply answer to the thread as they normaly would.
When poster A comes back and read the thread, he'll see this at the right side of each answer to his post
Image

For each post he has the choice to mark it "assisting" or "accepted".
When clicking "Assist" next to B's post, the "assist" icon will not be shown anymore. B will be awarded 1 wxAward for his assisting answer.
When clicking "Accept" next to C's post, *all* "Assist" and "Accept" icons will go, as the whole thread and thus the question will be marked as fully answered. C will be awarded 5 wxAwards.
Each time A replies to this thread, an informational text is shown to remind him to close posts.
Image

If one has open questions that should be marked, the user will see this on the forum index in the top row.
Image

The inner wrokings of the system:

1. Only the original poster (the one who started the thread) can mark posts and award wxAwards, as he/she is the one that can decide wether an answer helped or not. For other posters the standard phpBB forum shows up. For administrative purposes, Moderators can mark posts, too.

2. The original poster can select *his own* follow up posts and mark the accepted. This means that he found the answer himself. Whoever he won't get any wxAwards doing so. You can't award yourself wxAwards.

3. Post can only be marked once as "assisting".

4. After a post is "accepted" as an answer, no mor points can be awarded. The system is closed then, as a full answer was given. So, if you want to give assisting wxAwards and accept a posting, firstly mark the assisting ones, the accept the post.

5. Only Moderators can "unaccept" answers.

6. The member ranking system is linked to the wxAwards. So, to get a higher rank it's of no benefit to post many times, but get many wxAwards. Higher rank means "better problem solver".

7. There's an automated pruning system for open questions. Users with open question can see a notification as soon as the log on to the forum. Admins will reset the state of questions when they are not marked accepted for a certain amount of time.

8. "Assist" awards 1 wxAward, "Accept" awards 5 wxAwards.

9. To see your own wxAwards, either watch your profile, or, even simpler, scroll down in the forum index to see the wxAwards stats.

10. Solved questions can be searched for via the search panel.

Why did we do that?
Good question...
1. It's a neat feature that leads to better ranking than just simply count the posts of a user.
2. It may stimulate users to help each another, as they get wxAwards in return.
3. Solved questions can be separately searched for, so one can find solves to problems more easily.

I guess this sums it up. For questions and comments, feel free to post here or contact me (upCASE) via PM.
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Post by KevinHock » Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:25 pm

I think these guidelines seem OK, the only thing I would caution is that some posts are either a) accidentally posed as questions when they really aren't and b) sometimes even posts that were questions really didn't have an answer. I would caution against a strong need to have all questions answered by accepting some post even if it's not relevant. Is there instead perhaps a way that posts that aren't really appropriate as questions and for the wxAwards system can be changed from "Question" posts to "Normal" posts? I realize the awards system is for fun but by the same token it should at least retain some significance.

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Post by Ryan Norton » Mon Aug 15, 2005 7:30 pm

KevinHock wrote:I think these guidelines seem OK, the only thing I would caution is that some posts are either a) accidentally posed as questions when they really aren't and b) sometimes even posts that were questions really didn't have an answer. I would caution against a strong need to have all questions answered by accepting some post even if it's not relevant. Is there instead perhaps a way that posts that aren't really appropriate as questions and for the wxAwards system can be changed from "Question" posts to "Normal" posts? I realize the awards system is for fun but by the same token it should at least retain some significance.
Right... I've already taken care of quite a few that should have been marked as normal posts. Also, there are still several old questions without any or any good answers.
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Post by daddydave » Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:06 pm

If after a month, the original poster himself hasn't bumped the post himself (hopefully with his own research or more information about his code), I am inclined to believe the original poster has lost interest in the question anyway.

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Post by KevinHock » Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:10 pm

I do agree with daddydave, and those threads should probably just "fall off" the bottom. Ryan, I noticed you bumped a lot of threads asking if they were solved, which I think is fine if there were some solutions posted, but for threads that have no answer or were incoherent in the first place, or the poster just seems to have wandered away, I think they can just be left to fall off.

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Post by Ryan Norton » Mon Aug 15, 2005 11:22 pm

KevinHock wrote:I do agree with daddydave, and those threads should probably just "fall off" the bottom. Ryan, I noticed you bumped a lot of threads asking if they were solved, which I think is fine if there were some solutions posted, but for threads that have no answer or were incoherent in the first place, or the poster just seems to have wandered away, I think they can just be left to fall off.
Heh - one of the reasons I came to this forum (and a reason why it has been so successful) is that questions like that are bugged relentlessly for an answer.
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Post by Jorg » Tue Aug 16, 2005 6:51 am

I agree with an exp date on the articles. Maybe we should simply reset the "question" to normal for posts that are not solved after 2 weeks. I would love to make that an admin feature so it is kind of automatic.

We already discussed that we would make a thingy that would show the moderators unanswered questions, so he/she can decide to close or mark one or more posts as answered.

Ryan, could you integrate your useful guide to the answering system in the main forum rules? This way people have a ready to go guide for questions and answering..

Regards,
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Post by dsilvia » Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:29 pm

This is a nice blurb, but not very useful to a new member. Could you maybe include some screen shots that show what you're talking about? I have no currently open posts (and don't want to make a "dummy" post just to see what you're referring to), so I cannot see what you mean. Terms like "Assisted" and "Accepted" are largely meaningless with no definitions and no specific reference to where/how to use them. :-({|=

Also, a description (detailed as possible) of how points accumulate, how they are assigned, and how one "claims" their points would be useful. :idea:

In short, I find information re: wxAwards and the attendant point system greatly lacking on the site. It should be in some kind of intro, not in posts to FAQ's and moderators. :-({|=

jmtcw, :wink:
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Post by Jorg » Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:56 am

You're right. When I have the time (and won't forget I need to do it) I will try to add some screenshots and a step by step guide.

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Post by upCASE » Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:20 am

Hi!
Have a look at the first post in the thread.
I added some more info and some screenshots.

I hope this helps a bit to clearify this system. I'll add a link to this thread i the top bar.
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Post by Jorg » Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:43 am

Looks very good! Is there a link in the template that the people see when replying to a post, that leads back to this thread ID? it might help them understand why ..

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Post by upCASE » Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:46 am

Nope, not right now. I'll see if I can add that.
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Post by upCASE » Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:51 am

Done.
It now shows a link to this thread under the text.
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Post by dsilvia » Tue Aug 08, 2006 8:32 am

upCASE wrote:Hi!
Have a look at the first post in the thread.
I added some more info and some screenshots.

I hope this helps a bit to clearify this system. I'll add a link to this thread i the top bar.
Speaking for at least one Dummy: Better! :) 8)

thx,
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Post by CMark » Sat May 08, 2010 1:15 pm

It seems like an useful idea to have an award system.

But some things doesn't look so good.

=1= fixed/equal accept points
=== Some topics are quite simple/easy, while some others are not simple/easy at all.
=== Also a member can help you with one simple post or with several very important ones.
=== Always give equal points really doesn't sound so good.

=2= only one accept
=== Sometimes, especially with hard/important topics, several members can help.
=== Give points only to one of them really doesn't sound good/fair, too.

Of course, I'm new here
and I don't know is it problem to implement something like this
so don't get me wrong about it.

Best Whishes.
OS: Windows XP

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