Our Online User Groups Reputation Model--We'd appreciate your feedback

Latest response

Many community sites these days have a "reputation model" implemented which helps reflect a user's participation and contribution within a community, and as part of our roll-out of these new Online User Groups we've implemented a basic program as well.


As much as I'd like to state what this reputation model is, however, I think it's even more important to emphasize what it is not. For one, it's not the foundation of what this site is about. A reputation model is not always an accurate indicator of a individual's "value" to a community, and we don't intend for it to be the only indicator. This community is intended to facilitate the sharing of knowledge, exchange of ideas, and collaboration regarding Red Hat products and services, and many of us will contribute and add value in ways that a reputation model simply won't capture.


A reputation model can, however, serve as a reference point for us as we begin to build this new community. And furthermore, it enables us to provide some minimal level of recognition for members who do contribute. We could have launched this community without a reputation model (and almost did), but it was technically easier to do it at site launch. Furthermore, this situation gives us the opportunity to receive your feedback, which is why I've posted it here in our Site Suggestions Group.


Lastly, we didn't create this basic structure out of the blue. Some of the communities we referenced included Oracle's Support Community, SAP's Community Network, Stackoverflow.com, and our own Opensource.com. We ended up with a points structure that is a little more consistent with Jason's system at Opensource.com, with a little heavier emphasis on discussion participation. The participation levels outlined below also contain elements of these same online communities but were more customized to fit the type of community these new Online User Groups represent.



Member profile setup

5 points

Join a group

10 points

Start a discussion

5 points

Post a comment

5 points

Rate content or discussions (stars)

2 points

Vote up or down on comments

2 points

Start a collaborative document

20 points

Edit a collaborative document

10 points



Newbie / 0-19 points

This is where users begin their journey-- until they earn their first 20 points. Just upload an avatar, join a group, post a discussion, and you're on your way to becoming a full member of our community. Welcome!

Community Member / 20-99

This is the next basic level. You've made it through the door, now get involved!

Contributor / 100-399

You are definitely involved, and it's showing. You're posting discussions, collaborative documents, commenting and voting. We'll thrilled to have you as part of our community!

Pro / 400-799

You're beginning to have an impact; you're gaining a following. People seek you out for your knowledge and insights.

Expert / 800-1299

You've become the go-to person for specific topics. Your thoughts and ideas are shaping the tone and direction of the community.

Guru / 1300+

You've proven yourself both in the community and inside Red Hat, and you've earned and gained the respect you so richly deserve.



It's probably obvious that some of this criteria is somewhat loosely defined, and that's why we'd appreciate your feedback. What do you like and dislike in regards to the community reputation models that you currently participate in? What suggestions would you like to see for our new community consider? Do you have specific ideas for points and/or community levels?


Let us know, and thanks for your input!




Hi Henry,
Another idea commonly used and worth considering is one that places additional reputation on "completion/resolution" of an asked question by the original poster.

For example:
Community vote up or down on comments - 2 points
Receive "answered successfully" vote from original poster - 5 points

Warm regards,

Agreed, Phil!


We've had some discussions internally about that. One thing I think we'll need to do is have the option for the user to classify their post as a question, maybe similar to the Oracle community. They simply have:


[checkbox] Mark this discussion as a Question


That way, just like you mention, we can better sync a user's reputuation directly with responses that the original poster has labeled as "answered successfully."






Henry Hutton

Community Manager, Online User Groups

Red Hat Customer Portal


Get an upvote - 10 points

Provide a comment that solves the issue (how to mark that is another issue)  - 15 points


Downvote someone else's comment, without a comment to explain why - -5 points

Have your own comment downvoted - -2 points