Friday, October 13, 2006

Newspaper starts reputation system

The Dutch newspaper Dagblad van het Noorden has started to use a reputation system to evaluate reactions on its internet forum. So far the newspaper moderated the reactions afterwards, but only threw out reactions when they were obscene or personal attacks.

Now the newspaper is a using a reputation system, which is more refined. The system has a kind of traffic light system for indicating the qualitative level of the contribution. Forum members rate the level of the contribution and the editors give a status to the contributor with colour dots. Is the level of the contribution low, then a red dot shows; the contributor will still be able to read the contributions, but can not participate by delivering a contribution any longer. He/she gets in fact an IP-ban, which prevents him/her from contributing. Next on the scale is an orange dot; this indicates that there is no real contribution to the discussion. The person can still participate in the discussion, but his contribution will appear with a delay of half an hour. Yellow is the next colour on the ladder and indicates an average level of contribution. The reaction will appear with a slight delay on the forum pages. Strong contributions are awarded with a green dot. Green contributors can award stars to contributions.

The newspaper receives roughly one thousand reactions daily. So far the editorial staff could only measure the amount of times that the reactions were read, which is only a quantitative indication. By using the reputation system the contributions are evaluated qualitatively. Other forum members can see in a glance where the substantial contributions can be found. Just look for the green dots.

I checked the edition of today and noticed an article with the headline: Starting prostitutes should be able to get a starter’s grant. I expected a variety of colours on such a controversial article. But as everyone who delivers a contribution gets a yellow dot for a start, all contributors had a yellow dot. I guess that the system will start to colour the reactions after a week or so.

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Blog Posting Number: 535

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