Ranking members is nonsensical

Started Oct 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
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dholl
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Ranking members is nonsensical
Oct 14, 2012

Apparently I'm a "senior member" of DPR.  So are members who only troll in the "off-topic" forum, who are already on their 4th ID (because of bans) and only registered mere months ago.

We are both classed as "senior members" only because of the total number of posts we've made.  Seen as anyone can already see how many posts a member has made, why do we need a superficial ranking title?  Does DPR also want to hand out gold stars for every 1000 posts we make?

That, on top of rating threads, is very typical of the modern internet community.  The individual member is superficially made to feel important, by way of ratings, rankings and titles.  This puts more emphasis on the member painstakingly trying to improve his 'points', rather than engage in meaningful discussion.  DPR is not the only serious online discussion forum to go this way.  The Guardian's quality-of-debate has suffered since it introduced a recommend-points system for each comment.

This new culture means people aren't free just to debate anymore, people now feel pressured into thinking about what their comment might mean for their virtual rating.

I'm glad I don't care about these things, but I now many of you do.  And because you care, it means the inherent quality-of-debate suffers.

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