Newsvine has had quite an attrition rate of posters and there is a lot of discussion on why. This article isn't meant to discuss that topic, but rather to work under the premise that this rate is due in part to the negativity of the seeds, nations, admins, and propose ideas to change that.
My plan is not to try and change human nature, but rather to leverage it to create a more open, respectful, positive environment.
The idea would have to be an additional feature set added to newsvine, that I volunteer to write myself. I'm sitting here writing ASP 5.0 code as I type this (well should be writing code :P ). So if we all feel it's a good idea, we can try and push it and if they don't mind my help we can talk about interfacing or API's.
Anyway, I my idea is simple. Incentivize people to be positive by leveraging their innate competitive nature.
In other words, put a ranking system in place that is based on points that culminates in a badge of rank or along those lines, a viner can display and others can view to get a sense of how much they contribute to the site, the community, and value to other viners.
Now I fully know that there are people and groups that would work to try and thwart that and game that system to get at individuals, so here is what I propose.
Everyone starts at 0 points and a newbie rank or icon. Don't think of it in the sense of a rank having any kind of authority, it's more an idea of level of contribution. I've seen this model used in many code sharing sites and also on the unofficial British military web forum (You get medals) There I have the max, I think, a row of 8 plus a gold one, not sure what that is for.
Anyway, the idea is to "out" the trolls, negative abusers, and such, and highlight the folks that contribute, receive praise, and remain positive themselves in regards to others.
The ranks would be:
1 500 points - Rank 1 Icon
2 1000 points - Rank 2 Icon
3 2000 points - Rank 3 Icon
4 4000 points - Rank 4 Icon
5 8000 points - Rank 5 Icon
6 16000 points - Rank 6 Icon
7 32000 points - Rank 7 Icon
8 64000 points - Rank 8 Icon
9 128,000 points - Rank 9 Icon
10 >= 256,0000 - Rank 10 Icon and max rank.
How you gain points.
Points would based on two concepts; participation and community perception.
Writing an article: 10 pts
Seeing a link: 5 pts
Positive review: 1 pt
How you lose points.
Blocked nations. -5 pts for the initial, and -1 pt for each nation you have blocked subtracted from your article or seed points every time. Yes, every single time you seed or write.
Getting Negative Reviews: -1 pt
Giving Negative Reviews: -1 pt
** Note: You only get 5 point bank, refreshed each month, to spend on negative reviews. You do not recover the points you lost giving the negative review.
A positive review would be something you would give a seed, comment, or article. They could augment the vote ups, but would need vote downs as well.
Vote downs would not collapse a seed or article.
What this gives the community are two things: Incentives through competition to be positive and ability to quickly ascertain the level of participation in the community.
It encourages participation through seeding and writing articles and discourages negative reviews and blocking, while not making it detrimental to do so, just a little less than convenient.
You can still block nations, give negative ratings, and ignore, but it will not come without a cost. This is purposeful to ensure that you "really mean it" and are willing to give something up yourself to do so.
So what do you think?
Anything missed or ways to game this system?
Would love to hear your comments on it.