good chemistry is complicated,
and a little bit messy -LW
(jcwren) RE: Signal-to-Noise Ratioby jcwren (Prior)
|on Oct 03, 2000 at 21:59 UTC||Need Help??|
XP is what users get, reputation is what articles get.
XP can be gained (or lost) from having a change in the reputation of an article. There's a complex set of rules that define the odds of whether you gain or lose XP based on how the article was voted. See Voting/Experience System.
Reputation is what articles get. Based on how people feel about articles (and in theory NOT the person writing it, but being people, there are some with political motivation. The practice is supposed to be 'vote the articles, not the person'), they may vote them up, vote them down, or not vote them at all.
By clicking the writeups number on your homenode, you will be presented with a list of articles you have written, and the reputation of each article. Ideally, you'd like the reputation of any of your articles to be above the $NORM value, described at Voting/Experience System. An article that is lower is ultimately responsible for dragging down the $NORM value, affecting everyone. It sorta indicates that the article is substandard, ASSUMING that everyone has seen it. In reality, if an article is nested too far down, it may not show up on the page, and will be overlooked/ignored.
A good place to look is site how to for information on the site. (At the moment, it seems someone has let the font tags get carried away, and it's a little harder than it should be to read.)
There have been several theories as to what represents a good indicator of a person's standing in the monastery. Overall XP is a little more meaningful than it used to be, but still can misrepresent a person. In the olden days (what, 3 months ago?), people were given XP for 'voting out', or using all your votes in a day. This (IIRC) was 25% of the number of votes you had. So, if you had 20 votes, you were guaranteed 5 XP just for using all your votes, plus any random XP gained for voting (as according to the rules at Voting/Experience System.
This meant that there were (and still are) some people with very high XP, but virtually no articles. Thus, dividing thier XP by the number of articles written is not representative of how much that user contributed (or, more aptly, didn't contribute) to the site. A more accurate number is the total sum of reputation of your articles, divided by the number of articles.
Obviously, if you have 100 articles, and each article has a reputation of 1, you're not doing too well. On the other hand, someone like Erudil, who has 5 articles, but has a combined article reputation of 262 (as of this node being posted), has an extremely high average (52.40). His articles are well thought of, which of course, is always desirable. If you have a number of articles, you can use luke_repwalker.pl to calculate your totals, rather than adding and dividing by hand (and no, this isn't a shameless self-promotion for something I wrote. Well, OK, maybe it is...) There's also a cool XML version here
Now, does this mean you shouldn't post if you article won't be thought highly of? I'm of the opinion that 'thank you and me too' articles, unless solicited, are not of much value, and tend to pollute the article-space (also known as 'bozon articles'. heh). I don't think they add much to the overall information base. And if you really want to thank someone, send them a /msg. It's more personal, anyway. But this doesn't mean you shouldn't. Maybe it's just a followup note to clarify something. It may not gain any reputation, but it does enhance the informational content of the site, for someone browsing the topic. So you SHOULD post something like that.
There's also the 'XP Whores'. These are people who post articles or vote as much as possible for the sole purpose of gaining XP, but without making any real contributions to the site. It's a bad thing to be called an 'XP Whore'.
These, of course, are my opinions, and don't represent the opinion of the site as a whole, vroom, or the The Everything Development Company