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robmandu's avatar

Silly idea: What if there was Fluther Karma to balance Fluther Lurve?

Asked by robmandu (21285points) July 17th, 2008

Not that we need more lurve shenanigans… but I think we’ve all seen that folks get hung up on lurve, how it’s awarded inconsistently, and that there’s no sense of accountability.

The Fluther gods in their infinite wisdom do not allow us to see which person awarded lurve to another. And that should remain. But what if we could employ the concept of Karma to approximate an accountability system?

This idea is barely half-baked. Need your help to flesh it out.

Here are some of my ideas:

- no points for Karma. Instead, let’s use color instead. Maybe the user’s name can be represented on a sliding color scale in terms of positive/negative Karma. Red is bad <==> Blue is good (allowances made for readability)

- good Karma for GA’ing people on Q’s you asked

- good Karma for GA’ing someone who GA’s you

- bad Karma for too many GA’s in a Q

- bad Karma for a Q with zero GQs after x number of quips

- (insert your ideas below)

Again, like lurve, Fluther Karma would be essentially meaningless in the grand scheme. It’s not a reward/punishment system. Just an indicator of a person’s behavior within a certain ruleset. And importantly, it maintains anonymity while introducing a modicum of accountability.

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25 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I like the abstract concept rmd, but . . .

I don’t agree with your rules already. I see no problem not GAing someone who GAs you if their answer is not worthy of a GA. In fact, doing so smacks of what tinyfaery talked about in that other thread.

Also, I don’t it should be bad karma to have too many GAs in a question. There are some threads that are deep or very witty where a lot of GAs are totally justified.

I agree about people not getting GQ lurve, but who do you give the bad karma to?

How about bad karma for even attempting to give lurve too many times to the same person?

One of my pet peeves is people who don’t read threads and essentially duplicate the gist of previous answers. How about bad karma for that? (Hey, we’re hypothesizing here; I realize implementation would be a bitch.)

cheebdragon's avatar

seems like punishment for people who don’t have the same opinions…......

robmandu's avatar


how about karma leaning more towards red if you post a lot of quips or questions that aren’t awarded lurve?

Just brainstorming… definitely don’t want this to be a punishment system.

shrubbery's avatar

yeah but what if they’re really good answers but for some reason you don’t get lurve anyway… that wouldn’t be fair.
this would be really hard to set guidelines for I think…

cheebdragon's avatar

Someone like zack could mess with our lurve….....

shrubbery's avatar

We can’t worry about him all the time though cheeb, that’s what he wants. I’m sure Ben and Andrew don’t think about everything on this site with Zack in mind… do they?

cheebdragon's avatar

Just pointing out a possible downside.

robmandu's avatar

Well, no one user could jack around with you directly. It’s more of an internal system concept.

About the only thing I think a nefarious ne’er-do-well could do would be to award more lurve to you.

Karma could also be based on frequency of site visits, number of Fluther followers, wordiness of quips.

If this was something the Fluther gods decided they liked, they’d want to pick easy/lite programmatical/db concepts so as not to bog down the system. But for now, we can throw out whatever ideas we have.

shrubbery's avatar

Fair enough :)
I think that this could turn into something that could easily be abused, as everyone has a different interpretation of good answers etc. there’s already enough hooha about lurve… it’s hard with just a yay or nay system… maybe there could be different colours and options for how funny your quip is or how relevant it is our how much effort you put into it… I like the frequency idea too.

robmandu's avatar

Yah, I dunno… I must not be phrasing this well enough. It really is a half-baked idea.

I think of Karma not as something that you award, but something that is calculated using a set of internal rules. It would be difficult (not impossible, of course) to game the system without doing a lot of work.

Heh… even “stalker” mindset (just following one/few person(s), answering only their Q’s, only awarding only them lurve) could be part of the calcs to skew Karma to red.

You know, like how Karma works in real life. It’s invisible. Hard to get a handle on. But in the end, it’s always gonna get ya.

shrubbery's avatar

Haha but then that would be bad for the “following” option in the MyFluther, because if you’re specifically following them to see what they do and obviously you follow people you like so you’re gonna give them lurve, so that would then give you bad Karma which would defeat the whole following idea.
Anyway, my opinion can’t count for much since I’m new so I’m gonna sit back and wait for the big guns to come out.

robmandu's avatar

@shrub, your point is valid. Forgive me for not expanding verbosely… I just don’t want to get too wordy.

None of the attributes of Karma mentioned so far must agree with each other. We’re brainstorming. No idea is a bad idea, even if it contradicts a previous one.

Exception: the only bad ideas, at this point, are things like: it can’t work, is pointless, is too hard to implement, etc.

cheebdragon's avatar

I wish the great answer button wasn’t so big on the iphone app, scrolling can be difficult.

Harp's avatar

I think there’s something simple, elegant and human about letting the awarding of lurve be completely subjective. It mirrors the way we award status in our real-world social organization.

I wouldn’t want see any attempt to introduce into the system any kind of algorithm that would have the effect of making the user think about anything other than “do I like this answer/question or don’t I?”.

If someone’s “karma” is starting to stink, does that mean they should lower their standards? As it stands, some users have high standards, some have lower ones, and we assume that the net result will balance out. And the mods are always there to weed out the real clunkers.

I’m not sure what the point of “karma” would be if not to reward “good” behavior and to punish “bad” behavior. Rob, how would it not be punitive?

robmandu's avatar

Well, not punitive in that a simple color representation doesn’t really mean a lot in the grand scheme of things.

Thing is, some people (present company excluded) don’t really think about how the ask/answer a question. Worst case you get diarrhea of the Fluther, where some bad egg writes a lot of poorly thought out, or mean and spiteful, or otherwise non-useful garbage. Karma might incent them to behave better. It would help balance out lurve in that a few bad eggs wouldn’t just lurve themselves up.

Oh, and I agree… lurve should be given out freely without constraint by whatever internal guidelines the lurver wants to award it.

In case it’s not obvious, the topic of this question is opposite to my stated views in other threads. But, in an attempt to make some semblance of open-mindedness, I’m trying to make the best of arguing for an accountability system. Still, to be somewhat consistent, I’m trying to form it in an image that I could live with, too.

AstroChuck's avatar

I don’t know if it could work logistically, but it’s definitely a clever idea and interesting question.

wildflower's avatar

A few ideas:
If you’ve given lurve to more than 10 users, your karma goes up.
If you get a question or answer of yours removed, your karma goes down.
If you receive lurve from more than 10 users, karma goes up.
For every Q you post that gets more than 2 GQ’s, karma goes up.
For every A you post that gets more than 5 GA’s, karma goes up.

robmandu's avatar

By jove, I think she’s got it!

Thanks, @wildflower!

Keep those ideas coming, people!

wildflower's avatar

you’re very welcome, but shouldn’t that be ‘by Jovi’.....or even ‘Bon Jovi’?? :)

marinelife's avatar

@rmd & wf Or By Juno? (I liked your entire schema too, wf.)

wildflower's avatar

no, no, no, no…...if it’s related to me, it must be jovi :)

marinelife's avatar

Referring to an earlier post and your original details, here is a question with a lot of responses that does not deserve GQs.

ebenezer's avatar

I was under the impression that there is no good karma. Isn’t the goal to get rid of karma, like baggage?

arnbev959's avatar

No, karma works on both ends. You get rid of the bad karma (baggage) with good karma.

wildflower's avatar

A few more lines to add to the karma logic:
If you get 2 or more flags in a 24 hour period, karma decreases
If you flag a Q or A and it subsequently gets moderated, karma increases
(pending publication) If you’re added to 4 or more Fluthers, karma increases
(pending publication) If you add a user to your Fluther and they add you to theirs, karma increases (this one is possible to abuse, but not to a great extent)

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