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wundayatta's avatar

How would it affect fluther if everyone's lurve was zeroed out at the beginning of the year?

Asked by wundayatta (58638points) August 10th, 2010

I know it would have little effect for old jellies, but I’m wondering if it might be more encouraging for new people. I’m not thinking of this competitively, but in terms of reputation. New people may look at high lurve scores and think that they’ll never be able to get any credibility here.

I say this because I see a lot of people come here and last for only a few weeks or days or something. Some of them seem like they would be great additions to the community. I have no idea whether my theory holds any water, though.

What do you think would happen? Would more people stay on?

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40 Answers

ducky_dnl's avatar

I would be mad, but I wouldn’t leave the site. I would just never answer a question and only stay in chat. ;)

Star for you.

CMaz's avatar

I think you should delete dead profiles.

Speaking for myself. I had too much fun getting that lurve, to have it removed. Besides, it gives credibility to the longevity of the site.

Now, if you zero it out and give those with high number counts a gold star. That would be cool. ;-)

BoBo1946's avatar

Not going to happen.

CMaz's avatar

Yea, Bobo. I mean you just got into the mansion. Now they want to kick you out?
There is still so much more shrimp cocktail to eat.

We get lobster in the 20k house.
I hear the 30k house has exotic meats.

BoBo1946's avatar

@ChazMaz lol yeah… your whole life for THE mansion and @wundayatta wants to take it away!

BoBo1946's avatar

@ChazMaz wow, glad you told me that. Now, I know @wundayatta can’t have my points… You allow a poor boy in a big mansion, there is no way to get him out of there.

marinelife's avatar

I wouldn’t mind the idea. Still, it does not show the longevity of the site.

Jeruba's avatar

I think it would increase competitiveness. Every year would have the aspect of a race. Lurve would have no other meaning. I’d rather give all my points to you.

ucme's avatar

The beginning of the year!? One day at a time dear boy.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I agree with @Jeruba that it could lead to a competition for people to accumulate their lurve again. I think the high lurve scores show people that have proven themselves to be helpful and that they are dedicated (in some way) to the site.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I really think it won’t matter.

Buttonstc's avatar

I really don’t think it would make a difference in whether new people go or stay.

Every participatory site I’ve ever encountered has some way of differentiating total newbies from long time users.

Most often it’s a running total of post counts but I think Fluther’s method is more precise because it accentuates QUALITY responses rather than just QUANTITY.

Anyone can rack up a high post total even if they’re spouting off nonsense or just giving one sentence responses

That type of game playing doesn’t fly here at Fluther.

I think most people leave cuz they’re fickle, bored, or get their shorts in a knot when they realize that they can’t post ill thought out crap without being challenged on it.

Being the new kid on the block is just a fact of life all over the Internet and in RL as well. People get used to that.

When I go to a participatory site I like to find out who the old timers are. Even in my lurking period, it enables me to get a feel for the general atmosphere or the “tone” of the site. One can get a pretty good read on the quality (or not) of a site by the interactions of its senior members.

Had that been absent when I first arrived, doubtless I would have stayed because some people can post some profoundly stupid or downright nasty stuff. With no way to tell if that’s coming from a long time user, I would just check out.

I don’t think there’s any basis to assume people leave from discouragement because their number totals are low. That happens on most sites. It’s just the way things are naturally. Disrupting that could end up with more people leaving or not signing up to begin with.

I think Fluther is quite welcoming to newcomers in general; more so than many sites. As long as they aren’t posting stupidity or arrogance, their opinions are as welcomed as those with more lurve.

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

wundayatta's avatar

@ChazMaz I don’t know where you get your information from, but there is no 30K house. Pay attention!

@all I’m not suggesting this change. I’m just wondering what you think would happen. I mean, I benefit from my longevity here. I get all that lurve and it makes it look as if I actually know something. But do I?

Perhaps people take pity on me. Perhaps I just sit here, doggedly answering questions 24 hours a day, without even a pee break, just so I can look as if I know something or that people appreciate what I have to say. Maybe I’ve found a way to get fluther to add extra lurve to my total. Maybe…. well, I’m sure people could come up with dozens of possibilities.

If everyone had to start over each year, the past would be zeroed out, and you could get a better sense of who is respected this year, old or new. It would be competitive, but it might not be a bad kind of competition. I mean, if it was a popularity contest, that would be bad. But if it was a wisdom contest—that I wouldn’t have a problem with.

Austinlad's avatar

I honestly wouldn’t care. I like getting lurve, but honestly, that’s not why I stay on the site. What I like best is giving and getting answers and advice.

zenele's avatar

I couldn’t stand it.

Kayak8's avatar

I don’t give a fig. I don’t come to Fluther for lurve . . . doesn’t matter one whit to me . . . .

zenele's avatar

Let me clarify for those who don’t know I’ve been here forever and keep changing accounts because of the whole lurve and rewards crap: Fluther’s people who have been here for a long time have seen many changes, especially to the “gaming” aspect of it with the bells and whistles. Though I understand it is necessary to attract young people – I always wonder: would you all like fluther if there was no lurve at all? I know I would.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@zenele I would still like Fluther without the lurve.

Buttonstc's avatar

Me too. But I would assume there would be a post count.

After writing that I just realized there already is in each profile.

Questions answered plus asked is basically a post total.

Would that be eliminated as well? (speaking hypothetically.)

zenele's avatar

@Buttonstc Trust me – it doesn’t matter. I have about 600 questions and I don’t know how many thousands of answers spread over 4 zens. Who cares? If I changed again tomorrow – and re-started again – my friends would know it’s me – and I’d have low “scores” – so?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

It doesn’t matter to me. On a previous site, I would abandon my account whenever I reached the Fluther equivalent of about 20k, starting over at zero. I didn’t like being seen as aristocracy.

Buttonstc's avatar


Of course all of us would. That’s not the point of my asking.

In the OQ it was speculated that newcomers to the site might be leaving in discouragement cuz they could never hope to reach the same level as those here longer.

I guess you didn’t read my answer. For me personally as a newcomer (or even lurker) to ANY SITE, reading the posts of long time users gives one a quick way to get the “tone” of a site and decide if it’s worth more of your time.

When new to ANY site, not just Fluther, the posts I pay attention to when skimming thru lengthy topics is those with the larger numbers rather than someone who arrived two days prior to me.

With so much stuff available on the net, I personally use this method as a rough gauge in my decision.

Absent ANY info on this aspect it’s unlikely I’m willing to wade through everything just to decide whether to stay.

That’s what I did when I first discovered the net. Slogging through everything with no distinctions made is VERY inefficient.

I think having no info of this type might lose MORE potential users. And I think lurve is a more accurate measure of respect than mere post counts.

Does that now make sense about why I asked my last Q?

zenele's avatar

@Buttonstc I hear you. Okay.

Buttonstc's avatar



You and I are in complete agreement that for most “vets” of the site, Lurve is not the factor keeping us here. It’s nice and all but my experience of the site wouldn’t change if it were eliminated.

But I do feel it has value to the site overall and attracting new users until they find their own individual reasons to stay.

I like that it was a very well thought out concept and implementation. There really is no incentive or method to “game the system” by ruling cliques who would all pat each other’s backs and downrate any outsiders or those with unpopular opinions.

Fluther functions in a very balanced and egalitarian way. Newcomers and oldsters alike and EVEN the founders get modded from time to time.

I’ve never seen THAT on any other site. On most other sites, the Admins are always immune (even when they’re wrong)

zenele's avatar

Well written. Agreed. ^

wundayatta's avatar

@zenele So, by @Buttonstc‘s thinking, you are doing folks a disservice by hiding your experience here. New people won’t know what you mean to the community.

In other news:
If everyone starts over at the same time, you can see who is gathering respect more efficiently, new or old. That is a better indicator of who to pay attention to, because it treats newcomers equally. If you just look at total lurve over time here, you end up in @Buttonstc‘s dilemma—you don’t have a good way of telling who to pay attention to for anyone except old timers. There may well be newcomers who are worth reading but get passed over because of their low amounts of lurve.

Again, I’m not advocating for this change. I’m just trying to explore the issue. I have found that when starting over, people do not treat me the same as when I am Wundayatta. They argue with me more and question me more. They are less likely to lurve an answer compared to when they know who I am.

A reputation matters. My question is should it? Is it really a useful gauge? Especially when you do not know how it has been gotten?

It’s not easy to figure out how big a reputation someone has built adjusted by the time they’ve been here (the only way to compare reputations). So we end up doing things the way @Buttonstc did when s/he was first exploring the internet: wading through everything.

Of course, this doesn’t hurt me, since I wade through almost everything, anyway. I have a decent sense of who the new people are (although not knowing gender bothers me).

Seaofclouds's avatar

@wundayatta I really don’t think it will lead to newcomers being treated “equally” so to speak. If you look at @zenele as an example, you will see how quickly he has been able to get his lurve score back to where it was before he switched his names. Yes, he is very active on Fluther, but I have to wonder if some of it is because he is well known. People already know his sense of humor and where he stands on many things. If he posts a quip, people that have been around know it is a joke. If someone new posts a quip, there may be a question about their intentions and they may not be received the same way someone who has been around will be. Our reputations will stick with us, even if the lurve score does not.

Your_Majesty's avatar

I think that is fair enough. People join this site from different time/year and their accumulated lurve would be different one from another,this will give the ‘effect’ that people/individual with higher lurve is much better/senior than other users. I’ve been joining this site for quite a long time(I also tried to spend more time here,or aggressively answer as many question as I could),but some people who join earlier than me get higher lurve here,so I think there’s some oddities about how lurve works here. I’ve been many similar sites where participation,and all kind of contribution will receive score,OK some people might form scoring alliances or else but individual always get score for each contribution.

CMaz's avatar

Ya know. When I first came to this site. I was considered a charlatan. Ranting on like a fool.
I was even told to start over with a new profile. LOL

The only thing that has changed since I have been on the site is my GA count. I might still be seen as a charlatan to some but my rants take on a different meaning.
Just because of the mansion I now live in.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I actually think that would be a great idea. I would see it as a challenge to try and beat my previous years lurve score!

OpryLeigh's avatar

@ChazMaz I always enjoy your “rants”!

Buttonstc's avatar


Wading through everything may not be a problem for you but it definitely is for me and I suspect many others as well.

Perhaps I’m projecting, but inclined to think not. There are only so many hours in a day and there are so many sites clamoring for our time and attention.

In making a decision as to whether or not a site is worth my time to invest in it, I want the most efficient method as possible.

Your initial Q focused upon why people make decisions to stay or not to stay.

But then the focus is shifted to whether reputation should count. All worthy issues, mind you, but apples and oranges.

I merely use posts by long time users to get a read on a particular site. Once I’m there, that’s a different thing altogether.

I’ll give an example. One of the
Lolcats sites has a forum on it.
Reading through and paying attention to the old timers convinced me that it wasn’t compatible for me. It’s nice to drop in occasionally to see the new funny pics. But to participate. For me, not in a million years. Even the mods take pride in their fractured spelling and grammar. I don’t think so. Not for me.

That’s a rather extreme example but it gets the point across. Obviously these forums fit like a glove for some people. Just not me.

But once I decided to stick around Fluther, it was pretty much irrelevant to me how many people chose to lurve any comments I made.

I just gave the best answer I could and if someone liked it, fine. If they didn’t that’s the way it goes. Regardless, the tone of the site is what made me decide that it was comfortable for me.

Now that I’m here, I don’t usually pay attention to others rep or lurve in determining my GAs. If I felt that a good faith effort was made, I lurve it regardless of who posted it. I decide by content, not by author. But I guess I’m just sort of a liberal lurver in general.

I think more people are likely to leave the site if they are uncomfortable with the standards not because they’re the new kids on the block. That will happen to them naturally on any participatory site on the Internet.

I think some people come on a whim, most likely don’t spend lurking time, and leave when they realize it’s not their type of place.

I don’t think that making it more difficult to tell vets from newbies will change that dynamic. People are still going to leave with their shorts in a knot over the writing standards, conduct standards or being held accountable to defend their positions. Regardless of new or old.

I think those factors are far more influential in whether they stay or go. Eliminating lurve won’t change that dynamic one bit.

It will just make it more difficult and needlessly frustrating for discerning folks to get the lay of the land.

Let’s face it. In spite of the mods best efforts anybody can post truly awful crap which will be up for some amount of time before being removed. If a newcomer encounters it, a simple glance at the numbers can tell if this is just a drive by or an established member. This info all contributed to a new persons impressions of the site as a whole.

And I think reputation does matter. Should it? I guess that’s for each person to decide.

BoBo1946's avatar

@ChazMaz just keep up what ya been doing my friend…if you need some backup, got your back! they might kick out of da mansion, but they remember da fight!

CMaz's avatar

Damn skippy brother!

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Leanne1986 “I would see it as a challenge to try and beat my previous years lurve score!”

That’s were I could see it being a bad thing. Some people, in the quest to beat last years score would start posting just to get lurve, which could affect the overall quality of the site.

wundayatta's avatar

@Buttonstc That is very persuasive reasoning, in my opinion. It helps me understand the relationship between lurve and reputation more fully. Thank you.

Buttonstc's avatar


This was a really interesting Q to ponder.

You do have a knack for asking interesting Qs.

Jeruba's avatar

I haven’t thought of the issues that @Buttonstc raises because I don’t do much on other sites, and when I came here only one or two members had topped 10k.* But I think her reasoning is sound. Just for an example, spelling standards are far more likely to drive away people who can’t or won’t comply (and that is for the best, I think) than an awareness that the site attracts long-time users.

*As a reference point, I just happened to find that gailcalled had 9955 on 9/20/08. I joined in November. Augustlan made 4000 while I was in my first week or so and thought I’d never cross 100. It used to take a very long time to reach 1000.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Seaofclouds I see your point there and I can only speak for myself when I say that I really don’t think I would post just to get lurve. The quality of my questions/answers here is very important to me and I certainly would’t want a reputation for writing any old crap. When I said that I would see it as a challenge I meant that I would strive to make my input here even better (I do that anyway but an incentive is always good).

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Leanne1986 I understand what you mean. I just think it would make things feel more like a game and/or race for lurve and that some people would see it differently (especially new people that join the site after something like that is put into effect).

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