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What is Reputation?
Much like "karma points" and "mod points" used in other online communities, Reputation is one way to gauge at a glance how much credibility to give the author of a post. The Reputation system is an informal way for members of the forum to reward (or penalize) fellow members for informative, helpful, articulate, or even simply entertaining posts (or otherwise).

A user with a high Reputation is someone you're more likely to learn something from. A user with a low Reputation is someone you might simply want to ignore. User reputations are shown on each post as green (or red) squares in the bottom-left corner of each post. The more squares, the higher the reputation. The same squares can be found in each user's Public Profile. The squares are only general guides, however -- only the user knows his or her actual Reputation point level.

How do I give Reputation Points?
Each post on the forum has a "scale" icon in its bottom-left corner. Simply click on this icon and follow the instructions provided to lodge your Reputation addition/subtraction.

On what basis should I give Reputation Points?
Reputation scores should be given on a post-by-post basis, and should be based on your reading of the message -- not your opinion of the messenger. Perhaps more importantly, reputation scores should be based on the quality of the post -- not on whether you agree with the point of view.

If you like chocolate and a member posts a defense of vanilla, you should not automatically give a negative Reputation score simply because you disagree with the opinion. Likewise, you should not automatically give positive reputation scores to members or messages that you like, that you agree with, or that simply support your position.

Ask yourself, "Would this post be helpful to a newcomer trying to understand the topic? Is the post well-written, informative, and reasonable? Is it especially clever, funny, or representative of the kind of attitude the community values?" If yes, give a positive score. If not, give a negative score.

How do I find out my Reputation Score?
Reputation is displayed throughout the forum as a series of colored boxes called "pips". Users receive one pip for every <x> points of Reputation they earn. For example...
  • One green pip () means the user has 10 or more points.
  • One gray pip () means the user has 0 points.
  • One red pip () means the user has -10 or fewer points.
  • All other values will remain unknown, but you'll get a feel for them over time. Please note that Reputation is *always* displayed in pip format, and that the actual numeric scores of other users will never be known or shown.

    Reputation meters can be found in several locations, including member profiles, the members list, and the lower-left corner of every post.

    To view your most recent Reputation additions, simply open the User Control Panel (UserCP). You will be able to see the last five Reputation scores you've received, listed along with the posts that were scored and any comments that were included.

    A green pip indicates a positive Reputation score. A red pip indicates a negative Reputation score. A gray pip indicates that a user tried to give you a Reputation score, but it did not count (ie. because the user was new or had a negative Reputation).

    You can also check the Reputation score of specific posts you've made by clicking the post's Reputation icon. The system will tell you how the post has been rated by other members (along with your overall Reputation score).

    How many Reputation Points can I give?
    When you first become a member, and after you've made 50 posts, your Reputation actions are worth one point. Limits: As mentioned above, you need to have made at least 50 posts on the forum before your Reputation actions have any effect. Also, you can assign Reputation points to only three posts per day, so save them for truly the best or worst posts. And you have to assign Reputation points to at least 15 different members before you can assign them to a member a second time (so spread the wealth!).

    Finally, if your Reputation score falls below -10 points -- ten less than the default of zero you receive when you first join -- you lose the ability to participate in the Reputation system.

    I don't agree with a Reputation score I received. What do I do?
    The Reputation system is a broad, informal measure of how a community's members collectively value each other's input. It's hoped it can be used more in fun than in conflict. Re-read the post in question -- perhaps there was a reasonable, objective reason why a fellow user felt the way he or she did about what you wrote. However, we don't want the Reputation system to inhibit participation, and we know it can be abused by people with too much time on their hands. If you feel that you received a Reputation score unfairly, please let us know here.


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