DOTW: Community Improvements! and what is next (Participation = 3 Hero Points)

Hey all, some early DOTW adopters may remember the previous Community DOTW we did, this one is sort of an update to that slash announcement slash open discussion :slight_smile:

Okay, so what is new?

Brought back old community titles

We added the custom title option in the previous Community DOTW to replace a lot of the existing titles; people liked the default variety of the old ones though so we’ve brought them back. You can still add a custom community title at level 2+, and if you’ve already added one, then it should remain untouched by this update.

Preset Hero Points Gifting Options + New UI

The gifting option got an overhaul to include preset options now as a general guide on how many points to give. Also, a muuch nicer UI :slight_smile:

Ability to see each others Point earning/gifting history

This isn’t exactly new as it was possible in previous iterations of our site. Some long-time members may remember, but it wasn’t very well implemented back then so I’m sure many members didn’t even notice it. Now it’s back and integrated into your DEV Profiles!

*There is a bug that is breaking the pagination for "Points History" tab, but we should have that fixed today.

The Test Center! :tada:

We’ve revamped the members only Test Center forum so only staff can post new threads. The idea here is that we’ll post beta’s for upcoming updates or new product releases and then members who want to try them out can report bugs and provide feedback to earn Hero points :slight_smile: ... and improve the products you use!

Of course, you can try them out and not bother with reporting anything, but you’ll be missing out on some points:

Reporting a Typo = *1 Hero Point ea.
New Confirmed Bug = *5 Hero Points ea.

*Values subject to change but that is what we’re starting with

You will notice that the Test Center is currently empty, we plan to get the first beta in there very soon. For now, if you’re interested, make sure you subscribe to the Test Center! You will receive an email as soon as we post one.

Manage Forum Subscriptions.

Downloading the betas and commenting on Test Center threads is a perk restricted to level 4+ members only. Members who are a lower level can still subscribe to the forum and view it, but can’t participate.

How to get to level 4? You need 100 rep points. Points Cheatsheet.

Whats Next?!

Here are two of the main upcoming features we are in early planning stages for:

-Badges!

A popular suggestion from the last DOTW. Adding badges for various achievements that you can display in your profile.

-Leaderboards!

Recognition for those who are most active/helpful in the community.

As mentioned, we’re only in early stages for the above two features, but something to look forward to and also leads me to the DOTW question(for anyone still reading this)...

1. What actions/achievements would you like to see Badges for?

As usual, this is an open discussion on the topic so even if you don’t have an answer for that specific question, but want to discuss all the above Community updates then please do still reply!

PS. For those who are feeling that the Hero Point rewards are valued to high. ie. lifetime membership = 5,000 Hero Points. We're aware of this, but given that we're in the middle of adding new features that should make earning Hero Points easier(ie. Test Center) we want to see how they play out first and if the rate of earning Hero Points still doesn't align with the cost of rewards then we will make adjustments at that time :slight_smile: what we want to avoid is decreasing the reward cost only to increase it later on after more updates when Hero Points are easier to earn and annoy everyone who was pushing for it at the lower value.

--------------------------------------

-At least one comment = 3 Hero Points(must participate within 7 days of thread post date)
-DOTW = Discussion of the Week
-Last DOTW: SOCIAL MEDIA! PREFERRED PLATFORM AND WHY? PERSONAL AND BUSINESS

  • debbien

    Is there an actual points cheat sheet? I see it referred to above but there was no link. I'd love to see it. I don't really understand the points thing. Thanks for listing what the acronyms stood for... I was thinking through most of the article what s DOTW. LOL, so I really appreciated it in the end. I look forward to seeing what there will be to test.

    I really have enjoyed this membership. Everyone always seems so helpful and not judgmental.
    Thanks for all the help, all the time!

  • DigiBlueArc

    Hey Tyler,

    I do enjoy your DOTW, I get great suggestions from the topics. Thank you. I also appreciate the heads up to subscribe to the test center... done. I like the idea that I can add a 2+ community title, I have some ideas as I have the time to consider all the ramifications before I post it.

    I don't get into points, badges and etc as much as some members do, certainly it's nice to see where I stand though. However, I devour all of the information I glean from the discussions. The information I get has helped me immeasurably. I subscribe to every title and at least read the premise of each post. I'd guess I thoroughly read about 40% of each thread except the DOTW, I'd say about 75%.

    The automate blows me away, it's been so helpful.

    Best regards,
    --rick

  • Debbie

    Hey Tyler Postle
    The DOTW have been a great encouragement for me to check in & participate regularly.

    The test center is exciting, I'm looking forward to helping with beta testing!

    Badges and leaderboards sound like a fun way to keep people involved and engaged, although I don't have any clever ideas for badge worthy achievements at the moment.
    There are many times when members jump in to dive in and help other members with customizing or solving a problem for another member. I suppose that's the time when the person who received help can give the helping member(s) points at one of the suggested levels. Maybe there could be a badge after having been gifted a certain amount of points from other members.

    Thanks for all you folks do to support the member community!

    Cheers,
    Debbie

  • Matthew

    Someone read, https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/gamifying-wordpress-is-it-worth-it/ , hey Tyler Postle this is cool, I like the whole community motivation aspect of all this, but even more, I like that you all are paying attention to improving the community.

    A few weeks ago, on This Week In WordPress, hosted by JB from Elegant Themes, we all got into a discussion about WPMUDEV and if the price was worth the benefits of having access to the plugins. After several naysayers weighed in I pointed out that I enjoy being a member of WPMUDEV just as much for the community as the plugins. Of course, the support team is amazing and incredibly patient when helping me figure out what I screwed up!

    The thing is, many, JB included sung out that the community here at WPMUDEV was fantastic and worth it alone, now that doesn't mean you should raise the membership pricing! I'm just saying thanks, and a lot of others notice the community you all make possible for us.

    Matthew

  • Julian

    Awesome stuff guys.

    I can think of a couple of things you could award badges for:

    - upon registering an account. This would immediately introduce new members to the badge system and get them excited for it. They get a couple of Hero Points when signing up if I'm not mistaken, so why not a nice shiny badge as well?
    - when a user is active in the community for x days in a row
    - when a user has published x posts in the community forums and perhaps a separate counter for the support forums
    - when a user has given x likes in total
    - when a user has received x likes in total
    - when a user's post or reply has received an x number of likes
    - when a user has gifted an x number of Hero Points to others
    - when a user has received an x number of Hero Points from others
    - when a user has replied x times to other users posts
    - when a user has read an x number of posts
    - when a user has been a member for x days
    - when a user has completely filled out their profile
    - when a user is using a custom community title
    - when a user has successfully invited someone to WPMU DEV via your affiliate system
    - when a user commented on x blog posts
    - when a user is involved in x translation projects
    - when a user has translated an x amount of strings
    - when a user's reply has been marked as the best/most helpful answer (I believe this is a feature you're working on?)
    - when a user has created their first job or taken on a job in your jobs & experts section, if you reintroduce this more prominently
    - when a user has added an x number of sites to the Hub
    - when a user is using all of the Hub's features on an x number of sites
    - when a user has "green status" on all the Hub features they've enabled on an x number of sites for x days in a row
    - when a user has installed a particular WPMU DEV plugin on an x number of sites
    - when a user has saved an x amount of GB's with Smush
    - when a user has enabled 2FA on their WPMU DEV account
    - when a user has reached a certain level in the community, perhaps a badge for every 5 levels?
    - when a user is subscribed to all support forums
    - when a user is subscribed to all community forums
    - when a user is subscribed to the WhiP newsletter
    - when a user participates in the yearly WPMU DEV survey
    - when a user has participated in an x number of DOTW's

    You could go on and on and on :smiley:

    Many of the above could be tiered, so you could have multiple levels of the same badge. An example would be when a user receives their first like on one of their posts, they'd get a badge. And then when they reach 25 total likes, they get an upgraded badge, then at 100 likes... etc.

  • djohns

    I also don't get into badges much. You can tell when someone has been pretty active & helpful based upon number of hero & rep points.

    Beta testing is a wonderful idea - glad to see it's been revived.

    I'd like to suggest that Academy courses implement real projects related to WordPress in which students can participate. Example: I'd love to explore Forminator hooks & extensions. If students could propose add-ons / extensions and then work on them within an academy class with review by other students & instructors, the students get experience with real problems, get feedback & encouragement by their classmates, and WPMU DEV might gain some good extensions or modifications as well as having repeat class attendees. This would require more time by instructors, but WPMU DEV might get some free labor on its plugins, too.

    Successful projects (needs to include documentation) could be awarded Hero Points.

  • Tony G

    As others have said, I don't care much about rewards, though I enjoy the gamification. I really don't want or expect WPMU DEV to go down the path of full gamification. This is a business site and personally I want to see high-quality business/technical contributions here, rather than contributions motivated by points and rewards.

    But if you're inclined to support more gamification as a vehicle toward getting more and better community participation.... Take a look at integration with Habitica via their API. That's a FOSS project so integration with that service isn't a requirement - but use of the infrastructure could serve as a solid base for a reward system here.

    Members here could take on personal challenges for personal points, like

    - create an action hook for any event in a WPMU DEV plugin
    - create a filter hook for any data in a WPMU DEV plugin
    - publish an add-on for a WPMU DEV plugin
    - contribute documentation to a plugin or add-on
    - offer code in a forum
    - propose a work-around to an enhancement request in the Feedback forum
    - collaborate with others toward creating a solution to a specific problem (break-out groups! :family_mwgb: )
    - introduce a teenager to WordPress
    - check backups for all sites
    - check WP.org for new plugins to solve old problems
    - read a WP-oriented article or newsletter
    - learn something new from the Codex
    ...

  • Tony G

    There's still the squeemish topic of giving away the precious Hero Points that we earn. But for many, the drive to achieve rewards offsets their willingness to give points to those who deserve it. So we need a way to allow people to go on a spree of gratitude without losing hard-earned creds. And ... What happens when someone cashes in their HP for membership or other benefits? Are they no longer a Hero? That doesn't seem right.

    It seems we're trying to solve two problems: 1) Gathering HP for rewards, 2) public recognition/status/merit for donation of HP.

    The trick is to solve the problems without changes that make it too easy to reach WPMU DEV reward goals.

    I think that indicates a need to track the user's All Time High Hero Points. I do not suggest that this all-time high be used for WPMU DEV rewards. I don't think that's fair to the company without some adjustment of point value.

    But I believe there's merit in a HP pair like 1000/950 to indicate that a member has acquired 1000 HP and has given 950 of them away. For a larger pair like 8000/2500, we can assume that perhaps the member did or will trade 5000 HP for a reward. What they do with their points is their business - but that 2500 number shows generosity toward the community. For WPMU DEV purposes of demonstrating "hey, our members are getting rewards here!" then maybe a final "rewards earned number can be added, like 8000/2500/5000. (Marketing!)

    I also believe giving Hero points is an act worthy of earning a Rep point, or maybe 1 RP for each 10 HP (adjustable). This is somewhat redundant with the above in that (problem 2) it rewards the reputation of a member for their generosity, but it doesn't solve the problem (1) of losing rewards through generosity.

    I don't yet have a solid answer to the original "squeemish" topic. But this scenario isn't at all unusual - in "real life" our ability to give to charity is limited by our personal income. It's easier to buy products and services where the vendor donates to some charity for us, or to give our time rather than our money.

    Maybe there's an idea in there for yet another model of allowing members to reward other members. For example, consider a pay-back / pay-forward model where we work off a deficit rather than a surplus. I give you 5HP that I don't have, so I owe the community 5HP worth of contributions to earn the benefit that I received. (That's like giving some hours of time to a local community group to support their efforts to do good things for the community.) In this case, the goal for everyone is not really to gain HP, but simply to keep it from going below zero. This shouldn't discourage people from rewarding HP. With this model one can show a huge amount of gratitude (negative HP). The cost of which is now a bit of embarrassment for not giving back as much. But that could be a form of negative motivation toward improving one's own level of skill and participation. Some people work better on that model -in the case of Habitica, if you don't earn points to feed or protect a little warrior, he/she dies - it's a proven model that motivates people to act.

  • splaquet

    For what it's worth, I feel as though the boards have more of a "list serve" functionality over a forum or message board.

    Another key component that I'd REALLY, REALLY like to see is a place to communicate privately with fellow friends that we meet on here. Chat functionality at minimum, but ideally a place for PMs or private chat rooms.

    There's been so many times over where I really would have liked to tell someone something privately, either for personal reasons or simply not a side convince appropriate for a thread. It always leaves me wishing I had more communication methods.

    I realize the potential *threat* this might pose for WPMUDEV, but I see far more beneficial than negative points.

    As per a previous comment, the built in search functionality truly is horrible. I've taken to Google search as well for my needs.

    I typically use something like this:
    "site:premium.wpmudev.org wildcard ssl multisite"

  • Fabio Fava

    Well... I don't like at all to bring bad news but...

    I've never gave Badges any real value, despite I understand the motivational idea behind it. I find them boring, uninteresting, and sometimes they make us to do things we wouldn't like, just for getting one of them (a Badge).

    I'd rather like to have more ways to earn Hero Points. I've been translating a lot to Brazilian Portuguese, I try to participate daily on some forum post or the DOTW, but feels like it will take 10 or more years to arrive to my lifetime membership (my ultimate goal). Test Center is cool, but when you have clients under you, it's not possible to play around when people are paying for hosting with you (I have a couple ones but they're there).

    Anyway, I'm very satisfied in general with both the quality of the plugins (and the fast solving-rate) of WPMU DEV. The support is super cool and helped me many times to solve random issues I've had, even not having anything with WPMU DEV stuff.

    • Tony G

      Sorry, no way here to move a discussion to another thread/forum...

      Test Center is cool, but when you have clients under you, it's not possible to play around when people are paying for hosting with you

      :warning: Wrong! :warning:
      :crossed_flags: Stop! :crossed_flags:

      When you have clients using software, it's extremely important for you to participate in the developer's beta program. I resell some software and I insist on running it through an internal QA process before releasing it to my clients. I don't care how confident the authors are of their work. I find issues, report them, and get them fixed Before my clients call to report problems that could have been avoided.

      When software that you sell or support breaks in the field, end-users don't care where it came from, they want You to get it working. Are you going to create a ticket somewhere and tell your client that's all you can do? How about trying to find issues before your clients get them so that you get a better reputation for providing a quality offering?

      The time taken for you to beta software can save you time, where you don't need to respond to complaints from one client or a hundred later. Make sure your clients and prospects know that you're testing software before they get it. That's Marketing. That's what can differentiate you and your offering from other providers. Your time in a beta becomes an investment, not an expense. It becomes a part of your value-add services. You can charge more for your services if you work harder to keep your client base happy.

      The quality of software in this world today is very low. There are too many Minimum Viable Products in production. Developers throw their software into the public for end-users to debug it rather than doing it themselves. The price we pay for "free" is that we must be more vigilant, and research the software we use and provide to our clients.

      And if you're concerned about disrupting live clients with beta software ... Never run beta software on a system with live clients! Create another environment, load it, test it, and release a production version to live environments only when You are comfortable that it does what it should.

      Because I follow these policies, there is a lot of software that I don't advocate for my clients. I've stopped selling software and terminated relationships because my vendors weren't providing quality software - I was spending more time reporting problems to them than I was in constructive work with my own business. And when I terminate those relationships, some clients get upset, but others appreciate it because they know I'm serious about taking care of them. Again, that's Marketing. I don't mind losing a client because I've stopped selling software they like - especially when they go on their own and find that now they are spending too much time in Support. I never want to lose a client because my products are of poor quality.

      </rant>

  • gagabytes

    I understand wpmu dev staff are working hard to improve the community and there's no doubt with that. But I am hoping there's other way around to earn points for some busy people, single entrep or startups here. I understand that points are based on community participation but not all have all the leisure time to do so.
    I also noticed the "You were active on WPMU DEV (+1 Hero Point)", I wonder when exactly are we given by that? Is it when we login here even we don't do anything here but research or check something? But sometimes when I login here I don't receive any. Hope there's clarification on that too.
    On Test Center, that is nice addition and hoper there's more.

    • Tony G

      So ... you want to get community participation points without the need to participate in the community?

      I think we've seen many examples of how one could do that:
      - Report issues
      - Request enhancements
      - Subscribe to Feedback area and +1 or -1 and/or comment on suggestions by others.
      - Contribute to beta's in the Test section.
      - Offer your own code customizations and integrations.

      As to how you can get that "you were active point", I think you just need to, um, be "active". Liking someone else's post should give you that point. But really, you should read what other people write and actually like it, before clicking that button .... compared to a random click just to get a point.

      Please note. This isn't "leisure time". I participate here as a part of my business model. The time I spend here is an investment in my craft. I learn about new tools and how to use tools better. I contribute in the hope of improving the ecosystem, which should help this company, which should help us/me to get better tools. One could say this is a purely selfish effort and purely for financial gain, where I get better tools to increase revenue potential and reduce my personal business expenses of time wasted in debugging bad tools - that's all in the pursuit of improved profit. You're confusing that effort with leisure. No, I spend my leisure time doing other things. I'm just having fun here while (I feel/hope) I'm ultimately contributing to some greater good. That's in part a contribution to the whole pay-forward / pay-back spirit of the FOSS model, as well as supporting a good company here that I believe is run by good people who deserve all the support that we can give them.

      And I just posted another huge note about our responsibility to our clients and website visitors to provide websites of good quality. That includes reporting issues and participation in a Beta program. That's not leisure time. I consider that to be a part of the job of people who are in the business of providing software. Frankly, sorry to be too blunt - I think anyone who does not participate in these efforts is simply doing a poor job in their chosen line of work, and they deserve to lose business to people who actually do these things to earn confidence and money from their clients. No. This isn't leisure time any more than the time required to configure backups or tweak CSS.

    • Baldafrican

      Hey gagabytes

      Hope you are having a great week so far!

      The "You were active on WPMU DEV (+1 Hero Point)" point is when you comment in the forums every 24 hour period. So basically if you comment now, you would get a point and then if you comment again AFTER 24hrs you will get another point and then when you comment again after 24 hours ...

      Sadly Tony G just clicking "Like" or "Thumbs Up" does not offer any points and in my mind, with good reason.

  • Manuel

    What actions/achievements would you like to see Badges for?

    1 - Merit and dedication to be acknowledge, and rewards for these members who contribute the most to the development and profitability of wpmu dev, in all forms. FF has a point to claim when he says:

    I'd rather like to have more ways to earn Hero Points. I've been translating a lot to Brazilian Portuguese, I try to participate daily on some forum post or the DOTW, but feels like it will take 10 or more years to arrive to my lifetime membership (my ultimate goal).

    Unfortunately FF, translators as you and I are regarded just as someone who knows two languages but as you know, these who are professional, proud and well trained in their craft know more than that, and I have the chance to talk about this, as this is related to the thread and the issue I have re: Badges and Hero Points.:heart_eyes:

    2 - Solid and honest participation in improving other channels of learning wp and wpmu dev. Creation of videos for the great number of wpmu dev plugins( particularly the major ones) and learning to code, to help with support. (I'll volunteer to have them translated from EN into FR, IT, PT, ES, (with very little revision needed by other(s).
    3 - Better system than existing when comes to give and take points/badges. The fact that everyone, (including JF is working for a life membership), says exactly what FF believes.):smiley:

    Now the good News first: I would like to just talk about the community and all the good thoughts and ideas and all the entrepreneurial thinking that goes with this thread. I always learn much from what all the members have to say and report in the wpmu dev DOTW and Forums. So thank you all.

    It is almost impossible not to be personal and address everyone by their name but instead I’ll just use quotations and Initials/first name where and when relevant.
    Thank Julian; sorry TG, other wpmu dev members, as I do not intend to take over this thread, but Julian as to be given credit here, for having the courage to include among so many of his good points and ideas to benefit members, the linguistics side of things, when to get credit(s)badges, points etc .

    To quote him

    - when a user has translated an x amount of strings
    - when a user is involved in x translation projects
    - when a user has translated an x amount of strings

    Having said that I want to keep a low profile and not take over, bu it is impossible not to include this field - translations and translators as PS asks a direct question - community-improvements https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/dotw-community-improvements-and-what-is-next-participation and there is very little I can do to avoid departing from the subject of linguistics as PS asks for relevant answers.

    For those who are feeling that the Hero Point rewards are valued to high. ie. lifetime membership = 5,000 Hero Points. We're aware of this, but given that we're in the middle of adding new features that should make earning Hero Points easier

    Thank you 5000 is perhaps achievable, (since we can work till age 90), but please do not ignore merit and community output. WPMU DEV has done fantastically and his to be admired. How do I know some might ask? I have to read and research the documentation for the plugins before it is transcribed and that helps with communication and profitability at many levels. One can't translate PING HERE without going to Ping-o-Matic! pingomatic.com (Yes it is researched first or should be)

    Just as a way of further explanation, a bit of a warning revising, checking documentation is, for instance, a job that no one in the wpmu dev community will venture or volunteer just for the Normal HERO POINTS. It is slow and monotonous work in other words.
    What it means in the end is that there is a need for wpmu dev to establish proper monitoring and revision guidelines by, before things are so messed up that no one who considers himself/herself to be a pro, will want to edit the documents, as translating from everything the beginning becomes the best option. I am not looking intentionally for translations by other(s) but I have proof of members getting Hero Points etc, I would say, by translating https://premium.wpmudev.org/translate/projects/membership2/it/default/ just by copying and pasting the English original.:angry:
    Since we are talking about this, and in defence of these professional translators, translators do not just translate. These can help clients as linguists/copywriters and revisers and should be involved sometimes as consultants from the preparation of original text/documentation; acting as proof readers and advisers about words, titles for plugins, themes used should these texts and documents have a need to be translated in many languages. I could go on but I leave it for another day, maybe for a new blog.
    Here is a couple of examples how the original text can be improved, when you are obliged to be thinking, writing in another language later on
    https://monosnap.com/file/3UNO7Cj4ipDKQSSTcL8oiNh3gs8hUJ#
    https://monosnap.com/file/8Icyosy9AfeeIi0ESFLjqlRUWHWfSQ
    Now The Bad News @ Tyler Postle, there are flows with the translation software that are punishing members for their efforts and I am sure youself/the staff, the wpmu dev heros like/need to know about it. please see https://monosnap.com/file/zZ5kWVVfyz3kzVNIsyNNOtRZA95Z7Q This one is about me and ‘’HERO POINTS CHEATSHEET’’ not coming my way.
    https://monosnap.com/file/sIdvCZ5g00x1cJyq6HZ8UyXgAGuZbU# this and the next link are just two examples that show flows/inexplicable reasons in the translation software. It doesn’t add up.
    https://monosnap.com/file/ZulgqBZ0aEWtiwqhUFAPvMWQ4FYONm
    This thread is after all about community improvements and I hope wpmu dev members are thinking that I am trying to change the subject. apologies in advance if you are thinking that.:zzz: https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/dotw-community-improvements-and-what-is-next-participation-3-hero-points)
    I like to say this :I do not think this is done intentionally or has anything to do with the title – ‘’hero points cheatsheet’’:open_mouth: but the fact is that I have been testing this , taking notes and taking some screen shots and here is what basically is happening:
    Hero points, reputation points, levels don’t change, and this hasn't just happened in the last 10 days. My wpmu dev account records will show that.:relieved: There is some sort of a fallacy with the translator software program or so i am thinking.

    Lastly I like to thank you TB for the Invite to WordCamp EU - June 14-16, unfortunately I can't make it as I/we already made plans to go to Europe in July this year. I wish everyone a safe and very enjoyable trip and a fruitful WordCamp EU.
    Cheers,

    Manuel

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