[OSM-talk] user rankings (was: Re: featured image)

Martijn van Exel m at rtijn.org
Thu Sep 8 05:16:41 BST 2011

I believe the literature does not generally deny that a reward does
not do anything for motivation. You are referring to the specific case
where rewards are being given in exchange for performing a task, as an
exchange or sorts. There are more subtle ways to offer small tokens of
praise or appreciation for (a history of) contributions where the
effect may be more positive -- but, as Stephan points out --
introducing rewards means treading a thin line. It is probably a good
idea to take stock of the reputation / reward systems successfully
implemented elsewhere. I will talk about this at SOTM a bit.


On Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 5:57 PM, Robin Paulson <robin.paulson at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 8 September 2011 10:03, Stephan Knauss <osm at stephans-server.de> wrote:
>> I thought about "user rankings" some time ago as well. I have mixed
>> feelings.
>> On the one hand it might be a way to motivate users to contribute more and
>> to reward users having contributed "more useful" things than others.
>> On the other hand I fear it can easily drift into something worse. People
>> editing specific for the ranking.
>> Have you heard of the "cobra effect"?
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobra_effect
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perverse_incentive
>> It could actually create worse data when people try to improve their ranking
>> by "cheating" the statistics.
> i've written quite a lot about this for university, and there's plenty
> of evidence that offering a reward isn't much of an incentive.
> stallman cited some psychological studies by Amabile and Lepper:
> https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/motivation.html
> and there's more on these studies by eric raymond, in 'homesteading
> the noosphere':
> http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/homesteading/ar01s19.html
> --
> robin
> http://bumblepuppy.org/blog/?p=237 - government bill to remove basic
> human rights in NZ
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martijn van exel

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