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Old 03-24-2004, 12:13 AM
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Axl Axl is offline
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Thumbs up Rating Threads, Mentors, and Merits

Okay class, everyone gather around! In todays lesson we are going to learn about 3 things: How to Rate a thread, What are Mentors and What are Merits! So settle down and take a seat, get out your notebooks its time to give you a little information about how this all works, and how it can benefit YOU!

RATING A THREAD

The ability to rate a thread for its informative content is a very special feature offered to WetCanvas users. As you already know in a forum such as this, there are many many threads with useful, important information that will remain valuable to users for months and years to come. Rating allows you to draw attention to the information within a thread; it allows other users to see if the comments within have been found useful by other members, and if so - how useful. In a forum like this where there are so many questions being asked weekly, and so many valuable replies by knowledgeable members, it is even that much more important for us to recognize where that information is located, and how great it is. Having people rate a thread means that people have indeed used this information and recognize its value, and want members down the road to be able to see how good it is, too. Rating threads will also allow your moderators to see what kind threads of knowledge need to be acknowledged - I would definitely like someday to have a sticky thread located at the top of our forum that links to all of these great threads. Ratings let us know what YOU find important and feel should be acknowledged - it gives you a say in what goes on in the forum, and lets other people know that you value and appreciate the information they have taken the time to give!

So how does one go about rating a thread? Well, the process is pretty simple, especially now after WC!'s recent upgrade.

When you come across a thread that you think should be rated, all you have to do is simply scroll up to the very first post on the screen. Here along that top toolbar you'll see an option called Rate Thread. Clicking on this button will bring down a menu in which you can rate your thread. Simply click to tell us if you think it is Excellent, Good, Average, Bad, or Terrible and then hit Vote Now to register your opinion. Sooner than you'll know whats hit you, you'll be taken back to the thread and it's all done!



Bet you never imagined that it could be that simple

The ratings of threads always show up in the main forum, as stars by the thread name. The more stars by the thread, the better the thread! If it's got all 5 you know it is definitely a thread not to be missed.



So what kind of thread actually deserves to be recognized? Well, that all depends on what kind of information you find valuable. If you are asking a question in here and receive several well thought out, informative replies that you know are going to help you - then rate the thread! If you're looking for information and find something that you think you'll be able to use - rate the thread! If you're just browsing the forum and you see threads that have received a lot of information that may not necessarily be of value to you, but you see other people getting a lot from it - rate the thread! Basically, if you find the information good, and if you think other people can find it good too, then rate it - Just rate it!

But wait a sec... So you've read the information. You liked what you found a lot. You've ticked off your vote and you registered it, but nothing has changed on your screen?? OH NO IT DIDN'T WORK!!!!!!!!! Don't be silly It is because we need at least 5 Votes from different people to actually get a rating to appear - So Everybody vote and vote often! In the long run, we'll be doing us all a favour, because everyone will be able to see where the best information is! Its the easiest way to tell us what stuff you are liking, what kind of information you find important, and it is completely anonymous.

USING THE AWARD SYSTEM
You are probably already aware that WetCanvas! use to distribute awards to members based on their level of participation within forums. These awards were given by the system according to numbers of posts and comments that a member did in the forum, and because they were generated solely on calculations did not have much meaning. Luckily that has changed when WC! implemented its new Award System which actually gives members a say in who gets the awards! We are lucky enough to have a forum that actually distributes awards, which means we should really take advantage of what this system has all to offer!

Every member on this site has award points and has the ability to spend those award points on members they see as being deserving of them. Each day you are given 1 point, and you have the option of spending this point on another member in a forum that you frequently participate in. Once you have spent your point, you'll have to wait until the next day to get another one. If you don't use your point up one day, it just dissapears - they do not accumulate. Also, you can only spend 1 point per month on any particular member, so if you give Jack your point you cant give him another one until 30 days are up.



But awarding points allows you to show other members you actually appreciate what they are doing. And it is very simple to do with the new system. Mentor/Merit buttons at the bottom of user posts make them easy to give by just clicking your mouse. Once clicked, a little window will be brought up, and here clicking confirm will register your vote. Again, like voting for a thread, they are anonymous.



There is nothing much more to it than that! Over the course of time, more and more people receive more and more points, and when the criteria has been met to receive the award they will have them displayed in their award shadowbox! They will feel proud that they have received their award, knowing that they have earned it, and that other people have acknowledged their participation on the board.



But what kind of award to give? You have 2 options I'll explain for you here:

MERITS
Merits are basically general participation badges. If you see that there are people in the forum who regularly give kudos or encouraging comments, or ask questions that spawn informative topics, then give them a merit point. If they show a general interest in the information presented, show that they are supportive of other members, and have been actively posting works you may be so inclined to give them a merit point. These points are for anyone who shows a general interest in participating on the board, and deserves some recognition for just being a great member of our community.

MENTORS
Mentor awards are a little bit different than merits in that they acknowledge someone who has been very helpful and good about giving useful advice. This is for the person who tries hard to give helpful information, and is interested in teaching other members of the site (I would assume in a place such as this, there would be MANY mentor points floating around - we have so many wonderful contributers to this place!). If you have posted a question in here, and receive a post by a member which you find is very informative, incredibly helpful, and just shows that they have put a lot of effort in trying to help you, then award them your point because they definitely deserve it! Distributing mentor points shows that they are a valuable contributer to the community, and shows that you are appreciative of the time and effort they put into their responses.

For more information about the different kinds of award tabs check out this message here: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=169043

So that is it! Now that you know all about Mentors, Merits and Rating a Thread I hope we can all start making use of these tools and start recognizing where the real information lies! These tools are here for you so why not use them if they are so simple to work?? And if you're still doubting that - just test it out. Heck, you can even rate this thread

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