Since we have now come to the conclusion that there is nothing to talk about, it is time to go Seinfeld at the blog and talk about nothing. Here is my little bit of “nothing.”
Have you noticed your posting habits changing because of the points system? Perhaps I am just a hyper-competitive type, but I know where I rank in terms of "Users by mgopoints" [you know you have checked...be honest]. To put it in football terms that most can relate to here, I am a "Top 25" user by mgopoints. My actual ranking is 21 [EDIT: currently 20th; EDIT: T-19th], and I have jumped two positions in the last couple of days. I know this says something about me and I am pretty sure what it is...but one can only be so vulnerable in a post like this.
For me, if I have a something to say, I now say it. I used to pass over threads and keep my thoughts to myself and would be content to go months on the sidelines. I am more willing now to invest a few seconds/minutes/hours in actually writing something to post in a Diary/Forum. Previously, after a quiescent period, I would then I would jump in and post up a storm for a couple of months before receding back into the shadows. Usually my busiest posting period would be in my slow work period, in real estate sales that is the fall/winter.
As I have noted my own habits changing, it seems to me [without empirical evidence] that there is a greater profusion of Forum posts and there is certainly more Diaries being posted [this one included], and less and less of them are about substantive football issues. I will admit a little guilt in this regard, but have also been open to the advice of fellow mgobloggers in terms of putting my “Best by the Numbers” series in the Forum. Do you get the sense that people have more incentive to post because they receive points for the post? I sense that they do. [By the time this is done it will be long enough for a Diary post…so…why not?] Posting has been incentivised and any time you offer incentives for a certain behaviour, the amount of that activity will increase. Perhaps tighter standards [the top quartile of users by mgopoints can start threads] would control the profusion of off topic and repetitive topics, but that might further incentivise posting.
On the other hand, perhaps all of this profusion of topic formation is good for Brian in that it increases the number of page views and thus his income. Perhaps he is incentivised to allow posting to increase to a point where he reaches that critical mass/economies of scale point where any more profusion of topics decreases page counts? Perhaps he needs to hand off Forum/Diary administrative duties to some others [self serving plug: top 10, 20, 25 users by mgopoints?].?
I am also a little more careful in posts. Heaven forbid that I do a “BlueFront.” I do also think that the point system and the voting system, as much as I dislike the anonymity and lack of specificity of down votes—that is, you often don’t know who is voting against what and why—has resulted in a greater degree of civility. People seem to be watching their tongues a little bit, avoiding obviously inflammatory exchanges and in spite of my philosophical objections seems to be a success in the area of civility.
So what do you think? There is really nothing else to talk about now. We might as well turn in a do a little naval gazing.