Friday, 25 January 2013

Reputation and karma


Having no sign of brain existence I almost made a cartoon post. But the last second I realized I wanted to write about something for a long time, which is self marketing.


I was educated to be humble towards your friends, colleagues and family. I think that's one of the most essential property of somebody, but at the same time we want to be great and do something special - and sometimes be identified with those actions. I'm not trying to tell how to maintain the perfect balance  but rather the importance of visibility.

When I joined my company and started to use Drupal it was really important to understand what drives this ecosystem. Eventually I learned what contribution means and I'm so grateful to my colleagues to show me that. They were the perfect example. They wrote modules, answered issues and wrote numerous patches. And they were talking about other developers like superheroes. We went to conferences and looked at developers like they were celebrities. So it's logical that same way you could become one. I was introduced soon the idea of karma. We used karma as a kind of motivation that works all the time. "Hey man, write that patch, you got some karma for sure.", "Dude you have to make that module and got shitload of karma in return.".

And it's a win-win system. You never go wrong with karma. The more you give the more you get. And that makes the community so powerful. And let's be frank, that builds up the hierarchy. I don't mint it, it's a good enough structure and works just fine.

So on one side it's good for your soul. I love to help others. Unfortunately it's hard to force myself to be really ative on IRC or on the issue queue. But I try to help whenever I can.

A nice consequence of reputation is recognition. For a while I'm including the google search URL on my nickname in my CV. It's a pretty accurate reference about what I'm doing. It's like the name on a painting, or graffiti tags.

And then I've stumbled upon this video:


Like many cases the important thing is emphasizing what is matter: trust. By raising karma you earn more trust - and you can really get use of trust. Rachel Botsman explains really well the importance of trust in the new era of social collaboration. Just the way Drupal built up its hierarchy the new systems will need the same mechanism to build theirs. However I'm not saying it's an organization exclusive feature. I believe we all should get benefits of trust and karma. Once again, it's an accelerator of growth.

Many connects karma with gamification. Which is a very nice mind hack to motivate people doing it. See all the online profiles. See Facebook likes. See StackOverflow scores. See GitHub projects. All tells a little bit about your karma. If you take my 2 cents, tell the internet who you are and what you're doing. I'm probably not very keen using a Drupal module written by UID=##, but might have more trust in Yours ;)

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Do you think there are other mechanisms that could accelerate social collaboration?

Peter

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