Edit on 01/06/2015 - The new system as described below, initially as a proposal, is now "live" and June's Payback calculations will use the new framework. We will run the old system in parallel and if for any reason we decide the new system is not an improvement we can easily revert.
Late last year we kicked off a project to review the Payback system that runs here in the community. Since we ran the consultation survey we've been working hard to bring together all your thoughts and our thoughts into a single fair, transparent and transparent formula that rewards quality over quantity. We have designed a system with multiple layers aiming to reward quality contributions across all of the things you as a community participate in.
It’s time to share this proposal with you, and hopefully you’ll all like where we’re taking Community Payback. We’re aiming to transition to the new system from June 1st, so there’s still time for tweaks and further community feedback to be incorporated. And that’s why we’re here today.
A Layered Approach
The old formula was one size fits all, which as giffgaff has grown has increasingly fit less well: it's a straight jacket for some, and baggy trousers for others. With this new system we've taken the approach of splitting out the payback into multiple layers so that we can better reward the behaviours that we'd like to reward, making it fairer all round. The layers are as follows:
Layer 1 - New Member Payback
To ease members into payback and to help teach newer members which behaviours are best, for the first short while of earning payback we will give payback for completing specific tasks, achievements if you will. X points for their first post, Y points for setting a Best Answer, that sort of thing.
Layer 2 - Basic Payback
When members have been active on the community for longer than a month they will be eligible for basic payback, which is similar to the current payback but has a lower cap of £15 and runs off more reliable numbers, such as kudos from unique (verified genuine) members.
Layer 3 - Enhanced Payback
This is where things get really interesting: members have the chance to increase their total monthly payback by up to £85 extra for significant contribution to the community (in increments of £1). There will be three potential ways to earn Enhanced Payback:
- Helping other members in Help and Support,
- Submitting, supporting, or helping develop ideas,
- Starting or contributing towards great discussions on the community.
Layer 4 - Odds and Ends
Lastly, we'll continue and increase the range of ad hoc rewards that the educators and other people around the business give out. Anything from bug hunting to helping out with the KB to building a new app.
So, how do each of these layers work?
New Member Payback
We’ll be introducing an Achievements system to give new members something more concrete than just participating (more on this soon from ). As part of this system, new members will be able to achieve simple goals and earn some Payback for them. We’ll take the opportunity to inform and educate these members as they earn achievements, so that as they spend more time in the community they understand more about how both the community and Payback works.
The nutshell version is that the more areas that you take part in and the more people you positively influence the more payback you will receive. We want to encourage members to spread their wings in the community and post things that the community wants to see. At the same time, however, we don't expect everyone to be Stephen Fry so the model we're going to use gives even those who only read the opportunity to earn some payback.
Click on the Spoiler tag to see in more detail:
The new formula will assess each member based on these activities (the numbers are examples only):
1. Posts read
2. Comments on Blogs
3. Comments on Ideas
4. New Ideas posted
5. Posts submitted
For all of these activities, we will be reducing their effect on a members’ overall score for increasing amounts of each activity. For example, the first 100 posts read could earn 1 point per post, the next 100 earn 0.9 points per post, the next 100 earn 0.8 points per post and so on.
6. Kudos received from unique genuine members
We will be weighting the score received based on who each member receives their kudos from. For example, a member who receives 100 kudos from 5 different members, all of whom joined the community recently, might only receive 5 points. A member who receives 100 kudos from 25 different members, who we recognise as being good members, might receive 200 points.
7. Best Answers received
As Best Answers are such a vital part of the way we support members seeking help, Best Answers will increase your score linearly. If one Best Answer is worth 100 points, then 10 Best Answers will be worth 1000 points.
Once the final score has been tallied, we will rank all members based on their scores. Members who have achieved a sufficiently high score will be assigned to one of four bands and earn an amount of Payback dependent on which band they have achieved. The new bands are as follows:
Band 1 - £15
Band 2 - £10
Band 3 - £5
Band 4 - £1
You’ll notice that the 10p band from the old system is gone, and that the top band is only awarding £15. This means we have budget available for Enhanced Payback, which is where we’ll really be looking to reward quality.
A maximum of £85 Enhanced Payback will be available to each member, which can be earned through three main activity areas detailed below. To reach the £85 cap, we will calculate Help & Support first, then Ideas, and finally Content. Once a member reaches the £85 cap they will no longer be included in further calculations - so a member who receives the full £85 from Help & Support will not be included in the calculations for Ideas or Content - thus allowing others to maximise their Payback from those areas.
Help & Support:
Every month we will take a look at the most active members in Help & Support by post count and apply a formula to them. At the moment this is roughly everyone who makes more than 10 posts in Help & Support within any given month.
For those members with less than 50 total posts in Help & Support, we will reward every Best Answer received with a set amount. Beyond 50 posts though, your payback will either increase or decrease based on your ratio of posts to Best Answers. We've done the maths and looked at real case studies and feel that this should cut back on the payback parrots and much more fairly reward our excellent helpers. Click the spoiler tag for more information:
If you have fewer than 50 posts and fewer than 10 BAs:
You will receive Payback for every BA you receive and be guaranteed at least £1 of Enhanced Payback.
If you have more than or equal to 50 posts or more than or equal to 10 BAs:
- If your ratio of Best Answers to Posts is significantly below a threshold you will not receive Enhanced Payback and may have your Basic Payback throttled to a lower Band.
- If your ratio is around the threshold (give or take) you will receive £5 or £10 of Enhanced Payback, depending which side of the threshold you fall on.
- If your ratio is significantly above the threshold then you will receive £15, plus a small amount for each post and a slightly bigger amount for each best answer, up to a maximum of £100 total payback across the community.
The threshold will vary, and so will be subject to careful evaluation each month. We will continually calibrate the formula during the first few months, and then keep an eye on it longer term. Currently the threshold is set at 6% of posts in Help as a Best Answer, but we expect this number to rise in coming months as members change the way they approach providing Help.
The amount of payback each post and Best Answer will be worth for excellent helpers will vary with the total number of posts in Help & Support each month, as well as how many members are excelling.
Based on recent months performance, around 85 helpers are significantly above the threshold and most of those would earn much more than the old £30, so there is plenty for everyone.
Contributing to Ideas
We want to reward members who not only submit ideas, but also who help develop that idea and drive it through to being implemented. These members will receive payback at several stages in the ideas life, including when it is reviewed internally, starts development and when it's ultimately implemented. See the spoiler tag for more details:
We will reward members who submit, or contribute towards, Ideas that are reviewed internally. Members can potentially earn multiple rewards from the same idea. Rewards will be earned when:
- The original Author of an idea that is considered internally will receive a reward.
- The author and contributors of an idea that is accepted onto our internal projects list will receive a reward.
- These members will receive another reward when the idea begins development.
- And, finally, another reward when the idea is released.
The exact amount rewarded will depend on the overall impact the Idea has on the overall giffgaff business. More impactful Ideas will receive higher amounts of Payback, so potentially one single brilliant Idea could earn the full £85.
Lastly, we’ll be looking to reward members who start, and/or take part, in the many great discussions that take place on the community. We’ll be doing this by looking for the most active and popular threads each month, and then filtering through them to remove things like forum games. Everyone who participates in those threads that we feel contributed the most to the community each month will receive Enhanced Payback based on how active they were in those threads, and how popular their contributions were (using a similar kudos approach to that used for Basic Payback).
We're very keen to hear your feedback on the general direction of the plan we have developed. You'll have noticed that we've avoided sharing exact formulas and reward amounts, as these are still subject to change - both as a result of your feedback to the proposal as it stands, and also as we calibrate the system to ensure that it achieves the results we want.
Calibration is ongoing, as some of the data we need to make sure we get it right is not available yet (don't worry - it will be available in plenty of time). So for now - please let us know what you think of the proposal, and we'll check back regularly to answer any questions you may have.
Edit @ 14:08 29/05/2015 - added flowchart and FAQ:
Here's the flowchart on how an individual's Payback is calculated (thanks for assistance creating this):
And here's a basic FAQ answering the most common questions raised in this thread:
When will this new system start? Will it affect the Payback I am due to receive in June?
The new system is planned to commence on June 1st, and the first calculation will be in early July. Any Payback earned under the old system, up to the end of May, will be unaffected and paid out as normal in June.
What is a “reputable member”?
A reputable member is any member who giffgaff reasonably believes is being run by a unique individual and has not been created for the purposes of attempting to cheat the system.
(Note - the original text has been changed and no longer refers to Reputable Members.)
I earn Payback from distributing SIMs as well. Will this affect how much I can earn that way?
No. You will still earn Payback from SIM distribution as you currently do. We are not changing any of the Payback systems for recruiting new members at the current time.
Will earning more Kudos automatically mean earning more Payback?
No. The way we have built the system means that it is a lot more important to receive Kudos from a high number of unique members than to receive a high amount of kudos from a small number of members.
Will the budget be changed?
No. We will be using the exact same budget under the new system as we have used under the old system. We’re only changing the way we distribute the budget to members so that it rewards quality rather than quantity. Budget allocation, at its simplest, is as follows:
- Approximately 65% of the budget will be assigned to Basic Payback.
- Approximately 10% will be assigned to Enhanced Payback for Help.
- Approximately 10% will be assigned to Enhanced Payback for Ideas.
4. Approximately 10% will be assigned to Enhanced Payback for Content.
- The remaining 5% budget is set aside for New Members.
- "Odds and Ends" budget is separate, as is Social.
Any unspent budget from the three Enhanced areas will be redirected back to either Basic (increasing the number of members earning £1) or New Members, depending on whether we need extra budget for New Members.
How will we know which Basic Payback band we achieve?
Similar to how we notify you under the old system: a summary will be displayed in your My giffgaff Dashboard, and more details available via the My payback page. We will also be looking into the feasibility of providing a detailed breakdown of how you’ve earned all of your payback, instead of listing it as one lump under “Helping other giffgaffers”.
Does forum rank affect Payback? Or vice versa?
No – on both counts. The two systems are completely separate, and will remain separate.
Does the Best Answer to Posts ratio used for Help Enhanced Payback look at all posts on the community or just those made in Help & Support?
This calculation looks only at posts and Best Answers from the Help & Support forum.