Having searched through the various ‘rank’ ideas etc, I noted that the rank system had a major overhaul last year. However, I also noted quite a few members were not impressed with the new system ;o)
I know the ranking system is merely a bit of fun but also appreciate that quite a few giffgaff members enjoy moving up the ranking ladder as it were ;o)
I got to thinking that if the ranking system is being used anyway, how could it be changed/improved to try and give the ranks a little more ‘kudos’, excuse the pun ;o), and be a little more easier to interpret at a glance, not only for new members to giffgaff but also for the longer standing members, too. Having spent a little time pondering these issues I would like to propose the following for consideration.
At the moment there are approximately 85 ranks (not counting the upper half dozen or so) and when members see a rank alongside another members username, they don’t really mean anything to the viewer and its difficult to establish if it’s higher or lower in rank than any other and quite often (if at all interested) they will need to check the full list of ranks in order to locate exactly where one individual rank falls within that system. Wouldn’t it be better/easier if, at a glance, you knew what that rank meant and what value you could place on it?
Well, how about replacing it with something like a star system loosely based on what school teachers give out to pupils for good work etc ;o) We could have bronze, silver and gold stars, and maybe have 3 of each star (or any number that best suits the ranking system). As the majority of people would/should be familiar with the bronze, silver and gold arrangement (again think of their use in schools, athletics, Olympics etc) I think this would be much more recognisable and meaningful at a single glance.
Explaining further, a new member could be issued with a single bronze star showing alongside their username. Then, after say 4 weeks membership and between 1 – 50 posts in the forum, they could be issued with a second bronze star. After 8 weeks and between 51 – 100 posts they could be issued with a third bronze star and so on.
The membership length and amount of posts is obviously adjustable as other members/giffgaff see fit. The process would continue as membership/posts increase and move on from bronze through to silver (1, 2 and 3 stars) and finally gold (again, 1, 2 and three stars) etc. It would also be possible to use up to 5 stars if this was necessary.
I thought combining the length of membership with the amount of posts made would remove the possibility of a long standing member moving up the ranks without making any posts/contributing to the forum at all. So in this scenario someone who has been a member for say 12 months but had made no contribution to the forum, would remain on a single bronze star.
If this system was used then any member could instantly identify that a member with 1, 2 or 3 bronze stars hasn’t been a member as long, or has posted as many posts, as a member with 1, 2 or 3 gold stars for example. Maybe not that useful in itself but maybe useful for determining how accurate, knowledgeable or experienced the gold star members answers could be bearing in mind their length of time on the forums and the amount of posts they have made. Obviously there’s no guarantee of that! ;o) Further more, giffgaff could introduce other criteria as they see fit i.e. quality of post, number of accepted answers, kudos received and given etc.
Anyway, these are my thoughts and suggestions. Please feel free to file them in the waste bin if necessary ;o)