This post provides an outline of what the ranks in the forum are, and how they're assigned. There are currently four ranks:
- Site Admin: Part of the team of administrators who founded the forum and keep it ticking over. These are people drawn from the old Applix forum who have long experience working with TM1.
- MVP: These are people who have a lot of training and experience in TM1, and have often worked with it in a number of different environments over many years. Their knowledge of the product is both wide and deep. They frequently help other users with technical, detailed advice. Although everyone is wrong occasionally you can almost always rely on advice from an MVP. Certainly if two give you the same advice, you can take it as law.
- Community Contributor: These are people who have a good grasp of TM1 and its technical aspects, though they may not always be as experienced or have the same depth of technical knowledge as an MVP. They regularly answer other users' questions as well as asking any of their own and, just as importantly the answers are usually correct.
Regular Participant: In recognition of the fact that questions stimulate discussion within the community and that if there were no questions there would be no point in people answering them, people who regularly post to the forum are assigned this rank when they hit 150 posts. (With the proviso that the bar may be raised for anyone who only seems to be posting only to build their post count.)
It's important to remember that the absence of a rank or a rank of Regular Participant doesn't mean that a member's answers have no value. It may simply be that they have yet to receive a quorum, for instance. The presence of a rank should be seen as a positive, the absence of one shouldn't be seen as a negative.
Who Decides On The Ranks?
Regular Participant rank is assigned automatically. MVP and Community Contributor are peer-voted.
The original MVPs and Community Contributors were assigned by an informal vote amongst the site administrators. With the community continuing to grow, from October 2011 that system was changed so that it's now decided by a poll vote amongst the site administrators and existing MVPs. The votes are anonymous, but the voters are entitled to state their case for a particular vote. Discussions are held in a forum which is not available to the public to allow voters to speak freely. Once a user becomes an MVP and is eligible to access this forum any discussions previously held about them will be deleted.
How Does The Voting Work?
- Voting is normally tallied at the same time that the month's final database backup is done. (Backups are usually done weekly, on Sunday morning western Pacific time. There may be occasional exceptions.)
- To be nominated, a member needs to have made at least 100 posts. (In exceptional circumstances, posts across more than one account will be considered.)
- To be considered for a new rank in that month's vote tallying, the member needs to have received a quorum of votes. Under the old system that was set at 40% (to the nearest integer) of eligible voters for that month, eligible voters being any site admins or MVPs who had logged in during that month. Even with the 40% value we were having difficulty getting a quorum because of admins/MVPs who lacked the time/inclination to vote, and calculating the quorum number was tedious. From October 2012 the voting was changed to an "opt in" system where admins/MVP are asked to nominate themselves as electors. The quorum is now 60% (to the nearest integer) of those who have opted in. In other words if there are 12 electors, only members who have received at least 7 votes in total (12 * 0.6, rounded) will be considered for a new rank during that month's tallying. (The votes do not have to have been actually cast during that month. The purpose of the quorum rule is simply to ensure that there has been a reasonably representative voting sample before a rank is assigned.)
- Voters can cast one of three votes; MVP, Community Contributor or Wait. The votes can be changed at any time.
- Votes are counted from MVP down. As soon as the total votes received exceeds 50% for that rank or above, that rank will be assigned.
Member A receives 1 vote for MVP, 3 for Community Contributor, 1 for Wait. They don't receive a rank because they're 2 votes short of the 7 needed that month. (7 being based on the example above; the number will vary as electors drop in or out.)
Member B receives 4 votes for MVP, 4 for Community Contributor, 1 for Wait. They have enough votes to be considered (9). They have only 4/9 votes for MVP, which is < 50%. But they have 8/9 for Community Contributor or higher, which means that they get that rank. Had the "Wait" vote not been cast (meaning 8 votes cast, 4 for MVP and 4 for CC), the outcome would have been the same; the MVP votes would have equaled 50%, but not exceeded it.
When Member B demonstrates more advanced skills, some of the voters may change their vote to MVP and Member B's rank will be reassessed when that month's tally is done.
Can A Person Be Demoted?
Not through the voting method. Once a person is designated as a Community Contributor they stay at that level regardless of any future Wait votes. (However Wait votes can prevent a Community Contributor from progressing to MVP, of course.) Once a person is designated as an MVP their poll is removed from the forum, and no further voting can be done on them.
Demotion would only happen if someone regularly violated forum rules, though that could involve suspension or termination rather than demotion.
When Are Votes Tallied?
Originally that was done every month but there wasn't enough interest (or changes) for that to be worthwhile, which is why the system was in abeyance for several months in 2012. Tentatively counts will now be done every 2 months, though that may change depending on the level of interest / activity in the voting.