Chapter 7. Displaying Reputation

In Chapter 6, we described how to create a custom reputation model by identifying the objects in your application, selecting appropriate inputs, and developing the processes you’ll need to generate your reputations. But your work doesn’t end there. Far from it. Now you have decisions to make about how to use the reputations that your system is tabulating.

In this chapter and the next, we discuss the many options for using reputation to improve the user experience of your site, enrich content quality, and provide incentives for your users to become better, more active participants. In this chapter specifically, we discuss options for displaying reputation, to whom to display it, how to display it, and help you decide which display forms are right for your application.

How to Use a Reputation: Three Questions

For each reputation you are creating to display or use, you should ask each of these questions before proceeding:

  1. Who will be able to see the reputation?

    • Is it personal—hidden from other users but visible to the reputation holder?

    • Is it public—displayed to friends or strangers, or visible to search engines?

    • Is it corporate—limited to internal use—for improving the site or discreetly recognizing outliers in ways that may not be visible to the community?

  2. How will the reputation be used to modify your site’s output?

    • Will you use the reputation to filter the lowest- or highest-quality items in a set?

    • Will you use the reputation to sort or rank items?

    • And/or ...

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