Points brainstorming

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Sectioned off so that discussion for each of these points can go in separate areas. --Ursamajor 18:35, 10 January 2009 (UTC) added to by siliconshaman 21:13, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

What do we need to consider?

Things to consider:

  • Suitable warnings: DW isn't going to arbitrate if you give people points.
  • Accounting: This could cause tricky accounting for funding.
  • Begging! How does that effect the social landscape?

How should it work?

  • Good things to use for points: micro-purchases, expensive one-time processes like generating journal PDFs.
  • Users can buy points.
  • Nonrefundable.
  • Users can give points to each other: rewards the creative economy and gives people who are contributing to that economy by their content creation the chance to buy paid account features.
  • It would be nice if, whenever you were trading points in for things on the site itself, a conversion to USD would be presented, especially if points aren't at all in parity with real currency (e.g., if 1 USD ends up being 72 DWP or something.) Perhaps "Generating a PDF of your entire journal will cost 50 DWP (USD $1.15). After this transaction, you'll have 1000 DWP (USD $23.00) left. To continue, (do foo)" Greg 05:28, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

How do users gain whatchamacallits?

  • Points are, at their most basic level, bought. Smaller purchases get you proportionately less points than larger purchases, due to the processing fees.
  • Points can be given/received for others.
  • It would also be possible for DW to give points to people they felt deserved them.

What should it be called?

Points to be made about themed vs. unthemed.

Should avoid anything that could easily be construed as a real-world currency, whether past or present.

"Points" has negative connotations for some (see mailing list).

Neutral term that avoids excessive themeing or cuteness: "measures" or "bits"?

Social engineering, calling them 'Kudos' or 'karma' ??

I think the social engineering names are bad--at their base level they are a service currency for service products, even if they can be used to reward other users you like. And you can't buy kudos, to call them that almost feels like moral bullying --Foxfirefey 02:08, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Erm, I hope I'm doing this right. :P Plurk.com implements Karma - basically, you get points for commenting on other people's plurks and for plurking yourself fairly often. It's a great idea but it has a lot of room for being manipulated. They had to rewrite their code to recognize spam comments so people could actually LOSE karma for plurking TOO MUCH. I like the idea of "karma" being something that's handed out by the community because it holds that "what goes around comes around" philosophy. What about having two separate systems? Points (called something else) that you buy for yourself and can earn yourself and points (called karma or something like it) that you can buy for others and receive from others? That might be making things too complicated, but it's just a thought. :) -- Chasy12:44pm 1-12-09
Words are my favorite thing to play with so I've been spending a lot of time thinking about what to call them [points]. You call yourselves Dreamwidth and its purpose is to spread/share creativity so my first thought was "muse" because a "muse" inspires further creativity. I also looked for synonyms to the word "tool" to see if anything came up and I really liked "implement". Muse would be a hard one to use because its plural is a little clunky on the tongue but I like Implements... -- Chasy 11:17am 1-13-09
What about "Thoughts"? You express your work well and are rewarded (by others or DW staff) with positive thoughts, which you can then exchange for actual things. Or, if you need to, you can buy them. --Greg 05:30, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Dreamwidth. Sharing dreams. ... Dream sand? Buy it by the grain. Or REM tokens. Buy them by the wink. Or fairy gold? Or what about Etherium as the currency of the realm? Or there's the nicely ambiguous "stuff." As in "such stuff as dreams are made on." Pgwfolc 06:00, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Been tossed about in the IRC channel: credits. I like that. --Foxfirefey 08:33, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Should we offer one denomination level or several?

Depends on the relative price range of services to be offered?

Recommend establishing a few base values to give people some idea of intended relative worth: e.g., one year's paid account is the base unit with smaller purchases being a fraction thereof, or one extra userpic is the base unit with larger purchases being multiples thereof.

I think it should be one denomination level to start out with--the simplest--and it should be tiny, even as tiny as 100 points to $1 when you buy them in large amounts. Their intended relative worth would be based on how much they cost to buy straight and what you could get with them. --Foxfirefey 02:08, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

A base unit of an icon - what most people buy in small amounts at LJ, I believe though I have no proof - would be logical. My question from that would be - would it be the price of a point that would change with inflation, or the number of points needed to buy an icon that changes? I think that if 1 point buys you a userpic, you'd have to do it so it raises the price of points, not the price of userpics in points, because you wouldn't want people to have to spend, say, 0.1 points more to buy a userpic. Of course, that means there's a degree of long-term investment in it for DW in that if they raise the price of points, people still have all their old ones at lower prices to buy userpics with, which might encourage people to buy points earlier. (Like buying Canadian stamps, right now - they have no price, so when the prices go up to send a letter, you can still just use one stamp.) Demotu 19:04, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

I know this might be kind of "evil", but -- if someone told you "This tea costs 600 cents", would you be wary about paying that at first glance? How about if "This tea costs 6 dollars"? -- I think people don't like spending large "number" amounts, even if the two are equal. Exor674 19:24, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

I do get that point, but we also want small amounts, because we want people to be able to microtip each other. Make the amount much bigger than 10 cents per point, and that becomes less probable, and we probably don't want the confusion of not discrete values (ie, I give you .1 points). I also people adjust to the relative values of currencies--look at the yen, which is almost at parity with 1 cent. --Foxfirefey 21:50, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
People that are paying with faux currencies often don't realize how much actual money they're spending, just how many fake points will disappear from their account. It's why MS, Nintendo, and Sony all have point-based marketplaces. They could trivially charge things in USD, but people would realize they're paying $8 for a 20-year old game at that point. If it's just deducting fantasy points from nowhere land, it can deduct 1, 50, or a billion, people don't notice as much. --Greg 05:32, 16 January 2009 (UTC)