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reputation on permies, and on the internet

 
steward
Posts: 42350
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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On other social media, a person gains reputation.  But is it real?  Is it a "gamed" reputation?  

And sometimes, two people disagree: who do you believe?  What are the values of each person?

We need to move forward and there is a lot to understand.  We need to be able to sort the wheat from the chaff.  

On permies, you have

   post count:  a lot of posts shows that they can write within our publishing standards without getting banned

   apples:  apples are granted only by a select few people - making it much harder to game the system

   K: when a person parts with actual dollars to support a kickstarter.  Probably not a sock puppet

   PIE:  somebody, somewhere, paid for that PIE.  So either the person parted with actual money, or they did something VERY kind

   SKIP badges:  verified accomplishments

I feel like the reputation on permies is worth a hundred times more than the reputation on other social media.  It takes a lot of time and a lot of helpfulness to build a good reputation here.  And while this reputation does not prove decency, I think that the collection of reputations through this reputation system fosters decency.  Or, I suppose, at the very least, fosters this particular flavor of decency - according to my standards.

It isn't a perfect system.  But it seems that all other social media (including forums) are circling the drain due to evolving into some type of dumpster fire.  

Thanks to the thousands of people who have put in a bit of decency to grow a place on the internet with wholesome discussion about perennial topics.
 
Posts: 76
Location: Western Washington
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Kudos to you and your staff who have kept this page on-topic and bot-free.  I imagine it is getting harder.  Being relatively single-topic and with a Benevolent Dictator/Duke at the helm certainly helps!  (I feel qualified to say this as I've BEEN to Wheaton Labs - I mean it as a compliment!) This page is like a Fuedal Lord in a world of Robber Barrons.  (My husband is a history-geek, with a degree in linguistics he has studies histories in multiple languages.  So we have some intense conversations nightly.  I trust him far more than any media (social or network) and he does a great job of explaining things and answering my "what if" and "how did" questions.)

BASICALLY: We are in a period similar to the break-up of the Roman Empire.  The political powers have a lot of power and are no longer worried about being discovered using it - and we are seeing propaganda at an immense rate.  Everything is propaganda - trying to push a narrative.  The problem is technology is allowing 'spies' in to cause dissension in weird places.  The influencer game is bizarre.  I'm glad we don't play it - but raising kids to recognize it is an immense challenge!

 
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The only other Internet forum I know of that has anything like the civility of Permies is Hacker News (although there is a lot of negativity there that you don't see here.)  There are some interesting parallels: both are founded by a particular person (both named Paul, probably a coincidence, eh?) and around a particular interest or domain, both have strong but gentle moderation, mostly done by people (not algorithms or bots), and both manage to foster a shared sense of community and values which leads to informal reinforcement of community norms (aka being polite to each other.)
 
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I am relatively new to Permies, but it is among my most frequently visited websites already. I don’t use social media for the most part, but must comment on the abundance of helpful and friendly posts here, and the (near) absence of negativity.. constructive criticism notwithstanding.

I would like to participate more fully in the future (skip badges, pie, etc.) but my busy life only allows for stolen moments here and elsewhere, and my modest, but perpetual poverty doesn’t allow for expenditures.. for now.

Thank you for providing this platform, and the human feel that makes it seem a refuge from the majority of my interweb explorations.
 
gardener
Posts: 4797
Location: Southern Illinois
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Ted,

I have been here a bit longer than you, but I have had much the same experience.  Permies is by far and away my most important social media site.  I have only used one other and that one was basically for specific information.  At Permies I have always felt like I was a part of a community.

Eric
 
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Perhaps it's the subjects, content, aim, and, dare I say slightly higher minded and thoughtful person this site attracts that renders it of little interest to the bottom dwelling trolls that frequent the web and other sites - there is much lower hanging fruit for them.
I'd like to believe that there are a lot of people out there who are fed up and see how society is in decline (see reference to the Romans above) yet have enough hope to to put the work in to improve their little corner of the planet and thus the lives of those around them
(whether they know it or not).
Yes decency, respect and a willingness to learn, share and improve.
PERMIES gives all of us an incredible opportunity to do good that I'd like to think is not lost on anyone who frequents this oasis.
Luvya!
 
Ted Abbey
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pete king wrote:Perhaps it's the subjects, content, aim, and, dare I say slightly higher minded and thoughtful person this site attracts that renders it of little interest to the bottom dwelling trolls that frequent the web and other sites - there is much lower hanging fruit for them.
I'd like to believe that there are a lot of people out there who are fed up and see how society is in decline (see reference to the Romans above) yet have enough hope to to put the work in to improve their little corner of the planet and thus the lives of those around them
(whether they know it or not).
Yes decency, respect and a willingness to learn, share and improve.
PERMIES gives all of us an incredible opportunity to do good that I'd like to think is not lost on anyone who frequents this oasis.
Luvya!



Rejecting negativity, and promoting positivity in word and deed is how we will survive, if not defeat, the current state of affairs. We are our own (and each other’s) best hope, so to quote  Mahatma Ghandi.. “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

Love always..
 
gardener
Posts: 2793
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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HI Paul and all,

I received your plotskateers email with the following quote: "internet reputation, fake internet points vs. some substantial internet points.  A flavor of internet points that might change your life for the better in dramatic ways.

Please read and add to the thread"

But after reading the thread, I don't find that I have much to add, or perhaps I do, but I'm not sure if it's what you are looking for.

You, it should be firstly stated by myself, are a rock star, and this site is a smash hit in my world.  I don't spend a lot of time here as of late, but I do venture over here occasionally to check things out.  I appreciate the standards that this site has and the way that it encourages people to behave in a cordial manner.  

My question, however, is, what is expected in the comment section of this thread?  You state that we "need to move forward and there is a lot to understand", and I was expecting to scroll down for an additional post outlining your thoughts about the "lot to understand", but there isn't more.  Normally when I read a Paul post, it has a lot more text to it, and it has bold sexy colours and big text in places.  

The quote from the Plotskateers email seems like it is leading to a bigger explanation than what was in the OP post of this thread.  

So, that all said, blah blah blah, I'm guessing you are expecting the internet-savvy folks on here to discuss how to improve permies internet reputation.  But, having seen the inner workings of Permies as a member of Staff (the only site that I have involved myself with), I can say that I don't know how it can be improved.   I've seen plenty of dumpster fires all around the internet in the past 20 + years, and I've even seen a few minor ones here, but most people don't see them, and don't know that they have even happened.

We can't be much nicer, on this site, so I won't go there. lol.

The thing is, to get back to the previous point, most of the permies peeps and the public don't realize the amount of work it takes to keep your high standards up, the amount of trolling and of blatant idiocy that is removed from the site, or the amount of volunteer energy that is backing the benevolent empire to do so.  In short, they don't see the bad guys, and they don't see too many of the nasty posts before they get removed, so they don't understand that there is a shit ton of policing that has to be done in order for peace to reign.  We (I mean Staff), try to be as nice as possible when policing, but that can also be exhausting since some people don't get it or it takes them a long time to get it.  And I'm not saying that Permies needs to have a harder hand.  I'm just trying to verbalize or typolize that this work is largely unseen and unknown, and that part of the result of that, is that the public does not know how special a place this is because of the staff and your direction make it so.  They don't understand how magical that effect is, because they are clueless that this safe and benevolent space is the result of a bunch of work.

The general populace doesn't see the cops unless they personally do something wrong, and then it is all discrete.  I'm not saying it should be in the open; for one, I'd never Should on you!-or on Permies staff.  But, what I'm saying is that, since most people do not see the policing, or harder edge, of Permies; they are clueless as to how this impressive result came to be.  It is certainly not because everyone comes here to start with, with an angelic demeanor, who sees all others as perfect, and who embodies in all things otherwise the Be Nice policy.  

I remember screwing up pretty well when I first came to this site, being a bit too argumentative and truthful, but I was schooled with the help of the staff to see the confrontational nature of some of my early posts.  It made me not only a better person on this site, but also made me more conscious of what I said on the internet as a whole.  It made me a better person; I'll gladly admit it.

I look forward to hearing from others, and their thoughts on the matter, and if you haven't yet seen it, check out this vid of Paul at the Permaculture Voices 4 years ago.  Blessings all.      
   



 
Posts: 87
Location: Willamette Valley, OR
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Ok,
A moment of dumbness here.
It never occurred to me that Permies is a social media site
Maybe because I’m kind of old? And remember online bulletin boards as a cool new thing?
More likely, because I don’t do social media, for the reasons already pointed out. Tried them, don’t like them, waste of time, made me crabby. And certainly no better informed.

So yeah, I see it now.  Permies is a social media site.  So it shows that it is possible for a social media site to be informative and collegial. To foster sharing instead of competition. Learning instead of mindless consuming.

But, as Paul’s post points out, this doesn’t happen by accident. There are a lot of people (I say “a lot,” but I really have no idea how many — but double digits maybe?) spending (likely donating) a lot of time keeping things right. Monitoring. Rewarding. Encouraging.

And key: not trying to make millions and billions of dollars off the “users.”  Just enough to keep things going, it seems to me. So we can all be supported in doing our best things. And maybe a little bit in being our best selves.

Thank you, Paul, and all those keeping his going in the right direction. Thank you for sharing your vision, your time, and your energy on something that may make the world a better place, corners of it at least, but will never earn you enough to ride into space for a minute or even to buy a Tesla.



 
pollinator
Posts: 494
Location: South East Kansas
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Having used Facebook for a long time and a forum on making mead years ago. I can say that I am finding social media and other forums less useful. Back when Facebook was mostly college students one of the worst things you could do was posting a photo of yourself with alcohol and under 21 years (this is in the USA). Control was in my view heavy and few ads popped up. In my view the issues around forums and social media is money. Who is paying for content and who is buying content. One of the reasons I like permies are the ads and if a post is not up to standards it shows.

I like how ads are at the top and side of the page. Not taking up space in the middle of a post or thread.  

I like apples, pie and kickstarters are under a users name. When I first came to this site after a kickstarter. I do not know of any other sites that uses something like apples on posts. More importantly apples can be taken away. Another thing I like is The Cider Press.  To post in The Cider Press you must have apples and pie. I feel this helps to turn down craziness found in other sites and promote better posts. If one wants to talk about issues that are in The Cider Press you have to earn it.

One last thought, I work with a guy who was on social media all the time. Like five to six hours a day at work. After a year he was gone. Anytime there is downtime I look up and see just about everyone on there phones on social media. Is this a good or bad thing? I can not say. I do not think of Permies as social media. I could not really define what category this site is in but I am ok with that.
 
Posts: 38
Location: Southwestern United States
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I think it makes a difference that there isn't a "rolling chat" type of option here, where it's somewhat encouraged to reply with a one-liner and/or emoji.
(Though I do wish I could chat with all the lovely permies from time to time.)

I suppose the subject matter makes a difference as well - I kind of assume a level of maturity present in people who want to do things involving labor, study, and betterment of community.
 
Posts: 6
Location: Usa.......Missouri when I go home..
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Hats off to you and everyone else here on Permies.  This site has been a never ending font of useful ideas and answers to questions I have had on my journey towards self sufficiency.  I like the apple and pie system and the lack of useless responses to questions.  Plus it also makes for entertaining reading along the way.  Thanks again for all you do here.
 
pollinator
Posts: 132
Location: Czech Republic; East Bohemia; Latitude 50˚ 12' 34"
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I can honestly say that the restrictions on how you talk here has made me better when posting on other sites. I try to remain respectful and don't assume the other person is attacking from the start. There is a decency here and you have guided this process to make a great place to communicate ideas surrounding permaculture. The last few years have been extremely busy for me so I have not been able to spend so much time contributing here, but I appreciate all that goes on here and value this as one of the best sites on the internet, and certainly the best for learning about permaculture and all the related alleys, roads, and ways.

Thank you,,

Jason
 
Jason Learned
pollinator
Posts: 132
Location: Czech Republic; East Bohemia; Latitude 50˚ 12' 34"
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And by the way, I think my K number should be 8 right now, maybe 9 if you count the one I did with my mother.
I added her to the credits on this last one too.
 
Posts: 15
Location: east Kentucky; foothills, bottomland; zone 6b
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Within these (or any other) parameters, my reputation doesn't have much sway.  Regardless, I agree with the above plotskateers spiel.  And here's some (more or less) relevant words on why:
Mostly, social media makes me uncomfortable.  The flavor you have here does not.  Perhaps you're just *that* good at being sneakily horrible.
Differences (edit:  between platforms) aside, when I spend time here I feel like I'm leaving better off.  When I read advice from a "seasoned" permie, I feel pretty confident in the content.  The conversations don't all degrade into name-calling... and it doesn't seem like that's strictly b/c of staff.
And since I'm slow... I'll echo some of the other comments: the type of person attracted, and kept, by this site isn't the typical sort.  Likely not easily captured by the standard sparkly bits found elsewhere.
Assuming you're happy with the decency-flavor of permies' denizens:  whatever you did to populate your weird world is working.  Fabulous job.
 
Posts: 36
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
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I try not to participate in social media. I would argue that this site is social media only in a very loose way. It is more a forum in the literal sense of the word. We gather here to share ideas, to debate, to proselytize, even to preach. There are discussions on a wide range of topics, and even some which purposefully intend to create a social atmosphere. There is media aplenty for sure, however none of the media itself is social in nature. The management of the site as a dictatorship and all the work that the volunteers do to keep it civil and on topic negates any efforts by an individual to make it their own space for socializing.

Maybe there should be another category here. It clearly is more than a forum, and isn't really social media. Should Paul invent a new designation for something that even the vastness of the internet has never really seen before?
 
pioneer
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I agree that you have to truly earn a reputation here given the effort or coin. I also think this site is different because there is an actionable goal in mind using the site rather than just being a digital microphone for people who want to be heard.
 
gardener
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Jason Learned wrote:I can honestly say that the restrictions on how you talk here has made me better when posting on other sites. I try to remain respectful and don't assume the other person is attacking from the start. There is a decency here and you have guided this process to make a great place to communicate ideas surrounding permaculture.



For me this and even more. The permies publishing standards have made me a more kind, thoughtful, and decent person in real life with real people that I see and talk to using my voice and eyes!

They've helped me communicate with people I have trouble being near.

And I feel better about people I disagree with too.

Thanks for the carefully crafted rules. I think they are a gem, I share about them with people I meet all the time.
 
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I find it interesting that this finally drew me back to the site and I'm glad to hear it's going well. Surmised as much. I once wanted to design a soccy medium with reputation-like system called 'grit' - after integrity.
 
Posts: 47
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So there are other sites besides this one?
What do you mean this is a social media site? I thought that's what FB is.
It's the self promotion from all those others that drove me away many many years ago.
 
gardener
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There is something very peaceful about a community of people involved in something positive. When there is a question, it always seems that people step back and say, what is a reasonable thing to do here? Given some basic precepts from our founder, it's not so hard to work with a general cooperative approach to the subject.

John S
PDX OR
 
gardener
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It's an interesting topic. Reputation is nothing new. There are old sayings like, "A man's word is his bond," "You never get a second chance to make a first impression," "...the brand you trust!" It's interesting how much it has changed, though.

It looks to me like there are two equal sides on the seesaw of the topic. The subject and the subjectifier. I don't think the subject of the reputation has changed much over the millennia, but the way people look at the subject and come to a conclusion and react seems to have changed drastically. Maybe it's in large part due to a faster pace of life--people simply do not have time to make an informed opinion of another person. In any case, I think a large part of it comes down to the age-old philosophical question of which is more important: personal freedom or the good of the many.

As modern society advances, I believe the former was once more prevalent, and we have been gradually shifting to emphasize the latter. Reputation means a lot in a society of individuals, but not so much when the value of the individual is diminished to being just another cog in the machine. This hivemind (or mob) mentality is strangely paradoxical: reputation is quickly and easily established by countless people following along with what they perceive to be what everyone else believes, yet at the same time this reputation established has very little meaning. What becomes so problematic is that not everyone is one way or the other. There is a mix of people who act individually and who are followers. Certain bad actors with a knowledge of psychology and the gift of gab can easily come along and sway the masses either to believe someone has a good reputation or a bad one. And there is precious little the person can do to affect it, especially once it is established.

Sometimes, the struggle is even internal. I see many people who seem to take a stance that the good of the many is the more important one in online discourse, yet when their individual voice is silenced (for the good of the many) all of a sudden their individual rights are of paramount importance! I invite people to look for hypocrisy and contradiction anywhere they look online.

The main reason I feel permies is not as affected by this is the way Paul has clearly stated that it is not a democracy. It will be run according to his whim and no other. That whim is pretty clearly spelled out in the publishing standards. Everyone here proves their merit with their words. If a post gets 100 likes and 50 apples yet does not meet publishing standards, it will be deleted. This nips so much strife in the bud it's not even funny. Whereas on other places online, it would likely devolve into a hundred people arguing  and name-calling for several pages, which would likely get locked or deleted. Yet they would accomplish NOTHING. Except perhaps a smug sense of self-importance that they were part of some nebulous decision making process. This ad populum fallacy is one of the greatest poisons we face today. Yet so many people think that the number of likes on a post makes something a reality. Add a good ad verecundiam fallacy to the mix, and they may really think their position is infallible.

I think the key (as it always has been) is to think for one's self, and to encourage the same from others. I would like to be able to say that just being the best person you can be would be enough to garner a good reputation, but I'm afraid those days may be numbered, if not behind us. At least there are a few small pockets left, like permies, where this rings true. Perhaps some day things will get bad enough elsewhere that people realize it and decide to change.
 
Posts: 2
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I’ve been reading this forum for years and am so grateful for all of it and all of you! I’ve lived in the city all my life except two years on an old off grid homestead. Carrying wood and water, it was primitive and taught me a lot.

I’m a ‘lurker’ mostly on this site, don’t have much wisdom or experience to share. But I’ve learned so much that I hope to put into use someday in my yard at least. Was completely unaware that much management is needed here, everyone is so kind and respectful! Now knowing, I value this space exponentially more and will always do whatever I can to support your work. It is the future! I dream of someday soon creating a RMH in my basement to heat my house so thanks for making me feel like it could be done!
 
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This site is refreshing because we discuss useful skills and topics, how we feel about them, ways to improve and the camaraderie of like interests.  It's like a safe internet vacation destination from the chaos.  I believe we have to "know we have problems to fix them" and "things generally get worse before they get better".  To me, it seems we, the world, are in this space as we reset to a better space.  It doesn't make it any easier but it does help to have a safe, sane space to share experience.
Oh!  I love the Permie Playing Cards and share them frequently!  (Lol ... My contribution to whirled peas!)
 
pollinator
Posts: 554
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I can only say permies forums works pretty well, in my opinion.

Any forum where people ask for help is usually a good place where people with knowledge love to share with people with questions. This is very different than any other social media where people just want to brag or share their ideologies, which will provoke other people into confronting them and encourages echo chambers.
I've used other forums, and they are mostly polite. The best ones are those ruled by a gentle dictator that allows free speech but no rudeness. The not so best are the offense seekers that force people to comply to very strict rules of not offending anyone. While I dislike offending anyone, there are administrators that take that to the extreme, to what many people call now 'virtue signaling'.
The system here seems to work well: a denounce first, then an inspection from an administrator, a gentle explanation of what is truly wrong, the opportunity to edit the post and the deletion of posts that do not comply to prevent further damages. I've only been called to senses a couple of times, and it wasn't a painful experience as I've had in other places. This is my praise for the staff.

I'm even happier with this site than usual, since this saturday I had to check the forum with my smartphone and, to my delight, my suggestion of including a view for recent threads was added. Yay!
 
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The reputation question is an interesting one - what does it mean, really, on any site? I feel like on most social media, reputations are almost meaningless. I remember hearing a discussion of how journalists and bloggers need to adapt to the fact that if a post goes viral, their words will stand completely isolated from their “reputation”, meaning that the previous writings that might give context on their point of view would not even be known to most readers. I suppose there are markers of reputation, but social media mostly encourages consideration of only the words in front of you without considering overmuch who wrote it. You can choose to follow people whose utterances make sense to you. But still, it is all based on what they write, not on physical reality. As long as you write and record stuff that is fairly consistent, you can “game the system” and gain reputation regardless of your physical reality.
With permies, the rule are different from most sites, but they can be gamed in their own way. Lots of posts means you know how to post within the parameters of permies. Lots of apples means you are good at writing posts that make sense to the apple givers. This leads to a really fun and neat forum to hang out in, but what does it really say about the individuals? I don’t actually KNOW that any individual is actually doing the things they claim to be. They could just have a really good library of homesteading books, and be able to write posts that are close enough to the truth to make it through. And if some people are doing that, does it matter? If the info they post is reasonably accurate? No matter who posts something, you always have to evaluate for your site, and against your own knowledge.
Regarding the permies as a whole - it is awesome, and I love spending time here. It is also very, very limited. Not only are politics, religion, and current social issues mostly off the table, so are any agricultural topics that might become contentious. I have occasionally been asked to edit posts, mostly for mentioning things like chem fertilizer in a factual context- not because I was nasty or even venturing an opinion, but because the moderators knew somebody else down the thread would be. I fully recognize that the rules and censorship are important in keeping permies awesome, but it does mean that it will always hold a limited place in my life, and that the information I get here is, in my opinion, super slanted. Again, not necessarily a negative, since it is a slant I like, but I have to recognize that it isn’t the whole picture.
 
pollinator
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Not sure if I have understood questions well, but I will give it  a try anyway.

For me, on any social media, the answer to the question "who do you believe" is based simply on this person's real life acievements.

If I look for gardening advice, I want to see this person's garden and harvest.
If I look for advise on RMH, I want to see this person's stove.
If I look for a permaculture design advice, it would be nice to see some of designs, etc.

Sure, metrics mentioned above are nice and all, but not as strong as proofs of what the person really accomplished in order to be a source of credible information and authority on the topic. SKIP would be the closest one, but it is not exactly what I'm looking for.

Exaggerating - that's probably why Paul values Sepp Holzer so much and gives him a 10 on his Eco Scale, right? :)  

"What are the values of each person?" is a bit more difficult. One can be a great gardener, builder, designer, and an a-hole. Here, I simply tend to believe more these people whose values seeem to be closest to mine. Another story is to know whether what you read on the Internet is true in real life, and that's where the metrics suggested above can help.

In my opinion these metrics surely show the level of engagement of the person on permies forums and in projects. I can say that it is positively correlated with willingness to help, and guarantees civilized discourse.
 
Sid Deshotel
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Kristen Brandt wrote:I’ve been reading this forum for years and am so grateful for all of it and all of you! I’ve lived in the city all my life except two years on an old off grid homestead. Carrying wood and water, it was primitive and taught me a lot.

I’m a ‘lurker’ mostly on this site, don’t have much wisdom or experience to share. But I’ve learned so much that I hope to put into use someday in my yard at least. Was completely unaware that much management is needed here, everyone is so kind and respectful! Now knowing, I value this space exponentially more and will always do whatever I can to support your work. It is the future! I dream of someday soon creating a RMH in my basement to heat my house so thanks for making me feel like it could be done!



I'm a little like this person, I lurked for some time before posting and I try not to post unless it's just something that grabs at me.
Someone once told me that the person standing in the corner by himself was the most wise one at the party. How's that was the question. He's seeing and hearing what everyone else is doing or saying.
A lot of knowledge can be gained by just being quiet and observing what is going on around you.
Wait  a second isn't observation the first thing to do when considering a permaculture design?
I'm sure that my dad heard this from someone else but related it to me many years ago; 'Boy you can learn a lot by shutting up and listening.'
Tell me something and I might understand, show me something and I'll be able to do it.
 
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paul wheaton wrote: Or, I suppose, at the very least, fosters this particular flavor of decency - according to my standards.



I am grateful for this acknowledgement: recognizing we all can have different ideas of what is "good" and other points of view are worth attending to (even while some are not welcome here). To me it highlights the type consideration I enjoy very much on this blog.
 
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Ted Abbey wrote:Rejecting negativity, and promoting positivity in word and deed is how we will survive, if not defeat, the current state of affairs. We are our own (and each other’s) best hope, so to quote  Mahatma Ghandi.. “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

Love always..



Yes, THIS ☝🏼☝🏼☝🏼☝🏼☝🏼  👊🏼

🙌🏼
 
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This is my first post on this site, I have been mostly a Lurker for the last year or so. I have to agree with most of the posts and Paul Wheaton. I don't typically subscribe to Social Media. I do look at it from time to time, I consider it to be a vast wasteland of differing opinions and very little useful information.
I have found Permies to be very congenial and informative and will continue to glean more useful information by reading all the wonderful posts.
 
pollinator
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Paul, you and your staff have indeed created something very special on this site, and I trust it a lot more than any other "social network".
The richness of content is incredible. The fact that it is "content heavy" also makes it "opinion light". [i.e. We talk about things that are external to ourselves rather than opinions about a person. Eleonore Roosevelt said:
"Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people". and boy, was she right!
Permies.com fosters the discussion of ideas and totally discourages commenting on each other. As a result, we tend to do the same.
The ability to add to what is being said, and the time to reflect over other people's posts is valuable too. Sometime, I keep a post open on my computer for a day or two, because it makes me think more deeply.
Sometimes, we get carried away and may use a word that might offend, andyour superlative staffreminds us that something needs changing before a post gets published, not by "flaming" us or "banning" someone. This fosters reflection and understanding rather than hurt/ resentment: It is not perceived as censure.
Thank you for engineering a special bubble for all of us. It is as comforting as walking into a "garden of Eden" in the middle of winter.
 
pollinator
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Lina Joana wrote:    The reputation question is an interesting one - what does it mean, really, on any site?....As long as you write and record stuff that is fairly consistent, you can “game the system” and gain reputation regardless of your physical reality.
With permies, the rule are different from most sites, but they can be gamed in their own way. Lots of posts means you know how to post within the parameters of permies. Lots of apples means you are good at writing posts that make sense to the apple givers. .....They could just have a really good library of homesteading books, and be able to write posts that are close enough to the truth to make it through. ....No matter who posts something, you always have to evaluate for your site, and against your own knowledge.
Regarding the permies as a whole - it is awesome, and I love spending time here. It is also very, very limited. .... I fully recognize that the rules and censorship are important in keeping permies awesome, but it does mean that it will always hold a limited place in my life, and that the information I get here is, in my opinion, super slanted. Again, not necessarily a negative, since it is a slant I like, but I have to recognize that it isn’t the whole picture.



I, too, see reputation as more of an 'in person' thing- someone I actually know, and interact with on a personal level. Anyone can pretend to be anything online. That said, I can't really imagine why someone would game the system here, unless they were supremely bored and had excessive free time on their hands. The site is too well moderated to allow subversion, and there's no tangible benefit I can think of from earning a thumbs up or apple. To me, making informative and helpful (to someone, hopefully!) comments is a way of giving back to a forum where I've been given access to a lot of interesting and useful information. Yes, it can be slanted and even cultish, but it's 'Paul's world' as he envisions it, and I'm fine with that.
Early in life I was given two bits of wisdom that have served me well- Keep an open mind, and question everything. A third thing I've learned to appreciate is perception. We all have our own perception of the world based on our location, education and life experiences. Permies has given my open mind a lot to contemplate, has allowed me to question and get answers that were mostly or completely free of 'marketing fluff', and to appreciate the widely varying perceptions of people who come here from many locations and backgrounds. There are certainly other online forums that have every bit as much integrity, and I enjoy those as well. Like any other forum, you browse around, pick and choose what is appealing, and maybe find a few things you didn't even know would interest you. There's a lot of thinking people here and I really enjoy that! Discussing ideas is my happy place (especially when I'm seated near the woodstove with a cat on my lap!).
 
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A permies reputation.  That's an interesting thought.

In times past a reputation was based on what you do and say, as well as what your family has done or said in the past. Your handshake was your bond.

Online things are different, many interactions are with strangers.  I've been playing an online game with a few people for 5 or so years...I have no idea what most of them even look like.  And over time, some have quit and deleted their profiles.  They're just gone.  Ghosts in the past.  For all I know, some of them may be current players with a different profile, your reputation means very little online when you can just start over tomorrow.  I suppose it is a bit the same here on permies...unless you do IP banning, but there are ways around that if you really want to start over.

But with things like apples, pie, SkIP, and comment counts those are all a semi-permanent reputation.  Over time those items can add up.  I think one thing that we could use to judge reputation or quality here on permies is a ratio such as apples to posts.  The closer you are to 1:1 the better, if you are excellent at posting then maybe your ratio goes higher than 1 because you get multiple apples per post.  On the other hand when people have a question that has a simple answer...and the simple answer is given it may be unlikely to get an apple, but it is still a helpful post.  

Another reputation score could be threads 'read' or pages 'read'.  That would enable the many lurkers out there to build a knowledge reputation even though we don't post much.  I listed to several hundred podcasts many years ago...but there's no proof anywhere.  Could that have been added to my reputation score somehow?  

As far as SkIP, those PEP badges are not easy to get.  In fact, I've been trying to catch a pound of fillet worthy fish for most of this year and haven't got there, I'm really good at catching tiny bluegill.  Those give you a permanent badge of honor that you have a proven skill because of the documentation.


As with all things Permies and PEP...we're talking about reputation or skill verification according to Paul.  Is the system valuable because of that benevolent dictator at the top?  Is there a transition plan to a different benevolent dictator if Paul would get hit by a runaway skiddable composting toilet?  Does our Permies reputation depend on Paul at the end of the day?  Does Permies reputation itself depend on Paul?  I realize there are a lot of volunteers who weed things out...but at the end of the day Paul makes the rules....it is his house we all play in.



 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
pollinator
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It is true that we play in Paul's house, and at the end of the day, we play by his rules. Is that a huge imposition? I've never found it difficult to "play nice" and be polite. I try to treat others as I'd like to be treated.
Note that whenever you go into a store, a private boutique, or what have you, you have to play by their rules. In exchange, you [hopefully] get treated with respect and can make your purchases.
When you visit a friend or a neighbor a family member, you have to also go by their rules, their quirks. When they come to my house, I expect good guest behavior too.
That's fair.
 
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There is no point in ( my ) repeating what others have said.
My sentiments exactly.
I just want to say wholeheartedly, Thank you, to all
 
Lina Joana
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Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:
When you visit a friend or a neighbor a family member, you have to also go by their rules, their quirks. When they come to my house, I expect good guest behavior too.
That's fair.



Its a nice analogy! And also why people are and should be wary of initial impressions in real life as well as online. It is easier to fake online because we are missing all the non verbal cues, but even meeting someone physically, their behavior will be influenced by their surroundings, and certain aspects if their life and personality suppressed. That is why a friend we have seen in multiple situations is more trusted that one we always see in the same setting.
I guess an online analogy would be following a person through multiple online settings. If you had a farmer who posts on permies, and they use the big R to control weeds in some situations, you will not know that from what they post here - both because that discussion is not allowed and if it were, mentioning it would start an argument, leading people to self sensor to avoid conflict. So to get a full picture of their farm management, you would have to read posts both here and on, say, an integrated pest management forum. Then you might have some confidence in the picture you are getting.
 
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WHAT? I had no idea. . . .really!

I don't do social media. Until recently.  I tried Telegram just for the medicinal herb forum and it turned into a bunch of 'Click Bait'. CANCEL. I'm on Truth Social for some news and for most part it's not bad. So far.

Permies is just a different animal. It's a joy to come here and research, find great information from decent people (as far as I know). But I guess I kinda have a PollyAnna point of view.

I had no idea. . .that there was any 'censoring' going on in the background. Not that I disagree with it at all! It's just that it's done in such a way we aren't aware of it. And I for one appreciate it.

What was the question? 8^)

I like the current system of thumbs up/down, apple and pie etc. But all of us including staff and volunteers have to take people as they present themselves.  I feel that we'll figure out how genuine they are after reading a few of their posts.

I for one am not the least bit interested in what they may or may not have posted on some other site. And won't waste my time looking for said information.

You be you and I'll be me!
 
pollinator
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I've been thinking about this since reading Paul's post. I haven't read the rest of the thread however, so sorry if this is already discussed below.

"Reputation" is a weird thing in an online setting.

In the real world, reputation is often earned through word of mouth, or by experience of interacting with someone. It is typically hard to give a "score" to the reputation in such a setting, and we wouldn't often bother.

Online, we needed a replacement for that, and different systems came up with different ways of measuring, and measured different things.

Facebook reputation is based on "likes", where likes seem to be a measure of a combination of entertainment value and "I agree with this person". It is shallow and rather meaningless. But within the same systems prominent individuals can gain the more nebulous types of reputation associated with real world interactions. Within the community I manage on facebook I would say that there are maybe 20 or 30 active people who have earned my respect through their valuable contributions, support of others, quality of engagement or similar. Very few of those people make content that gets lots of "likes" but they are there day in day out helping people. Likes tells me nothing about how useful a person will be in my community. And frequently it is a negative, as those who care about likes tend to try and manipulate the system by making spammy content designed to engage attention.

Amazon has a much more specific measure of reputation - "Is this seller/product trustworthy" with their star ratings and comments. But those are frequently manipulated. The true value for a careful shopping tends to be digging down in to the details of the comments. If someone gave a 4* review, because shipping was slow to the Outer Hebrides, but the raves about the quality of the product, I may consider that as more valuable feedback than 200 5* bland reviews.

What I like about Permies attempt to measure reputation, is that 1) apples and likes are separate and 2) apples are a "durable" score that is hard to earn, and based on valuable contributions. By measuring what we as a community value, we encourage more of it.

And lastly,

I think this XKCD is appropriate here.

 
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