The acorns (unless there are some that I don't know about!), are used for reviewing books. If you, or someone else, writes a review of a book, you can rate it on a scale of 0-10 acorns, with 10 acorns being the best.
We also have plans to introduce a dvd grid and a products/tools/that-kind-of-thing grid. It seemed appropriate to have some sort of scale for the reviews, and for books acorns seemed appropriate, as books are often like the acorn which provides the ideas which can grow into great things, like oak trees. Most analogies I have anything to do with tend to centre around trees...
A moderator has to manually add an appropriate thread to the grid, but once that is done any review in that thread, by any member, which includes the phrase/string 'out of 10 acorns' will be automatically picked up by the grid-making-software and the score recorded, along with who wrote the review. At the moment only 24 reviewers appear on the grid as it was getting a bit unwieldy, and those 24 are the ones who have written most reviews. We might tweak the software a bit though. Still thinking about the best ways...
So far, I've never given 10 out of 10 acorns, mostly because I tend to believe that no book is perfect and there is always room for improvement. And I don't think I would ever waste my time preparing a review for a book that wasn't worth at least a 7. I have a mountain of books to review and I'm going to concentrate on the best ones that I think will help other members most!
Sam Boisseau wrote:Why do we have acorns on each forum category?
Ah, *those* acorns. They're new. And I haven't got my head around them properly yet. I'm hoping someone on the staff will take a bit of time to figure out how they all work and make a faq.
In the meantime, they are something to do with the way each individual member rates each forum, which in turn influences which posts show up in that member's 'best topics' lists, so they tend to see only the posts that interest them most. For instance, a vegan would give a high acorn score to the vegan forum and most of the growies section, but a very low score to the hunting and livestock forums. And hopefully the posts they are shown in their 'best topics' section will be more appropriate for them.
I'm not sure of all the details yet, and I haven't fiddled with it much.