In short, I have a pretty mixed feeling about the recently-implemented Achievements feature (if you have no idea what I'm talking about, see this posting). Let me break down my thoughts in a simple pro/con structure.
- Community involvement - From what I can tell, achievements serve mainly as a means to have greater discussion and involvement, especially on talk pages and blog postings.
- Increase in activity - Having some sort of tangible incentive for making 'x' number of edits seems to encourage people to put the time into making edits.
- Poor quality work - It appears as if people are making short pointless edits simply for the point of receiving a badge. For example, users receive badges for leaving comments on blog postings, but those comments could be as short as a couple words, and may not offer any relevant conversation.
- Needless blogging, commenting, posting, etc - It seems that people are making a lot of these pointless edits to a lot of blog posts (especially) as a means to bump up their badge count.
- Too much focus on quantity over quality - The idea of having a certain number of points seems to distract editors from the real purpose of a Wiki - to make relevant good edits and contributions. I've said this a million times already, but the point really does need to be repeated - quality is essential; 1 excellent edit trumps 100 pointless edits always.
To be fair, I did not support their implementation before they were activated, for many of the same reasons listed in the 'cons' section above. However, after this breakdown, I'm not quite ready to completely bash the idea of Achievements. While I think the negatives to the current setup really prevent it from being a positive feature, perhaps editing by the admins and community here will make it less focused on quantity and more focused on quality involvement and interaction.
So, I'm open to good constructive comments about the Achievement system and incentivizing participation in general. I don't want to see a bunch of 'Me too!' comments or things which take no time to write and which offer no content to any sort of discussion. On the other hand, if you have something worthwhile to say, or perhaps have another pro or con to add to the list, feel free and leave a comment below!
Otherwise, happy Simming!
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