May 15, 2009

The Disadvantages of's New Guru Point System

It is in terribly poor taste, in my opinion, to come into someone else's home and denigrate or criticize them for the way they do things in their own home. This posting is going to give me a bit of that feeling. I don't make a habit of this as a new member of a community. However, in this instance, I think it's necessary to point out a few things that I am witnessing here at the new I apologize if feelings are hurt in the process. It's not intentional, I assure you.


I don't know who came up with the new Guru points/rewards program here at, but it has a downside. To me, a guru is someone with above average knowledge about a certain subject. Being a guru does not always mean that the person is going to be forthcoming with their knowledge or helpful to others. However, in the GNU/Linux/Opensource communities, we usually take for granted that someone labeled as a "guru" is someone who takes extra time and effort to help those in need in these communities.

The new Guru points/rewards program, while being kinda' cool and giving members a goal to work toward, is not promoting the kind of guru this community deserves. I've seen many members here blatantly manipulating their actions here at just to increase the Guru points tally. That's great! They're going to get a laptop autographed by Linus. Hell, I'd like to have one of those too. Yet, are these people the knowledgeable and helpful gurus that we've come to know and love in our communities? Probably not.

Just because joeblabberface2002 and janehacker13 create 23 Groups and join 119 more between them doesn't make them gurus, in my estimation. It makes them cheating manipulators of a system set up with honest goals and intentions, but faulty foresight of human behavioral patterns.

Solutions? Good question. I know is still in flux and will be for some time. That is the nature of a new and evolving website. I'm sure others have made the same observations as I have here. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that something to solve this issue is already in the works. There must be a fairer way, I'd say. There are many, many intelligent people here from all over the world. I should think a bit of brainstorming and discourse could work out for the betterment of and the entire community.

This wasn't my original plan for today's blogpost, but hey... it needed to be said.

Until next time...

V. T. Eric Layton

***Tempus Fugits***


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