android-and-me-rank-2

A few months back, we launched our long-awaited (to us, anyway) scoring system here on Android and Me. In that time, you guys have racked up thousands of points leaving comments and getting upvoted. Today we’re ready to unleash another bit of the puzzle: a percentile rank for all And Me Accounts.

So how does this work?

I’ll be honest. I had to look up some math help websites to remember exactly how to calculate a percentile, but it works pretty much like it did back in high school. Each account is ranked by the order it landed in the pack, sorted by points. We measure the number of accounts below your account, then divide by the total number of account ranks. The result is a true percentile score that shows your account’s position in relation to all other accounts. Still with me? Good.

This new rank is displayed throughout the site, mainly coming into play in our comment threads. Any time a logged in user leaves a comment, this new score will be present. Where you used to see an arbitrary point total, we now display a simple 1-100 score ranking the influence of that user.

What happened to all my points?!

Your points are still completely intact; they are just no longer displayed with every comment. They’ve found a new home over at our revamped profile pages. All And Me Accounts now have a profile page that will display the user’s rank and point total along with a user picture (source from Gravatar) and a few account details. We’ve got a few more big changes coming to the profile page, but we think this version should hold us over nicely.

Points will still play a major role (they are what the rank is based on, after all); they will just no longer be displayed with every comment. Soon points will unlock various features on the site and even score you some real-life freebies, but we’ll get to that shortly.

Tracking influence

In addition to changing the way we display your score, we’re also changing the way we track points. For the time being, an account can earn points in just two ways: leaving a comment or having a comment upvoted by another logged in user.

To refine our signal to noise ratio, we’ve cut the number of points in half for simply leaving a comment, but tripled the points earned for a vote of confidence. This will give more points to accounts leaving worthy comments and will eventually lead to a more accurate picture of influence across the site.

So what comes next?

As we move forward, we will continue to refine our algorithm and the way it hands out points. We’ll be exploring new signals for which to award points and add them in over time. We also plan on using the scores for Perks, a new section of our site we’re building where influential users can claim prizes, real and digital (pro features unlocked for the site).

We also know that influence can’t be measured by one site, so we’re going to add social authentication for Twitter, Facebook and Google+. We’re even going to give you a way to cash in Klout for And Me Points with a digital currency converter of sorts.

One of my favorite things about running a tech blog is that our users are advanced enough to keep up with our crazy incremental builds and feature releases. Our scoring system is totally a work in progress, but we know you guys are smooth enough to handle it. If you’ve got any questions or ideas though, we’d love to hear them. Leave a comment below or use the contact form and we’ll do our best to make sure we respond to everyone.

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