The reason we always kept it a closely guarded secret, is there has always been factions on Newschoolers that were inherently interesting in gaming the systems. By making it complex, we were able to shroud exactly what you had to do to gain Karma.
To the public, we always basically told you that you had to be 'an overall good member of NS'. Which is true - essentially meaning that Karma measures just about everything you do on here.
I totally love the system on Quora, as I do many other similar sites. I do agree that the Karma system needs a bit of an update, and I think we're all ready for more transparency, as our coding has gotten a lot more advanced and we can make a less gameable system.
the difficulty in adopting something just like the quora system though, is that Newschoolers is a lot more of a diverse site than Quora, which is very focused on one specific feature. We have to make sure something works for the content side of NS just as much as the conversation. However, the new upvoting system has been such a raging success on the back end, I believe we may be able to do a better job making something that works across everything.
I have also taken to heart the requests for a bit more transparency, and we'll be moving toward that. This is the reason that we started to allow you to see graphs in your profile, in addition to the specific categories that you're succeeding in on the top rated members section - http://www.newschoolers.com/topkarma
This is another thing we have on the block for some tweaks this summer. We'll get you guys in on it when we're a bit closer to starting work.
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