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The beta version of DK4, the new version of Daily Kos, will go public at 3 p.m. PT today. I'll have more on that at 3 p.m., but note that what you will see is not a finished product. We'll stick with this current site until I'm comfortable DK4 is solid. I wrote recently about the philosophy behind the new site. Today, I'll talk about another big change -- the way that mojo is calculated.

Mojo is the site's way to assess the reputation of users. Currently, the equation is so simplistic that it barely works -- if you get a certain number of comment recommends, over a certain amount of time (the exact formula is proprietary), then you become a trusted user. Once you're a trusted user, you get to do pretty much very little except see troll-rate comments. It's not very robust or, in truth, very functional. The idea of being a trusted user has always been more valuable than any benefits.

mojo DK4
So on the right you see a user box, in this case nyceve's. She hasn't uploaded an avatar, so it features the default "Daily Kos flag guy" avatar. Now this will likely be tweaked a bit before we full switch over, but the box features the avatar, the link to follow that user in your story stream (a listing of all the stories, tags, and group blogs you follow), mojo, badges, UID, join date, tagline, and links to that user's Daily Kos diary home (says "blog", will be changed to "Diary") and stream.

For purposes of this post, focus on the mojo. Right now we've settled into a cell phone-like series of bars. Mojo will be calculated on a scale of 1-5, each bar representing a higher level. Eve is obviously a mojo fiend and has all five.

Now, rather than calculate mojo based on just comment ratings, the new site will have a complex formula taking into account a wealth of factors. There will be more than one path toward getting Trusted User status. And while the exact formula will remain proprietary to discourage gaming of the system, here are the factors that will be included:

CITIZENRY --

This is mojo for being a good community member. You get points for:

  • Following people
  • A boost for following "obscure" or new people
  • Having people follow you
  • Having a subscription (tiny boost, but a boost nonetheless)
  • Length of account

ENGAGEMENT

This is mojo for engaging with the community. You get points for:

  • Commenting on other people's diaries
  • Recommending diaries
  • Recommending comments
  • Running group blogs
  • "Republishing" other people's diaries
  • Engaging in special projects (like Diary Rescue, or being an active beta tester)

DIARIES

This is mojo you get for writing diaries. So you get mojo for:

  • Writing diaries
  • Getting your diaries recommended
  • Getting your diaries rescued
  • Getting comments in your diaries
  • Commenting in your own diaries

As I said, the exact formula will remain proprietary, and not all things will be weighed equally. In fact, some of these will offer very tiny boosts (like the subscription boost). And while we have a formula we'll launch with out of the gate, that formula will need a ton of tweaking as we adjust it based on real site usage. We obviously don't want it to be too easy or too hard to get TU.

Furthermore, this list isn't static. We'll constantly add new ways to get mojo. For example, we want to give mojo for subscribing to the Daily Kos activist list, for giving through ActBlue, and for making virtual GOTV phone calls through a partner org (e.g. DFA, PCCC, MoveOn, etc).

What I personally like about this system is that you don't have to do everything or anything specific to get TU status. There will be countless avenues toward racking up that mojo. You don't ever have to diary. Or you could focus mostly on diarying! You can be a commenting fiend, or just focus on finding good people and following and recommending them.

Ultimately, this is a far more robust reputation metric, and it'll be bolstered by a system of badges giving users credit for their efforts. In the example above, nyeve has badges for TU status and for being an active beta tester. Once fully implemented, people will get a good sense of how active a user is, and how that user likes to engage. So if a user is a really active diary recommender, there will be a badge rewarding that kind of good behavior.

So that's the future of Daily Kos mojo. I find this really exciting, which is prima facie that I am a hopeless nerd.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 11:30 AM PST.

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