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Subject: Geekgold - what the gosh darn heck is THAT about? rss

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TOKYO Heartbroken
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Scott Reed raised the question of a user built FAQ in his journal. Here's the first question, and my edit of his answer. Please fill in the gaps...

Q: What is GeekGold? How do I get it? How can I spend it?

GeekGold (gg) is the "currency" of BoardGameGeek. You earn it by submitting new content to the database. New content includes:
entering a new game into the database earns 2gg (previously 3gg)
uploading pictures for a game's entry = 1gg + 1gg bonus for 1st image
submitting reviews and session reports for a game = 1gg
submitting files (e.g. player aids or rules translations) = 1gg
for games in the database. Gold is paid manually by the admin usually when the content is approved, but there can be delays or errors, so please be patient. The admin can also reward geeks who please them with direct gifts of freshly minted gold (you may even find some gold in your stocking one morning).

Please be careful to check the geek before submitting new entries. Take a little time to search on the name or its variations and also use the Advanced Search on the designer. You may find that your game is already on the geek under an older or a foreign name and doesn't need a new entry when an addition to the existing one will do. If you're not sure, try posting a question in the forums such as "Is my game X the same as this game Y?".

Geekgold generally circulates within BGG, passing from user to user in return for services. But Geekgold is spent (that is, leaves the geek) to buy an avatar (the pictures under usernames) for 30gg, a personal badge (the colourful titles under usernames) for 50gg, and the new uberbadge (the badge upgrade, with small picture capabilities) for 50gg beyond the badge cost.

(Edit: Find Gold feature is now gone. Lost and gone.)

The other main use for geekgold is that you can offer gg to other users for specific content on specific games, e.g. pictures of a particular game, rules translations, player-aid files, etc. You can transfer gg by means of a direct gift from one user to another. So if you want a particular task done, you could post your request in the General Gaming forum, or better still, go to the game page you are interested in, and post an article in the forum on that game. Mention geek Gold in the title and you should get a response.

Every user now has a Tip Jar on their profile, and Tip Jars appear next to content, such as Files, Forum posts or Geeklists. If you enjoyed somebody's contribution, you can easily tip them some gold directly. Click on the words Tip Jar, and you are taken to a simple screen to make your gift. This allows you to include a message which goes to the recipient with the gg.

There is a dedicated section to allow users to auction game stuff for geekgold.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geekauction.php3?action=listope...
You'll find it under the top menu Bazaar > Auctions

Gold is also used as prizes in contests run by geeks in Journals or geeklists and in betting schemes (like a football pool). Gold has changed hands for real world goods or services, including gmail invites and actual games. Users short a few gg for their avatar have even resorted to begging. One user offered cash money for gg and was encouraged to donate to the geek in return for the gg from another user. Following a natural disaster in the US, the geek admin changed policy temporarily to allow geekgold to be bought directly for a contribution to the Red Cross. This raised more than $35,000 in a matter of days.

A common complaint from new users is that gold is so hard to come by, especially if you:
a) don't have a digital camera
b) can't translate foreign languages
c) don't have a large collection or rare games

However, geekgold must be seen as the reward for work in adding content. There are several ways of accumulating gold, and the best way is to do your homework. Research other game sites, learn to search the geek, find missing content and fill that gap. In this way, getting your avatar is seen by many as a symbol of your efforts, not as a badge of elitism. It may take months to earn your geekgold, but we all know you got it by helping the geek to grow.
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Ray
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Re: Newuser Geekgold warning
Looks nice, Jon. I have some new user advice too.

I'm not sure why, but I sometimes have seen new users who earn geekgold quickly picked on by some members of the BGG community (GG envy?). So be warned that anyone uploading a large number of pictures, reviews, or articles in a short time frame may find themselves unfairly getting rated all 1's for such content. Only defense against it is to make sure your content is above average quality if you're going to add it in large quantities (You can see what is above average by looking at what is highest rated already). Once you get hit by a batch of low ratings the only thing you can do is call attention to it and ask other users to rate it fairly (which might backfire if your content is indeed poor).

and everyone else please remember that a newuser is just that -- so go easy.
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Scott Parker
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Seems like a lot of recently new users (myself included) get confused on this topic. Any chance this will get pinned / stickied, since I think it'll easily be a FAQ?
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TOKYO Heartbroken
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Aldie, what are the other values please?
submitting reviews and session reports for a game = ?gg
submitting files (e.g. player aids or rules translations) = ?gg

Cheers,
Jon.
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Scott Alden
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Here's the list right now:

New Game: 2
Session Report: 1
Review: 1
File: 1
Image: 1 unless it's the first, then you get 2
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A Derk appears from the mists...
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If y'all want someone to blame for reducing the bounty on new games, I'm yer guy. The reason there's usually a massive backlog on new games is because many of the new games have really awful information. For instance, they select a new designer, named "Dwight Eisenhower." But they didn't see there was a "Dwight D. Eisenhower" or the "Ike Eisenhower" or the "D. D. Eisenhower."

Then two days later one of the other users pipes up that the game isn't really necessary, 'cuz it was already in the database under a slightly different game, but someone's already submitted pictures or files for the new game, so we have to merge the two games and find the duplicated information, etc. They submit tons of corrections and emails to us detailing how we need to fix that or the other.

Can you see why it's frustating for us? By reducing the bounty, we're trying to stop the tendancy we've noticed where people submit games from their collection without doin' the 'due diligence' of searching the database, just to generate the GeekGold. Basically pushing work onto the admins just out of greed.

We're not foolish enough to believe this describes all user submitted games. But I'd estimate that we see this kinda thing for nearly one third of new games, and it seems to increase as more and more games are added and more people are vying for gold. It's basically three times the work, and it seriously degrades the database's ability to provide good answers to the users, on a long-term basis. I'm a database administrator.. you have no idea how it pains me to see this kinda thing.

Now for those of you seeking to generate GeekGold, we have a new idea on how people can generate a goodly sum by filling out a simple questionaire. Not for spam purposes (we hate spam as much as the next guy, I assure you), but mostly so we can get a better idea of who are users really are. Not too far away...

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Karl Deckard
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I can definitely understand your frustration with the problem of incorrect game submissions, but I'm not sure how reducing the GeekGold payout would be a solution.

My feeling is that new game submissions are one of the things that make this site what it is. It's funny, when this site was relatively new and I was still a lurker, I noted tons of games that I had in my collection that were not posted to the site. I soon learned that users could submit the games themselves, but it didn't really interest me at the time. I always thought that I would start my own dedicated site, that detailed my games, reviews, sessions, etc. I guess maybe I thought, "Why should I expend the effort on this site when I could spend that time making my own site?" This was my thought about 4 years ago, but as I watched the site grow, I began to realize the importance of it. Looking at what the site has become, my thinking has changed completely. I could never have envisioned, created, or maintained a site with features as robust as this one. I don't have the know-how or the time to do it (how you guys do it, when you have full-time jobs, is beyond me). A site that contained only my games and my opinions would be next to useless compared to what you guys have created. I might get a few hits a month. Your site has tens of thousands of users! I check this site every single day and use it for such a wide variety of things, that I don't know what I would do without it. As the site grew, I figured out that if I wanted to show my appreciation for what you guys built and if I wanted to expand and improve the gaming community, I should post everything I've got to this site. Nowadays, I submit new content to your site constantly, because I want to help the community as a whole. I only wish I would have made this realization sooner, because now many of those games that were missing from the site have been submitted by other users!

Phew, anyway...my point is: Game submissions are of the utmost importance. For instance, I used to be an avid user of an outstanding site called the Game Cabinet that housed content by Mike Siggins, Brian Bankler, Stuart Dagger, Ken Tidwell, and others. Since it no longer has new submissions, it is much less of a draw. In fact, if memory serves, I believe they rolled their site into yours and it may have been the scope of the BGG site that partially prompted them to do so. I don't know. I do know that Mike and Brian have contributed a huge amount of quality content to the BGG and this seems like the perfect outlet for them. Your site does anything and everything and new submissions are one of things that makes this site thrive.

I don't see why there would be a correlation between the amount of GeekGold provided for submission and the likelyhood that someone will submit Incorrect data. I don't "blame" you for reducing the bounty and I don't even need any more GG, but I just don't understand your reasoning. Now I'm not a person that always thinks he has a better solution to everything, but I do think that if you have an issue with a feature, it's good to at least spend the time to come up with some potential solutions, otherwise, you're just complaining. Heh.

What I would suggest would be to better educate new users. One thing that might help would be a direct link from the homepage that leads to an official FAQ. I know you have the "How to BGG" forum, but new users don't necessarily know about that and might not know how to get there if they did. The FAQ link can still lead to the same place, but if you and/or Aldie write the FAQ yourself, instead of random submissions by users like me, you may get the results you want. Actually, maybe a simpler solution would be to write up detailed Submissions Guidelines that appear at the top of the submission page itself, just like you do with image submissions. Maybe that would reduce the problem. Ya' know, tell them to always do an advanced search first, to be aware of German versions, use the designer or company's name, etc. I'm sure many of the cases are accidental and could be partially prevented with such a measure. Others are probably intentional, as you say, but people who are submitting erroneous data just to get free gold aren't going to be deterred at all by a lower bounty claim rate, they are just going to submit more games incorrectly so they can get their total up to what it would have been at the original rate.

Sorry for the lengthy response, but I wanted to give some background that would put my views in perspective.
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A Derk appears from the mists...
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Karl,

Thanks for you (lengthy) response. I concur with your statements in so far as they apply to you and many of the other very incredibly helpful users that have the website what it is today. Frankly, my sentiments don't apply to you and your ilk, but rather another group of users. Originally GeekGold was a kookie idea that Aldie had for encouraging people to submit data to the database. Clearly it worked, but the desire for GeekGold has proved too much of a temptation for some, I think. And they end up abusing the database (to the detriment of everyone) just to fufill that desire.

And I should also mention that I don't mean to characterize any of our great users as malicious, 'cuz that's so rarely the case. Instead, they're perhaps a bit overzealous. It's not easy to research a new game entry fully...

One last bit. When you speak about the time and effort put into the site, you're really talking about hundreds of people from around the world (yourself included). We've merely created the medium; the users have created the database and the community that is the 'Geek.
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Andrew Swan
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The "Find Gold" link seems to have disappeared from the menu at left. The only options are:
* Give Gold
* View Collectors
* View Spenders
* Recent Claims
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Matthew M Monin
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game_boy wrote:
The "Find Gold" link seems to have disappeared from the menu at left. The only options are:
* Give Gold
* View Collectors
* View Spenders
* Recent Claims


I believe the user-posted bounties have been removed since they were often too difficult to enforce.

-MMM
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The root of all evil... but you can call me cookie.
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I have to say that I agree with Karl about the importance of new game submissions, but as someone who has done the footwork on some big databases I can seriously empathize with Derk as well. As a new (active) user to BGG (I did lurk for quite some time before even registering) I'd like to throw out my $0.02 worth if I may.

First off someone said about the "How to use BGG" forum. Non-registered users can't use the forum. As someone who likes to know a lot about the site I'm registering for I didn't see this and might would have registered sooner if I had. Or at least I could never seem to find the forums link. Once I registered I saw the link appear at the top of my screen and that's the link I use.

Basically what makes BGG great is the user input. People who genuinely care about Board Games are putting information up. I can see where GeekGold might improperly influcence some people's motivation. (Hey a search of the forms for "GeekGold" is how I found this thread!) SO...why not impose a -1 GG penalty for improperly submitting a game. This may "sound" harsh but truth is it would be the factor that made users do that extra 5 mins. of research that saves Derk the hours of unnecessary extra work. Then raise the submission reward back to 3 GG. This is a good enough reward that people WILL still want to submit, but the -1 will be enough warning to make them be careful.
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TOKYO Heartbroken
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It might work, but it might throw new users into early debt through ignorance, which they may think unfair. There was a lot of complaining about it taking a long time to earn gold, and how it was so difficult for some. A gg fine of even -1 may be enough to make reasonable folk quit when they start.

Maybe redesigning the submissions page to start with a big fat NOW YOU DID MAKE SURE THIS WAS NEW BY DOING A SEARCH DIDN'T YOU? would help.
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...sure...
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Well, there's some news for me!

I submitted a game recently, called Struisvogels (17350). And since this site is the best I've ever seen, I wanted to make sure my submission was useful. So I DID MAKE SURE THIS WAS NEW BY DOING A SEARCH. Searched by publisher, year, mechanics and there wasn't a Struisvogels in the database. Few days later I discover 'Where's the ostrich?', the same game! Other publisher and year, but I should have looked for 'Ostrich', which is English for the Dutch word 'Struisvogel'.

My mistake shake. I contacted Aldie to remove it. But now you're saying you get tons of these messages, I can understand you don't have the time to correct everything. And - indeed - the site's users are co-creators of the database and should take the responsibility to keep the 'Geek as good as it is.

You could give a penalty for adding a double game. And take the 2 GG back. Another idea: as with images, add 'this game is added by...' on the gamepage and the option for deleting / correcting a game for the user who submitted it. That way
1. Other users can contact the 'submitter' (is that a word?) for any mistakes made.
2. The user who submitted the game can delete it if it's a double and add corrections to the first entered game.

As I didn't know there were that many people sending in corrections, I'd be happy to correct my own mistakes.

(this must be the largest text I've written in English in 8 years. Just hope it's readable blush )
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EYE of NiGHT wrote:
It might work, but it might throw new users into early debt through ignorance, which they may think unfair. There was a lot of complaining about it taking a long time to earn gold, and how it was so difficult for some. A gg fine of even -1 may be enough to make reasonable folk quit when they start.


BGG is a bit of an intimidating website for new users. To learn all it's features is pretty rough. This kind of deterrent would be kind of like saying "Hey make sure you know what you are doing, before doing it." As a new user myself I'd see the penalty and I'd hold off on adding games until I were sure I knew what I was doing. Maybe it would make others hold off too.
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Jacob Christian Munch-Andersen
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you could start out with a friendly warning, and only fine people who post crap/doubles intentionally/repeatedly.
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Chris Tettamanti
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Quote:
It might work, but it might throw new users into early debt through ignorance, which they may think unfair.


They get the GG and then it is taken away.....I don't think that it would throw them in "Debt". At the very worst, it would bring them to 0. The penalty should be the GG would be taken away.
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TOKYO Heartbroken
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Bas wrote:
Quote:
You could give a penalty for adding a double game. And take the 2 GG back.


The penalty could throw them into debt. Okay, maybe you'd never go into negative figures, but you'd be losing what little gold you had, as a new user.
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Josh Adelson
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Well, I see the otherness of being other is otherwise contraindicated
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Jon, did you say you edited Scott's answer? Should we blame him or you for the word "sumbitting" in the answer's first sentence?
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TOKYO Heartbroken
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LOL! Nobody spotted that! I can't remember, I think I pasted it, but I take full responsibility. It shall be fixed.
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Josh Adelson
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Well, I see the otherness of being other is otherwise contraindicated
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His good deed for the day complete, Cranky the Grammar Fairy flies back to his roost on Mt. Grump.
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Jay Bruce
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Acquiring GG is too time consuming. Too bad robot
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Gary Heidenreich
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I don't really like the idea of a fine. I do like the idea of a big, red warning/reminder message tho.

As for taking too long to get gold. I dunno. It took me awhile (almost 2 years) but really, not having gold didn't ruin my enjoyment of the site, nor did it hamper me in any way from using the site. As time went on, I wrote a few session reports, started commenting more, and finally submitted a game which brought me to my total.

Ah, so I ramble. Yes, having an avatar is nice, but it definately isn't necessary to enjoy and get the most out of this website and community.

g
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Brian Morris
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The problem is the easiest way (at least for me) for making GG is submitting pictures. I've submitted 5 so far but 98% of the games already have more than enough pictures. Some games I've seen have well over 20 pictures for them. To me contributing more pictures of those games would not actually contribute anything to the site. So the 5 pictures I've taken so far are likely to be my only 5 for a while unless I aquire some new rare game.

Now I could pull out my camera next time I game and take some pictures of our board or the guys sitting around the table and submit them. Heaven knows there are plenty of pictures already done like that. The problem is those serve no constructive purpose other than to earn the person some GG. If I'm looking for information on a game, a picture of 4 people sitting at a table smiling at the camera with a boardgame on the table I can barely see isn't going to help me any.

So for me, I enjoy contributing and I wouldn't mind an avitar, but I'm not going to simply submit pictures that don't really add to the site to get one. Unfortunately that leaves me taking the slow road to ever having an avitar. However when I have it, I will have earned it.

Wanax wrote:
Acquiring GG is too time consuming. Too bad robot
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Jay Bruce
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like I said, it is too time consuming. Rather play games than seek virtual right of passagerobot
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Jay Bruce
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like I said, it is too time consuming. Rather play games than seek virtual right of passagerobot
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