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Author Topic: Taijitu Influence Rankings February  (Read 2291 times)

Offline Musitant

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Taijitu Influence Rankings February
« on: February 26, 2015, 08:00:15 PM »

Influence Rankings

Obviously, it is incredibly difficult to put any number to somebody's influence. Influence is a very difficult thing to capture, as it is more than just how much somebody speaks and is in actuality how much the words affect the listeners. Because measuring listener effects is next to impossible, we're forced into something that doesn't take into account quality so much as quantity.

What I did was, for the month of February, dig in to the Ecclesia and count posts. Depending on the contents of the post, every member got a different amount of "influence points."  I didn't count any votes after successful motions and I ignored World Assembly, Citizen Applications, and the Deployment thread as that was not a discussion of a proposal in February, rather a status update. I also counted public votes in February. The breakdown of points follows.

New Topic10 Points
Successful Motion to Vote3 Points
Seconding Motion to Vote2 Points
Other Discussion1 Point
Vote3 Points
Abstention2 Points

The following rankings are not meant to hurt anyone's feelings or suggest that anyone is better than anyone else. They are merely a fun thought experiment not to be taken too seriously. Without any further ado, I give you Taijitu's February Influence Rankings as of February 26.

Taijitu's February Influence Rankings


6
Cormac


4
Delfos & Allama




3
al 'Khem


2
Gulliver


1
Myroria




Full rankings & points:
Myroria62 Points
Gulliver42 Points
al 'Khem26 Points
Delfos22 Points
Allama22 Points
Cormac20 Points
Dyr Nasad13 Points
Bustos12 Points
Musitant12 Points
Pauline Bonaparte11 Points
Funkadelia9 Points
Of The US7 Points
St Oz6 Points
Letonna6 Points
The Church of Satan4 Points
Eluvatar4 Points
Alina3 Points
Stone Shark3 Points
Rapture3 Points
Erno3 Points
Enchancia3 Points
Wast2 Points

Questions
Personally, I'm left with a lot of questions I have difficulty answering. Are these rankings fair? Do I put too many points on voting or discussion? Should I treat all discussion equally or go even further into qualifying which discussion deserves more points? Is this encouraging to the Ecclesia? Is this a good system to compare activity in the Ecclesia month-to-month? Do you guys want to see more?

Offline Myroria

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Re: Taijitu Influence Rankings February
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2015, 09:00:21 PM »
WOOOOO MYRO NUMBER ONE!

In all seriousness this was a very interesting lecture. I will comment more once I'm at home and not on my cell phone.
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Offline Khem

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Re: Taijitu Influence Rankings February
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2015, 09:06:00 PM »
I love this but then didn't realize I was so influential :tai:
Very very interesting. Does this make me part of the Cabal?  :keke:

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Offline Bustos

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Re: Taijitu Influence Rankings February
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2015, 09:11:08 PM »
 :shrug:  To me, this means who are the most active when it comes to the voting process.  The more active you are, the more points you get.

An interesting take on it though.
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Offline Musitant

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Re: Taijitu Influence Rankings February
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2015, 10:42:25 PM »
Points from voting are around 40% of total points, though they're a lesser percentage as we get higher in "influence." I figured that voting is the actual decision making process in the Ecclesia, and so it was considerably influential. The most points anyone received from voting was 9 points, and only five people did so.

Offline Bustos

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Re: Taijitu Influence Rankings February
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2015, 12:48:09 AM »
I said 'voting process' meaning your whole calculation.  Just making a post gets a point, whether or not it 'influenced' the resulting outcome.  More active you are within these threads, the more posts you can make.  Considering almost everything gets voted on, the first to say it and the first to second the motion, gets points, which is helpful if you're actively watching the threads.  Just making a topic is 10 points, whether it resulted in anything or not.

The fact Eluvatar only got 4 points by your calculations as one of the most, if not the, most influential people in Taijitu, demostrates that it's really forum activity of the voting process you're really measuring.

Not trying to put you down.  The fact you made this is cool and well worth the read.  It definitely made me think, and those are my favorite kinds of posts.  I'm just saying I think the results of your calculations doesn't support the conclusions you've made.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 12:55:11 AM by Bustos »
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Offline Musitant

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Re: Taijitu Influence Rankings February
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2015, 01:34:21 AM »
Do you think Eluvatar was one of the most influential people in the Ecclesia this month? Has he been influencing things outside of the forums? I'm probably going to update this and make it more rigorous in the future (might count discounted WA posts as well) and if you have any advice on future calculations I'd love to hear them.

Honestly, I calculated all attempts at influencing the Ecclesia in February. If two people are trying to influence the Ecclesia and one of them makes posts and the other doesn't, I'm going to say that the one making posts is more successful at being influential. It's impossible to truly measure the effects of one's words so I mostly measure the volume of one's words and assume a correlation. The first step to being influential is showing up.

Offline Musitant

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Re: Taijitu Influence Rankings February
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2015, 04:24:38 AM »
Apparently this is providing the wrong incentive for some people. I thought this might encourage more discourse in the Ecclesia or at least provide an interesting conversation, but it appears this is causing more spam and low effort answers. Rest assured, the next time I do this I will break down "Other Discussion" into "On Topic Discussion," "Agreement Posts," and "Joke Posts."

However, considering that people weren't aware of anyone looking into their activity, the quality of posts in the Ecclesia was relatively strong before today and so I don't think the omission of that distinction had much of an effect on the previous analysis.

Offline Eluvatar

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Re: Taijitu Influence Rankings February
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2015, 04:48:30 AM »
Disappointing, but probably unsurprising.
                                 
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Offline Gulliver

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Re: Taijitu Influence Rankings February
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2015, 04:57:17 AM »
Very interesting. Have you considered implementing these calculations as code? Doing so would let you play around with the weights and compare the outputs easily, I wonder if a different weighting scheme would produce similar or different results.

Offline Myroria

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Re: Taijitu Influence Rankings February
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2015, 05:13:23 AM »
Musitant, I told you earlier I would post a longer reply to this when I was able. I deeply regret that I must devote some of this time not to critiquing your work, but to scolding a petulant child.

I suppose I'll start with the scolding first. I won't pretend I'm not angry by what happened today, and Bustos, your actions today are what angered me. When this University was created it was created to be a place where people could post their knowledge without fear of being mocked for it. You disagreed with the content of Musitant's post. That much is clear. You posted your issues with it. I, and I think most Taijituans, have no problems with people posting issues they may have with another person's lecture. This is encouraged.

But to spam the Ecclesia as if you're "keeping score" is a petulant way to act. It shows a disregard for not only Musitant's message, but his intention as well. His intention was sharing knowledge, and to discourage this in any way is to discourage people from using this University as it was intended. To be frank, it also shows how little you value the direct democracy itself - that you would so lightly use it to prove a point.

Disagree with Musitant's message all you want. But do it the way adults act - by debate, and not the way children act - by silly defiance.



I would like to speak now about the topic of this thread.

I would first like to thank Musitant for his time in putting this together. You are right to say it is hard to define influence in a meaningful way - I think that perhaps, to sooth sore egos, an alternative such as "civic activity" may have been more appropriate. But that is neither here nor there. No matter how you name the metric, it is still the same thing.

I think that assigning numeral values to each action taken in the Ecclesia is the most sensible way to go about this. Though, as you said, some of that je ne sais quoi of influence is bound to be lost by converting this to mere numbers, it seems the most practical way to do it.

When looking at the value assigned each action, the main critique I would have is that "starting a thread" may be weighted too heavily. I wouldn't be surprised to learn if Gulliver and I scored so highly only because we started the most threads. In most cases, ideas are briefly discussed in our IRC channel, #taijitu on esper.net, before being put on the forums. These brainstorms are typically a very communal affair, and often Gulliver or myself are the ones who happen to post it in the Ecclesia. It can feel a little unfair to see us scored so highly when really, other than posting topics, I'm far less active in discussion than Delfos (in my opinion, at least).

Despite this, though, I see why one may rank starting a thread so highly. I would probably suggest it remain the highest-scoring option, but to weigh it at perhaps 5, or even 4, instead.

To give my opinion to some of your questions at the end:

I think it would be hard to define which types of discussion get more points, but I would like to see some ideas.

I think a monthly report like this would definitely encourage the less-active among us in the Ecclesia to post more.

I think it serves as a good metric of Ecclesiastical activity, and who is doing most of it, but I would be cautious with making any solid statements about how influential certain Taijituans are with it.

I would love to see more!

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Offline Gulliver

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Re: Taijitu Influence Rankings February
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2015, 05:26:18 AM »
Reading Myroria's followup, a thought occurred to me. "Influence" is in some degree fundamentally about impressions people make on other people. Were we conducting this study on, say, the US House of Representatives we could in conjunction with it run a poll on which members people consider the most influential, and use it to gauge the success of the model. We could attempt something similar here, but with such a small sample size the poll data would likely be very noisy and maybe downright unhelpful. It may, thus, be impossible or very difficult in such small setting to judge formally how accurate any model is.

Offline Bustos

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Re: Taijitu Influence Rankings February
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2015, 07:07:43 AM »
I do love how I am singled out for this as if I am the only one.  Not surprised.
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Offline Funkadelia

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Re: Taijitu Influence Rankings February
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2015, 07:18:44 AM »
I really like this idea. I've never seen it actually done before anywhere, so it's a neat process you used to measure the influence of people in Taijitu based on their pure activity. I can't wait to see more stuff from you.
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Offline Delfos

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Re: Taijitu Influence Rankings February
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2015, 12:14:44 PM »
All in all this is the power and flaw of Statistics. They do not depict a real portrait, they never do, they are a tool to try to understand and try to balance what we may think is unbalanced. For instance: none that I have proposed since Ecclesia started was passed (as I proposed at least), yet I feel I have deeply contributed for many of the ideas in place. Whether people recognize or not that most of us have influenced every idea since Ecclesia (and that is what makes us strong), even some of the "trolls" have a design.

Maybe a way to compliment this statistic is an inquiry to see how people feel about the contributions and that would add points up or down and have a less "mathematical" and more "perception" based counting.