Greetings, fellow Atlas members! Today I’d like to touch on some changes we’re making to Atlas ranks in the near future.
When designed well, a community ranking system makes each member's contributor status more visible, giving recognition to people who create value for the community, and thus encouraging further positive behavior.
It’s been a while since we updated Atlas’ community structure, so it seemed like a good time to bring community ranks into alignment with our own best practices.
We’ll walk you through how we went about making these updates, in case they might help you as you think through making similar changes in your own community.
Currently, rank progression in Atlas includes specialization (e.g. Commentator, Contributor, Advisor).
While it’s good to recognize people for helping the community in various ways (and in some cases this is preferable to do via ranks), this also makes it difficult to include all actions a user takes into account in their final community ranking.
In recognition of the above, we’ll be adjusting the rank structure to be purely vertical, and include all possible contributions when calculating a user’s rank compared to other users.
Additionally, it’s important that community activities get a level of recognition proportional to the effort that goes into them, so we’ll be adjusting activity weighting slightly.
For example, creating blogs will give more points vs. creating a regular forum post, and earning an approved solution in a thread will earn more points versus simply replying.
Meanwhile, badges will continue to act as a way for users to have their greatest contributions recognized. This creates a soft form of specialization, with the highest contribution in a given area appearing first whenever someone visits a user’s profile.
Community veterans may be more familiar with how our ranking system works - yet for relative newcomers, it can be hard to know the difference between one rank and another.
Plus, even for veterans, it’s not always easy to remember which ranks are higher than others, why they matter, and more simply, "what does that title mean next to someone's name in the community?"
A landing page solves these problems by keeping everyone - including long-standing members - on the same page.
This helps them understand how different contributions help the community, while adding prestige to ranks that require the greatest commitment and effort.
We’ll be building out a page that’s not so different from the Titans one you see here, which explains ranks in an easy to understand way.
It will also better highlight the value of more substantial, high-effort community contributions.
Finally, there’s the question of how we come up with the naming of ranks.
We had a few previous naming schemes for our Atlas ranks. Initially, this included names like “Cartographer” and “Denizen” to create the feeling of exploring the platform.
With the creation of the Titans program, we updated to Khoros’ default naming standard, which is why you’ll see names like “Frequent Commentator” alongside someone’s Titans rank.
We took this opportunity to rethink how users might like to be recognized. After all, this is a community for some of the brightest customer experience pros!
For example, what other titles do members aspire to in their professions? Could some of those inform the kinds of recognition and titles they might see and be able to respect in the community?
This line of thinking led to a shift away from a naming scheme involving exploring. Instead, we focused on titles that speak to the helpful nature of our members and their professional aspirations, among other concepts.
For example, passive ranks will include Learner, Observer, and Visitor, mid-level ranks add Advisor, Expert, and Mentor to the mix, and top-level ranks include Boss, Executive, and Champion.
Those of you who have been part of Khoros’ community for a while may be wondering, “how will this affect my existing rank and badges?”
These changes will be rolling out within the next few weeks, and existing badges will be preserved.
Ranks will be updated to reflect the new naming scheme. While your rank should be similar in level under the new structure to where it was before, please bear in mind that new ranks are being added with higher contribution requirements.
Along with these changes, we’re also eager to hear your feedback! Should other contributions in Atlas be recognized - and if so, which ones? What do you think of the new naming scheme?
Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading along!
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