Unspoken rules and guidelines don't cut it. Especially in a social network the size of ActiveRain.
While it's been made quite clear from the very beginning that points are earned and bestowed to ActiveRain members who contribute their own original content, there's been a few 'unspoken' areas that are in dire need of clarification and specific mention. We've been entirely much too lax towards this issue, and it's time for us to put a little more meat on the requirements as to what constitutes 'point-worthy' content.
Let's address the obvious, shall we?
Jokes. There's nothing wrong with jokes. We can all use a good laugh at times, especially when the market's in the toilet. But unless you're a gifted stand-up comedian, chances are any joke you share here is simply re-telling someone else's joke. As such, it's not your own original content, and should not warrant points.
Recipes. Same thing. We're not questioning the value proposition of passing recipes. Heck, I've got a killer recipe for Dungeness Crab Cakes if you want it. Sharing recipes is as American as apple pie and ballpark franks. But unless you're Julia Child, in most instances, it's not your own original content, and should not warrant points.
Newsletters. Many of us receive weekly or monthly newsletters from our brokerage corporate, or from paid subscriptions services/sources. Even though you may have permission to re-post these newsletters, the fact remains, it's not your own original content and should not warrant points.
Bible verses. Yep, plagiarizing God. While I'm confident that the Big Man doesn't mind being quoted, and often, unless your name is Paul or Moses, you're not the original author, and it should not warrant points.
Please don't misunderstand our point here. We're not outlawing jokes, or recipes, newsletters, or Scripture verses. We're simply saying that points will not be awarded when you publish them.
Anytime you wish to publish content to your blog that isn't your own, and you have permission to re-post it, there is a nifty little box down towards the 'Post Blog Entry' button. I bet most of you didn't even know it was there!
It says, "This is not my content but I have permission to repost it." If you click on the box, points are not awarded for that particular post, and the 'No Points' symbol will show up accordingly.
We're constantly trying to improve our/your network, and make everyone's experience a positive one. The requirements for earning points needs to be fair and equitable to all members, and should serve as a means of rewarding those who consistently contribute good, quality, original content.
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This post was not written nor intended to address or lay guilt against any one particular member or group. A clear definitive policy on this issue should have been implemented at the very start of our network. One of the most common 'Contact ActiveRain' tickets that we receive are complaints against members who rack up quick points by posting content that isn't their own. This clearly is not fair to those who are making genuine effort. Good, effective blogging takes lots of hard work and energy. In order to make point scoring fair and equitable, we need to tighten up some of the obvious loose ends.