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What are reputations?
Every forum member has a 'reputation', which is basically a score of points that they have accumulated through ratings from other members. Reputations can be positive or negative, depending on how many 'approve' or 'disapprove' ratings that member has received. You can see a member's reputation easily by the number of "gems" that are displayed below their avatar, on each of their posts.
How does the number of gems reflect the member's rep point count?
The number of gems displayed is calculated using a simple algorithm. One ordinary green gem () is displayed per every 100 points up to 500. Above 500 points of reputation, one bright green gem () is displayed per every 200 points above 500. The forum software displays up to 11 gems in total.
If you hover the mouse over the rep gems you will see a tooltip showing their approximate number of points.
The tooltip text changes at certain levels of reputation points. The list of these points and the accompanying tooltip text is as follows:
<-50 = [User] is infamous around these parts
-050 = [User] can only hope to improve
-010 = [User] has a little shameless behaviour in the past
0000 = [User] is an unknown quantity at this point
0010 = [User] is on a distinguished road
0050 = [User] will become famous soon enough
0100 = [User] has a spectacular aura about
0200 = [User] is a jewel in the rough
0400 = [User] is a glorious beacon of light
0700 = [User] is a splendid one to behold
1000 = [User] is a name known to all
1500 = [User] has much to be proud of
2000 = [User] has a brilliant future
3000 = [User] has a reputation beyond repute
Note that an approximation to their number of points is also displayed in parentheses after the "motto" and this number changes more often. For the full list, refer to this post.
How do I give reputation?
If you see a particularly helpful post, or a member that has gone to a special effort to help another member out, give them some reward for it by rating their post. You can do this by clicking the scales icon next to their post:
It is always nice to leave a comment with a positive rating, however this is optional. You do not need to sign your name as it is shown in the members' User CP. 
If a member is particularly unhelpful, impolite, or spams, then you can give them a negative rep point. In this case it is common courtesy to leave an explanatory comment. (If you have an urgent issue with a post, you should use the private message system instead.)
If a member has disabled their reputation display, you can still rate their posts and affect their reputation count. However, they will not be able to view the rating comments.
But why should I rate posts?
In the short term, giving positive ratings serves as a nice bonus for the member that you give them too. It is a quick, informal way of saying thank you and showing appreciation for their help.
In the long term, the reputation system is designed to aid members in judging the reliability of replies, by serving as a means for identifying both credible posters and spammers.
How do I get reputation?
Just post as helpful answers as you can to those threads where you know the solution or or otherwise capable of providing a helpful reply. With time your rep points will reflect your quality of posting.
What do the rep gems in my User CP mean?
If you have received rep points then in your user control panel under any subscribed threads or forums there will be an area titled "Latest Reputation Received". In this section you can see the last 25 ratings that you have received and the names of the members that awarded them. On the right-hand end of the section heading there will be a count of the exact number of reputation points you have.
The meaning of the gem colours is as follows:
Green: A positive rep, increases your reputation.
Grey: A neutral rep, from a member who has under 20 posts or less than 5 rep points. These do not affect your reputation.
Red: A negative rep, these decrease your reputation.
I have 5 rep points but I have no reps listed in my user CP!
No, you're not special, everyone starts with 5 reputation points by default.
I got a negative rep for a post, why?
It is up to other members to decide who they give reps to and why. Over time, your reputation will average out and occasional negative reps will not damage your reputation. However, if you believe you received a genuinely unfair (or accidental) negative rep you should send a private message to a moderator and it will be investigated.
Why do some member's reps count for more points than others?
The amount of points that you give or take from a member's reputation count is determined by your reputation "power". By default the power is 1, however, you receive one extra point of reputation power
- per 1,000 positive reputation points received,
- per 4,000 counted posts, and
- per complete year that you have been a member of VBForums.
So using RobDog again as an example to calculate someone's rep power:
- 1 point as default = 1 +
- zero multiples of 1,000 rep points = 0 +
- 5 multiples of 4,000 counted posts = 5 +
- 4 complete years on VBForums = 4
= 10 points rep power.
If you give a positive rep you add your full reputation power to that person's rep point count and if you give a negative you remove half your reputation power from their point count (rounded down but at least 1 if you have any positive rating power). The exception however is administrators, who have a fixed reputation power of 10 for both positive and negative reps.
Also, if a member has either less than 20 counted posts or 5 rep points they will have a rep power of zero regardless of how long they have been a VBF member.
How can I see ratings on particular posts?
You cannot see ratings given to other members' posts, but you can see all of the ratings given to you on any particular post. Simply click the scales (image above); in the box that appears, you will see all of the ratings and comments given to that post, your total number of reputation points, and also a comment describing your overall rating on that particular post, as described in the following table:
Rep Points Comment
+/- [0-5] Somewhat Positive/Negative
+/- [6-15] Positive/Negative
+/- [16-25] Very Positive/Negative
+/- [26 or more] Extremely Positive/Negative
A) 1 member with a reputation power of 3 points rates positively, 1 member with a reputation power of 5 points rates positively = "Positive".
B) 1 member with a reputation power of 4 points rates negatively, 1 member with a reputation power of 2 points rates positively = "Even".
(Refer to the section on reputation power above).
- Continued on next post -