Monday Skull Session

By Jason Priestas on September 24, 2012 at 6:00 am

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Monday Skull session to bring you this note about a new site feature (seriously, who wants to keep talking about the UAB game, anyway)...

One of the things we heard over and over again in our annual survey was a concern for commenter on commenter crime. We have a pretty sturdy commenting policy and a swift team of moderators, but some men (and women) just want to watch the world burn.

Today, we're doing something about it with the introduction of simple up/down voting on comments. It's no secret that a lot of us are big fans of Reddit, and the voting system we're introducing here will function a lot like the system in place over there. You vote on comments and then the comment author will either receive or lose a helmet sticker depending on how you voted. As you accumulate more helmet stickers, you'll gain privileges. Likewise, as you lose helmet stickers, you'll lose the ability to do certain things.

Before we dive into the details, a quick note about voting:

For this to really work, you must be smart and judicious with your votes. What does that mean?

  • Do not downvote a comment just because you disagree with the comment.
  • Do downvote a comment for trolling, irrelevance or not adhering to our commenting policy.
  • Do upvote a comment if it is enlightening, funny, informative or otherwise exceptional.
  • Try to get into a habit of upvoting more than you downvote. We'll all be better for this.
  • Keep in mind that you don't need to vote on every comment. I hope that you reward and punish the fringes while not voting on the majority of all comments because, let's face it, 80% of comments are just comments, while 10% on either end are either great or terrible.
  • Do not abuse the system. If you have an enemy and track down all of their comments to downvote them, we will find you and zap your helmet sticker balance.

Got it? Good. Now, on to the details.

If you already have an 11W account, you were awarded helmet stickers based on your service and contributions to the site. No judgment was made on the quality of your contributions (some of you lucked out), but rather, we used a simple formula to credit your stickers:


Don't code? No problem. We basically gave you .05 helmet stickers for every day that you've been a site member, .1 stickers for each comment, .2 stickers for each forum topic you have created and 1 sticker for each of your blog posts. And then we rounded, because you can't have a fractional sticker. This is a one-time starter sticker bonus for being in before being in was in.

Want to know your current balance? Click the MY ACCOUNT link at the top right of this page. We have a rankings page in the works and should have that out later this week, but for now, you can view another user's balance by clicking on their name to view their profile.

Alumni and TBDBITL perform quad Script Ohio SaturdayQUAD SCRIPT OHIO! (Photo courtesy of Ohio State)

Earning Stickers

It's relatively easy to earn stickers. Every time you make a comment, you will be awarded one (1) sticker. Creating a new forum topic will net you two (2) stickers. If you happen to create a blog post, BOOM—10 stickers for you.

To recap:

Submit A... Helmet Stickers
Comment +1
Forum Topic +2
Blog Post +10

Again, please don't abuse the process. If you're found creating blog posts that should be forum topics or are acting in a spammy manner to gain points, we'll hammer you.

Losing Stickers

With this launch, there are only a couple of ways to lose helmet stickers. For every downvote on one of your comments, you will lose a sticker. If your comments or site behavior are deemed especially egregious, you'll lose a bunch of stickers.


As mentioned above, your helmet sticker balance is important because with it you will gain or lose the ability to do certain things on this site.

You will need 50 helmet stickers to even vote. If you're considering creating your site account today, consider this your black stripe.

You will need to keep a positive balance to create a blog post and stay above -5 to post forum topics. To comment, you'll need to stay north of -50. This gives you the ability to redeem yourself if you fall into the abyss.

Again, to recap:

To Comment To Create a Forum Topic To Create a Blog Post To Vote
-50 helmet stickers -5 helmet stickers 0 helmet stickers 100 helmet stickers

Please be advised that these values are not set in stone. If we need to tune them over time, we will.


Voting is pretty simple. If you have enough stickers to vote, you'll see up/down controls next to the author's name on each comment:

Voting controls

Cast your vote by clicking one of the arrows. Please note that much like real elections, you cannot change your vote after it has been submitted.

Oh, you're not allowed to vote on your own comments, either, so don't get any ideas.

How Does This Prevent Commenter on Commenter Crime?

I'm glad you asked. Not only will this reward the solid members of the 11W community, but it will deter trolls, jerks and undesirables. If deterrence doesn't work, the community will take corrective action and the member will ultimately lose the ability to even comment.

Further, if any particular comment has a balance of -3 helmet stickers, it will be dimmed, making it easy for you to ignore it.

Hmm... That's About It

We're pumped about this release and although we tested the heck out of it, there will be bugs. If you come across one, please report it here.

If you have any questions, we'll do our best to answer them.

We have a couple of other surprises in the pipeline, including a new design that will look great on the web, your tablet and your mobile device. As always, thanks for putting up with us.

I FEEL BAD FOR EATING UP YOUR SKULL SESSION WITH META, HERE ARE SOME LINKS. Reddit user's dog knows what's up... Minnesota fans are feeling it and calling out their most hated rival... ESPNU's animated logo for UAB is pretty fly... Joe Paterno defenders are still spending money... College students are now holding 90s parties.

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