Introducing The Esteem Score - Proposal to Add Gamification to the Steemit User Experience

in gamification •  2 years ago

@charlieshrem wrote an interesting post last week on social capital. Then @dragosroua wrote a great follow-up post, and brought up an important point about the difference between voting on content versus voting on a person. The current reputation system that we have is largely driven by the quality of content that users produce. We don't have a great measurement for the quality of people. I propose we develop an "Esteem Score" as a measure of a person's actual reputation/character.

Note - This is only a proposal. There is no buy-in from anyone yet, so it is not something to expect as a new feature anytime soon. If there is enough support for the idea though, I will propose it to the Steemit dev team as an addition to the community 'wish list', so that maybe it can be added in the future!

Esteem Score Proposal:

High Level Concept:

  • Every user would have an Esteem Score, which represents how they are viewed by the members of the community.
  • The user's Esteem Score would be displayed in their profile and next to the author's name, similar to the reputation score.
  • There would be an "Esteem Voting" interface in each user's profile, for other users to cast their Esteem votes for that user.
  • Members with high amounts of SP should have higher influence over user's scores, but not as significant as the current voting algorithm weight.
  • Achieving a very high or very low Esteem score would require lots of upvotes/downvotes from a very large percentage of the overall community.
  • The gamification element is for users to try and earn as many Esteem upvotes from members of the community as they can, through their actions and interactions with other members of the community - similar to how witnesses earn witness upvotes.


  • Each user gets one vote per other member of the community.
  • The vote can be neutral, positive, or negative.
  • Votes can be changed at any time. A new vote will replace any old one for the user.
  • The vote can include a comment, explaining why the rating was given. (Similar to eBay feedback)
  • All users will start with a default 'neutral' vote from all other users.

Score Range:

  • Every user would start out with an Esteem Score of 0.
  • The maximum possible score would be 100.
    This would only be achieved with an upvote from every single active user in the community.
  • The minimum possible score would be -100
    This would only be achieved with an downvote from every single active user in the community.

Vote Weight:

  • A user with less than 1 MV of Steem Power would have zero weight. They can still cast votes and leave comments, but they will not affect the users' scores.
  • A user with at least 1 MV of Steem Power would have a weight of 1.
  • A user with at least 10 MV of Steem Power would have a weight of 2.
  • A user with at least 50 MV of Steem Power would have a weight of 3.
  • A user with at least 100 MV of Steem Power would have a weight of 4.
  • A user with at least 1000 MV of Steem Power would have a weight of 5.


  • In order to cast Esteem votes, users must first have an Esteem score of at least 1.
  • Since all users will start with a score of 0, a reputation score of 50 or higher will also qualify for casting Esteem votes during the first month after the system is initially implemented.

Inactive Users:

  • Any users who have not cast any new Esteem votes within the past 3 months will be considered 'inactive'.
  • Inactive users' comments will still show up, but their votes will not be counted as part of the score calculations.
  • The purpose of this is to prevent old users from having an unfair advantage over new users, since new users would not be able to earn upvotes from the people that are no longer active.
  • It also makes it so that it is at least theoretically possible for users to achieve a perfect Esteem Score by receiving upvotes from every member of the active community.

Score Calculation:

  • Add up all votes - multiplied by their weight.
  • (Upvotes are positive. Downvotes are negative.)
  • Divide the amount by the maximum possible total of weighted votes.
  • Multiply by 100.

Simple Example 1:

  • Suppose there are only 10 total users in the system.
  • 8 of them have 1 MV of SP. 2 of them have 10 MV of SP.
  • User 'A' gets upvotes from 3 users that have 1 MV of SP, and an upvote from a user that has 10 MV.
  • The sum of their weighted votes is: 1 + 1 + 1 + 2 = 5.
  • The maximum possible total of weighted votes is (8 * 1) + (2 * 2) = 12.
  • This user's Esteem Score would be (5 / 12) * 100 = 41.67.

Simple Example 2:

  • Suppose there are only 10 total users in the system.
  • 8 of them have 1 MV of SP. 2 of them have 10 MV of SP.
  • User 'B' gets a downvote from a user with 10 MV of SP, and upvotes from 6 users that have 1 MV of SP.
  • The sum of their weighted votes is: -2 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 4.
  • The maximum possible total of weighted votes is (8 * 1) + (2 * 2) = 12.
  • This user's Esteem Score would be (4 / 12) * 100 = 33.33.

Simple Example 3:

  • Suppose there are only 10 total users in the system.
  • 8 of them have 1 MV of SP. 2 of them have 10 MV of SP, but one of the 10 MV users has not logged in within the last 3 months.
  • User 'C' gets upvotes from 5 users that have 1 MV of SP, and upvotes from both users that have 10 MV of SP.
  • The sum of their weighted votes is: 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 2 = 7.
  • The maximum possible total of weighted votes is (8 * 1) + (2) = 10.
  • This user's Esteem Score would be (7 / 10) * 100 = 70.00.

What does everyone think?

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Could be cool. More gamification means more fun. And we always need more fun (at least those considering steemit as a hobby :) )

This is very interesting. How would you stop people gaming the system though? viz. How would you ensure the esteem score actually reflects real esteem?
Also followed!


If users wanted to game the system, they would need to have a lot of Steem Power to really have an effect. Even if someone had 100 MV worth of STEEM, the 'worst' they could do would be to add 100 points to a user's score. With the high number of users in the community, this would not even impact the score by 1 point.


Ok. I'll take that on board and try and get my head around this idea. Thanks.

You always come up with great observations and ideas, Tim, and this is another one. I definitely think the current rep system is a bit "dry" and uninspiring and could use a gamification setup like you described. Hopefully, before this time next year Steemit will be full featured. Exciting times ahead for Steem and Steemit! :)

Bravo! Excellent work Mr. @timcliff, very interesting what it raises, if you consider that this will be good for the system and those that integrate it, welcome.
I think it will be a good way to know if you are doing things right, excellent information thanks for sharing
Congratulations on your active work towards the platform


Thanks @jlufer! :)

Are you aware of RScore? It has similarity of intent, and makes a different score. Check it out :)


Yes! thanks for bringing that up!! The Esteem Score calculation is based on a similar model, although it is slightly more 'simplistic'. I am excited to see how the actual RScore model plays out on SteemQ :)

I like the idea of an esteem score. It kind of gives the community an opportunity to vote for quality content creators, advocates, and helpers. And I believe it would encourage people to comment and really get to know the Steemit community...much like some of our witnesses do.
I do badges too - but I think we could definitely have both. The more I try to grow my Steemit rep score, the more I'm beginning to think it's my Steem age. I've been hearing the term "SteemElder" quite a bit lately. LOL

too complicated, and badges could achieve something similar


Hey @craig-grant - can you elaborate on why it is too complicated? From a user perspective, all they would be doing is voting on other users and receiving votes. The calculation itself is also not very complicated. (It's way less complicated than the current reputation score!)

I fully support badges by the way! I think this is a great idea as well, although I see it as a complementary idea to an Esteem Score rather than a competing one.


I think there is already too much different angles to learn about on steemit, from the 3 currencies, reputation score, posting limits, and voting power, there is no room for esteem, it makes the steemit experience more complicated than it needs to be, badges are ok because users will already be familiar with what badges are


It's a good point. The system is already fairly complicated for new users, and adding a new feature like this will have the trade-off of adding more complexity. It does need to be considered. Thanks for your input.

The one problem i see that could potentially happen with the flags and in your idea is people could ban together and then create a WW1 and 2 scenario. I imagined a scenario were flagging becomes so prevalent that we are all limping around with -5 rep. I like the idea it encourages self betterment and interaction. And let's face it anything can be transformed into a weapon.
I personally think another number would be weird. I like the idea but instead of a number have an avatar that has different upgrades and sizes. It could even have animation moves that can interact with other avatars on the comment section. I think it would be funny to see a little avatar jump off my post and fight @scammymcspambot. Ok so that's a bit too far but just a growing avatar next to my profile picture would be cool. Steemit could have multiple options that could be created and sold on the market for more individuality. I really like the inactive user feature, even if it's standalone, I would like to see something alongside a person's name so I can unfollow them.


Thanks for the input! WW3 Steemit edition is definitely an interesting idea to consider, hehe. Personally I don't think that downvotes will be too much of an issue with the Esteem Score, but it is definitely something that needs to be kept in mind.

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Does that mean I would have to start earning my reputation again from the bottom?

I've already put in so much time. How would it effect current users who have been here for a few months?


I wasn't proposing to get rid of the reputation score, so you would likely still keep that. Even if they did get rid of it though, your high reputation likely means that you would have built a lot of relationships. One would assume that a lot of those people would vote on you for Esteem score, so you would likely have a higher Esteem score off the bat too.

Have you ever heard about GetBadges ( This is a motivation system in the cloud and thanks to game elements it can boost employee engagement and productivity. It gives realtime feedback thanks to ready to use connections with modern project management tools. In software development process it helps to sustain agility and supports best software development practices.


It's a cool suggestion! I think Steemit is planning to implement something along these lines actually :)