New Algorithm Favors Helpers, or Does It?

Kyle's featured comment on a post about rank yesterday suggested the new algorithm was going to favor people who helped out over people who were socially commenting in here, but that social commenting will also rank - and of course it is easier to be twice as active socially as it is to help, so the result is clear in the lineup already where we have two types of ambassador sit side by side and nothing to tell them apart at the moment.

- right now we have helpers and welcomers sitting side by side in the ambassador line up and how can newbies tell who is which type?

  • One thing I know having been an ambassador for a lot of months is newbies expect ambassadors and high rankers to know stuff and be able to help i.e. be experts.
  • And one thing I know having been here a lot of years is ambassadors WILL answer with authority whether or not they know the answer.
  • Also Magistudios keeps telling people in his weekly webinars to go to the ambassadors for advice on their sites.
  • And the advice ambassadors give to the people lining up to ask them questions could make or break that person's future online - so that's why I wonder about the social aspect vs the helper aspect vs the expert aspect.

***Personally I wish that there was an extra training course so ambassadors giving help had a baseline knowledge when it came to answers and a thorough knowledge of this platform and its resources and all the training available in here; also this could make the position open to more than 25 helping members of approved rank.

***Another idea would be if they want a mix of helpers and socially interactive ambassadors then maybe give them different colored cups beside that ambassador badge so people can tell where their expertise is - of course social has value, but we need to know who to ask for what.

Well of course ambassadors are not experts, but no one seems to know that, not the newbies or even the ambassadors nor all those in between at times...

Rank is rank ultimately, it has a broader definition out there in the world that brings certain expectations with it, that will not change in here. Ultimately this is not a blog about rank but about transparency and standards and expectations and how we evolve with the bottom line = referrals staying.

Mary

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Daniel Euergetes Premium Featured Comment
How I Dealt With This Problem

There is no doubt that WA continues to expand and evolve in positive ways. This is how I dealt with the problem in mine own way.

Some have seen this as counter-productive, but I don't and here's why. The contributions of those who truly help within the business spectrum.

This might offend some people, but over time, and as I have gotten older, my initiatives and values on things have changed. I came to the point in realizing that my lifestyle and environment were very far from business-suitable. I had actually put my business on hold for the space of three years to correct these issues.

This means within Wealthy Affiliate and outside as well.

Living in near-transient conditions when I first joined here on January 1, 2010, in extreme poverty, not to mention a plethora of personal issues which eventually put me on disability. I had a massive amount of work to do in making my environment and life conducive to seriously engaging in business. I had to actually shut down my business to work these things out. I have satisfactorily reached enough of these goals to resume business.

That's only half of it. I included this because I want you to see the whole of my direction here.

One very important thing I did with my account here - I cleaned out my Buddy List. I have had people tell me I was crazy for doing this, and no doubt, counter-productive. Of the active members here, I went through their blogs and having formulated a screening process, effectively wiped off all of the content I was getting that was doing little more than hiding all the stuff I was getting that I could actually use. Yes, this did take a lot of time as you can imagine, but today, when I get an email notification, it's almost always relevant information I can use in the development of my business. Everything else, including the social stuff, has been eliminated.

Ultimately, based on the tests I set up in the screening, I was able to determine who should, and who should not be on the list of those I follow. This included the elimination of most of the Ambassadors of the time, as well as the top 100 List. I found no reason to go beyond this.

The algorithmic change that was conducted last year collaborated with those I eliminated from my Buddy List, when all but perhaps two, were bumped completely off the Ambassador List. This indicates that I did something right.

Your blog roll is a great example of one belonging to a person whom I have deemed worthy (insofar as serious business, and not more like Facebook content.) The screening also tested for length of time as a WA member before becoming an Ambassador, how many times during the duration of the membership the person has hit the "Follow Me" button (cuts out the gamers by noting the ratio between "Those I'm Following::Those Following Me,) then on to the quality of writing, and its relevance to online business training as well as the person's progress. Has the person had previous experience? What about demeanour?

This resulted in a much smaller Buddy List, but I also gained control of my email account by eliminating the junk. I also am not effected by what you see here because of my efforts to do away with the irrelevant stuff.

Does this mean I'm being antisocial? No. I'm here to build a business and friendships do not get thrown out with the bathwater. I do not have time for the social stuff here. I am here to learn and after finding I was myself, falling into this social trap here, I pulled the plug on it. I have the same mindset I had before I even saw the inside of WA and the ranking system, all of that. I'm not here to bash any of that, but I have determined that it was high time to use common sense about all this and realize that I am paying for this service and training. That's what I'm here for, and this is how I dealt with the problem you have addressed here. I am not against socializing, networking and friendships on here. Also, I do not need to concern myself with what ranks and what does not rank on here. When it gets mostly social and very little business, there's a problem. Instead of protesting it (which won't stop it) I have devised a system that works for me. That is - be VERY conservative about pushing that "Follow Me" button without researching it out first. If that's done, depending on one's reason to be here, can seriously improve the overall experience! It means a little more work, but it pays off. It's FAR better to be conservative than to wind up with a horrible mess down the line.

Thanks for yet another thought-provoking contribution!
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MozMary Premium
thanks Daniel, congrats on your progress and focus and your admirable attention to detail, clearly you are good at the long game

your 'no punches held back' approach to bs of course will make anyone reading one of your comments nervous, but thankfully I survived this time lol, a compliment indeed.

At this point I use the filters on the email settings to minimize what comes into the inbox, it is such a big job to cut down lists after they are created. I probably miss some good stuff but it beats the overwhelm.

Best wishes with your business in 2018
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Yes, I admit, it was a lot of work to clean that up, but I found it most effective for me. Most people would not deal with it the way I did, and in fact, it cost me one of my friendships on here who shut the door on me because he saw it as ridiculous and a total time sap and decided he should part ways with me.

I was very sad and disturbed over this, but I did what I thought I needed to do at the time.

It took me almost the whole summer last year to do this working it around other responsibilities I have. Most of the work was the actual reviewing of each person's blog roll. I allowed for a certain percentage of social blogging against training and progress ones.

Losing some awesome content was the pay-off for eliminating the vast quantity of junk I was getting.

My suggestion to, especially the new people - don't let the mess build up in the first place! I have not seen the email filters since the update, and this would be another step to take, if not the step these days. However, I look at the person, and not leave it all down to algorithm.

The Ambassador quality is definitely better now than it was this time last year. The update did help.

...And also with you in 2018
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DaveSw Premium
Hi, Daniel...

The whole ambassador thing is of little concern to me. It appears you feel the same. Some people are concerned about it, and there may be valid reasons, but overall it goes back to what you say...

The process you have used to pay attention to members that matter to you makes a lot of sense and I can see how it results in much less wasted time picking through the posts that are of less value to you...

I have not gone through this much work, but have done something similar in regards to who I follow or pay attention to. As with you, it is not something done out of malice.

It has nothing to do with rank, either. Some of the most successful people here do not advertise the fact. They are busy making money running their businesses.

Myself?

My WA time is limited because I too have businesses and I really want to make the best use of it here. Rank has no bearing on that at all...

There are some that have more time or take more time for the socializing aspects of the platform, but as you say, that is their dime and time they are spending, not mine...

Right now, I find that getting the mentoring groups project off the ground and operating is sucking up a lot of my WA time. I do not mind that because I think it will help a lot of people get more out of this site and training...

For you...

I wish you well as you proceed with your online business, and somehow I feel that this is going to be a breakout year for a lot of WA members!

Oh yeah...

Don't mind me, I am ever the optimist...Not only is the glass always half full for me (never half empty), I know that I can switch to a smaller glass if needed and it will look even better!

Cheers!
Dave : )
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SurfsideBob Premium
You indeed are the wisest person on this platform. Thanks for the encouraging reminder to pursue that. Sincerely. Peace my friend.
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Far from that. I just try to use common sense and be practical.Thank you for the kind reply :)
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Yes, people do come to WA for different reasons and this I know. Before I took the efforts to choose who I want in my network, I used to protest the ranking, or actually, the gamers abusing the ranking and stealing valor as Ambassadors. I found all this did was get me into trouble so I stopped. Great way to put it - it's their dime - and however way people rank on here is down to them. If they are doing something unethical, they will get caught. With the exception of a few, I don't even know who's Ambassador and who isn't anymore.

The process I set up and used took a tremendous amount of time and energy to devise and implement, but I got through it, and it produced incredible results that, in my opinion, works better than any other way I've seen yet, but the drawback is definitely having to pore through so much data to get the results.

Going forward, I will use the utmost discernment before depressing the "Follow Me" button because it did take a lot of time to clean this up, and I even lost a friend on here because this person thought it was a dumb thing to do, that nobody else would do what I did. Hey, I've always blazed trails and have gotten charged for trespassing doing things most people think is pretty dumb. It worked and that is all I care about.

There's no doubt - I had to let go of some very fine people, and isn't anything personal. The way it was, I was too crowded and I had to do something. My email notifications were useless with over 100 of these per day, most of which was stuff I didn't need was not doing me any good. A side effect I didn't even take into consideration has been the fact that what is out of sight is out of mind. The less I know that goes on in here, the better off I am. It's the important things that matter to me and I get what I need with the notifications I do get.

You are to be commended for the altruistic deeds you are doing. Yes, that is quite a commitment you have taken on. You do have your work cut out for you and hopefully this doesn't affect your online campaigns and spread you too thin.

Daniel
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CarolDutsch1 Premium
Please tell me how to eliminate my junk emails, I have a lot of them and when I tell them to stop sending me emails, they don't listen and some of them there is no way to contact them to let them know to not send any emails. A lot of them I did not subscribe to. I'm in desperate need to know how to eliminate all the junk emails. Please, help me.
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DaveSw Premium
There is normally an "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of all those junk emails...Or you can block them using the tools from your service...i.e. Google mail I have done this, and also I have used the unsubscribe links...Cheers! Dave : )
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Hi Carol. Sorry I did not get to you right away and very thankful that Dave did. Dave is right in both counts.

Really, this depends on the nature of the junk you are getting. The very best thing you can do, depending on the email service you are using, is to begin marking these kind of emails as spam.

If you are using Gmail, this is extremely effective. I rarely, if ever, get junk emails. Actually, one does slip in on rare occasions, for which I mark as spam and it's gone for good. This is why I recommend Gmail as a free email provider.

If you are using Yahoo-based email or AOL (if that even exists anymore,) Hotmail, or any other Microsoft-based systems, you will get disappointing results.

If the company, from whom you are getting the junk from is legitimate, hitting the unsubscribe link below works well. However, if you are getting junk from equally-junk marketers and businesses, sometimes clicking on that link works against you!

It lets unscrupulous snakes out there from whom you receive the junk know you are alive and well, and your name goes on other email lists! Clicking on those unsubscribe links (or any other link) on emails from sources you do not know nor trust, is not recommended. Only do this on those that are reputable. You should take time to learn about email headers, as there is what is called email "spoofs." Spoofs are fake emails that are designed to look like the real thing and are not - and the only way you can tell is by looking at the email header. (This is not the email's headline or subject. Important!) This is another HUGE reason why I recommend Gmail, because their algorithm is highly effective at rooting such emails out and you won't get them!

Sad to say, this is the way it is on the Internet. I strongly recommend using Gmail as your email provider. It is clean, does not come with its own adverts, and incredibly effective keeping your email queue junk-free.

It would take some work moving your wanted emails over, but it's worth it. Sorry this is lengthy, but take this with experience. In essence however, Dave has correctly spoken. I have simply given you more details about this.
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CarolDutsch1 Premium
Thank you so very much
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CarolDutsch1 Premium
Using the unsubscribe links doesn't always work. Thank u so much.
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PatsyC Premium
Hello! different colored Ambassador cups sounds great :D

I hear you when you state how Ambassadors are thought of to have great knowledge, and for everything.

We only know what we have learned and experienced so far.

I have seen Ambassadors quickly climb there way up only through writing many 'social' blog posts. This is a concern since new members will rely on them to genuinely help them with their website inquiries.

Recently these newer Ambassadors, some without having completed the Certification Courses is wrong. Perhaps there should be a separate group for them. For newer members who are learning and can have their own group.

Referrals staying is most important. They need to be guided properly to stand a chance at making a business that is the best out there. Where online searches and shopping have taken over, we can have part of that, it's the best profession where we all stand a great chance at succeeding.
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MozMary Premium
Very true Patsy, it is about referrals staying and not the ambassadors, yet it's been underestimated just how much ambassadors affect the average stay of a referral!

I see Domw talking about his million dollar business today, I took a screenshot of his rank, 301 :D
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PatsyC Premium
Hi Mary, speaking of new referrals staying and not Ambassadors, did you see this? Haha! as if 'he' didn't know. He was told last year not to do it and had his profile bio plastered with them again.

Now check out what new member LeviBerlin stated in his comment. I 'liked' it and sent him a PM.
Actually, I'll leave his comment here:
_______________________________________________
One of the things I do when I enter a platform is reading the rules, it took you 2,5 years to find out, that placing links is not allowed in your Bio?

Now a beginner like me can wonder if this is the right platform for me, when so called ambassadors don't know the rules.

This is very sad, don't you think?
________________________________________________

I saw Dom's post title in the Activity Dashboard but didn't get around to reading it and yes rank 301 ;)
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MozMary Premium
yes, sad about the new person's image of the entire platform and questioning whether they will stay or not because an ambassador doesn't know the basic rules...again shows new people will always have high expectations of ambassadors and of all the new groups starting up an 'ambassador accountability group' may be a good one too :D

I appreciate your concerns as placing links on their profiles is sometimes minor compared to other rules ambassadors break...
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kiliwia62 Premium
Quite frankly and I assume I might be the only one, doesn't really care about the whole ambassador issue, which goes on forever, looking back since I have joined WA.

I don't mind that there are ambassadors but I started to believe that an ambassador should have some sort of deeper knowledge about, either online marketing, they already have acquired prior joining WA or, they have great computer skills like working with WordPress etc.

I, personally, are not one of them and that's why I never felt inspired or driven to reach ambassador status. I do my best in leaving comments on people's posts as well giving feedback on their websites etc. with my knowledge I have acquired since joining WA and finishing one of the courses offered here.

However, and this is my strong belief, to create, manage and having a successful online business, offline too, doesn't happen alone by just following step by step strategies and implementing what we have learned; it also takes personal integrity, courage and a strong belief of oneself to reach this set goal, any goal.

If there would be an ambassador status for this I certainly can see myself being one.

Should there be two parts of ambassador status , those with the knowledge of all the technical skills and how to work with SEO and such and those who do have the skills of working with people helping them to stick to their goals and really believe in themselves, because you can't keep "human nature", as I like to call it, out of the equation either?

I personally think it would be a great asset but I don't mean that writing uplifting or supporting posts alone will do the trick.

Well, like I said I might be the only one who sees it that way and even though I love WA and for the last 3 years have learned so much with the help of everyone, even ambassadors, :) I do have a goal and a life and building my Brand and there is only so much time to do so much.

The funny part right now is that having created a website also gave me more "offline" business work, Whoever thought of that. :))

Anyway, thanks for reading :)
Sylvia
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MozMary Premium
you seem to be referring to the new trend for groups on the platform, my previous post asked for clarity on that, as it does not escape the whole ambassador issue, hence the need for clarity on just who the ambassadors are too before people jump in and start following this person or that on the mere basis of 'rank' here

when you say you don't care about the ambassador issue there's many of us here would wish it didn't exist, however in the event it does exist and when you look at comments here like Bourcherda or N33 you see what our referrals see when they join

- it's a referral and affiliate commission issue, and also a success issue for everyone and if you look at Peter's comment

personally in my time here I've actually had ambassadors pull rank on me too, like some believe they have authority, and new members still speak to me like I have authority, high rank and 'ambassadorship' is a position that can go to people's heads on both sides, so the position needs cleaned up and defined rather than ignored imo, it's a bit like Santa Claus, we know they'll grow out of believing in ambassadors but instead let's make them real and avoid all the disappointment :D
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kiliwia62 Premium
True, Mary, this whole thing has to be clarified by the owners themselves. I think it is for them too, a learning curve and perhaps will grow/being clarified someday in the future.
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MozMary Premium
Great point Sylvia, the owners are on a learning curve too :)

All the more reason to work with them...
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Roybretton Premium
Thank you for your blog post-Mary, some very wise and interesting words here. I think it is very easy to get a reasonably high ranking here with very little success online knowledge and just being sociable to people. I believe that most of us are here to earn money online so it is good to know which ambassadors are real helpers and actually making money online.

All the best to you Mary, Roy.
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MozMary Premium
Thank you Roy, I appreciate that. It seems colored cups are getting a lot of votes :)

Every success for 2018!
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Roybretton Premium
I hear you, coloured cups could be a good idea!
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IvyT Premium
This is a timely post, because I've noticed quite a few newcomers asking how to interpret ranking. I imagine it interests them who they should follow for advice, or seek out as validation of this course.

Along with this question I also see requests for accounts of financial success. The two go hand in hand, I think - after hearing a good promotion for WA, it's understandable for newcomers to seek out social proofs. Right?

My daily bread is earned through deep subject matter expertise, and it would be very damaging for my prospects as a researcher to offer up any old faff to my clients. But there aren't any such consequences for online posts. And whether they are right or wrong in substance, the frequency of posts still fuel rank here.

You get what you incentivise.

Your more nuanced labelling of expert types could help to better connect people with the conversations they need, while helping to value a wide variety of contributers, from motivational life-coach, to coding guru.

It also occurs to me that some people might like these categories of expertise as a means of tracking and working on their own development. Perhaps for instance, they become more proficient in WP over time, and are recognised for this.

This overlooks the experts whose social engagement is only intermittent, of course.
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MozMary Premium
Well said, Ivy! And yes, I think we have to value the quieter personalities out there who just aren't so 'vocal' but very knowledgeable and helpful and will express themselves differently on a platform like this...
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PeterK77 Premium
Hey Mary,

Hope you're well.

I agree wholeheartedly. I would love to see proof elements being implemented in the WA Ambassador system. It makes plain good sense.

You don't get to just drive a car without getting a licence, and driving a car can be one of the most dangerous things in the world to do. On the other hand, people that are reading this comment might say that giving someone advice on a forum is not anywhere near as life threatening - but if that advice is just plain bad advice and for the elusive purpose of social climbing, then the person that receives the advice can be left out in the cold without the proper guidance.

It could be that one statement from a ladder climber that makes someone else say "this is too hard", "I am completely confused and feel stuck - I don't know how to move forward with this", and give up completely on their business. That could mean that they end up going back to a job that they hate, or worse - they could remain broke and not able to feed the family or themselves - and they're not given the opportunity to thrive - which we both know is available to us all. That is the premise of WA, after all...

As someone who has managed to create a sustainable business and more than a full time income here using the tools that WA already provides and with some added diligence, it's been an interesting journey. There has been many times I have had to go outside the platform to research information to continue moving forward with certain aspects when I've been stuck on a problem. I have looked up and down at most of the training here and while most of it is valuable, there are definitely some holes in it. No criticism to WA as they rely on the social factor to have training and advice added by members, but it surely would work better if there are some proof elements.

I also have much the same screening process that Daniel uses. I can't begin to tell you how much that has helped weed out the noise. No offense to the social aspect at all, but think it would be helpful to have segregated areas for social talk and business talk.

I really like the cup idea. I think it's brilliant! And some sort of test of knowledge would be amazing, not only for the people that are listening to Ambassadors to be reassured that they know what they're talking about, but a test that we can ALL take to see if we truly understand what we're doing. I've never been an Ambassador, nor do I want to be one. I imagine it would be far too time consuming and not the reason I am here in the first place BUT I would like to be able to measure my understanding and skills in some way. I have the success of my business as somewhat of a guide that I do understand most of the things I need to understand, but being able to take a yearly test or something would be brilliant - even just to be able to measure how far I've come in a year. That idea would likely keep people on track and then there'd be no need for these 'breakout' groups... (don't even get me started about that one...;)

I didn't plan on this being quite as lengthy as it is and I need to get back to work, so I'll see you around!

Cheers,

Peter
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MozMary Premium
Wow Peter, great comment! Thanks for taking time out of your work schedule to share from your experience, wisdom and success.

And for stating so clearly some genuine truths that regularly get underestimated
- like just how easy it is for someone to quit at the early stages due to an ambassador's answer [it's not just a bad answer but a ranked bad answer from someone that seems endorsed by WA]
- and how big an impact that will have on some people's lives to miss out on this opportunity to succeed [I know an ex-member who signed into a homeless shelter on New Year's Eve...]

My experience of being an ambassador is being asked a lot of important questions that determines whether people stay here or not, and what direction they take online with their niche and sites, all totally related to their success and their referrer's affiliate commission too, and the ambassador badge and rank alone gave me authority and trust in most people's eyes...you are right, driving a car without a licence and lessons unless people actually put in the work

You stand out as someone who helps a LOT, sets high standards and a great example to us in your blogs i.e. an amazing role model to all of us whether beginners or at this a while, and always in a very friendly 'social' way - add to that the third thing mentioned for the ambassador wishlist - achievement /success - and you've got all three cups Peter! :D

As ambassador you wouldn't be working any harder than you already are in here imo, and you are one of the people I'd be looking at when the idea of group leaders comes up - okay, okay, I won't get you started on that lol :D
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PeterK77 Premium
Thanks for the kind words Mary! Really appreciate it!
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Sui_generis Premium
I agree with drjec. I was ambassador for awhile but only answered questions where I was sure of the answer. Many ambassadors ARE experienced but some (like me at the time) got there due to activity. It's an honor yet a tough place to be when new people misunderstand that not ALL are experts.


~Debbi
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TRPEng Premium
As much as I enjoy the motivational input. I need IT and tech stuff. I have purposely kept things simple and fixable at my level of I T understanding. My next website is going to be more complicated , so I flag and pay close attention to the technical posts. Ambassadors need to either have the answers or at least point in the right direction. Maybe there should be catagories of mentors we could query. By the way I have gotten some great tech advice from lots of members.
Trevor
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MozMary Premium
yes, some low rankers are real experts, just not as active as others to up their rank - it is about knowing who to ask
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most people in the top got there by spamming the news feed and make money bringing people here. 0 technical programming customization skills, all by paying for best themes/plugins
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DaveSw Premium
Hi, Rotia...

That is a rather cynical perspective of ranking and WA marketing tactics in general, but of course, you are entitled to your opinion. Without facts to back that up, I would tend to discount the spamming bit, as well as this being how people are at the rank they are here...

When it comes to promoting WA, These days people are not the easy marks they may have been some years ago. They know what is garbage and what not. I do not see the wild claims of millions overnight for the Wealthy Affiliate platform in any ads I run across...

Anyway...

I would hope that as you stick around here you will notice that there some very good marketers here of all ranks...

They offer a library of resources, experience levels with off and online business, and they know how to get the most out of Wealthy Affiliate. To get help from them, just have to ask (for most anyway)...

Cheers!
Dave : )
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TRPEng Premium
I agree that there are very good marketers of all ranks. It pays to listen.
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Sftat Premium
Terrific post, Mary, I hope the system counts it as helping, and not as social. I suspect a big part of the challenge is in the measurement part that software must handle.

I like your suggestion, and I'd like to add to it. If the system could assign a value to success, in terms of the traffic or revenue on an ambassador's WA websites that might be the most important metric of all. While technical knowledge and willingness to engage are valuable, proving that you can achieve something with these tools is the most powerful skill IMHO, although possibly one that is tough to measure.

Anyway, if it were up to me, I'd like to see three types of cups: Tech, Social and Achievement...
Steve
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MozMary Premium
loving the 3rd cup there - achievement !!

I think some people can be great at theory and not practice, so definitely room for both, but achievement has to be the jewel in the crown and ultimate goal for us in here - how it can be measured, probably not accurately outside a baseline...not everyone wants full disclosure :D

oh my guess is this blog is probably 'social' to a piece of technology like an algorithm, whereas 'I don't know, hope that helps' written on an answer may qualify as help lol imho!<---IMHO may be a great thing to add to every answer going forward :D
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Sftat Premium
Glad you approve, Mary - it says a lot. Back when I was creating high-performance Best-Practices materials we based our 'Job Aids' on the study of two types of authorities: Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and Accomplished Performers (APs). While the SMEs were great to have, we built the job aids to copy what the APs did. That was proven to work - always the best option if you can get it.

Yep, $$ are likely out of reach, but traffic should be measurable on hosted sites, I would think. My guess is that it would be too hard to get enough top performers (traffic wise) to coach, so there might not be enough ambassadors to do the job. That would make this choice pricey or a poor business option.

Hopefully, I'm wrong about that and we will see achievement fall into the algorithm soon. I would like that a lot.

I see your point about putting in 'I don't know, hope that helps' - this might be golden to the algorithm. I think I'll pass on using it though, as it may leave a bad taste on my fingertips. If that means I'm not ambassador material, I can probably live with that.
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mikegsaiz Premium
Mary, I agree with you on so many points. I have been with WA for just over 3 months. Consequently, I have had questions and I have no problem asking for assistance. I know there are those who are truly helpful and then there are others trying score points on the algorithm. Then there are those using the platform as a social device. Additionally, as mentioned, you can't be 100% sure the advice you get is accurate. Over a period of time, I have been able to sort what I think are both knowledgeable and helpful members. I can only hope my judgment is correct. Having "qualified" and "involved" Ambassadors seems to be the best answer, if the logistics line up. There are quite a few very smart people connected with WA and possibly an Advisory Council of members at all levels of membership could be an idea. With the collective "smarts" and experience of this group, a solution for the community as a whole can be found. Thanks for listening.

Mike
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MozMary Premium
great to hear suggestions [and your experience], advisory council at different levels of membership, sounds like potential there...
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katkatskitchen Premium
Ambassadors are all three things but never in one person. i have seen several replies most days from Ambassadors that is just wrong. Usually not as a result of ignorance but usually because they do not have the experience to sort out in their heads what a person is really asking. so no doubt the ambassadors think they are helping but are in fact sending someone on a wild goose chase. Personally I don't see how that can ever change given this community involves people. Whenever you put people in a mix anything can happen
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MozMary Premium
yes, the human factor, I guess that is why some companies train and certify to extremes with their protocols and it looks like the owners here want to keep things more relaxed, but maybe we could shoot for a little balance in between - it's worse of course when badges and cups and rank and title are involved though, raises the bar of expectation
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katkatskitchen Premium
I don't think that most people attach much importance to ambassadors, for me I would like it to be top earners. However that is not likely to happen as they are not necessarily the top helpers. We have both been ambassadors and both know it meas diddly squat
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MozMary Premium
we both know that but newbies don't and the lines of people messaging us for help don't know and Magistudios doesn't seem to know :D
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katkatskitchen Premium
Whether or not e do and other people don't is irrelevant you can criticise the system but as the system ie software cannot cope to evaluate any of those points the evaluation is useless. In an ideal world the system would and could be better, but in the practical world of how to make it work its not possible
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CraigW315 Premium
I think that unfortunately, while the algorithm can spot those who are "helping" it has no way of knowing if that "help" is any good....

All I can say is that for myself, if anyone asks me a question and I don't know the answer, I TELL THEM. Then I offer to help them find the answer they want, or try to guide them to someone who knows.
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MozMary Premium
great point Craig, what is truly help?

- just like with a spell checker that can't ultimately tell if something makes sense

please note when I said 'ambassadors WILL do xyz' that is a general statement, and is not saying 'all will do xyz'

in Ireland there used to be a cultural trend that if someone asked for directions they would be given directions, it was the polite thing to do, whether the Irish person knew or not - not great for the tourist being sent down the wrong road, but it's human, we've at least got to try and get ahead of that when humans are also given badges :)
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CraigW315 Premium
I hate to laugh at that, because I can see the trouble it would cause, but yeah... I laughed.
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MozMary Premium
sometimes you just have to laugh! obviously while trying to improve the situation for tourists, I used past tense but I'm really not so sure it's fully a past trend lol :D
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