Thursday, March 03, 2011
Goodbye 'Superstar,' hello Twitter

Our crack development team was hard at work this morning rolling out a bunch of exciting new features for CNN iReport. A lot of the upgrades won't be noticeable, but they will get us ready for a big project, we're working on (---Spoiler alert: It's going to be awesome!---).


There are two big changes we want to tell you about this morning:


We retired the 'Superstar' system, which means you won't be seeing the little red stars next to iReporters' names any more. The Superstar was our first stab at a recognition system and it recognized a whole bunch of things like page views, number of iReports posted, number of vetted iReports and number of comments.


It worked pretty well at first, but we quickly outgrew it. The biggest problem was that the stars were based on recent activity, so a fairly large group of iReporters would lose their stars and wonder what they did wrong. It also measured so many different things that nobody could tell how an iReporter earned their star, which raised a lot of questions about fairness.


A reward system that makes people feel bad isn't much of a reward, so we introduced badges last year to replace it. Badges appear on your profile page and reward the work that you actually do -- there are badges for posting iReports, for making comments and for participating in special iReport projects.  Everyone who's ever been earned Superstar status now has the Original Superstar badge on their profile page to recognize their contributions to the community.


The second change will be big for Twitter users. You can now link your Twitter and iReport accounts, so that when you post an iReport it will automatically be tweeted out to your Twitter followers. Just go to your profile page and look for the big blue Twitter button.


Twitter integration is just the beginning -- we're working with other sites and would love to connect iReport with all of your social networks.


We'll be having a roundtable discussion today at 3 p.m. ET, so feel free to join us then if you have any questions.

March 3, 2011
Click to view Liberty1955's profile

Sounds interesting, David..thanks

March 3, 2011
Click to view Sherbien's profile

interesting. just posted my 2 new ireports on twitter - my interview about effects of unrest in Libya to oversease Filipino workers in which I discovered deeper relationship of Libya and the Philippines and my other ireport is the economic disease called dutch disease... Philippines is suffering from dutch disease.

March 3, 2011
Click to view mab91c's profile

Well, I don't Tweet, I do not have a Twitter account, nor do I  ever plan on joining.

March 3, 2011
Click to view madashl's profile

I foresee a site whereby a photograph(s) is judged on it's merit, not on who took it...EXCELLENT news! Result... better photo quality overall, less buddy system.

March 3, 2011
Click to view larena's profile

great changes thanks

March 3, 2011
Click to view chphotoart's profile

i like it!

March 4, 2011
Click to view Kalalau123's profile

Yes, I sense the logic of your changes. Interesting. It's all a river: we must adapt or be left behind.

March 7, 2011
Click to view xkater's profile

Tweeting is not my thing, though I have an acct. On my profile I don't see the old Superstar. I see a badge that says I started ireports during the Beta trial. My star vanished some time back and I thought I lost it, because of low activity. I saw other people's star though.

I wonder about privacy with FaceBook and other networks...

March 15, 2011
Click to view SlickNick's profile

It's good Dave that these things are being reviewed and revised.

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