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Contributor Recognition Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Contributor Recognition Program?

To recognize the valuable contribution of the most active members, we devised the Contributor Recognition Program.

Under the program, community members earn points for each technical article, code sample, and weblog authored and accepted for publication. Replies to forum posts also net points. Points may also be awarded, at the discretion of the staff, for other types of contributions to the community. These are categorized as "Additional Points."

Points are aggregated and those members with high scores receive recognition under the program.

Points may also be removed or deducted at the discreation of the staff.

What sort of "recognition" do I get?

On the Top Contributors page, the top 50 contributors are listed. On each forum page, the top three contributors to that forum are listed, and their total points earned indicated.

You mean, I don't get any prizes?

We wrapped up our first round of giveaways in late September. Stay tuned for an announcement of the winners, and details of the next Points for Prizes program.

Okay, how do I earn points?

There are a number of ways to earn points under the Recognition program.

Weblog / Podcast
Example Weblog
Exceptional Weblogs on par with this example will earn points in the Technical Article range.

40 pointsare awarded for each Weblog post that is published, after a period of 5 days the weblog will be reviewed and can earn up to as many as 120 points.

Weblog Comments

Generally, no points.

Technical Article

up to 120 pointsare awarded for each original document submitted and accepted for publication. Documents include: articles, how-to guides, whitepapers, and FAQs.

Code Sample
Exceptional Code Samples may earn additional points at the discretion of the SDN staff.
See this example: SAP J2EE Log Configuration Tool (scroll down).

up to 120 points are awarded for each code sample (executable - Business Package, tool, component, etc.) published on SDN.

Tutorial / Video Content
Example Tutorial

up to 120 points are awarded for tutorials, and similar procedure-oriented technical content.

Forum Posts

2, 6, or 10 pointsmay be awarded for forum posts replying to existing threads marked as questions. Points are awarded at the discretion of the poster of the original thread.
Posts initiating threads are not eligible for points.

The point scheme may be adjusted at anytime and at certain times items may be worth more than the specified amounts shown above.

Wait a minute. You lost me. How does the forum point system work?

Every time a forum thread is initiated, the poster has the option to mark that thread as a question. If a thread is marked as a question by the original poster, subsequent replies are eligible for points.

The original thread poster evaluates the replies to his or her posts and may award points according to the following scheme:


Point Value

Awards of This Type Allowed

Solved My Problem



Very Helpful






What do I, the thread poster, get out of it? I'm rewarding points, but I'm not getting any!

Only forum "answers" (or responses) are eligible for awards under the Contributor Recognition Program. So it's true that the thread or "question" poster is responsible for awarding points but does not earn any for himself or herself.

What do you get out of it? You get answers, first and foremost. Furthermore, by taking the time to reward members for their useful contributions, you foster the community. It's a good-faith system that relies on you to reward points for helpful forum replies when you are the poster, and in turn you will be rewarded by others when they are doing the "asking."

How do I know if a forum thread is marked as a question and therefore eligible for points?

Forum threads with an open star icon are marked as questions.

How do I know if a forum thread has already been answered?

Threads marked as questions, and that remain unanswered, are indicated by an open star icon.
Threads marked as questions and that have been marked as answered (and points awarded) are indicated by a blue, closed star icon.

How do I mark a thread as a question?

The Post Message: New Topicform defaults to "Mark this thread as a question." so you need only to submit your topic as usual. If you do not wish to have your topic marked as a question, simply deselect the "Mark this thread as a question." checkbox.

I posted a thread and marked it as a question. Several people replied and gave me useful advice. I'd like to reward points. What do I do?

If you designated your thread as a question and are satisfied with one or more of the responses received, you may award points according to the following scheme.


Point Value

Awards of this Type Allowed

Solved My Problem



Very Helpful






To award points, go to your user profile and select the relevant thread from the list of Recent Messages. Click on the hyperlinked title. You will be directed to a page that shows all the responses to your original post.

Click on the star icon next to the response for which you wish to reward points. A popup window will appear. Use the radio buttons to mark a response "Solved My Problem," "Very Helpful," or "Helpful."

You are allowed to grant only one 10 point "Solved My Problem" award and one six point "Very Helpful" award, so evaluate all the replies carefully. You may designate an unlimited number of two point "Helpful" awards.

What on Earth are these stars I see everywhere in the forums?

It's simple; the stars designate forum posts marked as questions and indicate whether or not the question is open or answered.
Answered Question
Open Question

The point values of weblogs, code samples, and tutorials seem somewhat subjective. Who decides how many points I get? And can I appeal?

You're right, it is subjective. And, until we have an artificial intelligence engine that can judge the quality of your content submissions with unfailing accuracy, we're going to leave it up to the esteemed community and forums managers. And their decisions are final. Unless, of course, you know where they live. (smile)

How do I earn double points?

Earn double points when you submit a piece of content (weblog, code sample, or article) on an issue or topic requested by the community or announced by the staff. Sorry, forum posts don't qualify for double points.

I've been an active contributor to for some time. Will I get points for contributions made before the introduction of the Contributor Recognition Program?

Yes and no.

All community members will receive one point for every forum post (regardless of type) contributed since the onset of his or her membership. (Moving forward, however, only posts replying to threads marked as questions are eligible for points.)

Five points will be awarded for each weblog authored prior to the inception of the Contributor Recognition Program. (This is a manual process, so it may take a short time for credit to post in your profile.

The number of points granted you at the onset of the Contributor Recognition Program reflect this tally.

Unfortunately, no points can be awarded for articles or code samples submitted prior to the initiation of the Recognition program.

How do I know my current status in the Contributor Recognition Program?

The Contributor Corner, located in the left-hand navigation of the homepage, indicates your current number of points and the date of your last contribution.

You can see a detailed archive of all points earned per category (weblogs, articles, forums) by selecting the Reward Points tab in your Control Panel.

In the Forums area, simply click on My Reward Points, which appears under your login name, to see your current point status.

How do I know how I rank against other contributors?

On the Top Contributors page, the top 50 contributors are listed. On each forum page, the top three contributors to that forum are listed, and their total points earned indicated.

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