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Welcome to the DaniWeb Digest for December 2012

It's that time of the year again, and so we extend a very heartfelt Happy Hanukkah, Happy Yule, Eid Mubaruk, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa or simply Happy Holidays to members of the DaniWeb community across the globe. With a new year just around the corner, everyone here at DaniWeb HQ is very excited about what lays ahead for the community. The Queen of DaniWeb, Dani Horowitz, is busy working behind the scenes with Community Developer James Daughtry, also known as deceptikon, on a whole bunch of awesome new features to make your time with us more productive and more fun. As always, if you have any feedback about DaniWeb, good or bad, please make sure your voice is heard by posting in the Community Feedback forum. Be assured, we read each and every posting made and take all your opinions, ideas and suggestions seriously.

New: skill endorsement feature

If you take a look at a member profile, which you can access simply by clicking on their username from any posting, you will probably already be well used to seeing the reputation points and post quality scores. Both of these providing a quick snapshot of the respect in which any given member is held by the rest of the community. Just recently, however, you may have noticed a new metric which has appeared: Skill Endorsements. But what are these exactly, what do they mean and how can you use them?

Firstly, let's look at what they are not. Endorsements are not the same as the post quality score which is built upon the number of times people hit the 'up vote' or 'down vote' arrows next to individual articles. Generally speaking, the higher the post quality score then the higher the quality, as you might expect, of postings by that member. Neither are skill endorsements the same as reputation points, which are gained when someone uses the up or down vote arrows in conjunction with a comment about the posting in question in order to give positive or negative reputation to the member for that article. Positive reputation is generally given when a member has been particularly helpful, and other community members involved in the thread want to show more appreciation than just up or down voting alone.

Which brings us nicely onto skill endorsements which can be seen as taking a show of appreciation above and beyond just the individual article or thread level, and into the arena of how professional a member is regarding a given subject matter. So, for example, if you have tough questions that you keep posting in one of the software development forums and one or two members keep providing the correct answers you might consider endorsing them as skilled in that topic. By doing so you will be helping others to see, at a glance, which members the community regards as having the greatest knowledge in any given subject. Skill endorsements, it is envisaged, will become a true measure of just how much the community values a members' expertise in any given subject area.

You can see how many endorsements any member has by clicking on their profile, as already mentioned. You can see mine, happygeek, by clicking here. However, if you click through the Skill Endorsements tab from their profile you can also see which subjects they have been endorsed in and by which members. See how the end frame doesn't have a member name in it, but instead just says 'Me ... ?' - well that's to enable you to quickly add your own endorsement, should you wish, by clicking the empty box. You can also click on the 'Endorse' item from the main DaniWeb toolbar at the top of every page. This option presents you with a selection of members and subjects that DaniWeb thinks you may have an interest in courtesy of previous interactions. Just click the 'endorse' button against any member names that you wish to show your appreciation for in those particular forums.

Member of the Month

A member for six years now, Tomas Elfvendahl (Oxiegen) has helped solve 147 problems during his time on DaniWeb and contributed more than 750 posts with a truly amazing average quality score of 90%. Oxiegen is most active in the VB.NET forum but can also be found in the ASP.NET forum. So, and not before time, we would like to welcome Oxiegen into the DaniWeb Hall of Fame. Let's discover a bit more about what makes this valued member of the DaniWeb community tick...

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Västerås, the fifth largest city in Sweden. And I still live and work here.

How old are you?

I'm 37 winters old.

What is your current occupation, and have you ever done anything unusual in the past?

I currently work as a web-developer for a marketing firm where I've been tasked with replacing our current CRM with an in-house product. The most unusual work, for me, was a short stint doing industrial cleaning. That's the closest I can get into explaining it in English. It's almost like environmental remediation.

What is your favorite OS and why?

Well. I must confess that as of today I don't really have a favorite OS. I'm kind of split between Win7 and Linux (Ubuntu).

What first brought you to DaniWeb?

I was a very long time ago, but I do believe that I was googling for something back in the VB6 days. And one of the search results was here. I think it had something to do with connecting to a database in VB6.

What makes you stay here?

For fun? Well. Partially anyway. I find almost all of my answers here and I do get a kick out of helping out here and there. One of those I helped was so impressed that she contacted me, and we've been friends ever since. Even if we do live half a world apart.

What is your favorite forum and why?

I do tend to hang out at the VB.NET forum a lot, because that's my chosen flavor of programming. But I understand the other ones as well, except C++. Complete mystery to me. So, when I need to find some solution I don't limit my search to one single forum. If I have to I can convert Java code to VB code, provided of course that the solution will work.

What are your interests outside of IT and outside of DaniWeb?

I love to read fantasy books. Mostly David Eddings and Robert Jordan. But I also love to play World of Warcraft. Other than that, computers are my life.

Name the best thing about DaniWeb overall, and one thing you would change if it were in your power?

I very much like the fact that most people here are courteous.
If you accidentally post some advice or a solution that may not even be in the ballpark of being good or useful, you won't be scolded for it. What I would like to have done is some kind of automatic thread closer. If a thread has reached a certain age without any new posts, then the thread should be considered solved.

What do you like best about the 'new' DaniWeb, and what do you hate?

I love the new ajaxified threads, but I hate the editor. I'm curious as to why the bbCode kind of editor was thrown out.

Any fascinating facts about yourself that you would like to share with the DaniWeb community?

The only thing fascinating about me that I can think of is already in my profile. I'm kind of chubby and a lot lazy. Seriously though. I sort of have the ability to translate between geek and normal. I'll explain that one. I have two brothers, one older and one younger. The younger one tends to delve deep into geekspeak and using very technical terms when trying to explain something computer-related. And my older brothers understanding of such matters are, let's say, limited. So, when they get together it's like having three blind men describing an elephant. That's where I come in. I understand the geek and can translate that into moron, and vice versa.

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