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Happy New Year!

Welcome to the January 2015 edition of the DaniWeb Digest, our community newsletter. Yes, as hard as it is to believe, it really is 2015 already! Aside from wishing every member of DaniWeb a very prosperous and fulfilling new year, we thought we'd take a look at something old and something new about DaniWeb. There have been plenty of new things to love about our community, but few have been so exciting as the introduction of the rewards system in 2014. This simple idea means that DaniWeb members can earn real cash money just by helping out with discussions that are marked as sponsored or OP kudos ones, along with contributing editorial articles and code snippets when members vote on them. Rewards points are allocated using a complex algorithm, and there is no cap on how many points can be earned off of a single post. DaniWeb rewards those people who answer sponsored questions (that is when the question asker donates money to DaniWeb, that money goes into a pot and eventually gets shared between the people who provide the help requested) as an incentive to get people to donate to DaniWeb. The logic being that people will get faster and better answers since people will flock to help them because they can earn money for doing so. What's more, members with a lot of 'kudos' themselves, the ones who are always helping others and earning reputation points, endorsements, solving threads etc, get the same treatment as those who sponsor posts but without having to pay; and members still get paid for helping them. We should point out that the reward points earned are not immediately available so as to prevent the gaming of the system. DaniWeb moderators have sufficient time to handle trolls, spammers and people voting up their own posts from multiple accounts to prevent abuse. Talking of reputational stuff, another new feature is that reputation comments are now always shown alongside posts and you no longer have to click an icon to slide them into view. This is a great change, as it encourages members to think of voting and making reputation comments rather than hiding these away. Both of these things are factored into the calculation of rewards points, so they really shouldn't be treated as an afterthought. Plus, it's great to see at a glance what people think of any given post.

As for the old, well spammers remain a real pain in the backside as always. Not that you probably realize it as our team of volunteer moderators do such a wonderful job of spotting it and deleting it in double quick time. If you spot something you think is spam, please make sure you use the 'bad message flag' system which will notify the mods on duty of the problem so that they can deal with it. In the past we have had a spam problem with certain forums, such as the Webmaster Marketplace which became such a spam-infested place that last year it was removed altogether. Well now it is back, and with some changes behind the scenes we hope it will be spam free; changes such as the only people who have access to it now are moderators, team colleagues, and sponsors. That means to participate in the marketplace at all, you need to donate at least $1 which should make it less attractive to spammers and more useful to genuine members. At the same time, Dani has gone ahead and removed the expiration limit for all business exchange articles. Marketplace listings no longer expire after 90 days. They always remain accessible. The combination of exclusivity and a small monthly donation upfront makes it quite an attractive proposition now, don't you think?

Members of the month

Sticking with the old and new theme, this month we are inducting two members into the DaniWeb Hall of Fame; one long established member, and one relative newcomer. Palebushman has been a member for 8 years now, while matrixdevuk only joined us last year. Also, one is retired and the other a student. Let's find out a little more about them both...

Where were you born, where do you live now, where would you most like to live?

Palebushman: I was born in Kenya, live in Australia, and would like to be somewhere that has no health hazards.

matrixdevuk: I was born in South Wales, United Kingdom, still living there. I would really love to live in Spain because Spanish related places/things are amazing.

How old are you?

Palebushman: Physically 71, Mentally 41.

matrixdevuk: I'm 14, 15 in July of 2015.

What is your occupation, what's the worse job you've ever done, what would be your fantasy job?

Palebushman: I'm retired. Worse job was when I slipped a screwdriver across 32 MoBo CPU tracks, but managed a successful re-solder job. Fantasy? A recording Studio Engineer.

matrixdevuk: I'm a freelance website developer and Linux SysAdmin. It is the only job I have ever done. My fantasy job would be working with Dropbox on just about anything.

What is your favorite OS, what do you like best about it and what stinks?

Palebushman: Unix/Apple, it's swift-n-fast, you can't 'fiddle' with it.

matrixdevuk: My favourite OS for server usage is CentOS. It's perfectly stable for everything I've ever needed to do and the only thing that I could say "stinks" is the fact that it is a little harder to get into that Ubuntu was.

What first brought you to DaniWeb and why did you stay here?

Palebushman: I discovered Dani's website while I was in South Africa in 2004, the site has grown considerably since and I enjoy reading the wide variety of information available within these pages. Most of it is now over my head, but there is still a lot of very useful stuff and I think she has amazing IT folk on here too.

matrixdevuk: I was on StackOverflow whilst I was learning a few new languages (Objective C, if I recall correctly) and I thought that it would be cool if I could give help. Ever since I've been on sites like DaniWeb, helping people with PHP and all those sorts of things; whilst teaching people outside of DaniWeb too.

What one thing would you change about DaniWeb if you could?

Palebushman: Add an 'Auto Spell Checker' for the benefit of us old wrinkly keyboard tappers ;-)

matrixdevuk: The design. I'd make it look a little more... simple.

Do you have a favorite forum on DaniWeb and why?

Palebushman: Absobloodylutely! XP and me were born to the IT world at the same time. It has been killed by it's mother, fortunately my mother is not a killer.

matrixdevuk: Web Development –> PHP because PHP rocks.

Which DaniWeb member would you most like to meet 'in real life' and why?

Palebushman: Oh that would have to be the good lady herself, the IT talent she possesses makes her a truly remarkable young lady.

matrixdevuk: Nobody. I'm not social. :)

What do you think of the DaniWeb Reward Points scheme, and have you cashed out using it yet?

Palebushman: Great for those that can aspire to it, sadly I'm at the wrong end of the knowledge base.

matrixdevuk: I think it is a good idea; but I'm not in this for the money so I don't see myself cashing out. If I do, I'll be donating it right back into the DaniWeb funds.

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

Palebushman: I am fully submersed in the RC 1/8 scale Nitro Buggy sport when not repairing PCs/Laptops. Keeps me fit as well as alert.

matrixdevuk: ...there are other interests? None. :)

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