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Rated: E · Essay · Opinion · #1154362
Old, no longer rateable: My take on a survey about the use of gift points on WDC.
Disclaimer: Wrote this before I had a better understanding of the scope of this website:

When I joined Writing.com a month ago, I planned on putting up five statics and sit back to see some reviews. The more those points started rolling in, the more hooked I got. One poem of mine landed and suddenly, anonymously someone upgrades my membership for the next three months. Now I can post 250 items!

I didn't have any points at that time to auto-reward anyone. Yet, I kept posting because I was encouraged by the feedback...the most important aspect of being a member. But those darn gift points kept rolling into my account.

So, I start wondering. What can I do with all those points should I reach critical mass?

I see the store with the shirts and hats and stuff and the awardicons that you can gift others, but I had no uses yet for any of that.  Then, I saw it. I could buy an upgraded membership. Wheels started cranking inside my rusty old brain. I started checking out contest pages; asking people online where I could get more people to review me. I had no idea how to take advantage of the system until the accruing balance of my worth rose like a hot stock.

At some point, I had to figure out the value of these points. Sure seemed like a lot. I checked the ratio...one dollar per 10,000 points. I still hadn't broken a 1,000. I'm thinking that's it, I'm only worth 10 cents? Kind of funny, actually. Made me wonder about all those people who gifted me 10 points for my feedback.

So, I resolved myself to focus on the greater rewards. I sought out the easiest ways to accumulate my fortune. But, my conscious was nagging me about reviewing a poem where someone would reward up to 3,000  points. Was my review worth that much? But, I did the math in my head and thought 'that's only 30 cents.'

Then, there was the crazy WDC 6th birthday celebration and rewards skyrocketed! My eyes are still bloodshot and my back aches. And while I'm grateful I made many friends along the way, I have to ask myself, 'Was it worth it?'

I wound up neglecting my responsibilities around the house for a week, and I am still shy of amassing enough to extend myself another month of upgraded membership. That's about $20 for a week's worth of work.

Gift points are great. Gift points excite and cause mania, hysteria. And the focus on the writing...lost.  I figure if I want the gift points, spend $20 and save yourself some agony. I like to show my appreciation to those who take the time to review me. But sometimes I wonder, do they really want it? I think the words I use to express myself are more valued.

For others, I can only imagine. Perhaps, gift points speak to their self-worth as a writer. Gift points may dimish the stock we need to put in ourselves. But it is a necessary evil to drive this website to keep people reviewing and sharing, and help WDC thrive. And I am sure the community watches over this to ensure that all members get a pleasurable experience.

So, gift points? Yeah, buy them. If you really want to be a skilled writer someday, upgrade your membership. It's really not that big of an investment and you can reach so many people. I find the communications I have had with everyone on this site this past month has more value than anything that can be printed and called legal tender.

What's your opinion?

Written in 2006, I have not edited the opinion, just the read of this item. I made a good argument for what little knowledge I had back then. If I had to do it again...I wouldn't approach. 8.1.21, public again.
© Copyright 2006 Brian K Compton (ripglaedr3 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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