Here at Cybersocieties.com, you will find that there are those that work their way to the top, and those that blend into the masses. Whether you choose to play the game or just participate in the community, there is plenty to experience for everyone. For those of you that do choose to play the game, the following sections detail the important factors that you'll want to be very familiar with.
Each user is given a score that represents their popularity. You will quickly notice during your stay here that there is no upper limit to the scoring. As the site grows, the maximum potential for popularity grows, just as it would in a true-to-life social "circle". Our scoring algorithm is as realistic as possible, and we often tweak it as we see fit. At this point in time, there are three components that determine each user's popularity rating:
Other users may vote on you to increase or decrease your popularity.
You may acquire up to 25 alliances among your friends, each of which adds a variable number of points to your score.
You may refer your friends to the site. It is worth noting that you will not recieve any points for users that do not become popular, active users.
This is a very simplified explanation of how our scoring works. We keep the details to ourselves in order to keep things realistic. The most important part to understand is the alliances. You will find more detailed information on the alliance system in the sections below. Unlike other websites, the least important factor in your score is the votes you recieve. We like to think of votes essentially as first impressions, despite the fact that users can change their votes on each other. This also minimizes the impact that users who choose to vote negatively can have on your score.
Another factor relating to the value of votes is each member's rank. As your rank raises, the weight of your vote increases. Similarly, as your rank lowers, the weight of your vote decreases. We call this factor 'societal influence', and as your personal societal influence changes, the value of every vote you have cast thus far will change accordingly.
Navigating Member Profiles
As you browse through the members of our site, you can place a vote on each of them. The voting bar can be found directly above each member's photograph. You may only cast one vote per member, although don't worry, you may return later to change this vote if you choose. If you would like to skip the currently displayed member, look below the photograph to find the 'Skip Member' link. In the future, if you find yourself wishing you could find a specific user, you can use the User Search function to do so. This function can be found at the top of the right sidebar on most pages, and also from a link off the main menu.
Other options you will find on each member's page include the following:
Click on the comment link to leave a comment for the currently displayed member.
Click on the proposition link to propose an alliance to the currently displayed member. Bear in mind that this link will not appear if you already have 25 alliances. If you have terminated a previous alliance with the currently displayed member, this link will not be active.
In the case that you already have an alliance with the currently displayed member, you will be able to click on the redefine link if you would like to propose a change of alliance type to them.
Click on the e-mail link to send a private e-mail to the currently displayed member.
Click on this link to toggle whether you would like the currently displayed member on your friends list. Having a member on your friends list will allow you to see if they are online (and visible) by looking on the left sidebar.
Beneath the action bar on each profile, you will see various statistics relating to that member. These statistics include their score, rank, and top five most valuable alliances among others. Below these statistics you will find a member's most recently entered journal entry, and below that, comments that other users have left on them.
You may access your propositions/alliances page by clicking on either the 'Propositions/Alliances' link from the main menu, or clicking on the alliances or propositions button at the top of the page in your status information.
Each user may have up to 25 alliances with other members. To form an alliance with another member, one of two things must occur: Either they accept a proposition you send them, or you accept a proposition that they send you. When you recieve a proposition, you will have the choice of accepting or rejecting the proposition. Attached to each proposition is a short message and an icon indicating what type of alliance is being proposed. The various alliance types include:
A truce alliance signifies the end of a feud or a disagreement.
A business alliance represents a business-like partnership. In other words, its all about the points. *grin*
A loyalty alliance implies trust and friendship between two users.
I think you can figure this one out for yourselves.
Blood-bound, friends or lovers, you're stuck with each other forever... or are you?
It doesn't matter what type of alliance you have with someone; either of you can terminate it on a moment's notice if so desired. If you terminate your alliance with someone, you can revive it unless they choose to forget your alliance. If your past ally decides to forget your alliance, you will be unable to form a subsequent alliance with this member for 30 days. Additionally, you will find that alliances grow in value the longer you keep them. If you terminate and revive an alliance, it will be as if you had just started a brand-new alliance with the person and you will lose the benefits of a long-standing alliance. So choose wisely and think twice before you terminate your alliances!
Remember, like votes, alliances also have qualities that can raise or lower your score. Don't be afraid to be picky about who you form an alliance with. A couple choice friendships can give you a quick boost up through the ranks!
Other Pointers / Strategy
Navigating our site can seem quite overwhelming at first. However, you will quickly learn that most people around these parts are very friendly. Asking questions in the forums and chat room is a good way to get a better understanding of how things work and start meeting new people at the same time! And of course, don't be afraid to just explore all the options you have. Read the main menu carefully and check out each of the choices.
As far as strategy goes, here's the Q+A that we usually refer users to when they ask us what the best strategies are:
Q: I know how the scoring system works!! A: No you don't.
Q: I WANT to know how the scoring system works! A: Give up, it's too complicated, and we're not going to tell you anyway.
Q: Why not? A: Because this is supposed to simulate popularity. While some may argue that popularity has a "formula" in reality as well, it is certainly not something one can fully understand. We like to keep it that way around here, too.
Q: How else can I "get ahead"? A: Try being cool and making friends. Given that you're whining about your score, you're probably not doing either of these things.
Q: My score is crappy because people keep down-voting me. A: No, even if people are down-voting you in efforts to get ahead, that never works. Just take our word for it.
Q: How did the people in the top ten get such high scores? A: Multi-part answer:
They've been on the site longer than you. It takes both time and effort to acquire the needed visibility to achieve high ratings.
They have strong, mature alliances with other highly rated members. Yes, they probably all have 25 alliances, and no, they probably aren't willing to drop one for you. Does the new kid ever start dating the head cheerleader on the first day of school? Okay then.
They behave diplomatically. The best strategy on this site is similar to how you would treat reality.
They might be more attractive than you. This is a popularity contest, and I believe it is safe to say that it is a factor, despite the fact that it is not the focus of our site.
They don't whine about their score, even *gasp* when they WEREN'T on the top ten.
Q: That doesn't sound very promising. Obviously nobody likes me. I must be ugly and boring. I hate myself. A: See that statement right there? Yes, the one that just came out of your mouth. Saying things like that is less likely to win friends than banging your face into a brick wall and grunting. In the final analysis, pity never gets anyone anywhere. This applies to reality as well.
Q: I'm too cool for this. I don't need to prove anything to you, or myself. I'm out of here. A: Good riddance. We're all here to have fun, and people like you tend to spoil that.
Truthfully, the key to getting ahead is interaction. The more people you talk to, comment on, vote on, form alliances with, and converse with in the forums, the better off you will be... These things won't directly affect your score, but they are important steps to learning your way on our site. (Also, you'll find that they help raise your mysterious 'Activity Rating', which plays a major, but indirect role in becoming popular.)
If you have any questions you cannot find the answer to, feel free to contact us. Please be patient, however, for we get a lot of e-mail, and it takes time to go through it all. Thanks!