Community Equity Specification

Hurray! We finally filed the patent on Community Equity and I can disclose more details....


The objective  is  to build a dynamic Social Value system by calculating  the Contribution, Participation, Skills, and Reputation equity  a person can gain by actively engaging  in  online communities.


The Equity values are captured through activities that the Community members are participating in, for example:

• Adding or updating contributions (wikis,forums, attachments)

• Rating, commenting

• Tagging

• Downloading and reusing content

• Social connections

• Search queries

Equity  Model

The systems will  calculate the following equity values:

  • Information Equity (IQ)

  • Personal  Equity (PEQ)

Information Equity (IQ)

The Information Equity captures the social activities around an information and dynamically calculates a numeric value that represents the importance, relevance, and quality of the information. Information can be a wiki page, blog post, forum entry, or document.

The activities  that the IQ captures includes:

\* How many times users (repeat) have viewed the information

\* How many times this information has been downloaded by users (in the case of an attachment)

\* How many times this information was reused by an individual

\* User feedback (ratings, comments)


How do we know that a document has been reused?

We developed a web service called  "Content extraction and metadata store,"  which writes a tag in an OpenOffice document. This tag describes the source community  of the document  (for example, Project xx). If a user is downloading this document and stores it in another community,  we write a parent tag into the OpenOffice  document, which describes the destination community. By analyzing the tags we know that a document has been reused. In addition, we can build a dynamic cloning reference of related documents.

Personal  Equity  (PEQ)

The purpose of developing a Community Equity (PEQ) value for each individual is to help recognize their achievements and their participation in the community.


Here is the calculation:

PEQ = CQ + PQ + SQ + RQ + OE

Contribution Equity (CQ)

The Contribution Equity measures the contribution of a person related to his or her role or roles in a company.

The CQ tracks the total contribution of wiki entries, blog posts, attachments such as documents, podcasts, videos, software, and how this information is useful to the community (IQ).

Per contribution we calculate an equity value based on downloads, ratings and reuse by the community.

Participation Equity  (PQ)

The Participation Equity calculates a value for  the active participation of a person. We use the  feedback activities a person has provided to other community contributions like

\* Ratings provided

\* Comments provided

\* Tag or Tags provided

\* Reuse of content

Skills Equity (SQ)

The Skills Equity shows  the skills of a  person based on his or her contribution

Details will be disclosed later.

Reputation Equity (RQ)

The Reputation  Equity (RQ) is a combination of contribution, participation and role equity.

Details will be disclosed later ...

Personal Sociometry Equity (OE)

Humans suffer from information overload. There's much more information on any given subject than a person is able to access. As a result, people are forced to depend ,on each other for knowledge. Know-who information rather than know-what, know-how, or know-why information has become most crucial. "Know-who" involves knowing who has the needed information and being able to reach that person (Johnson et al., 2000).

In this context, understanding the formation, evolution, and utilization of online social networks becomes important. A social network is "a set of people (or organizations or other social entities) connected by a set of social relationships, such as friendship, co-working or information exchange." (Garton, et al., 1997). While the Internet contributes to the information overload, it also provides useful tools to effectively manage one's social networks and through them gain access to the right pieces of information.


We are looking to add  the following Social Equity indicators:

\* Centrality (number of friends) - Freeman 1977:

\* TBD

Tag Equity

Tag Clouds are calculated by frequency of use. This does not necessarily reflect the value of a tag (or the topic a tag represents). By calculating the Equity of a Tag based on social activities of the community (add or edit, comment, view, etc.) we can dynamically calculate a Tag equity of all contributions related to this tag.

Details will be disclosed later.

Equity Aging

Equity values age over time.

Example Information  Aging: A technical white paper about Internet Security from 1999 was really valuable at that time but might be obsolete today ...

Example Reputation Aging:  15  years ago I was an expert in IBM mainframe integration. I had a great  reputation reputation of fixing any problems related to SNA.

Over the last 15 years I refocused my expertise and skills and my reputation (and skills) about IBM mainframe integration has  gone.

To calculate time-based equity, we assume that any action, such as view, download, rating, and updates,  has a "time-to-live"  value . This value goes to zero linearly.

Mathematical model (credit goes to Dmitry [Dima] Riachtchentsev, our math genius on the team)

Excerpt from Dima's specs:

To reduce the calculations, we use a linear model:

1. Just after the action that affects an Equity, the Equity value is changed to a multiplier value.

2. Then this value goes to zero linearly. It becomes zero after a valid time period.

With such a model, we have a linear trend every time.

The linear trend enables us to not track the whole history to calculate equity values. We can just change two linear trend parameters after every action and after the aging time period.

Equity Visualization

We developed a set of widgets to visualize the Community Equity model.

My Community Equity

This widget shows in real time the Contribution and Participation Equity of a Person.


People Ranking

This widget displays the top 10 people. In addition, it shows the ranking of the person either as bold (Name) or the ranking position if a person is not in the top 10.


Country Ranking

This widget displays the top 10 countries with the highest Community Equity average per person in  a country.


Switzerland is leading.... I like it! :-)

Content Ranking

This widget displays the top ten Content with the highest Informaton Equity . In addition it shows the ranking of the contribution of a person in bold.


\*What's Next?\*

Stay tuned for  some future blog posts  on our pilot experience and results....

Technorati Tags: , , , ,


Hi Peter;

I would be interested in some information about the mathematical model you're using. I'm not mathematician, but nevertheless I'd be interested in some more details.

Posted by cori on March 05, 2008 at 07:47 AM CET #

Attensa is working with Rob Sequiera at Sun on an enterprise RSS proof of concept using the Attensa Feed Server. I think Attensa's AttentionStream technology plays into this beautifully. The attention analytics from the feed reading behaviors could add a rich set of Community and Information Equity analytics. We'd appreciate the opportunity to get involved in this discussion at Sun if it's appropriate.
Thanks - Scott

Posted by Scott Niesen on March 05, 2008 at 03:50 PM CET #

This entry would have been helped immeasurably by being passed by an editor. Some sentences are hard to follow and the effectiveness of the message becomes diluted as impatience grows with minor errors and convoluted phrasings\* that require real-time "reader revision."

\* For example, "it shows the ranking of the person either as bold (Name) or the ranking position if a person is not under the top ten." Does "not under the top ten" mean in the top ten? If it does, then why not say "if a person is in the top ten"? It can't mean "above the top ten." If you meant something else, your point is lost. But more importantly, the unpacking effort begins to reach a level where a reader might just say "forget it, I don't have time for this."

Writing quality counts...if good ideas aren't expressed clearly, you run the risk of your readers stopping before reading through to the end of your message.

If you consider this posting important enough for continued reading, send me an email and I'll assign one of my editors to work with you to clean it up.

Posted by Jeff Gardiner on March 10, 2008 at 08:57 AM CET #

My assumption was that Peter's probably not a native English speaker, and I was pretty glad he was publishing this in English at all, instead of in German or some other language that I wouldn't have a prayer of "reader revising."

Peter, for my part, I'd rather have a small language barrier and hear \*more\* about this from you rather than have less information with better English. Please keep writing....

Posted by cori on March 10, 2008 at 01:17 PM CET #

My original response lost, so here goes again:

This is not an either/or situation. I am not talking about presenting less information, rather I am advocating the information being communicated more clearly. We have the editing resources to do that. A blogger doesn't need to go it alone.

When we want an idea to be persuasive, to be understood, accepted, and used, then I think that it's appropriate to ask for editing help to make the writing as clear as possible.

I made my comments to raise the awareness that people can ask for editing help with pieces that are going to be widely read and have a persistent presence--and not to take exception with Peter's entry, which I found very interesting.

Posted by Jeff Gardiner on March 11, 2008 at 08:58 AM CET #


Perhaps your original response lost because it seemed like a detailed criticism of someone's ability to communicate in a 2nd language. Perhaps it would have been more effective if you had some something along the lines of:

I find this very interesting, and have some ideas as to how it could be better communicated. Please contact me if you are interested...

I realize this is hindsight, and probably someone will say that I could be saying much the same to you now.

Posted by Paul Diamond on March 14, 2008 at 10:28 AM CET #

Agreed. That was my mistake in wording my initial response, though frankly it was a calculated move to get the point about editorial help across in a way that people would notice. Fortunately Peter took it in the spirit intended. He contacted me offblog and I assigned an editor to work with him. They've done so. I've also put Peter in touch with a tools person in our department who's worked up a similar idea, and now we have a joint effort going on there with, hopefully, a white paper forthcoming. The outcome has been positive.

But point well taken. A little politeness from me certainly wouldn't have hurt.

Posted by Jeff Gardiner on March 14, 2008 at 10:50 AM CET #

Great post Peter - it almost mirrors conversations taking place regarding collective intelligence, sometimes referred to as CQ ;-) One thing that did surprise me is the patent application but that's another debate.

Check out the bioteams stuff: and Stephen Joyce's "Teaching an anthill to fetch".

I've been mixing your ideas above with the concept of CI\^4 - (collective, collaborative, cooperative and competitive intelligence) in order to 'turbo-charge' community of practice tools, processes and most importantly metrics i.e. KPIs that mirror your CQ scores, then applying these in game theory.

There are some interesting relationships between your CQ and how that relates to a collective equity model - a high individual CQ alone can have an adverse impact on the collective CQ for example unless the population does not have correspondingly high CQ participants engaging certain behaviours tend to prevail i.e. shepherd/sheep being one.

I look forward to following your blog further, thanks.

Posted by Ed Daniel on April 30, 2008 at 04:00 AM CEST #

This definitely is an ever increasing equity matrix.

Posted by Stock Trading on October 22, 2008 at 04:00 PM CEST #

Muito interessante o artigo.
gostei muito estarei avaliando melhor.

Show de bola.

Posted by Eduardo Marques on November 04, 2008 at 04:45 AM CET #

I find this very useful, and have some ideas as to how it could be better communicated. because i join new software company just so i have less knowledge about this so how i implement this on it, Please contact me if you are interested...

Posted by MAYUR on March 17, 2009 at 12:27 AM CET #

Thanks, its a very good idea to imlement.Evaluation of liability of a person in this way will be accurate. every firm should adopt this way of equility.

Posted by Rashmi on March 17, 2009 at 12:33 AM CET #

Keep up the good work bro.Your article is really great and I truly enjoyed reading it.Waiting for some more great articles like this from you in the coming days.

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