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Plain Black developed karma as a sort of reward system for community participation. When WebGUI community members participate in a forum, vote in polls, or in other ways interact with the community users' karma increases. Karma can also be gained through the purchase of goods and services. Users can then turn around and “spend” their karma in a variety of ways throughout the site. For instance, karma can be spent on a request for enhancement to increase the odds of a new feature being implemented in WebGUI; karma can also be transferred to and from other users by rating forum posts up or down.

Karma is enabled in the User tab of the Settings screen in the Admin Console.



To enable karma on your site, simply set the “Enable Karma?” field to Yes. Users can also be granted karma for simply logging in to the site; in the “Karma Per Login” field you can designate the amount of karma gained each time a user logs in.

When karma has been enabled on the site, you will notice that some assets contain new fields. Most often this is visible in a Collaboration System. For example, a simple forum will display an area in which posts may be rated up or down.


When a user clicks the rating field up or down, karma will be transferred or deducted between users accordingly. So, by rating a post up, you would transfer a small amount of karma from your user account to the user whose post you have ranked. The appearance of the rating field may differ depending on the template used. In the example here you'll see that instead of a thumbs up/down appearance, the rating field uses numbers.


Note: You can't rate your own posts, so the rating field will not be visible in the post you have made. However, you will be able to see what others have rated it.


In a collaboration system set up as a request tracker a field will become available in which users may “spend” a specified amount of karma. On WebGUI's site this is used to move a request for enhancement up the list to ensure that it is more quickly developed.


In this example, you can see three new karma related fields have appeared. “Karma so far” and “Karma Rank” indicate the amount of karma spent on this request so far. Near the bottom you see a “Transfer Karma” field. In this field a user can input an amount of karma to be transferred from the user account to this request. The default is 10. Once a value has been entered, the user simply clicks Save to “spend” the defined amount of karma on this request.


You can also display to a user how much karma the user currently holds by using the Karma Macro. This will display the karma a user holds much like what you see on



A user's individual karma can be managed through the User screen of the Admin Console. In the Users screen, search for the specific user whose karma you would like to manage. In the user's account screen you will see a “Edit this user's karma” link on the far right hand side.



Clicking on this link will open the “Edit User's Karma” screen. On this screen an amount of karma can be added by entering a positive amount in the “Amount” field, while karma can be deducted by entering a negative amount. In the “Description” field you may enter a brief explanation for the karma alteration. Upon clicking save, the user's karma will be appropriately modified to indicate the changes you have made.


Keywords: collaboration system rating rating system

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