Improving the Webroot VIP Program

  • 5 February 2013
  • 10 replies

Userlevel 6
  • Community Leader
  • 324 replies
A few days ago the Webroot Community celebrated its first birthday.  During that period, only a handful of “superstars” emerged and, imho, they have been the mainstay of the Community.  We know who they are … there is no need for recitation.
There are several levels in the VIP Program:  Gold VIP, Silver VIP, Bronze VIP, Sr. Expert Advisor, Expert Advisor, Sr. Community Leader, Community Leader, Sr. Community Guide, Community Guide, and Frequent Voice.
Now, one year into the Webroot Community Program, how many Gold, Silver and Bronze VIPs does the Webroot Community have?  How many Sr. Expert Advisors does the Community have?  How many Expert Advisors does the Community have?  I believe the answer is:  not very many.
If you were to ask the major contributors to this forum what they feel would be proper recompense for their efforts, I have no doubt that most, if not all, would say they do not do it for any form of compensation, reward or recognition.  They do it because they are genuinely helpful folks.
However, that really begs the question.  It is incumbent upon the company to evaluate the importance of the Webroot Community and, if the company deems it important, it is the company’s responsibility to implement significant and meaningful rewards.  There are statistics available to the company that document the amount of time and energy various contributors donate to the Webroot Community.  The company should use these statistics to, in effect, properly compensate those contributors, especially if it can be demonstrated that those efforts improve company sales.
IMHO, by this time, one year after the fact, there should have been at least a few Gold, Silver and Bronze VIPs, but I do not believe there are any.
I believe the promotion process needs to be accelerated and the rewards improved.
I would like to see some feedback about what, if anything, would be appropriate.
This is not the time for modesty, folks.  If you believe changes are in order, now is the time to speak up!

10 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +13
I have always been extremely apprehensive about the whole rewards program as i don't think it serves the main purpose of the community in anyway.I believe rewards would not bring out the best in some people.I firmly believe that those who want to help people will continue to do so irregardless of rewards.The people that come here to help have to do it for the right reasons,not for kudos or rewards.I for one will only comment when i believe i have something to offer that may not have already been said in a thread.The day i start paying attention to kudos and rewards is the day it's time to go on my merry way.I,personally,would have no problem with the rewards system being scrapped altogether as i do not need to be bribed to help.I help in a great many forums,not just this one,so the second it stops being about a forum's primary mission i would just as soon find
something else to do with my spare time. 
When I read about it I thought as well that only a little number of users will be able to reach the higher ranks, so that can be improved. I also agree that the rewards might not bring out the best in some people, though I do think that if users devote so much time here that granting a 1 year WSA license or even lifetime license for the highest ranks is a good way to show appreciation.
Userlevel 6
Superssjdan, am I to understand from your post that if the company offered you, say, a one year license as a small token for your efforts, you would refuse it?
I am not suggesting that contributors should focus on, and expect, kudos or rewards as recompense for their efforts.  I am suggesting that the burden should be on the company to offer those incentives … not on the contributors to expect them.
Somewhere during this past year the company made a decision to implement a VIP program.  My point is, now that it is implemented, it should be equitably administered so that it does not appear to be superficial.
I agree with your philosophy but I disagree with your approach!
Userlevel 7
Thanks RWM for starting such interesting and probably shortly becoming a one of the most controversial idea.

As I already commented in the VIP announcement thread I am doing here on the Community for my pleasure, to try to help others if I can, to educate myself a bit and just simply because I feel good here without claiming rewards.

I think that a VIP program is good idea. However I think that the weakest point of the Webroot's VIP program is that each rank has publicly undefined conditions. It means that we don't know what matters to be promoted to each rank. More posts, more kudos received or given, more ideas? Probably a mixture of all. I guess that publishing of transparent and uniform conditions for reaching each level (rank) will make it much better and the VIP program will be better received by the public.

As regards the rewards, I welcome them and I have already received one (cute stand) and presently awaiting others but if I should ever weigh up or consider what is more important to me, rank or rewards, the rank probably would be winner because it's a sign that I have been helpful to this Community. What is also in the spirit of my proclamation that I am not here for rewards.
Userlevel 7
While obviously being a consistant poster/contributer is most likely a portion of the formula used to determine what level a person is at, I think that consideration needs to be made on the quality of the content posted.  It would be quite silly to have someone achieve a high rank with nothing but "welcome to the forums" and "I agree" posts.
I am not here for the kudo's, community level or rewards.  I won't refuse a reward if offered, but I am  here to learn, contribute what I can, and hopefully the longer I am here the more I learn and so I will be able to contribute more as time goes by.
Userlevel 6
Pegas, I am no stranger to fostering controversial topics; in fact, I enjoy them.  If I were to say to you that I do not give a hoot about kudos or token rewards, you would probably think I’m disingenuous.  After all, I’ve been harping on this concept (as well as a couple other unpopular ones) more than once.
Believe it or not, I’m not here for the kudos, or the, or even the stroking.  I choose to participate in these forums because I learn from them and I happen to be interested in this field, having first indulged in computerized word-processing in the 70s when floppy disks were the medium.  And, if I can help out along the way, fine.
I find it hard to believe that everyone who participates in this Community Forum is doing it solely for altruism.  Surely, some of us must enjoy the recognition and want the rewards.  We’re not all totally selfless.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  Indeed, the incentive program was borne out of that truth.
The company initiated it, so let’s suggest to them how they can make it better.  I’m sure that each and every one of us has his or her own notions of what’s fair.  So, why not express it here?
Userlevel 7
Badge +55
RWM I was hoping to stay out this conversation but it's bothering me to much! I help users I have been helping users online at different forums for 10 years now I got very interested in Computer Security as everyone posted in reply here we are from Wilders Security Forums where the Prevx Forum is still being supported at this time. Now Webroot bought Prevx in Nov 2010 and since 2012 we have Webroot SecureAnywhere I help https:///t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/212the V.P. of Development is also known as PrevxHelp at Wilders for the past 4+ years and since Webroot opened their own Community Support Forum Feb 2nd 2012 so I followed and joined Feb 3rd 2012 and continued to help users that’s what I do. The Webroot VIP program is a month old so was I here for or just wanted to help users like you? It’s a very nice thought of the Webroot Community Team to bring in the VIP Program as most forums don’t have anything, to me it’s not a reward it’s my reward is if I can help 1 person to sort out there issues. And one other thing I like in the past month there are more users trying to help other users that’s what makes me happy!
Best Regards,
EDIT: I don't think David or yourself is from Wilders but you never know.
Userlevel 7
TripleHelix (Daniel) Wrote: "I don't think David or yourself is from Wilders but you never know."

Nope, I am not from Wilders.  I have worn a number of hats over the last 15 years, none all that very big.  I ran a small town 2 man computer shop for a couple of years, after that I was the tech support for a small 2 man local dialup provider (We had around 750 or so customers).  Freelance computer repair and tech support.  I currently work in an area where I have exposure to multiple AV software programs, and so I am here to lend what little I know and to learn more.
Sure, I think the rewards are cool, and I look forward to the day I can wear a Webroot cap, but that is not what I am here for.  I am a Webroot user, I have a long history of providing computer support, and want to keep learning and help out when I can.
Userlevel 7
Someday I won't be a Lego.
Userlevel 7
Badge +35
We love this kind of feedback, especially as the VIP program is new and we are open to suggestions for making it better. That being said, the program really is intended to be a fun way for us to show our appreciation to our active Community members, and it is not intended to be an incentive program. Part of why we do not post the exact requirements to reach new levels is that we do not want to encourage anyone to start posting just to achieve a higher level or get a That is also why the system is based on a number of factors, so that people can’t move through the ranks without adding value to the Community.
We also do not want this program to be a major focus for anyone – the real value comes from the fantastic discussions, and this is just a way for us to say thanks along the way. We are not a prize or kudos driven community, and we don’t want to shift our focus to that; at the same time we do want to acknowledge all the contributions of our most active members. The goal of the VIP program is to be somewhere in between, so that our members know that we appreciate their efforts, but there isn’t a lot of focus on earning big prizes.
We are also a relatively new community – many of our members have been participating in forums for much longer than one year, and we didn’t want them to hit the top rank right away and have nothing more to look forward to. We are planning on being around for a long time and wanted to scale the program to support those members who plan to stick with us. I want to encourage everyone to keep sharing their feedback – we do really appreciate hearing from all of you!