Titles And Status

October 23, 2013Comments Off on Titles And Status

Karen writes
intelligently
about titles and status.

Titles, Karen notes, are society’s way of
conferring and measuring status of members. In the USA (and elsewhere), titles
such as doctor, professor, symbolize unique achievement. Here in the UK, we
have Princes, Princesses, Sirs, Knights, Kings, Queens, Honorable, Right Honorable
and dozens more.

These titles
clearly wouldn’t be appropriate in most communities (especially those online).
However, you can grant unique titles to members performing unique roles. This
ties back to labeling
theory
(people become the titles they’re given). 

Notice, above,
the term unique titles. Titled
acquired automatically upon performing set actions have limited long-term
impact. Recognition is a complex tool.
We want to achieve positive distinctiveness within our perceived peer group.

Titles can help
us feel we have earned and achieved this. Giving members titled in recognition
for what they have done solidified these contributions. Members are less likely
to achieve and forgo the titled they have earned. However, these titled should be
unique, subjective, and awarded ad-hoc. 

Surprise members
by a title that reflects their contributions. This is a title that appears next
to their contributions and in their profile. Announce the title to other
members (or several at once). This should reflect at least a year’s worth of
contributions to the community. 

If you give
titled too soon or too easily, they lose value to both new and former
recipients. Use wisely. 

 

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