You’re the new kid in school. It’s lunch time.
You got a slice of pizza and a pile of tater tots from the food line, but now you face the biggest challenge yet: where to sit? You need to get oriented. Where do the cool kids sit? Will you make a fool of yourself? Who knows the deal here and might be willing to help you? It’s not like people have name tags that say “Helpful Friend.” There you stand, lost and unseen, a hapless noobie hoping for a clue. The camera slowly zooms out on the enormous noisy cafeteria.
Actually, even now this situation comes up all the time. Whenever you’re new to something and you need help, you’re right back in school, trying to figure out who knows the deal and who to trust. But sometimes there really ARE name tags that can give you some clues. In fact, we just added some to MATLAB Answers to make it easier to get oriented. The new tags are MVP and Rising Star.
MVP stands for Most Valuable Participant. It’s a play on the phrase “Most Valuable Player,” which shows up in US sports. An MVP on Answers is anyone who has 5000 reputation points or more. I guarantee you that all the MVPs know the dang deal around here. They’ve been helping people for a long time. It’s always reassuring when they step into your question with a word or two.
A Rising Star is someone who has had 12 accepted answers across a period of 3 months. The idea is that even though you don’t have to a huge point total yet, you’re demonstrating the skills and dedication of, well, of a rising star in the world of MATLAB Answers. You deserve to be acknowledged.
I should mention that we also added a Staff tag to indicate those of us who work for MathWorks. We might not be as knowledgeable as MVP superstars like Walter Roberson and the Image Analyst, but it can be useful sometimes to know that the person who answered your question might actually be building the product you’re talking about.
I began my post by evoking the feelings of being the new kid in the lunch room. You remember what it was like. Now I want you to put yourself on the other side of that situation. You’re the knowledgeable one who can make all the difference to that nervous new kid. We hear from a lot of people that they don’t answer questions because they feel like maybe they’re not qualified yet, that they’re not really experts. Let me tell you this: don’t wait. That new kid needs your help. Be a rising star. Make a difference. You’ll feel better, and you’ll make their day.