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What exactly is 'gaming the system'?


wordsfire
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Hey there,

I tried posting it in a thread, but my response was hidden automatically.

And I think it'd benefit us all to discuss it as a separate topic.

 

So here we go...

 

What do you think is gaming the system?

It sounds obvious at first, but if you think twice, pretty much everything one can do can be defined as gaming the system given the circumstances.

Is it gaming the system...

  • if you lower your prices or offer discounts to get more orders (to maintain the order completion rate)?
  • if you advertise your gigs on social media (including conversational marketing, i.e., chatting with your friends and connections on f**, I***, T**, L**, Wa**, Te**, etc.) to get more orders?
  • if you break an order in smaller ones to maintain a metric on your analytics dashboard or get more reviews?
  • if you use forums' designated categories to advertise your gigs around the evaluation date?
  • if you launch or offer a totally unrelated gig or custom order to maintain one of the stats?
  • if you offered the same services at $5 (aka undercut prices) to collect reviews as a new seller? There are so many markets where they do not approve of this practice. 
  • if you do XYZ to get more sales or maintain your analytics?
  • if you do anything to favor your fiverr business other than creating gigs and delivering orders?

 

P.S. I'm on a week long vacation and internet access is questionable. I may or may not be able to respond to everyone in time. But I'll certainly post when I can. Let's see what everybody thinks. 

Until then,

xx

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@wordsfire I hope you're enjoying great vacations and you don't have access to internet 😄 just so you enjoy your off time to the fullest else this internet has made us addicted. 

About your post, GAMING is everything that you do to dodge the system but there are some exceptions and not everyone is doing these to maintain the analytics. For example:
1. if you break an order in smaller ones to maintain a metric on your analytics dashboard or get more reviews?

I have an order of 40 videos where client wanted to start working on the video but doesn't have all the scripts together and planned to work on them side by side along with animation creation. So, we agreed on a price but there was no choice other than to create an order for a batch of let's say 5 videos. And that's how it went till 40. If I would have created one order, it would definitely pause/stop the order as he sometimes take more time to provide the scripts. 

2. if you use forums' designated categories to advertise your gigs around the evaluation date?

I really couldn't get how advertising is dodging and specifically around the evaluation date?

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In my opinion, gaming the system means doing something illegal, and unethical. For instance, let's say getting fake reviews, purchasing orders, reviews on your account, completing/doing something that's not allowed, let's say academic work in my category (I'm a writer), and taking your customer/seller off the platform. Other than these, I don't think doing something to secure the business could be considered gaming the system. 

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Gaming a system, in general terminology means using: the tools in place in any way, not intended by the creators, for self benefit or gain, and/or to skirt the rules. 

It's like a loophole in a legal system, and how "getting off on a technicality" happens.

Or you could view it like an exploit in a video game, with glitches that permit the player to completely bypass something the developers put in place for a reason. It's good fun in a single-player game, and can lead to hilarious challenge runs, but in a multiplayer game, it can break the entire in-game economy, should it start being used by many people.

For a Fiverr-specific example, all those 'click my link to this example video' BRs that show up, that are NOT actual Buyers. There's nothing in them to prove they are not genuine BRs, and they are therefore permitted by the Fiverr system, even though they are extremely gamey. They do break the Fiverr ToS (the part about breaking 3rd party ToSs), but, again, good luck proving that.

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9 hours ago, wordsfire said:

Is it gaming the system...

  1. if you lower your prices or offer discounts to get more orders (to maintain the order completion rate)?
  2. if you advertise your gigs on social media (including conversational marketing, i.e., chatting with your friends and connections on [SM list], etc.) to get more orders?
  3. if you break an order in smaller ones to maintain a metric on your analytics dashboard or get more reviews?
  4. if you use forums' designated categories to advertise your gigs around the evaluation date?
  5. if you launch or offer a totally unrelated gig or custom order to maintain one of the stats?
  6. if you offered the same services at $5 (aka undercut prices) to collect reviews as a new seller? There are so many markets where they do not approve of this practice. 
  7. if you do XYZ to get more sales or maintain your analytics?
  8. if you do anything to favor your fiverr business other than creating gigs and delivering orders?

This is exactly why legal and justice systems have so much trouble: proving intent. Attempting to game the system is different (barely) from actual gaming the system.

1. 'Low prices' is a common business tactic to attract customers. This isn't gaming, because it can very easily backfire and make someone's completion rate worse.
2. That's called 'expanding your market'. If the person doing the promotion doesn't know what they're doing, and can easily result in being banned from those sites.
3. That's very gamey, especially since we now have Milestone Orders.
4. If you mean in "My Fiverr Gigs", then no, because the odds of that working are pretty much nil. Other categories is gaming, which is why it's not permitted.
5. If a Seller can do the work, then there's nothing wrong with offering variety. (Custom offers of unrelated work to the gig, can backfire.)
6. Economics 101, 'supply and demand'. See reply to 1. (Now, 'bait-and-switch' is a completely different matter, and, yes, bait-and-switch is gaming.)
7. Too vague. But this is why I mostly agree with: https://community.fiverr.com/forums/topic/217955-your-level-doesnt-matter/
8. 'Marketing', in general, is not gaming. There is such a thing as predatory marketing, which is VERY gaming, and there are laws against it.

Doing normal business in a "free-market-system" is not gaming. 

That said: different cultures, different practices. From what I've read, may people that have to adapt to a new global marketplace oft get confused about what is acceptable and what is not, simply because it's different from what they're use to.

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50 minutes ago, imagination7413 said:

may people that have to adapt to a new global marketplace oft get confused about what is acceptable and what is not, simply because it's different from what they're use to.

This underscores the problems that arise when the only requirements to sell are that one has both a pulse and a cell phone. How wonderful that I, for example, could initiate a gig right now: "For $5 I will perform a coronary artery bypass," and claim to be a cardiac surgeon, and head of cardiology at West Undershirt Teaching Hospital in Walla Walla. I could further claim to have invented the artificial heart valve, and hold the global patent for it, in addition to being an amateur astronaut and Elon Musk's uncle. I would naturally be fluent in 19 languages, and native in another 5, including Klingon. I can easily get great descriptions for my gig from other cardiac surgeons here on Fiber, and include my real, actual and authentic headshot as well. 

 

image.png.4c3d56e4e41ebd2dc8ca6b1b10598dd6.png

 

In chalking up "gaming the system" to cultural differences, I struggle to think of a modern culture that promotes the practice of lies, IP theft, plagiarism, faking of orders and all the other scams we see daily, as acceptable. I believe honesty is a pillar of every modern culture. It may just be that people are not that worried about it when they can be anonymous and have a chance to snatch a $5 bill.  But it's clear that the honor system is not working. 

 

Edited by newsmike
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10 hours ago, animie_video said:

if you break an order in smaller ones

I don't think this means you game the system. I work alone and I can't do 20000 words with my main gig. But I split this into smaller orders and I deliver 4000 words at a time. It's easier to manage and revise. Thankfully people stopped placing such large orders and they usually ask. Hopefully that option to stop gig multiples if you want to will eventually appear... 

Of course, this is in the case of a writer. For other niches it can be avoided I assume. 

Edited by donnovan86
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20 hours ago, newsmike said:

In chalking up "gaming the system" to cultural differences, I struggle to think of a modern culture that promotes the practice of lies, IP theft, plagiarism, faking of orders and all the other scams we see daily, as acceptable.

Whups. Had a typo. That was suppose to be "many people". Thank you for pointing it out. It was most certainly not an attempt to 'absolute' it to cultural differences. (And yes, I just used 'absolute' as a verb.) 

Overarching country cultures, no. Subcultures, though, is another matter. "You become like the people you surround yourself with." Humans are community-driven, and the desire to 'belong' is stupid powerful, to the point of compromise. And compromise is a slow, subtle, and slippery slope. (Hazing and initiation.)

On 6/23/2022 at 1:05 PM, newsmike said:

I believe honesty is a pillar of every modern culture. 

I wish I could believe that. I've seen too much evidence to the contrary.

On 6/23/2022 at 1:05 PM, newsmike said:

It may just be that people are not that worried about it when they can be anonymous and have a chance to snatch a $5 bill.  But it's clear that the honor system is not working. 

Exactly. I am NOT trying to excuse 'them', merely trying to understand. "Echo Chamber" is usually a term used in political rings, but 'parroting' happens, which results in both bandwagon effects and conformation bias. (And dozens of other cognitive biases.) If it's all they know...

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An addition to the thread topic: Decided to google the definition.

Cambridge dictionary: 'Playing the system'

Quote

"to use the rules of a system to get an advantage for yourself, in a way that is wrong or dishonest"

Wikipedia: 'gaming the system'

Quote

"Gaming the system (also rigging, abusing, cheating, milking, playing, working, or breaking the system, or gaming or bending the rules) can be defined as using the rules and procedures meant to protect a system to, instead, manipulate the system for a desired outcome."

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