UFH takes work. Lots of. You just don’t see it.
I think what we really want is to find out the stars in FIRST. Not stars like celebrities by today’s standard, but people who are smart, experts in what they do, and great problem solvers. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what their specialties are. You will know a competent person when you see him/her speak, write, or act.
It would be nice if there is a way to statistically categorize these people, but unfortunately, there isn’t. That’s why we have so many things spotlighting them. There are Woodie Flower’s Award, Unsung FIRST Hero, the reputation system, the spotlights, etc. These are all methods to grant titles to these individuals, because titles is today’s standard in telling you who to respect.
Only, the basic connection still has to be made. One cannot be made to respect others by their titles. One has to choose to respect others based on his/her observation of others. Integrity, competency, and wisdom are too big to fit inside a name or a title. That’s why I work with people at events, read their CD posts, have conversations with them at dinner, ask questions (many of them); because those are my only means of understanding people.
Going back to the reputation system, it assigns a number based on people’s approval of you. The word approval is very vague, so the entire system is very vague. I use the rep point system only as a mean to tell me “Maybe I should get to know these people better”. I call that bridge building, if you will. The more bridges I build, the more possibilities I have to meet an awesome person. That’s why friends tends to meet new friends through each other, because friend’s introduction tend to build more solid bridges than say, one between you and a stranger on the street.
The ideas discussed in this thread are trying to build more solid bridges between new comers and veteran FIRST-a-holics, but that’s only a mean, not an end. Whether or not you want to walk through the bridges, that’s entirely up to you. If all you want to do is see the view across the river, be my guest.
Looking back now, I realized I’ve know most people on the first page long before the reputation system ever existed. So the world was and still spinning with or without the reputation system. Maybe that shouldn’t be such a strange idea to you after all.