First of all, I wish all 4sysops members and readers a Happy New IT Year! I hope you will stay with us in 2017. Actually, I hope that in the new year, you don't just passively consume our content but instead become an active member in our IT community. As little incentives, we offer a new member point system and a member competition with prizes for the winners. I’ll talk more about this a bit later.

Michael Pietroforte

Michael Pietroforte is the founder and editor of 4sysops. He is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) with more than 30 years of experience in IT management and system administration.

However, the main reason why I recommend that you switch from passive reading mode to an active membership is because it will help your career as an IT pro. Reading and studying are not really good methods when it comes to aearning. Practicing is better; however, writing and teaching are far more effective ways of improving your own knowledge and skills. Every cognitive scientist will confirm this, and after blogging intensively for more than ten years about all kinds of IT topics, I can assure you that there is no better way to learn. Trust me; it is even better than learning by doing.

Helping admins in the forum ^

Not everyone has time to blog regularly. However, sharing your latest discovery with a short forum post or answering a colleague’s question will not only give you the satisfaction of helping others, it will also deepen your expertise. Only when you try to write down what you think you know will you recognize all the gaps in your knowledge.

Sharing your IT skills in the wiki ^

In addition to the forum, you can share your know-how in our wiki. Whereas the forum is mostly for questions and short posts of self-contained how-to topics, our wiki serves for large projects where multiple members collaborate to create detailed documents about complicated IT topics. If you have an idea for a wiki project, please send me a private message after signing in.

Posting links to IT news ^

In contrast, the updates you can post in the activity stream are microblog posts like on Twitter or Facebook where you share interesting IT news or things you just learned at your IT job that you can cover in one to three sentences. To share a link, simply click the link symbol below the form field. Our app will automatically generate an excerpt and present you with available thumbnails. You can also upload pictures (screenshots for example) if you click the media symbol. To add a message to your news post, simply put your comment in the text field below "What's new" and above the URL field.

The link button and the media button in the 4sysops activity stream

The link button and the media button in the 4sysops activity stream

Liking on 4sysops ^

But that's not all. You can help improve our articles by sharing your opinion in blog comments. If you enjoyed reading an article, we appreciate it a lot if you click our (internal) like button. (Note that this is not a Facebook like. However, you can, of course, also share our articles in all [external] social media.) If you are logged in, your avatar will appear under the article after a like, and a corresponding notice post will appear in the site-wide activity stream and in your private activity stream.

A 4sysops like

A 4sysops like

Making friends ^

Actually, everything you do on 4sysops (forum, wiki, activity updates, etc.) will appear in the activity streams and on the 4sysops homepage. Your private activity stream (click your avatar in the top menu) helps you document your community contributions. These could impress a future employer or perhaps even lead to an industry award such as the Microsoft MVP award. As on other social networks, you can follow 4sysops members (add them as friends) if you find their contributions interesting.

The 4sysops activity stream on the homepage

The 4sysops activity stream on the homepage

Monthly prize ^

To reward active 4sysops members, we are introducing a new point system and a member competition. You can gain points for all activities mentioned above. Please have a look at the current member point system. There are many more options to acquire points; I haven’t mentioned them all here.

To get things started, we sponsor a little prize. The member who receives the most points at the end of a particular month will get US$100, the runner-up $50, and the third place finisher $25.

Leaderboards ^

In the monthly member leaderboard, you can monitor how you are doing in the competition. In the all-time member leaderboard, you will find the most active 4sysops members for the current year. (I don't appear in the monthly member leaderboard because I am messing with 4sysops all day and it wouldn't be fair to take part in the competition. However, the 4sysops authors are also taking part in the monthly member competition.)

The points you’ve gained also appear under your profile avatar. On the points tab, you can see the activities for which you’ve won points. You can also access the point log of other members if you click their avatars.

You will notice the rank below your avatar. Currently, we only have two ranks: level 0 (0-1 points), and level 1 (more than 1 point). Once we’ve established the new point system, we will add more ranks and additional rewards for reaching higher ranks.

The points tab in a member’s profile

The points tab in a member’s profile

Note that we now also have an author point system and an author competition. The author points come only from a blogger's long-term impact on 4sysops with regard to the page views their articles generate. On the monthly author leaderboard and on the all-time author leaderboard, you can check how our authors are performing. The top 3 of all four leaderboards are also on the 4sysops homepage.

Wrap-up ^

You should also have a look at the 4sysops member point system. You will see that there are many more ways to gain points. I will update the list regularly.

I hope the competition adds some fun to our IT community and encourages some of you to share your wisdom. If you are unsure which of our different sharing options is appropriate for your content, don't hesitate to ask in a comment below. I welcome any other comments or suggestions about our community features as well.

If you are not yet a 4sysops member, please register. Note that we will only approve your membership application if you tell us little about your background in IT. The 4sysops community is for IT professionals only.

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2 Comments
  1. Amar 9 months ago

    How to become a member of 4sysops.

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    • Author
      Michael Pietroforte 9 months ago

      You can apply for 4sysops membership here. Make sure to tell us about your background in IT in the bio field. 4sysops is a community for IT professionals only.

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