Many times people associate a user level, as represented by their activity score, with a user's reputation, also known as their rating reliability.
Basically, the system analyzes each user's rating behavior from several aspects in order to determine their reliability. When you start using WOT, your ratings have little weight, but if you keep rating sites consistently, your ratings will be considered more reliable over time, re: ratings aren't equally reliable.
For a simple explanation, read the blog post: Differing opinions paying attention to Personal reputation.
- I can see my activity score but where is my rating reliability score?
The reliability estimates aren't public to make gaming the system more difficult and to encourage everyone to rate honestly. Also, even though the estimates are automated and perfectly objective, I'm sure some users would take them personally and publishing them would create all kinds of unwanted friction in the community. I don't think anyone wants that.
- Sami 18 January, 2010 forum entry
Some curious facts about rating reliability: cite.
- Most users whose ratings are considered highly reliable are not very active. You won't meet them at the forum and they don't rate unusually many sites.
- Since reliability estimates are not revealed to anyone, trying to game the system becomes more difficult. Most trusted users have no idea their ratings are more trusted than someone else's. If you don't know you have power, you also have no incentive to abuse it.
- Reliability estimates are not binary values that are either on or off. They are composed of several components, which are all combined in to a single value from 0-100 separately for each rating component. This means that your child safety rating may have a different weight than the ratings in other components, for example.