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Jul 27 / King Kaufman

New Bleacher Report Writer Ranking System is live

King Kaufman's dashboard

Your humble Writing Program Manager has some work to do

Update, July 29, 10:45 a.m.: We’ve made some changes in response to the feedback we got on this post. Here’s a new post by Dave Morrison with an explanation.

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As promised the other day, Bleacher Report’s new Writer Ranking System is here.

The smart people on our product team have been working hard to overhaul the way writers move up through the ranks at Bleacher Report. The new system aims to be more descriptive, with 24 levels instead of the former six, and more transparent.

The rankings are based on points you earn for various writing achievements, and it’ll be clear to B/R writers at their Writer HQ pages how many points they need to get to the next level.

No more wondering what you have to do to move up to, say, “Columnist.”

The new ranking system doesn’t mean everybody has to go back to the starting line. All B/R writers will start out with the ranking they already had and the commensurate number of points in the new system.

This page has a full explanation of the new paradigm.

Check it out, Bleacher Report writers. We know you’ll have questions, complaints, suggestions and maybe even a few words of praise. Let’s make the comments section of this blog post the place where we discuss the new system. The smart people on the product team will be watching and responding.

  • Pryor

    What about those of us that have earned a first, second, or third place top writer honor in march and june? will those not count towards our writer rank? I have enough to jump up at least 4 levels so why are some of us starting at square one?

    • Shanan Delp

      We’re starting the ranking system points tracking effective today, so those top writer awards you earned in the past won’t count toward your total in this new system. We thought this was the most fair way to do the accounting. We do credit you for titles – correspondent, analyst, etc– earned in the old system, however.

      -Shanan – B/R Product Team

      • Jfromi

        Wouldn’t the most fair thing to do it is just total up the previous points. It took me five minutes to do my awards and such. I know that it’s not as easy doing the same the thousands of writers, but all the information is logged on our profile so it seems that a way to tabulate points retroactively is not out of the realm of possibility.

        I have been at the correspondent level for several months, during which I’ve taken part in two coverage teams and earned four monthly writer awards. What hurts is that I was started at the lowest correspondent level instead of the highest. Instead of working my way to the analyst level, I started at the lowest possible rung.

        Being started at the analyst level would have been nice, considering I have nearly 2,000 points accumulated over nine months of writing. I realize that bug are going to have to be worked out of the new system (which I think is a great idea), but ther are a lot of us who feel like our prior output should have been given some condideration and respect.

      • Andrew Hall

        I feel like it would be nice to get points retroactively for work I’ve already written. It wasn’t any easier to get badges, medals or other awards in the past than it is now. Why ignore that work? Furthermore, I feel somewhat slighted by the lack of ranking for previous work. By my calculation I have 510 points previously acquired which would make me “Correspondent II” but I am currently listed as “Contributor I”. I know that may seem petty and there are probably tons of folks with bigger point totals and larger fish to fry, but it isn’t exactly encouraging to know that as far as these rankings go my first 20 or so articles counted for nothing.

  • Isaac Asante

    This is great. So far, I have nothing to complain about. I have one question though: As we all work to go up the ladder, do all Featured Columnist receive same treatment (task assignments, etc…)?

    I am currently a Featured Columnist for FC Barcelona, but I have not been receiving any assignment for quite a while now (the reason why I wonder…) Otherwise, speaking of the new system, it is creative.

  • scott harris

    I like it…a thoughtful and thorough way if incentivizing performance. Thank you and well done.

  • Pacman8510

    I love the concept guys. Very innovative. Thing is, this system works as if we were just promoted. I’ve been Senior Analyst since February but it’s like I just got promoted

  • Rick Weiner

    I’m going to say that I think this is a good idea, but I’m not 100% sold on it yet…we all know that bugs do pop up in the system from time to time (take the email notification issue that we’re still dealing with for example). But assuming the point generating engine (or however you guys have set it up) remains bug free I don’t see this as being anything but a positive.

  • Michael


  • Andrew Bock

    I’m not a huge fan of achievement systems, because they usually stress quantity over quality, but we’ll see. At the very least, good for you guys to encourage more content. I just hope it doesn’t water down the site and turn into something unexpected.

    (taking advantage of the image attachment feature)

    • Anonymous

      Andrew, that’s a great point about systems like this stressing quantity over quality. The problem of course is that quality is hard to quantify. But while this ranking system is a big part of the program, it’s not the only thing we’re doing. For example, point accumulation will not get you to the Featured Columnist level. It just gets you consideration, but FC status is a judgment call based on quality.

  • Joel Reuter

    I personally think this is a great idea, but the fact that past achievements are not taken into account in the points system is puzzling to me. You can clearly see the trophies and badges that writers have accumulated in the past, so why not credit them with the points they deserve? I personally have been an FC for nearly two years, and have written for the site for three years. Looking at my trophy case, I have earned 173 trophies, but now I am put back at square one and on the same level as someone who may have become an FC yesterday. In trying to make it more clearly defined where writers stand, you have watered down anything that a writer has achieved prior to this moment, and that is my biggest issue.

    • Aron


      I definitely wouldn’t consider yourself back at square one. You keep all your reads, awards, opportunities and body of work from before. We simply decided it’s most fair to start everyone from scratch in this new system. Writers who know what it takes to succeed on B/R (yourself, and others I recognize in this thread), will have an advantage of moving up quickly. This just provides incentive for all to continue striving for great things on B/R, with greater rewards than ever before. Think of this as an add-on for the writer experience, and not a detriment.

      • Joel Reuter


        Fair enough, and as I said I think this is a terrific idea overall. I still feel writers should be awarded what they have achieved in the past, as it is all clearly documented in the trophies they have earned, and that seems to be the consensus amongst the writers. Either way though, I like the concept as a whole, and look forward to seeing how it plays out.

  • Adam Fromal

    Will the top writers from this month be given credit?

  • Dan Mori

    I am concerned about 1 thing. I have been a FC for a year now and it appears as though I am starting from scratch on the “Points List”. B/R should definitely credit everyone for their past work. I think it’s important that existing writers are given the points based on their past hard work and effort.

    • Andrew Hall

      I agree. I’m relatively new here, but it seems like my first 20 articles and various awards are being ignored and I’m a “Contributor I” which implies I’ve never done anything.

  • Nick McAndrews

    I like the idea, but why am I ranked the same as people who aren’t writing anything when I have nearly 30,000 reads? By the new standards I’m not even approved to get my articles published in newsletters and yet I’ve had almost 20 of them in newsletters in the past. So basically I’m back at square 1? This is frustrating. Others didn’t lose any ranking, why me?

  • Mohamed Al-Hendy

    I can’t see my current point total and how much i need to get to the next level. Any ideas why this is the case? This is what I currently see.

    • Mohamed Al-Hendy

      nvm, it shows up on my writing page now.

  • Bill N

    This should include credit for past accomplishments. We will see if it improves the quality of B/R articles, which is needed in many cases.

  • Jordan Matthews

    This is a great idea, but I feel like it’s a bit top-heavy to the current featured columnists. In the NHL section for example, four out of the top five writers for the month are featured columnists. The easiest/quickest way to earn points is to be a top writer for the month, but when all the featured columnists are given the prime space on the website, it makes it pretty easy for them to win every month.

    • Jordan Matthews

      Thus, the rich get richer.

    • Pjsapi

      actually if you look at the point system the NHL gets hosed, we don’t get points for being top writes of the month

  • Daniel3417

    I’d like to echo several other writers in saying that I’d like to receive credit for my writing thus far. A person who joins tomorrow will be at the same level as I am (apparently I have 0 points but 100k reads), and that isn’t right.

  • Jordan Matthews

    Also, not sure if anybody else has this problem but my ranking is way off. Just counting my medals/gems and monthly wins alone I have 630 points, and yet I’m ranked as a Contributor III. By the chart I should be a Correspondent II.

  • MikeH

    Yeah mine is off also. It still says I’m a member when I post stories. My profile says Contributor I but I should be at least a II.

  • J S

    I appreciate the increased transparency, but I feel like I should also be rewarded for the writing I have already done. If I have written 10 articles and already have 7 medals, shouldn’t I get credit for that?

  • Pacman8510

    I’m less enthusiastic about it now that I realize I was supposed to be promoted before this system. I’ve accumulated over 10,000 points based off of 382 medals. Thing is, that’s a mere estimate as it could be at least 13,000. I’ve been a Senior Analyst for five months and I’ve been put on the same level as guys that got promoted yesterday. I believe past medals should be accounted for as its not my fault I didn’t receive a promotion from my overwhelming amount of achievements. If not, I’d rather have the old system. It just isn’t fair and if you think so, somethings wrong.

    • Pacman8510

      Sorry for this miscalculation. Just read the points based on medals and I have 7290. This is not including the three months I spent as my sections top writer in reads. So the grand total is 8790. And I’m placed in the 2000 point category. Unfair…

  • C-CooL

    RIDICULOUS. The dumbest thing I’ve ever seen in all my years of living. So all the prestige we’ve gained has no gone down the toilet. If I was an inch away of gaining a writing level, that has now gone down the drain.

    Now, we can expect for people to write worthless articles just to gain points. It’s like an Xbox live account, we gain awards, metals, and achievements. So Bleacher Report is now a video game. Excellent.

  • Jacob Waring

    This new system is totally unfair as we ALL should be credited with out pass work and besides I now feel like writing on the Bleacher report is like playing Mass Effect series on my Xbox 360 slim. Our awards are our achievements and the leveling up with this new point system will just fuel writers to write for the sake of writing as they would just want to level up.

    This is a very disappointing change to the system and an unfair one as others have already remarked. It’ll certainly make me less inviting as a writer to the Bleacher Report. I seriously hope you fellas will take all the complaints and criticism to heart and change what needs to be change!

  • Mitch Cray

    We should definitely be rewarded for our achievements to date, in the form of points. Other than that, I think that this system will work.

  • Karl Matchett

    hiya, I have a question unrelated to the perceived fairness of the situation – on the “team specific” badges it says these are in place for NFL, College FB, NBA, NFL, MLB.

    however they have for the past 2 months also been in place for Football (Soccer) writers and I would like to know if we are going to get credited with future points for winning these monthly awards.

    also, as someone has already asked, are they going to be issued for THIS month (july) or not starting until next month?

    • Shanan Delp

      Hi Karl,

      2 answers for you. The July Top Writers Awards will count toward you points totals. Look for these to be awarded on Monday. Secondly, we are giving special “league” awards for NFL, CFB, NBA, NFL, MLB, but we will continue to award team top writers awards across almost all sports.

      • Karl Matchett

        thanks very much shanan.

  • James Walker

    I also want to echo a lot of the past comments, I would like my past achievements to contribute to my overall score. I have 24 medals from 23 articles and 40k+ reads but apparently I am of equal ranking to someone who would sign up this very minute.

    I know it’s a new system so I hope you can correct these mistakes soon. Once this error has gone it will be much fairer I think, I like the fact that we now know what we have to do to progress up the rankings.

  • Rickbrokaw

    I have to agree with the general consensus here, our past articles (from at least the last few months) should count towards this new ranking system. For everyone to begin at an equal level is not fair for those who have succeeded greatly in B/R. I would hate to see us lose some of our top writers because they are not receiving the recognition they deserve.

  • Mdphantom

    I’ll bite here, in saying that the things that we have written in the last (at least) 4 to 6 weeks should count for something. Just my two cents. Either way, cool program. Glad to be a part of it at this point.

  • Fct4nyi

    They say u start with the points you already have accumulated, but I am at level 1 with zero points… i guess the kinks are still being worked out.

  • Daniel Bandekow

    I have 18 high quality articles written and zero points. I guess my past accomplishments count for nothing despite the email saying they would. screw bleacher report. bye.

  • PJ

    Why aren’t top monthly writer awards given for each league/team? It appears that the NHL and soccer are left out. As a FC within NHL I will not have the opportunity to accumualte the same as others. A points system should be the same across the board. Or is this B/R version of the DH rule, hald of us go by one set of rules, the rest by another….

  • Joseph Bruno

    Same comment as others i’d like to have credit for everything i’ve done. I only have 10 points at the moment with almost 300K reads and 90 articles written

  • Itsallabouttheu

    I too feel a bit ripped off. I have 200,000 reads, 81 articles and im rocking a Featured Columnist I?

    • Nick McAndrews

      I do too. I feel like they’re basically telling me that all the work I’ve done for the last 6 months was for nothing. How do I have nearly 30,000 reads and am still ranked the same as someone that could’ve started yesterday. My articles used to get reviewed minutes after I would publish them, now it takes more than a day? Why would I want to keep writing for a site that clearly doesn’t appreciate the work that I’ve spent countless hours doing for them. This needs to be fixed.

  • Joseph Bruno

    I think you should start someone where they were last promoted and promote them more based on what they’ve done at that spot. For example, i am a Featured Columnest and only have 10 points at the moment on the system, even though i have been a Featured Columnest for about or over a year, meaning most of the work i have done on here has been as a FC and right now im getting no credit at all for it. People who have been at a certain spot for a while should be promoted based on what they have accomplished in that time. I should start at FC and be promoted on the work i’ve done since ive been one on the site, and same goes for a guy who has been a Correspondent, Contributer etc for a while, they should start there, they calculate everything they’ve done as that status and promote them more accordingly.

  • Jfromi

    My problem is that, like a lot of writers, I had been at my present level for some time. During this time, I accumulated a lot of writing credits.

    If I was placed in the highest Correspondent level, I would still be on my way to the ranking above me. I was started a a newly promoted Correspondent, not one who has spent seveal productive months at that level.

    It just doesn’t seem to make sense that I start at tier I and not tier III, and I’m sure a lot of folks are in this same boat.

  • Ryan Walden

    When I read this, I was eagerly hoping to find that you had added some semblance of a quality ranking system, instead it appears you just added to your quantity ranking system. The biggest knock on the B/R has been that writers have no credibility and they are spitting out controversial, unobjective opinions with no basis of fact.

    Obviously, opinionated articles lead to healthy debates and more traffic for the B/R, I get that. But in a lot of cases, writers who take a rational, objective approach and a less extreme stance are the ones who get less comments and sometimes less reads. Your system also doesn’t account for the fact that certain markets get more readers.

    All I’m saying is that I would hope you guys would find some way to incorporate a quality ranking system. Maybe at the end of each article, ask people to fill out a few questions like:
    -Rank this person’s writing ability
    -How convincing was their argument?
    -Did they make an effort to give an objective opinion?

    This way, writers get real feedback and can either improve or realize that writing isn’t their forte. And if you can find a way to factor these rankings into your quantity system, that would be helpful too.

    This could only help the quality of the articles written and the credibility of the Bleacher Report. At least it would look like you’re making an effort to become a credible source of sports information.

  • Davis Zhao

    I’d like to echo the sentiment of my fellow writers, this system is a lot more clear now but it completely kills what we have spent months and years building up.

  • Joseph Bruno

    it doesn’t seem like anyone is getting a response about the concerns about the new system or at least i haven’t heard anything, everyone seems to have the same problem with it, is anything going to be done about it?

  • Dave Mo

    Hey Everyone!

    Thank you so much for all your feedback on the new system thus far. It is great to see the excitement around this feature and it’s even more exciting to see our writer’s thoughts on how to improve it.

    After reading and discussing your comments it’s clear to us that while this new system will be able to take the writing experience on B/R to another level, there are a few things we need to adjust first.

    To start, we’ll update the list of leagues we’re awarding top writer awards for, and we are also working on finding a way to calculate points for your recent contributions to the site. These two adjustments should go into effect by early next week at the latest.

    Your patience while we iron out the first few bumps is greatly appreciated. Our goal is to provide B/R writers with the best possible experience and your comments posted here will help make sure we get it right.

    We are listening, so please keep the comments coming!


    Dave Mo, Community Manager

    • Joseph Bruno

      when you say “calculate points for your recent contributions” does that mean that the fact that i’ve been a FC for about a year means nothing because all that will be taken into account will be what i’ve done in the past month or so.

      To me thats not very fair, most of my time on this site has been spent as a FC and from the looks of what is going to happen, all the time i’ve put into this is just going to mean nothing except like i said what i’ve done recently.

      i’ve commented on here already but i still think to make it fair the site should take people at the status they are right now, me at FC, then take into account everything that person has done at that status, if they’ve done enough to be promoted all the way up to whatever status then fine, if they havent done much then they stay where they are, otherwise you are saying whatever any of us has done except for whatever time period you guys pick was nothing.

      • Dave Mo

        Hey Joseph,

        Thanks for weighing in here. We are still looking at how exactly the calculations will work out and we will be sure to give you a full update once we have looked at the numbers. I completely understand your point, as well as other writer’s concerns over past accomplishments on the site.

        Unfortunately, we only started collecting the data for this new system when we launched top writer awards. So we are looking at different ways to (a) make sure the starting point for everyone who has been brought over from the old system is fair and (b) figuring out a way to make it work from an engineering stand point.

        The important thing to remember is that the old system was essentially “flying in the dark” when it came to moving up through the writer reputation levels. This new system is wide open and you are able to accurately track your progress.

        The issue here is that the old system didn’t line up with the new system, which is an obvious problem. We are working on this as we speak, to make sure we can get it right for all B/R writers.

        At the end of the day we built this system for the writers and I think the transparency of this system is a big win we can all agree on. With that said, we know the transition between systems may be a little bumpy as we look to make sure everyone’s past efforts are not ignored.

        It’s great to keep this conversation going as we work out the kinks. Any additional feedback is appreciated!


        Dave Mo, B/R’s Community Manager

        • Davis Zhao

          Do you plan to track writer accomplishments since May? I think that would be a reasonable compromise because you started the top writers awards that month.

          • Dave Mo

            Hey Davis,

            That is an option we are looking at. Great suggestion!

            —Dave Mo, Community Manager

        • Joseph Bruno

          I think the system moving forward will be fine and looks good the only thing that is unfair is what is going to happen to past work done.

          i am very proud of everything i’ve done on here as a FC and like you said because of the old system and new system not working together, that means only a portion of what i and others have done will count, so it will be like what i’ve done didnt matter.

          I know it may be an unfixable problem however it still won’t be very fair for people who have been writing for a longer time.

          • Dave Mo

            I agree Joseph. It is my main concern that our writers enjoy their experience here at Bleacher Report.

            We hope to make the transition from the old system to the new system as fair as possible. However, I do understand the frustration that may come with this transition (as I am in the same boat personally).

            The good thing about this system being live now is that everything you publish today and going forward you can see exactly how close you are to moving up a level.

            Again, I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with us.


            Dave Mo, Community Manager

        • PJ

          How will the badge type of past points be determined? I ask because even though I have earned badges for top writer, ncaa tourney and nhl playoffs, they never have appeared on my profile. I think I may be a points addict now, will their be a support group :)

    • Ryan Walden

      See my comment below regarding quality vs. quantity and writer feedback. This adjustment doesn’t seem to make any attempt to encourage better writing or more objectiveness.

      All you’re doing is giving people points for volume… Obviously this is site wants to encourage everyone to share their opinions, but it seems the Bleacher Report could greatly benefit from identifying who their stronger writers are.

      Maybe I’m alone in this opinion, but when I click on a front page article that looks like it’s been written by a middle school kid, it doesn’t reflect well on the credibility of the B/R. It’s fine if bad writers have a passion for expressing their opinions, it just seems like it should be up to the publication to determine which writers actually deserve the audience that comes with a featured story and which writers should be relegated to areas of the site that attract smaller audiences.

      Just something to think about…

      • Dave Mo

        Hey Ryan,

        Thanks for the follow up comment! I completely understand the quality versus quantity concern.

        That was a major factor when designing this system, the challenge being that quality is subjective and our growing community requires something scalable.

        Bleacher Report always encourages quality as well as consistency and we feel this system is a good mix. The theory being that it is hard to place as a top writer in a section if you aren’t a strong writer who contributes consistently.

        I hope that helps address your concerns at least a little bit.

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it means a lot. We are always excited to hear different ideas and suggestions for improving the site. We may not always be able to act on them right away, but we do keep track and see if we can add writer’s suggestions further down the road.

        Please let me know if you have further discussion points regarding the new system. I would be thrilled to hear them!


        Dave Mo, Community Manager

    • Mitch Cray

      Hey Dave,

      I think it’s important that the quality of articles is kept up, I think if you rewarded writers points for the rating editors give the article it would encourage quality over quantity.

    • Kevin Goff

      Are things still kind of glitchy with this? I’ve so far only received points for the debate medals, and not for my read medals. Are points only awarded for debate medals? I’m confused.

  • Matt Bowen6

    I have a problem simply getting reads. Is it strictly because the prime spots are reserved for FC’s? Anyone have any suggestions? I do not believe my work is total crap, but I can’t “buy a bucket” so to speak.

    • Matt Bowen6

      I also do not know if it’s the way I tag items? How much does tagging into play?

      • Nick Caron

        Hey Mat

      • Nick Caron

        Sorry, I accidentally clicked too early and responded.

        It can be tough getting reads when you’re new to B/R. To be honest, I still don’t know why some articles tend to do better than others. Just know that over time, you’ll figure out what works and what doesn’t to some extent, within your individual sport.

    • Matt Bowen6

      Okay, admittedly this article was a bit premature but why has it only gotten 55 reads.

      We’re are witnessing history as we speak…

      • Daniel Bandekow

        I didn’t get many reads til I had written about 15 or so articles. just keep at it

  • Jo Ryan Salazar

    Will the medals we have already earned count towards the points we will be receiving?

  • Pjsapi

    As some have said quality should be counted on as well. Having editors have some say would be good as well as team leads.

  • Sunil Ram

    I just started writing for B/R about two weeks ago and have posted three articles, but I’m unsure if the first two have counted for anything in the new system. My first article has a gold medal in great debate and a silver medal in hot read, and my second has silver medal in great debate and a bronze medal in hot read. Each of the first two articles were also top stories on their respective team pages and the first one was featured on the main NBA page (not as a top story), which I believe count toward the point total. However, I’m only a level one contributor with 10 points. Please get back to me when an opportunity arises, thank you.

  • Jordan Matthews

    Great way to alienate your current writers. I guess I’m trying to figure out how I go from Contributor Level 3 to Contributor Level 1 when I should’ve been Correspondent Level 2 in the first place…

  • Sean Smith

    It doesn’t seem like points are actually being calculated for me. I earned three hot reads medals today and only have 10 points. Is there a delay in the calculations?

  • Kevin

    Just curious here. Do the medal points only count for debates? Because I have just had an article get 2000 reads and have only received a medal for the comments on it. glitch? Just curious.

    • Sean Smith

      Yeah, I haven’t been getting points for reads medals either…

  • Jake Rodd

    How long does it take for points gained from new articles to show on the profile?