For the general idea of Trust Levels, I recommend this blog post:
If you’ve been around College Confidential, you’ll remember ranks. We’ve mapped ranks onto trust levels like this:
Rank => Trust Level ---- New Member => New (0) Junior Member => Basic (1) Member => Member (2) Senior Member => Regular (3)
The plan was to do this before launch, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. So I’m now going back and updating Trust Levels based on people’s former ranks.
Why does this matter? Aren’t we all treated the same?
One reason for Trust Levels is so that we can relax restrictions a bit. For instance, we know it’s a bad idea to let brand new users send private messages to other people. So we limit private messages to Trust Level 1 and above. That way people can send private messages but only after we know that they aren’t fly-by-night spammers or whatnot.
Everyone has the ability to earn more trust from the system. All you need to do is spend time on the site and using it as intended:
The Trust system operates on a simple, but often-ignored principle: joining a group takes time and effort. Large and mature organizations observe rules, customs and rituals that make them distinct from other groups. It’s natural to feel a little uncomfortable at the start of a new relationship. All good things demand some effort to obtain and that’s certainly true of groups.
Over the next few days, I’ll be updating the everyone’s Trust Level to match what they had before moving to the new forums. Trusting the community is one of my core values for the CC Forums.