Squaring the Qube: New User Experience Badges Coming Soon

by Jason Toon

If you use our world-famous hot ‘n’ spicy forums in the next week or so, you may notice that the little square next to your username has changed colors. Don’t be alarmed. Your account has not been hacked. This discoloration is not a symptom of disease. As you probably know, the user experience badge, or “qube”, as some of you kooks call it, denotes how many Woot purchases you’ve made. Due to Woot’s freakish growth rate, we’re dumping the old five-color system like a leaky bedpan and instituting this new eight-step qube regime in its place:

Now, if you’re upset that you’ll be losing your coveted black square, all we can say is “Good. That was the point.” See, when we started this whole rigmarole three-plus years ago, wooters with 25 or more purchases were a rare breed, an exalted echelon, a true elite. But back then we only had about 300,000 members, and now we’re up well beyond 2 million. And all of our members keep buying so much stuff. So now the elite ain’t so elite anymore. The whole better-than-everybody-else vibe doesn’t work if too many people are better than everybody else. It’s time to pull the velvet rope back. If you want to fly the black flag these days, you have to be truly, madly, pathologically unusual. Here’s the before-and-after in clean, antiseptic graph form.

Just 0.19% of wooters were in the top tier back then; over time, that had grown to 3.16%. Now that black box is available to only a tiny sliver of wooters once again, the way it should be: 0.11%, or about 1,400 purchasing wooters out of roughly 1.3 million, have made at least 100 purchases.

Why didn’t we set the bar that high to begin with? Well, three years ago, there were only two of you who’d bought that much from us. Two!

Speaking of the true outliers, it’s worth mentioning that right now there are two psychotic wooters with more than 500 purchases. We won’t embarrass them by name, but the most active tops out at 588 purchases, the second at 514, and the third most-active at a mere 423. We’re guessing all three of them also have the kind of cluttered house that gets you into Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: “Radley McGuinn of Bedford, Ore. owned over 500 cartoon penguin t-shirts.” But hey, what they do with their woots is their business (in more than one sense).

So how do you like your new color? Are you one of the 25-49ers despairing at your imminent loss of status? Are you a 10-purchases type looking forward to an effortless bump upward? Will you miss the old blue qube more than you like the new orange, green, and purple ones? Are you baffled and amazed that anybody cares about this stuff? Lay it on us in the forums below as we gear up for next week’s big change. And remember, there’s only way to move up to the next level…