Some of you may have noticed the login buttons at the top of the sidebar here at MakeUseOf, so today I’m here to explain what they are, why you might want to use them, what the point system is, and how to exchange those points to get fantastic free software and services! I think you’re going to like this!
Today we’re excited to announce the newest addition to the community system – MakeUseOf Rewards. It’s our way of saying thank you: thank you for sharing our articles with your friends and helping MakeUseOf grow; thank you for contributing your views and tips in the comments, or helping out a fellow user on our Answers technical support; thank you for not blocking ads to ensure we can continue to bring you great content for free; and thank you for deciding MakeUseOf is worthy of your time and attention.
To show we me mean it, we’ve been busy securing premium quality software and services to offer to you, all completely for FREE. All you need to do is head on over to the Rewards page, and exchange some of your hard earned points for your choice of software.
Here’s what we’re launching with today.
- IOBit Protected Folder (Windows). Normally retailing for $19.95, this nifty little app lets you securely password-protect selected folders. Get it for for just 200 points.
- Paragon Hard Disk Manager (Windows). The world’s leading hard drive management tool is an all-in-one solution that normally retails for $49.95. Grab it free for just 500 points.
- IOBit Advanced System Care Pro (Windows). Spyware removal, registry cleaning, system tuning – this app is another all-in-one care product for your Windows machine. Retails for $19.95; you can get it free for 200 points.
- IOBit Malware Fighter Pro (Windows). Real time protection and malware removal that keeps away the deepest of infections. Normally costs $19.95, but you can this for free for 200 points.
- Auslogics Disk Defrag Pro (Windows). The default Windows defrag is passable at best, but Auslogics goes above and beyond with advanced optimization algorithms. Normally $29.95 – yours for just 300 points.
- SyncMate Expert (Mac OSX). A powerful sync solution, especially if you’re an Apple user but struggling to integrate Android nicely into your system. This app syncs them all, and more. Normally costs $39.95.
- 1 year of Last Pass Premium (Any OS). Everyone’s favourite cross-platform computer and mobile password manager; a years Premium service will normally set you back $12.
- 1 month IP-Vanish VPN (Any OS). We are constantly extolling the virtues of a VPN for privacy and anonymity online – now you can get access to one of the best, for free. Normally costs $10.
- Paragon Backup and Recovery (Windows). A fantastic backup solution and restore solution for files, folders or even entire operating systems. Don’t be without it, because you never know when your drive is going fail (and I don’t say this lightly, because mine failed last night)! Normally sells for $39.95.
- Paragon NTFS (Mac OSX). If you’re working in a mixed Mac OSX and Windows environment, you’ll know that accessing NTFS formatted drives on a Mac is a pain, but this makes all that pain go away! Normally $19.95.
- PostBox (Mac and Windows). The coolest email client around with the best support for GMail and nice social integration. Normally $29.95.
Be quick though – numbers are limited. Don’t worry too much, as we’ll be adding more software every month so you’ll always have something great to look forward to. If you’re already registered and logged in with some points to your name (check your profile in the top right of the sidebar or go to your profile page). Then head over to the rewards page to see what you can do with your points.
If you’d like to know more about the system, like how to register and how to get more points, then read on.
Register Or Log In
First off, it’s a one-click registration or log in using your social credentials – Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, or Microsoft Live. Just click one of the buttons to begin!
Once logged in, that section of the sidebar will turn into a personal profile space, showing how many points you have, what rank you’ve achieved, and more.
Why Should I Log In?
You’ll be able to comment around the site without having to enter your email address every time, as well as get help from our wonderful Answers community for any computer problems you might be having. You’ll be automatically notified of responses to your question, and you’ll be able to mark them as resolved.
As you take various actions around the site, you’ll accumulate points and gain in user ranks. More on that in a moment.
You’ll get a few points just for registering, but how do you get more? Here’s how:
- Commenting: You’ll get 5 points for adding a comment on any of our articles.
- Answering A Question On MakeUseOf Answers: For being helpful to your fellow readers, we’ll give you 10 points!
- Sharing Articles: Anytime you read an interesting article, use the social share buttons on the page to share it with your friends, and you’ll get 10 points for helping MakeUseOf grow our readership! Not only that, but you’ll also get points for every friend that clicks through because of your shared link – it’s our way of thanking you for being so influential!
There is a daily limit on how many of each action you can get points for, so don’t try to overdo it or spam your friends. If you go over that limit, we won’t punish you obviously, but you just won’t get any more points for that action until the next day. Also, I hope we don’t need to say this, but our comments editor Tina has eyes like a hawk, so anyone making nonsense comments purely to get points will be banned immediately and their account deleted – you have been warned!
There are various badges to collect, some with up to 5 ranks each. You see your progress towards them all on your full profile page.
The main rank shown in your profile is your MUO Geek Rank – and every action you take on the site will count towards your Geek Rank. On your full profile page, you can also see the other various badges available – specific challenges for commenting, answering questions, or sharing articles. We’ll be introducing some special new badges at various points, too.
As you perform more of the relevant actions, your points total will go up and your rank will increase.
There are leaderboards too of course. They show top users this week as well as all-time high scores. You can be famous!
And then there’s the Rewards system we talked about already. Don’t worry though – your rank won’t decrease when you spend those points – those are based upon your total so far since joining.
Feedback, suggestions and ideas welcome. Are you already flying high on our leaderboard?