Now aren't these some trivial questions:
- Java << Operator
- IF statement skipping
- Forced out of memory java.. inconsistent java behavior (I also get many points from these questions...)
And all the usual suspects (including myself) are here to write an answer, because they can easily get lots of upvotes and lots of score reaching the higher levels of "k" (40k, 50k, 200k) in reputation. But that's not what Stack Overflow aims to be, from what I understand: A big collection of trivial questions.
Because there are still many very good questions left unanswered, e.g. this one:
...simply because they're not trivial. Which means:
- You need more effort to write an answer
- There are less people proficient enough to actually answer the question
- Activity seems to have a positive feedback on itself on Stack Overflow. The more active a question, the "even more active" it becomes, because it ranks high in the "Top Questions" list. So the "good question" is even less interesting because of the "trivial ones" always being on top.
- So ultimately: You get less upvotes, lower ROI
In capitalist economics, it would be silly to answer the good questions. So maybe (as it's done in politics), we could shift interests a bit towards the "good questions" or rather, away from the "trivial ones"? First there would be need to distinguish "good questions" from "trivial ones". Maybe using a separate upvote/downvote system available only after 5000 or 10000 reputation. Then maybe, the trivial questions could be adapted such that upvotes will only count 1/2.
Maybe also closing a question as duplicate is some sign that it might've been "trivial". But these are just some ideas.
In the end, this goes into the same direction as the Chess rating system. If a grandmaster beats a newbie, then he only gets little score (and the newbie loses little), because it was a trivial game. But if a newbie beats a grandmaster, the change of score is massive because that means the newbie might've had an excellent game. On Stack Overflow, this would translate to:
who's asking -> | newbie | grandmaster | who's answering | | | v | | | ----------------+-------------+----------------+ newbie | as today | answer gets | | | lots of points | ----------------+-------------+----------------+ grandmaster | answer gets | as today | | few points | |
I've also posted this table to this similar question: The bike shed problem and SO
Of course, if grandmaster/newbie were the criteria for "good" and "trivial" questions, then answering the "good question" (Transaction activity running total in SQL) still wouldn't give a "grandmaster" many points because it was asked by a "newbie".
There could be some sort of distribution of points across answerers. If 10 people can provide a good answer to a question, then the question was rather "trivial" and those 10 people will get less points for every upvote they get. Or the other way round, being "the only one" who knows is rewarded.