There are two observations on Stackoverflow:
Here is a fundamental question:
In the current system the answer I think is no. This kind of skewed reward system might result over the long run in a winner-takes-all situation, where few popular areas would get lots of users and interest while most unpopular areas get very few users.
Here is a proposed solution:
A weighted score can be used, and the factors that affect this score would be:
- the relative total activity in the tag/tags area of the question.
- the relative activity for the given question.
Based on these two factors a relative scoring factor can be generated that would be used to weight the the points generated for activity in the given question. This weighted points score is then used to accumulate the total weighted score per user which better reflects the quality of the user activities. So basically, the total points figure is like your net worth, and the weighted score is like your worth value relative to your demographic group etc.
Not all details are sorted out here of course - like whether the popularity measure is a snapshot or changing over time.
Such weighted score can then be displayed next to the user name as a mark of credentials, and can even be used in the permissions system.
The popularity contest above refers to the popularity of the languages/platforms/apps/libs etc not the popularity of the poster. There is no issue w.r.t poster popularity.
Another devilish detail is how to decide the popularity factor - I proposed factors based on the popularity of the tags on the question and the activity in the question. Others might suggest other factors or a different take on these.