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The current reputation scheme for Area 51 is fairly meaningless, compared to the other sites. The methods to gain reputation are:

Proposal is followed or committed to +5
Question is voted up (useful) +5
Question is voted down (not useful) -2
Referred user with a confirmed email address commits to the proposal +5
Follow through on your commitment +50
Referred user with a confirmed email address follows through on their commitment +25

All in all, it is extremely difficult to gain reputation on A51. Given that a person manages to gain reputation, here is what they can do with it.

25 Propose example questions
50 Create proposals
50 Vote question up
50 Flag proposals or example questions
50 Leave comments on example questions
150 Vote question down
150 Vote to close or reopen questions
250 Vote to close or reopen your proposals
1000 Edit other people's proposals and example questions
1000 View vote counts
2000 Vote to close or reopen any proposal
10000 Delete questions and closed proposals; access to moderation tools

Basically, we have a system right now where a person who proposes a site, but does nothing else with it, is able to close other proposals. It seems to me that some thought could be made to make the Area 51 experience a better one.

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3 Answers

IMO Area51 Discussion Zone should give some rep too just like Meta. Helping define sites in A51's meta is a crucial part of the process but is totaly unrecognized in the rep system right now. Meta upvotes could give some rep just like they do on Meta Stack Overflow.

Aditionally, you only seem to get rep for your first completed commitment. At least you should get rep once per completed commitment, and IMO actively working in betas should give rep too, I like the idea that you get a bit of A51 rep every time you reach 200 rep in a beta.

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Basically, I'm thinking basically get 5 points per question/answer, perhaps with the idea that it's all or nothing until you complete your commitment. But if you ask 50 questions, your reputation on A51 would jump. –  PearsonArtPhoto Aug 17 '12 at 13:58
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

So, the first question we have to ask is, what makes a user know what is good for Area 51? My answers:

  1. They have experience with multiple SE sites.
  2. They have helped with other proposals, perhaps even more than just a typical commitment.
  3. They have asked good questions to help define the site.
  4. They recruit people to a site.
  5. They create proposals which they stick with.
  6. They actively participate in the discussions relating to sites
  7. They participate in the meta sites of newly formed sites

So, the reputation should include:

  1. Anytime a user gains 200 reputation on a site, they should get a bump on A51.
  2. Perhaps each question/answer given for a site in beta, especially if they committed to it. Allow for more than just the 50 reputation points.
  3. The questions seems to work well.
  4. The referrals, as is currently included.
  5. Creating a proposal is fine, but perhaps a period of inactivity would allow for a new owner of the proposal.
  6. Gain reputation for asking/answering discussions on a particular site.
  7. Perhaps some recognition for participating in meta on beta sites.

As far as the privileges, they seem to be fine, and at the correct levels, but with changes in reputation, it should make it more acceptable.

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To modify your second point #2, maybe x% of the beta rep is translated to A51? For example, an upvote on a question is +5, so A51 rep goes up +1. An answer upvote is +10, so A51 would get +2. How does that sound? –  Gaffi Aug 17 '12 at 13:56
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Good point. I think a better way to express a user's reputation on area 51 would be to reflect their activity on private beta sites and to a lesser degree on public betas.

More importantly, a user's participation on sites that launch successfully should contribute greatly to the area51 rep.

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tieing it to site launches is rather long tail for reputation. Many sites stay in beta for much longer than 90 days (some for 2 years or more) –  wax eagle Aug 17 '12 at 13:57
    
You can participate in a public beta without even knowing about Area 51, so IMO that should not contribute to Area 51 rep. –  S.L. Barth Aug 17 '12 at 13:59
    
@waxeagle: Sure. But think of it as a bonus. If you helped make a site fly (so to speak) you should get a rep bonus an area 51. However, I left it open, how "you helped launch the site" would be determined. Maybe reputation? Total posts? Badges? –  bitmask Aug 17 '12 at 14:00
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@S.L.Barth, followers and committers could get it without giving it to everybody. –  Monica Cellio Aug 17 '12 at 14:26
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