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Most people on these sites seem to think that rep is everything in this world.

It is not.

Wasn't the original reason for these sites to help people who did not want to pay for the other site?

There must be a way for users (not using bounties) to shed some unwanted reputation onto people they believe deserve it.

That way those people's answers and questions might just get more attention then those with higher rep.

I see that since I have almost 47K rep, that people who have even under than 1K sometimes come up with much much greater answers than I do, and while I want to leave my answer up, and I upvote their answers because of it's awesomeness, my answer still is usually upvoted more and accepted due to my reputation.

Maybe can we add something like LinkedIn has where you can vouch for another user stating how much knowhow they have on a certain tag, and if a user gets X number of other users (who have such and such reputation n a tag), that when that user posts on that tag there is something symbolizing him as very knowledgable on a topic.

Yes, I do have 47K rep, but that does not mean that I know anything about and when there comes a time and I am new to a different tag community, I want to know who is the best at it in the tag (and not just by going to the "top users" tag page), and basing it on reputation is useless, as you can see by me (where I have 47K rep, but no knowledge at all of c#).

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7  
Pfft, of course rep isn't everything. The other half is Badges!!! –  Daniel Fischer Jan 2 '13 at 19:17
    
@DanielFischer HATS!!! –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Jan 2 '13 at 19:17
    
"can we add something ... where you can vouch for another user" You could upvote their answer. "there is something symbolizing him as very knowledgable on a topic" tag badges? –  Jim Jan 2 '13 at 19:18
    
I still have hair, what would I need hats for? –  Daniel Fischer Jan 2 '13 at 19:18
    
@Jim yes, but when they answer, I have no visual indication on the page of there prowess at all! –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Jan 2 '13 at 19:19
1  
I hate to say it, but their reputation and badges to some degree suggest their knowledge. The only way to really judge their answer, though, is by the content of the answer. Is it thorough and correct? Is it helpful? Well-written? If so, then it really shouldn't matter who wrote it (or how many answers they've written already). –  Jim Jan 2 '13 at 19:22
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@DanielFischer You need hats because hats, that's why. –  Bart Jan 2 '13 at 19:22
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@Jim - The question is about how to judge if someone does have knowledge, even if you yourself don't have any knowledge on the subject. It is about identifying experts without being one. –  Oded Jan 2 '13 at 19:28
    
@Oded in that case, the best way seems to be to let those who are familiar with the topic at hand vote/comment on the answer. StackExchange is about getting great answers, whether they come from amateurs or experts. Identifying which someone is isn't relevant; I can only see it introducing bias based on user rather than on content. –  Jim Jan 2 '13 at 19:31

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

As a good proxy for knowledge in a particular tag, the tag badges can be used.

How about this:

  • When someone gives an answer, near their user, for each tag in the question the tag badge they have for it (if they do) will show up in some form.

This would be a better proxy for their expertise on a specific tag than total reputation would be.

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I like it ^_^ –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Jan 2 '13 at 19:21
    
Is it that great a proxy? It's possible to get a badge with one answer or with a thousand, neither prove that the user is knowledgeable in that subject. –  ben is uǝq backwards Jan 2 '13 at 19:23
    
@benisuǝqbackwards - Possible, but not easy to get a gold badge in a tag without any knowledge. It is certainly better than rep. –  Oded Jan 2 '13 at 19:24
    
I don't think it's perfect, but it's certainly a better proxy than total reputation alone. Getting gold tag badges is not that easy. –  Bill the Lizard Jan 2 '13 at 19:25

There is (were) also hats. Just saying it does not get lost here.

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This site is about posts, not users. Think a post is great? Give 'em a bounty. Think a user is great? There's probably a reason behind it. Give the posts that made you think them great a bounty.

I like the general "tag knowhow" idea, but it would probably only work if you restricted it to language tags (which makes this feature-req useless to the rest of SE, since there is no clear way to distinguish between a "topic" tag and subtopic/other tags). I like Oded's idea, though -- tag badges are a great way to display this.

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