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For example, on this page: http://anime.stackexchange.com/users

I see the following:
Number

What does this 499 mean? I can't seem to correlate it with upvotes, posts, edits or anything else.

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Oh I see, thanks for the answers. I did not notice the week | month | quarter | year | all time links near the search box. :( – Masked Man Feb 13 '13 at 13:58
up vote 5 down vote accepted

It's the amount of reputation the user has earned in the period selected on the users page:

week | month | quarter | year | all

The default is usually "week"

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It's reputation this month. You can see the explanation in the status bar of your web browser if you hover over the number.

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It is the reputation for the period the page you are watching is referring: Your reputation increased of 499 in a month, and 170 in a week.

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