- Do you still talk to people normally?
- Do you plan to donate all after you're gone?
- What are some common pitfalls that a normal user has before achieving such status?
10K was a small personal achievement; just an arbitrary number and goal that felt good to meet.
So let me put a twist on the question: How have I changed by spending enough time on SO to garner 10K rep?
After hitting 20K a few weeks ago, I decided that I should become more actively involved in meta. And here I am...
I remember my reaction on Superuser when I hit 10K...
Someone else was like "Congratulations" and I was all "Wait, WHAT?". Then I hit 20K and realised there were
I'm close to 50K now. Rep is really just a number, and it has not really changed the way I view other users. The stuff I've learned and the people I meet are far more valuable than reputation to me - the communities around the sites I am on matter more to me than reputation.
One change I've taken to since hitting 40K is giving away bounties for questions (maybe 50-100 rep a month, give or take), now that I don't need to worry about privileges.
Comparing it to the other two sites I'm active on, where I have under 3K rep as things are, I do kinda miss the tools available for me to clean things up. Flagging is just inefficient.
Copying Tim Medora's spin on the question I found that there are a few small things that helped me get there.
1 Answer a question a day, at least
Assume you get an upvote for each question. In a year, you hit 3650 rep. You're obviously going to get more than that. This is the secret to really getting lots of rep and not spending hours on the site. If you don't do anything else do this
2 Have fun
The questions you find interesting, others might as well. Some of my most highly voted answers were things I am interested in myself. Post good, clear answers which answer the question, and reflect what you think about them. This question, now CWified was an epic example of a lot of people solving the problem and having fun
3 clarity is king
If it was simple, people wouldn't be asking. While it isn't as useful on SO, on SU I often post screenshots to help illustrate an answer. I also format things for readability first.
4 Quality is the Emperor!
Post good answers. Improve your answers as you learn more.
5 Be Altruistic
I improve answers I would have posted myself by the same things I'd do. Adding screenshots is one example. This means better answers, and the chance someone notices you do these things.
6 Don't be the fastest gun in the west, find someone who's a bad shot, and shoot better than him
This is sneaky. I get annoyed by bad answers, so I post better answers. It's entirely incidental that this makes your answer look even better and get upvotes.
You assume we talked to people normally in the first place.
I think 10k is a fairly low bar. IMO it's 100-200k that's a real differentiator: The rest of us are just here, doing what we can and/or have actual time for.
That said, I've found that my modest 65k gives people the (largely mistaken) notion that I actually Know What I'm Talking About, leading to general hilarity when the truth is revealed.
I get random emails and tweets from people asking questions. There are surprisingly few people showering me with money for time spent. I have gotten a few legitimate work inquiries, and it has made a difference in my job search.
Honestly, I've found my motivation has decreased somewhat, although that's partially due to just not having time. I'm also in generally low-volume groups meaning that even on a good day it an be a bit of a struggle to get my goal 200 rep so I can earn a Legendary badge, one that I'd actually like.
(My Generalist badge, one I actually cared about, appears to be the result of a glitch.)
So now I'm at the point of not having any more rep-based super-powers goals, running out of badges I care about earning, and the rep milestones I now see as "interesting" will be a long time coming. I now take the long view: I still enjoy answering questions, but it's a rare occasion I have the time to keep up with my earlier ambitions, and 100k+ is a long way off.
To speak for myself, my focus shifted from answering questions to performing more maintenance oriented tasks.
An annoying side effect of having 10k/20k on one site, is that you are going to miss the privileges on the other sites. But that is another incentive to provide lots of quality posts.
Personally, there was a moment of "cool, I made it to 10,000 points!" followed rather soon by the realization that there is an awful lot of trash (deleted posts) on the site. This question soon followed:
Then I came to terms with deleted answers and accepted the responsibility of it (review) rather than worrying about the "pretty" site I was used to before. In fact I became a community-elected moderator for Mathematica and deal with these things all the more. :-)
I take the second point as jest, but as a matter of fact I have recently started giving points away.
One pitfall is equating "reputation" with actual knowledge. Dave Newton stated this in his answer most humorously. It goes both ways; as a new user you may think that the 10k users must know a lot but that's really not the case. As a high-rep user (not by StackOverflow standards but good for my site) I have to accept the self-deprecation of regularly reminding people that I'm not the most knowledgeable or skilled guy on the site (far from it).