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I know at first glance this sounds identical to the bounty system, but it is not necessarily what I am thinking of.

Sometimes there are questions or answers out there that you think are just -that- good and they deserve to be rewarded more than usual. What I wanted to potentially suggest was the ability to award reputation on a question or answer moreso than the typical +10 for an upvote. This extra amount would be directly proportional to the amount of rep you decide to sacrifice (with a limit of say 50 rep).

I know there could be the potential to try and game the system doing this, but I would imagine it would be incredibly easy to isolate this type of behavior in the nightly checks that go on. I also believe that for the most part this will be used only for seriously good content because we know how well most people like to cling to their own rep.

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we're about to institute a change that might make this possible, essentially, arbitrary reputation grants to a user –  Jeff Atwood Jul 2 '09 at 11:30
    
Sounds promising. –  TheTXI Jul 2 '09 at 11:32
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I like this too for another reason - I've seen really prominent members of the SQL Server community join, and I'd want to award them some of my reputation to get 'em started. –  Brent Ozar Jul 2 '09 at 14:36
    
Ahh... Sponsoring :-) –  Steve Schnepp Jul 2 '09 at 15:38
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There's a big problem in this approach: people could gang up and cause one of them to reach a high rep so fast, effectively this is the direct opposite of rep cap. –  LeakyCode Jul 3 '09 at 19:11
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voting should fill this need. giving arbitrary rep from user to user is just too fraught with peril IMO –  Jeff Atwood Jul 8 '09 at 14:19
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Jeff Atwood: Are you responding to Brent? Because it almost reads like you are contradicting yourself. –  TheTXI Jul 8 '09 at 14:28

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Eh... On the one hand, reputation is already fairly meaningless, apart from the whole "you've been around and used the site for a while" aspect. So, provided there are no reservations on giving more people more access to the site, faster, this is probably fine.

Also, it'll open the door wide to rep-farming, finally allowing me to monetize all the time i spend on SO... EBay, here i come!

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Yeah, but it's quite hard to make rep farming on SO. It's not like there is any reliable way to ensure to gain some rep. You can write very good stuff that got no rep, and write stuff that just happen to be fashion at that times leading to a rep increase. I can't see any way to bring monetizing in the process like in WOW. In an MMORPG, one behavior guaranty a reward. Not in SO. –  e-satis Feb 19 '10 at 16:12

[...] and I'd want to award them some of my reputation to get 'em started. [Brent Ozar]

One possible problem to consider:

Reputation is used to get the system to trust you - when you contribute usefully, you get points.. but if anyone can give a new user, say, 50 points - they can suddenly comment without the system learning to trust you.

It's probably not a big issue, but you could quickly get several accounts to a reasonable reputation without having to answer questions with each one

Mehrdad worded this much better in his comment:

... [Reputation is] a measure of community participation. As noted in SO official FAQ page: "rep is never given; it's earned." Doing this would fundamentally change what rep means.

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Agreed. The point is, rep is not a direct way to measure skills and knowledge. It's a measure of community participation. As noted in SO official FAQ page: "rep is never given; it's earned." Doing this would fundamentally change what rep means. –  LeakyCode Jul 3 '09 at 19:14

Just beware of potential abuses if the system also throws a rep bonus in the bowl

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I don't see why it should throw in a rep bonus though. –  ChrisF Jul 3 '09 at 12:29
    
to me, to you, to me, to you, to me, to you... in fact, we'd also need to check that a tag-team weren't awarding bounties in one direction (with the +50), throwing the points back, ad infinitum –  Marc Gravell Jul 3 '09 at 12:30
    
@Marc: Yup... But the bounties are harder to exploit (the initial delay is quite a deterrent) –  Steve Schnepp Jul 3 '09 at 15:28

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