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It's a good idea to encourage more novice users to jump right in there and see where they can contribute. It can be intimidating answering a question from a 10k+ rep user, but I think higher rep users sometimes suffer from the nuisance of the baggage that comes with being higher rep. But sometimes higher rep users jump technologies and become more novice or otherwise just don't actually know everything. So I'd like to encourage more novice or intermediate users over this hurdle.

Conversely I think we should actively be encouraging high rep users to ask more questions.

  • They ask quality questions (usually) and lead by example
  • It should be clear it's okay for them to ask questions; the goal isn't not to have to do that. Plus this helps the "novice" end badge seem more attainable
  • They ask good, reusable questions (usually)

Anyway I haven't thought of the best implementation.

  • I do think "high rep" should mean 10k+. Should also be requirement that the high-rep user posts more answers than questions, or else it defeats the point. In my personal experience that tends to be where super-respect starts. Probably a 2x gap as well; a 10k rep user may as well be able to get the "novice" end of the badge on a 25k rep user
  • Don't know whether should be quite challenging (high upvote requirements) and repeatable, or one time (in the spirit of props for using a new feature) and one-time
  • Don't know whether bronze/silver/gold series is better
  • In any case provided there is some upvote requirement I'm not worried about high rep users gaming by posting easy questions - their posting more quality questions is exactly the point, and should they try to hack and throw novice users a high quality question as a bone, then great, mission accomplished

Witty names up to community.

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Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/13611/… –  dmckee May 9 '13 at 1:49
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1 Answer

I think that on SO, I'm one of the high rep users you might be talking about, with 12k rep and a recently awarded gold tag badge, 236 answers and just 3 questions.

High rep = good questions?
I think my questions are higher rated than the average because I was careful about asking, not because I have high rep. (I had much lower rep when I asked them!)

Reluctance to ask willy-nilly = good questions?
I think my three questions were quite well received; before first posting on SO, I read the FAQ about asking carefully and made sure I couldn't find out what I wanted to know anywhere else. There's a limit to new areas for me to not be self-starting, and whilst I love learning, especially from other people, I'd be ashamed if I asked an SO question without being fastidious about my research beforehand.

(Clearly I'm more prepared to ask meta questions, and have showed far less prior learning but still try to find answers first.)

It's OK to not know stuff, but not OK for me to just post without trying.

I'm reluctant to ask a question to get a badge, because it flies in the face of my values about asking.

What, not who, please
Why is it important that low rep users answer high rep user's questions? This is too much about who. It should be about Q&A. Good answers to good questions, I don't care about the rep of the people.

Incentive?
I admit that there are some fairly high rep users that ask a good quantity of awesome questions, and that's a good thing that should be encouraged, but these good questions get a lot of upvotes, so there's some incentive there anyway.

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