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I think that it is a little ridiculous that to be a trusted user on Area 51, you have to have 10,000 rep points. Gaining rep on Area 51 is harder from other Stack Exchange sites, because you can only ask questions.

There are only 5 trusted users on Area 51, and it would be nice to have a little more moderation over there. Maybe lower it to 5,000? Or 7,500? Maybe we need another moderator over there entirely.

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jaydles is a community manager, not quite the ordinary user. :) –  Shadow Wizard May 26 '13 at 19:02
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To be fair, @Sha, jaydles got most of that rep as an ordinary user. –  Shog9 May 26 '13 at 19:59
    
Also, if we included jaydles, that would make 6 trusted users. It sounds like Cody intentionally left jaydles out of his count for just that very reason. –  jmort253 May 26 '13 at 20:06
    
@Shog9 didn't know that. Kudos to him! –  Shadow Wizard May 27 '13 at 6:34
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2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

The problem I see isn't necessarily the rep requirement, but the fact that many high rep users are inactive. I am one of the Area 51 users on the top users page in Area 51, and I've looked at the profiles of all of the people who have more reputation than me. Most haven't had any activity in over a year.

5 trusted users should be enough to consistently help moderate Area 51 without turning it into an environment where there's too much moderation, but none of the trusted users are active. Two of them have at least a 10 reputation point gain in the past year, and the other three haven't had any gains in over a year.

None of them have asked any example questions or left any comments to help improve example questions. Only one of them has such activity in the past year, and in two weeks that will no longer be true.

These users are exceptional people and contributed a lot in the beginning to help many sites get off the ground, but somewhere along the way they lost interest in Area 51.

As an avid Area 51 user, I regularly drop comments where I see people need help, and I regularly use my editing privileges to help fix or reword proposal titles or example questions that might need a little boost to make them exceptional. These are the most important tools, and it only takes 1000 reputation to gain access to these features.

As for comments, at 101 reputation, anyone with Stack Exchange experience can help guide others by commenting and voting on example questions.

I also participate in voting to close or reopen proposals, and I do believe this is important. The more community participation in voting to close and reopen, the better the system scales. While we could use more active 2000 rep users with this privilege, artificially dropping the bar on this and trusted users may add more people to the mix who aren't yet knowledgeable enough to make the correct decisions as to when to close, when to delete, when to reopen, and when to undelete. Many times, the answer is to start a discussion, encouraging others to rethink the proposal definition or example questions so that the proposal thrives.

Instead of lowering the bar, perhaps another answer is to drive more participation in Area 51. Add links to proposals you support to your user profile. Encourage others to do the same. In chat, discuss proposals that are similar to sites you participate in that others may be interested in. Just be sure these are rooms you regularly participate in so you don't look like a spammer! :)

Hopefully, if we promote Area 51 more, those existing trusted users, and those who are close to becoming trusted users, may renew their interest in Area 51 and once again lend a hand with their expertise.

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So do you think the bar should be dropped a little? If none of them are active, that isn't helpful for the site –  Cody Guldner May 26 '13 at 20:20
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It sounds like a good idea at first, but I wonder what would happen if all of these people come flooding back into the Area 51 community all at once. As it stands now, I see the same close voters on proposals over and over again, and there are 172 users who have the ability to vote to close/reopen. Most of these users aren't exercising their privileges. That's the problem we need to solve, not packing in so many users with privileges in hopes that they might use them. Hope this helps clarify. :) –  jmort253 May 26 '13 at 20:24
    
I think everything but the trusted user bar is fine. –  Cody Guldner May 26 '13 at 20:26
    
Even then, I think that bar would need to drop significantly. When I moved up to the first page, I noticed few others changed their positions in the rankings after about 3,000 rep. I haven't scanned all of the other profiles in awhile so maybe that's not true anymore. Maybe getting real, actual data on this would be more helpful, but the impression I get is people earn rep on Area 51, get to a certain point, then move on to other things and only jump back in if someone specifically gets their attention in chat or elsewhere. –  jmort253 May 26 '13 at 20:28
    
Maybe we just need a new mod altogether –  Cody Guldner May 26 '13 at 20:31
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This will change slightly. The user Warren is at 9,315 reputation, and he's a very active Area 51 contributor who also helps out wherever he can. Once he hits 10k, this can tell us how much it will help to have more trusted users. All he'll really be able to do is cast delete/undelete votes on proposals and help escalate flags, so even then I'm not sure how much impact trusted users really have above the features I mentioned above. –  jmort253 May 26 '13 at 20:33
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So I guess I should ask, as I may be overlooking something: What function do you see these users being able to perform that we're not already doing at 1000 and 2000+ reputation? –  jmort253 May 26 '13 at 20:35
    
Trusted users can delete proposals. They can deal with flags –  Cody Guldner May 27 '13 at 2:15
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Area51 is quite specific, because it is moderated by StackExchange team, and the proposals are also deleted on the basis of inactivity. The duplicate proposals are closed quite fast, so the current model is functioning well.

Well, when it comes to reputation, it comes mostly from followers, so if someone has started a few proposals, he has a huge amount of reputation. But I think there should be a reputation for activity on meta. Now there's no penalty for bad discussions and no reward for good ones...

But come back to proposed questions... The community is shooting itself in the knee, by gaming the system instead of voting on really good question. That's why there is so little questions with over 10 votes, instead people concentrate on fulfilling the requirements for commit phase. So even if you ask really great questions, there's little chance to gain really much reputation from it. The 'best' strategy is to ask a lot of average questions on many proposals.

To change that we need some/all of following:

  • fight actively with comments discouraging from voting on questions having more that 10 votes
  • opt for increasing the vote number or the possibility of reset that count after some time, say you have 5 votes every 3 months
  • add to the requirements to reach next phase something encouraging to vote for great questions, for example that the TOP 10 questions should have an average of 15 or 20 votes, or at least 5 questions should have over 25 votes etc.
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There is definitely a lot of "just vote for our 8-9 point questions so we can get out of definition". –  Troyen May 27 '13 at 6:16
    
That's why there's only one user with the Great Question badge. –  jmort253 May 29 '13 at 5:27
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