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I posted this as an answer to another question, but after some thought, I think it qualifies as a feature request in its own right.

I would like to see a per-tag breakdown (based on a question's tag list) of each answerer's reputation in addition to their lump sum reputation. Something like this:

Question is tagged with:

C# winforms combobox

An answer would look like this:

Blah blah blah

Eric 200   C#170   winforms50   combobox10

This would give more insight into how credible a person's answer is. I think it will also be more rewarding for people that are more active in less popular tags. I'm not sure how difficult it would be to implement though.

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Rep has nothing to do with credibility, competence or knowledge! – Ladybug Killer Sep 16 '09 at 9:30
This request sounds familiar... – random Sep 16 '09 at 9:39
It sounds like this:… – random Sep 16 '09 at 9:41
@John: I agree that things other than merely being knowledgeable can influence reputation. However, I don't believe rep has nothing to do with knowledge or competence. Jon Skeet is the top SO member primarily because he's a C# expert. – xmm0 Sep 16 '09 at 9:44
@random: It's a similar idea and actually an extension of that. If you can calculate reputation per tag, then this would be an interesting way to display it. I don't see it as an exact duplicate though. – Eric Sep 16 '09 at 9:45
@John: That's all true, but it's the best tool available on SO right now for quickly gauging a particular user's credibility, competence and knowledge. If the only purpose of reputation was to gain access to site tools, then there's no reason for a user's reputation to be visible to anyone but him or herself. – Eric Sep 16 '09 at 9:48
@Mehrdad: Jon is the exception, not the rule. And don't call him an expert! Keeps him thinking no end of himself. – Ladybug Killer Sep 16 '09 at 9:54
Jon Skeet is a good example. I've seen questions where Jon Skeet's answer is accepted and heavily upvoted - but he actually isn't displaying great knowledge of the technology himself (which to be fair he has admitted in the answer). And all the time there's a great informative answer by someone else, languishing beneath. – MarkJ Sep 16 '09 at 20:49
For instance this, where poor old Will Rickards has posted a nice answer explaining how to parameterise queries in VB6 and gained +2. Jon Skeet says you should parameterise the queries but he doesn't know how to in VB6 and gets +9. Is it hypnotism?… – MarkJ Sep 16 '09 at 20:50

Two problems:

  1. Reputation is no measure of expertise;
  2. When you earn upvotes beyond the daily rep cap, you will get no rep for the votes and thus less reputation than you might otherwise deserve in this measure. This is a significant issue for some who earn many upvotes beyond the daily rep cap.
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Regarding point 1, what do you consider the value of having a user's reputation be visible at all then? Regarding point 2, how much of the user population of SOFU is regularly affected by the 200 rep/day? – Eric Sep 16 '09 at 14:09
To clarify, I agree that reputation is not a meaningful measure of expertise, but seeing a lump sum next to someone's name does not give a lot of information. When reading answers, I would like to understand more about where that lump sum comes from. – Eric Sep 16 '09 at 14:21

An interesting idea, but in reality there would be very few tags that would be interesting to see. I mean there are around 26k tags on stackoverflow, but you are not interested in seeing the reputation of all of them. Often there is one or two main tags along with some that are uncommon but good for the semantic of the question. If such a feature should be implemented I would suggest that it only would be applied for the most common of the tags or the tag that is listed first. So that in the above example what's really interesting is the persons reputation in c#, not how many questions about combobox he has answered.

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I think the idea is that you see the ones the question is tagged with. – cletus Sep 16 '09 at 10:54
@cletus I know that was the idea, I just wanted to add that it wouldn't be useful to see you all the rep scores on every tag. Your post on not seeing a score at all makes a lot of sense too though – googletorp Sep 16 '09 at 13:00

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