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Per-tag breakdown of reputation in answers

It would be nice if for each question only relevant reputations appear, for both the question and the answers. Based on the question tags.
If a question is about Linux, we don't care about Windows reputation. If a question is about network, we don't care about database reputation ...

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marked as duplicate by LeakyCode, ChrisF, Ladybug Killer, random, devinb Sep 24 '09 at 14:18

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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2 Answers 2

It's been said before, and probably bears repeating:

Rep is not a measure of technical skill. Rep is a measure of participation in a given S[OFU] site, and is a measure of trust said site has in you to perform certain additional actions.

Splitting rep by subjects (or tags, which are probably easier) would overly complicate the system, and for no true gain. Answers should never be judged on who provided them; they should be judged by their content. If an answer is helpful, upvote, If an answer is not helpful, downvote. Who provided said answer is ancillary at best.

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I have never completely understood this argument. I agree that someone excellent may not participate much and therefore woudl have low rep but extrapolate from this that rep never reflects technical prowess is foolishness. I would argue that a vast majority of the folks with +10k rep have demonstrated their technical ability and their reputation is a measure of their technical skill - otherwise they wouldn't have rep at all because they would never have been able to answer any of the questions that got them the rep in the first place. –  Andrew Hare Sep 24 '09 at 12:42
    
Alan Kay (2,081) stackoverflow.com/users/48710/alan-kay unknown 22 years old programmer from south america (3,088) stackoverflow.com/users/34813/voyager I rest my case. –  perbert Sep 24 '09 at 12:45
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@voyager - You have simply proved the first part of the argument (that someone great may have low rep due to low participation). Now you will need to show me a high rep user (lets say from page 1 or 2) whose rep doesn't reflect their technical ability. –  Andrew Hare Sep 24 '09 at 12:49
    
@Andrew Hare: I'll let others provide that proof. :) –  perbert Sep 24 '09 at 13:18
    
Generally, yes, your page 1 and 2 users are going to be highly technical. However, that doesn't change the fact that they can be wrong sometimes. Hence the core of this argument is, and remains, judge the answer based on the answer's content. If it helps you, it's good; if it doesn't, it's bad. It doesn't matter if the answerer is unknown(google) or Jon Skeet. It matters if the answer helps you. –  John Rudy Sep 24 '09 at 13:22
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@voyager - LOL :) @John - I agree that it is best to judge an answer based on the content but I hardly think that the answerer is completely irrelevant. If you had a physics question and went to physicsoverflow.com whose answer would you prefer: mine or some user named s.hawkings who has a lot of rep? –  Andrew Hare Sep 24 '09 at 13:25
    
@Andrew Hare: LOL. Ideally the answerer should be irrelevant, but you do make a decent point there. I tend to, for example, place more weight on Jon Skeet's answers in C# than my own. That said, I'd probably prefer your physics answer, because even if it was wrong, I'd have a better chance of understanding it than one from s.hawkings. :) –  John Rudy Sep 24 '09 at 13:52
    
If "rep is not a measure of tech skill" it is very much misleading. If I upvote an answer it's because that answer is helpful and it's helpful because its author has indeed "technical skill". So when I upvote I mean "this guy knows his stuff". And if a question has 2 answers, one says 'yes' and the other says 'no', the author of the first answer has a rep of 10k and the other one has a rep of 45, with which answer will you go ? –  dugres Sep 24 '09 at 13:56
    
@dugres: If a question has 2 answers, one 'yes,' one 'no,' one by a 45 rep and one by 10K+ rep, I will go with whichever one is right, after validating that it helped me. What if the 10K guy is wrong, and the 45 guy is right? Should he be penalized for being new to the sites? Should the 10K guy be rewarded for having been here longer? –  John Rudy Sep 24 '09 at 14:03
    
@John - Good points about blindly accepting high-rep user's answers! Also, never ever accept any answer I give you relating to physics :) –  Andrew Hare Sep 24 '09 at 14:08
    
@Andrew Hare: Deal, as long as you never accept an answer I give you about physics! :) –  John Rudy Sep 24 '09 at 14:28

That sounds interesting, but how would you propose to visualize this?

There are so many more stats that could be interesting meta information about the answerer, but I fear this will clutter the interface.

And it's unfair for topics that are less popular, though people's rep on those topics will probably be comparable in a relative fashion (everyone will have lower rep for that tag).

Still I like the idea of more info, but I fear it will have to come from a Greasemonkey script...

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@Ivo : As I see it, nothing has to change in the interface, but everybody would have a different reputation on each question. –  dugres Sep 24 '09 at 10:34

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