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I've recently reached the 3000 rep limit for "voting to close". But, since I've joined stackoverflow just some weeks ago, I think it is actually too early and I shouldn't have this privilege. Closing a question is quite a sensitive thing for the author and it is likely possible that the author never asks anything again.

So, my point is that knowing the community for just some weeks (as in my case) does not give you enough understanding to influence other users that much.

(and, yes I just created a "false positive" by accident, when marking a question as a duplicate even though it wasn't)

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Coward! You wanted it, now use it! –  Ladybug Killer Jan 21 '10 at 21:46
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It is tempered with the need for multiple closers. Vote away. –  tim Jan 21 '10 at 22:53
    
close a question isnt much sensitive thing ... if anyone feel question should not be close it can be flag to reopen –  NullPoiиteя Feb 1 at 9:37
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6 Answers 6

Nope. It's about right. It takes a good programmer about 15-30 hours over at least 15 days to generate 3k rep. This is enough time to largely understand how the community works, and to be given a way to affect it.

Given that it requires more than one vote to close, then it requires 75+ hours and 75+ days of combined SO usage to close a question, and only 75+ hours and 75+ days of combined SO usage to re-open it.

Besides, if you make it too large, people won't feel the sense of ownership required to keep the community fresh and strong.

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That's a valid point about the hours/days required for voting. Thanks for the answer. –  naivists Jan 21 '10 at 21:04
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+1 Great answer, nicely put. –  squillman Jan 21 '10 at 21:05
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If the limit were > 3k, ServerFault would only have a handful of people (maybe two dozen) who could vote to close. And there's not enough of them as it is atm! –  Mark Henderson Jan 21 '10 at 21:21
    
@Farseeker: preach on, brother –  squillman Jan 21 '10 at 21:28
    
Heh. I hadn't noticed - I finally got pushed to the third page - you guys only have 36 people that can close/open! On the other hand, you're only getting a new question every 2 minutes. I suppose I could stop spending time in meta and start spending time there... –  Adam Davis Jan 21 '10 at 21:35
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I think the 3K limit etc. would make more sense if it were determined from the size/activity of the community. Smaller communities could have lower limits. –  Mark Byers Jan 21 '10 at 22:48
    
But that's just it - as the activity and size grows, so too does the number of moderators. It's self-scaling. A more active site needs more attention. –  Adam Davis Jan 22 '10 at 2:35
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I think it take a lot more then 30 hours to most good programmers to get 3000+ rep. However I agree that the limit of 3000 is about right –  Ian Ringrose Jan 22 '10 at 8:21
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I don't agree.

You asked 8 questions which others have answered 24 times. You received 17 up-votes on your questions with zero down-votes. You have answered 184 questions and had a grand total of 2 down-votes, ever. You've won the Nice-Answer badge. You've already bumped up against the reputation cap at least once. You're active in 246 tags and cast 92 votes. The very idea that you are considering the sensitivity of closing a question shows that you are not out to abuse it.

Reputation is an indication of your experience with the site. With that experience, you gain the trust to exercise your judgment in self-moderation.

I think you are more than "qualified" to cast a single vote when you feel strong enough that something doesn't look right.

Relax and enjoy.

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Take it easy 'til you get a feel for it. And read this. You're going to make mistakes, and while you seem to have done a good job of becoming acclimated to SO in a relatively short time, there's still a lot that you should become familiar with before you start handing out close votes willy-nilly...

That said, I don't think 3K is too early. There are a tremendous number of questions posted on SO, and a good-sized subset that do need to be closed - if you're willing to help with that, then good for you. Treat it as a privilege and a responsibility.

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The rate of reputation accumulation compared to effort and time expended is quite variable on different stack exchange sites. On a large site with enough questions available to answer, it's easy to accumulate 3000 points quickly.

But on a smaller site with a small incumbent clique of high-rep users who often seem to either answer or close vote almost every question, it can take as much as a year to reach 3000.

So 3000 could indeed be too small for some sites, but then it's probably also too large to act as a check on the positive feedback mechanism that can retard the dilution of cliques on small sites.

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I don't think that it is too early... you need to find four other people who agree with you before the question will be closed. So from that point of view it is a little bit self policing.

Additionally, everyone makes mistakes, but so long as you learn from them, and it sounds like you are/did then I think it is just time to move on. Remember, assuming that the ticket that you flagged was closed, four other people agreed with you, and they are probably not all "newbies".

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Yes, I think it is too early.

After two months, you can say you have an idea of what the community likes, but you're more likely to be less restrictive than SO needs to be to stay on topic. After 4 months (of regular activity) you can safely say the person 'gets' the pulse of the community.

Also, we've gone from 637 people that could close questions in March 2009 to 2275+ that can close questions (as of two days ago) -- that's almost a four-fold increase in 10 months -- a sure sign of reputation inflation.

The reputation to close (or re-open) should be kept in line with reputation inflation -- and right now, it isn't.

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Yes, and basically inflation comes (IMO) from simple and widely known problem questions. It's easy to hit the rep cap, if you only answer "how to load jquery" questions, just do it fast and you get many upvotes. Trying to answer "real" questions never gives you that much rep. Hence, jquery becoming popular means many users with larger rep in SO –  naivists Jan 21 '10 at 21:11
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Why does it need to be kept in line with "inflation"? If person A has 3k rep & is considered capable of deciding whether to close a question, why should another 1000 people hitting 3k rep change person A's ability? Have they suddenly become less competent? Competency & trustworthiness are not relative to others, you either are or you aren't & the best way to determine that (in a place like SO) is by a simple measure of reputation. –  Alconja Jan 21 '10 at 21:38
    
My main point (that didn't come across very well) is that right now you have a lot of people that can vote to close -- and by definition, can vote to re-open. Softer questions are getting by, and they're getting by because these new people don't understand what SO is meant to be -- they just want it to be their playground. That's why you need to adjust closing and re-opening with reputation inflation, to make sure you always have people that understand the system running it. –  George Stocker Jan 21 '10 at 21:40
    
"Softer questions are getting by" - because the community wants them to get by - and this is a site that's intended to be defined by the community. As a whole, the community is voting to be more lenient, and while many people think this is a bad direction to take it in, who is to say who is right? The users themselves are putting their time and effort into the site, let them decide what they want to see. –  Adam Davis Jan 21 '10 at 21:44
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@Pollyanna Unfortunately, it 'meant' something at one time to have 3,000 reputation. It no longer does. The wider problem is that if you give it out to just anyone, then just anyone will be running it. That's not a good thing to encourage. –  George Stocker Jan 21 '10 at 21:48
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But the ability to close questions isn't being "give[n] out to just anyone", its being given to people who've proved themselves of value to the community by earning 3k rep. The increasing number passing 3k should be considered a good thing - it means more & more users are being valuable contributors. It still "means" exactly the same thing to hit 3k as it always did. Why would the first person to hit 3k be considered to have more of an understanding of how SO runs than a person who hits 3k a year later? (if you think its becoming easier to earn rep, then that's a separate issue) –  Alconja Jan 21 '10 at 23:34
    
The rate of users visiting Stack Overflow has gone up linearly since its inception; as such the number of users voting has grown linearly. Since there is a 4 to 1 ratio of upvotes to downvotes, that also means that there are many-many-many more upvotes being cast now than there was a year ago; so yes, it is easier to gain reputation because of that. That's the crux of reputation inflation. –  George Stocker Jan 22 '10 at 1:18
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