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So now that I've gotten past 3000 points on Stack Overflow, I don't feel much incentive to keep playing.

Nothing new will happen until 10000, which seems unachievable. Shouldn't there be something to aim for at 4000, 5000, etc.?

I know there are badges, but they're not really doing it for me. I need a carrot!

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I have the same motivation problem. I haven't stopped altogether, but I'm certainly not nearly as driven. –  C. Ross Jan 26 '10 at 21:11
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The trouble with extrinsic motivation... –  Ladybug Killer Jan 26 '10 at 21:17
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I pretty much stopped after 10k. Now my use is actually healthy rather than non-stop monitoring. –  tim Jan 26 '10 at 21:21
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Give me your address, and I'll mail you a carrot. Might be a little limp when it gets there, though. –  Craig Stuntz Jan 26 '10 at 21:35
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Geoff -- it's never been tried, but yes, I expect that the site would crumble without me. –  JW. Jan 26 '10 at 22:07
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15 Answers

I guess you could say I lost my motivation after 10K. I still visit the site daily, and I still ask/answer questions. However, it's no longer a "game" - it's just a great technical resource. Perhaps that's not such a bad thing.

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exactly the same for me. –  tim Jan 26 '10 at 21:22
    
+1: I agree... same for me... –  RSolberg Jan 26 '10 at 21:26
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I'm just waiting to hit 10k, and then it turns into a game to reach the number 1 slot on the PHP stats. –  Tyler Carter Jan 26 '10 at 21:46
    
@Jon, thanks for your input on my other related question, I delete it, since you showed me it was irrelevant. –  Lance Roberts Jan 26 '10 at 21:57
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you could always try to do the impossible and try to beat Skeet...;D –  Gordon Gustafson Jul 8 '10 at 1:26
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How about, because you're learning to get better at what you do, and how to communicate more effectively in writing?

I guess I'm open to suggestions as to ability "unlocks" between 3k and 10k, or above 10k.

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meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/37062/… –  user27414 Jan 26 '10 at 20:57
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Jeff Atwood - MMO Developer? –  ChaosPandion Jan 26 '10 at 20:58
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How about a t-shirt at 7K (the minimum level you said was necessary to be a moderator)? –  Lance Roberts Jan 26 '10 at 21:02
    
Jeff -- that's not nothing, and it does keep me coming back. But I've definitely noticed that I'm not trying as hard. Part of it may just be that the novelty's worn off, but I did find it kind of fun to try to reach the next unlocked feature. Not sure what else there is to unlock though...I'll have to give it some thought. –  JW. Jan 26 '10 at 21:03
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I've thought about it and the points system is pretty addictive. You really should consider a few more gifts for dedicated SOers. –  ChaosPandion Jan 26 '10 at 21:07
    
please no unlocks above 10k, i only just got there! –  Kip Jan 26 '10 at 21:09
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Please unlock cornify at 25K! –  Shog9 Jan 26 '10 at 21:13
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Promotions like Telerik's are great... Maybe more of those but offer at differing intervals, say 5K or 15K... –  RSolberg Jan 26 '10 at 21:27
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I think that you should earn the ability to ask a question at 5k Rep. That will cut down on a lot of spam :P –  Tyler Carter Jan 26 '10 at 21:45
    
Maybe the ability to see deleted questions or answers but not actually be able to edit them or the like? I'm sure there are some people that would like to see boat programming again. –  rob Jan 26 '10 at 22:42
    
@Rob: boat programming is gone, gone, gone - for 10K users as well. Even the mirror has disappeared. –  Shog9 Jan 27 '10 at 0:59
    
Perhaps move some of the flag processing to 7K? –  Paul Nathan Feb 10 '10 at 15:41
    
@Jeff, I've put in a feature-request for an idea for higher rep abilities here: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/40346/… –  Lance Roberts Feb 23 '10 at 17:49
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Look at it this way, at 3K you got the best reward. You broke your addiction and got a little piece of your life back.

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Delete your account and start over.

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Indeed. Or just start levelling a new alt and leave your main toon for a while. There should be a 'Rested XP' badge for users with rep over 10K, who don't visit the site for say 4 months. ;-) –  Wim Hollebrandse Feb 7 '10 at 16:31
    
Deletion might be a bad thing, just start a new one. –  Time Traveling Bobby May 6 '11 at 7:38
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Good. Now go get 3k on SF and Meta.

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+1 So annoying flipping over to SU and not being able to vote to close yet... So trying to get 3K over there... –  squillman Jan 26 '10 at 22:49
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All the new stackexchange sites annoy me - I can't edit, close, etc. –  Adam Davis Jan 26 '10 at 23:27
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If it makes you feel better, I went through the same thing. So badly, in fact, that my Meta rep has eclipsed my main SO rep.

For me, this is largely due to the fact that my primary expertise is in C# -- an area with tons of competition on SO. Thus, by the time I see a question which I can answer, typically there are seventeen answers already posted. (And another seven come in while I compose mine!)

I took to answering Cocoa/Objective-C questions a bit, but one look at my recent activity will show that I spend most of my time doing "junior janitor" tasks -- editing, commenting and closing. Time well-spent; it's a contribution I can make to the site which helps keep its content clean.

Indeed, I just wish I had enough time to fully clean the place up. But at the rate of content growth, that just isn't possible!

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How about an extra 618 rep on meta when you hit 5K on SO?

I'll admit I really like the ability to view up/down votes at 1000 rep but I don't participate enough here to get there...

EDIT: One smaller goal is to try to move up on the user pages. For example on SO, I'm on page #33 and I'm 93 rep away from getting to page #32. It also changes frequently.

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Now you only need 608. :) –  Ether Jan 26 '10 at 21:32
    
I know... I need to find something that irks Welbog to get it back to 618! –  Austin Salonen Jan 26 '10 at 21:33
    
Up to page 10 on meta... *#@$ yeah! –  Austin Salonen Jan 26 '10 at 22:37
    
Problem with the user pages, I'll never catch up with the .NET folks, being primarily a C++ guy. –  David Thornley Jan 27 '10 at 15:08
    
@David Thornley: You've already pretty much beaten this challenge too (being on page 5 and all...) but for the 3K-10K range, this is something to do in between our junior janitor duties. With a good day, a new 3K person can jump a couple pages; you need a really good month to jump a page. You're a top 200 guy -- I suppose your goal is staying there! –  Austin Salonen Jan 27 '10 at 15:56
    
I was #55 overall for a while and thought I could make page 1, but I just couldn't muster the time investment anymore. I'm still in the top hundred though (but I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't looked it up just now). –  mmyers Jan 27 '10 at 17:47
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Summarizing my answer on a related thread:

Make up some goalposts that are realistic for your situation, pass those goalposts, repeat.

The next relevant goalposts for you are probably attaining a silver badge for your main tag(s) -- that's doable in the 4k-6k range.

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Prior to attaining the silver, there's the milestone of appearing on the all-time lists in your main tags' stats pages. –  Greg Bacon Jan 26 '10 at 21:21
    
@gbacon: depending on the tag, that may happen before or after actually getting to 400 upvotes: for the OP's main tags (javascript and php), they would come after. –  Ether Jan 26 '10 at 21:31
    
You horrible people are just giving me more reasons to play this site...I mean post on this site! ::has WoW flashback:: –  phoebus Jan 27 '10 at 1:32
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Pick someone to compete with.

(But not Jon Skeet.)

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The Guinness World records are just all the people that got the fourth place after Jon Skeet and Chuck Norris. –  perbert Jan 26 '10 at 21:31
    
@v-ger: Fourth place? I'm sure there's a joke there, but I can't think of it. –  mmyers Jan 26 '10 at 21:42
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@mmyers: the rest are so far away that there is some extra padding. It might also be reserved for Alan Kay. –  perbert Jan 26 '10 at 22:55
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Don't forget the free Telerik license at 10k...

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+1: that got me from 8K to 10K pretty quick! –  RSolberg Jan 26 '10 at 21:27
    
+1: I was real jealous of that one... –  Austin Salonen Jan 26 '10 at 21:35
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But all the software I use (with the exception of an ancient copy of Win2K) is free... –  nb69307 Jan 26 '10 at 22:06
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Would be freaking awesome if a vendor'd pony up for that on the others. 'course, saying that having 10K on SF.... –  squillman Jan 26 '10 at 22:51
    
@squillman: Or if a vendor would up for a pony? –  mmyers Jan 27 '10 at 17:46
    
@mmyers: only if it is cornified –  squillman Jan 27 '10 at 17:57
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I could say I lost my "motivation" to answer after 3000 points.

At least the motivation to earn reputation the fastest possible. My objective was to reach the 3000 mark, to get the closing votes, to help maintaining the site. Now that I got it, I focus mostly on a "semi-moderating" job, with answering from times to times.

Moderating tools are too far, but I have all what I need: votes, edits, close votes, comments, and flags. Far enough to spend already too much time on these sites :-]

In general about the question, like stated by others: "You have 3000 points, now help maintaining this site". At least cast a vote to close from times to times.

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Slacker, you can moderate AND contribute at the same time ;-) –  Ivo Flipse Feb 10 '10 at 8:49
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It is a long hike from 3k to 10k, though I'm pretty persistent and will keep striving, but it would be nice if there was another step in between.

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is it? by the time you got 3k, you have lots of old answer/questions. These old items still get upvotes even when you don't create new answers, so your rate of gaining rep goes up with time. –  Ian Ringrose Feb 10 '10 at 14:26
    
@Ian, yes, it helps to keep things moving, but you still have to push –  Lance Roberts Feb 10 '10 at 15:31
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How about Meta privileges based on your highest Trilogy rep minus something or divided by something? My SO rep is worth a hundred extra starting points on SF and SU, which is more or less as it should be, but it should give me some street cred on MSO.

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How about your questions showing up more in the front page when you have over x rep?

(Maybe only count rep from answers)

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No. Impact of reputation as a simple number is already big in itself and generates more attention than needed, as such. –  Gnoupi Feb 10 '10 at 12:48
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How about being over to offer a bounty after 1 day when you have over x rep and after half a day when you have over y rep? (Maybe with a larger minimal bounty size and the +50 not being added on)

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