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Possible Duplicates:
I am bad at answering questions on Stackoverflow.com
Are demands on new users continually increasing?
The problem with noobs and reputation points

Not sure if there's a dup on this subject, did a simple search and found none.

Anyway, here's the gist of it. Taking SO as an example, here are my assumptions.

As the site grows (in the number of users), :

  1. it is getting comparatively tougher to ask non-duplicate and proper questions
  2. *answering a question and get accepted becomes more competitive than months ago
  3. new technology do not emerge as fast to generate new question pools

**Assumption #2 is based on #1 as relative growth rate of quantity of answerable questions can't match that of growing users*

What are you guys' views about the assumptions and therefore my conclusion that:
It is increasingly harder for new users to gain rep points which are required for them to contribute to the community in more ways (e.g. voting, editing, closing etc)

As much as I do accept that the above observations are 'natural', it can be really frustrating for new users who want to do more.

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marked as duplicate by random, Shog9, Lance Roberts, Ether, Tyler Carter Feb 18 '10 at 18:18

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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How about this ripper? meta.stackexchange.com/questions/13085/… –  random Feb 18 '10 at 10:12
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FWIW... Every so often, I'll create a fresh account and answer a few questions, just to see how it goes. Haven't really noticed a change; picking up enough rep to vote, comment, etc. isn't that hard, so long as you stick to an area you know. –  Shog9 Feb 18 '10 at 10:29
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My focus I guess is more of the 'user experience' of new users now as compared to those who joined several months or a year plus ago. Probably quite different. –  o.k.w Feb 18 '10 at 10:46
    
@random, yea I've read that before posting this one. In fact that was the post which prompted me to write this. I would not say it's anywhere near a dup. That is 'how to deal with the problem', this is 'why there is a problem'. Any thoughts? –  o.k.w Feb 18 '10 at 10:59
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Why community wiki? This is meta. –  George Stocker Feb 18 '10 at 11:27
    
@George, my subconscious clicked the wiki checkbox :P –  o.k.w Feb 18 '10 at 11:49
    
    
@Lance, oh yes. This is the closest to a dup. I'll accept that :) –  o.k.w Feb 18 '10 at 23:44

5 Answers 5

As much as I do accept that the above observations are 'natural', it can be really frustrating for new users who want to do more.

Reputation-wise, this is probably true. There is an "establishment" of very active, high-rep users you are very unlikely to catch up to, because they will always progress at the same speed as you, and thus be ahead of you. Differently put, it is going to be very hard to top the current top 5 if they keep on going as they do.

On the questions front, it is probably true that in the early days, there were more basic, easy questions available of which there were no duplicates. It does become harder and harder to come up with "original" questions the closer SO gets to its goal of being some sort of a "Wikipedia for programmers". Still, there remains a neverending number of questions to answer, and if you know your stuff, you can answer them (and get good feedback) whether you're a newbie or a seasoned SO veteran.

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+1 for Still, there remains a neverending number of questions to answer, and if you know your stuff, you can answer them (and get good feedback) whether you're a newbie or a seasoned SO veteran. –  Adam Davis Feb 18 '10 at 16:53

One thing you're missing is that as the number of questions grows it's increasingly easy to slip duplicate questions in. It's no longer a simple thing to find and point back to the original so that the duplicate can be closed.

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On a related topic, it may be harder for new users to get some high-level badges. The highest vote totals for questions and answers seem to come from soft questions, often CW, which were tolerated a lot more a year ago than they are now. I suspect (without hard evidence) that "Great Question" and "Great Answer" are a lot harder to get now.

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I think that's true and I believe it happens in any kind of organization. If you arrive when an organization is already in place with most of the things already done, it will very hard to get as much "credit" (or "rep") as the people who built the place.

On the other hand you benefit from all the work done by the "founders" and early participants.

The good news is that there are plenty of challenges in the future and plenty of other things to "build". I guess there are areas of programming that are new... and there are other things than programming.

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It is harder for new users to ask 'easy' questions; but for the ones that do get through, they're bound to get more reputation because people are voting on questions more due to the Electorate Badge.

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