Compare 2 profiles:
- superstar Jon Skeet who works at google and who finds the time in between compiles to answer some questions and with the 4th question already hits the repcap with all the upvotes
- Joe average without a current job, who out of complete boredom answers 234 questions per day and by the sheer numbers, also hits the repcap by the end of the day.
they both might end up after a few months of using this site as people with a high reputation.
The reputation doesn't say much about the quality of the answers, since sheer quantity achieves nearly the same result (I think mostly though the repcap).
A possible solution:
Don't display the accumulated repcap, but display the average number of upvotes/downvotes for all answers/questions given in the the last X months.
This solves multiple issues:
- It is possible (although still very tricky) to get anywhere near Jon Skeet by answering with premium answers.
- The reputation actually says something about the answers this person gives and the knowledge they have.
- It makes it fun for others to try and get a higher reputation, because it really reflects their knowledge and not if they have been using this site since the closed beta
- and some more points
- and even more good points
Deleted questions/answers should still be counted. Otherwise people might delete perfectly valid answers just to get a higher rep which is not what we want to encourage.