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It seems as though the statistics show that the rich will just get richer (in terms of the gap b/t very high rep and non very high rep users) while the poor will get poorer (literally, poorer). Many users solidly in the middle class will pay the biggest penalty for this change.

How is this going to fit into the current philosophy of our larger community?

I'm a firm believer in applying policies that will actually fix the problem with no unknown or uncovered potential negative impacts. I'm not exactly sure what problem/issue this proposed change is actually going to solve. If anything, low rep users will only ask twice as many questions that still suck just to get the rep!

Should the weight of question upvotes be reduced?

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I don't think they'll get richer, they'll just remain rich –  jmfsg Mar 19 '10 at 18:32
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@downvoter: yeah I meant the gap is widening... I'll fix... –  RSolberg Mar 19 '10 at 18:33
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@shog9, what have you done to that poor defenseless title?? –  quack quixote Mar 19 '10 at 18:39
    
@Shog9, I have a feeling this could be the longest title on record for a META post. Thanks! –  RSolberg Mar 19 '10 at 18:43
    
@~quack: He's Victorianized it. I m simultaneously entranced and appalled. –  dmckee Mar 19 '10 at 18:45
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Could it be longer? –  jmfsg Mar 19 '10 at 18:46
    
@dmckee: oh, i recognize the technique. it just seems so cruel... –  quack quixote Mar 19 '10 at 18:47
    
Voting to close as exact duplicate - meta.stackexchange.com/questions/42769/… - I understand your belief that your opinion on the subject merits its own thread, but all discussion regarding this change should occur in the original thread. –  Adam Davis Mar 19 '10 at 19:38
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The title is too long. –  Daniel Daranas Mar 19 '10 at 20:22
    
I couldn't even finish reading the title. I decided I would just go ahead and see what the fuss was about... –  IAbstract Mar 19 '10 at 21:31
    
Interestingly, I believe if the change was implemented using a two step announcement, the first of which doubled everything except question upvote rep and a second announcement that divided rep by two, we wouldn't get a third of posts on meta! –  LeakyCode Mar 20 '10 at 18:22

6 Answers 6

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:

The proposed change puts the emphasis on answerers, not questioners, I can live with that. But the change does nothing regarding the quality of the questions/answers. Controversial posts still garner a great net positive, pity upvotes still generate rep inflation and poor questioners still get a lot of rep even if downvoted several times.

The fact that it is retroactive (I accept it as necessary) might have been made worse by not having habituated the user base to frequent recalcs.

Increasing the weight of downvotes would have only "punished" heavily downvoted and controversial posters.

Either way, the change is as good as done, as it has been published on the Blog, and Jeff's unlikely to backtrack in such a publicly way (nor he should).

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"pity upvotes still generate rep inflation..." But at a much reduced rate. Someone downvoted twice, then up once out of pity only nets 1 point instead of 6. Poor questions will gain less rep for the same reason. I think this is the best feature of the change. I'm not crazy about it being retroactive, but I understand the reasons behind it. –  Bill the Lizard Mar 19 '10 at 18:46
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@Bill but the problem stays the same for poor answers. That might be offset by a bias towards more voting in general happening in answers, but may be the electorate badge has changed that situation. –  perbert Mar 19 '10 at 18:51
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Oh, right. This change does absolutely nothing to alleviate pity upvotes on poor answers. I think the main problem it addresses is the people who have amassed thousands of reputation points (and their associated privileges) by asking hundreds of poor questions. –  Bill the Lizard Mar 19 '10 at 18:55
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You are absolutely correct that this does nothing regarding quality of questions. It just says that questions in general are worth less. In fact, it makes it less likely that someone will put work into making a question really good (usable by others afterward). There will be little point to it. Just put in the effort to get an answer and be done. By degrading the importance of questions SO is departing from its philosophy of trying to get a good knowledge base together for Google hits. It is all about the answers now. Forget making your questions good, there is no (rep based) reason. –  Vaccano Mar 19 '10 at 19:31
    
@Vaccano: Oh woe is me! I only get 5 rep for each upvote on a question! There's just no reason for me to bother to ask... except I need an answer and I get the best ones here... –  AnonJr Mar 20 '10 at 1:58
    
@Vaccano: Based on my experience, the questioners didn't really put effort into questions in the first place. Most value in questions was generated by editors not the OP. –  LeakyCode Mar 20 '10 at 18:20

It will penalize those who asked good questions in the past.

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If they were good, they probably hit the rep cap with them anyway, in which case they won't really be losing as much as they fear. If they were only pretty good, who cares? –  XMLbog Mar 19 '10 at 19:17
    
@NIfE, Not so. I ask a lot of really well thought out questions. I usually get 1 to 3 upvotes. I take time on my questions to make them easy to read and useful for those who read it for info at a later date. SO is dumb to bite the hand that feeds them. All the answers in the world can't help a bad question. They need to find a way to punish bad questions, not questions in general. –  Vaccano Mar 19 '10 at 19:27
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@Vaccano: You have lots of answers, too, so you're not going to lose very much. It's just an arbitrary number. I don't see what the big deal is. I'm going to lose about 1500 on meta. Do you think I'm worried? I'll get it back by continuing to do what I'm doing. Your arbitrary number will grow back. –  XMLbog Mar 19 '10 at 19:55
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@NIfE, I have 48 upvotes from answers. 480 rep. The rest comes from GOOD questions. (Over 2,500 rep). That means I will loose 1,250 of my rep. Almost half of it. If you don't care about it then that is fine, but (as Jeff himself has pointed out) rep means something to a lot of users. I write good questions. I make sure they are good. Now the rules are changing in the middle of the game. I am going to go from over 3,000 to 1,750. I loose abilities on SO that I like having from this change. So, to me, it is a big deal. –  Vaccano Mar 19 '10 at 21:09
    
Eh. There's no such thing as a good question, so your point is moot. –  XMLbog Mar 19 '10 at 21:53
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@Vaccano, one thing you might want to loose is the extra o in lose –  Rich Seller Mar 19 '10 at 22:50

Where exactly is this "gap" you speak of between high-Rep and modest-Rep users? This graph from Greg Hewgill's data dump stats page looks like a fairly smooth distribution for the Rep values above 100.

alt text

Perhaps if you zoomed in on the graph above 1000 Rep and used a larger number of bins you might see something (like an unusually large bump somewhere above 10,000 Rep), but I kinda doubt it.

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There's a gap between the 4 rep people and the 10 rep people, and the 10 rep people and the 50 rep people. Those gaps will be huge after the recalc! It will destroy everything we love about stackoverflow! –  Adam Davis Mar 19 '10 at 20:26
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@Pollyanna: Good God! It will set off a class war between the poorest and the poorerest! –  gnostradamus Mar 19 '10 at 20:43
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you misspelled poorestest –  quack quixote Mar 19 '10 at 21:34
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OMG it's jut another way in which The Man is trying to keep us down!! –  Ether Mar 20 '10 at 18:14
    
I'm not trying to keep you down! I'm too busy asking questions on SO! - The Man. –  DVK Mar 21 '10 at 16:53

How do high rep users get high rep?

Is it:

  1. Answering questions, quality answers?
  2. Asking 100s of question, with the Electorate badge encouraging upvoting?

For example, how may "integer divisions" have upvote rep exceeding the the rep of any of the answers?

Instead of downvoting a question like this, I'd prefer to find out where they live and confiscate their PCs.

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We need a new vote-to-close reason: blatantly prejudicial. There is no "rich" and "poor" on Stack Overflow -- this is a meritocracy.

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We just need to find new prospects of Reputation. I hear there is a recent reputation fever out in the west. Perhaps we should try migrating and trying new things.

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How about gaining reputation for making long question titles? –  RSolberg Mar 19 '10 at 18:59
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There's rep in them thar hills! –  mmyers Mar 19 '10 at 19:12
    
Rep rush! (ok, that sounded vaguely wrong ...) –  DVK Mar 21 '10 at 16:54

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