(Venting about the change to the rep.)
In the end, SO sells ads. That is how it makes money. People pay for ads that developers will see.
Who is the primary ad viewer? You? Me? Nope. It is the random Joe out on Google trying to find an answer to his questions. He gets a link to SO where it has been asked already and gets his answer. SO then hopes that he sees an interesting ad and clicks on that too. Money made.
Key to this is that users know that they can get good info from SO and the question has the key words they are searching on. I good answer is clearly key to this. But a well crafted question, with examples and key words makes a big difference too.
If the question is poorly worded, has no examples, etc, then searchers may start to think that SO's stuff is nice for the person who asked the question, but too hard to follow for someone looking in from the outside. Money lost.
Now, SO is a long, long way from this state (quite the opposite in fact). But by telling the community that a good question is 50% as important as it used to be, the SO site is arguably taking a step in that direction.
Is my opinion tainted? Yes. I spent a lot of time on a lot of really good questions trying to make them really good for those who will follow after. I will go from over 3100 rep to about 1,750 from this change. I lose two nice privileges on the SO site that I was enjoying.
But that is another point. I am now mad at SO. I will still ask questions (cause when you need an answer this is still the best place), but I am not as big an evangelist for SO as I was yesterday. I feel like the rules were changed in the middle of the game because of a very small minority of abusers. So SO has lost an loyal fan too.
Is SO shooting itself in the foot with this change or am I just disgruntled?