When I ask questions on Stack Overflow, most people who answer/comment have crazy high reputations. Rarely do I see people with lower reputations (like myself) reply or comment.
Now that makes sense and it may seem like I am stating the obvious (they have higher reputations because they do more on the site), but my question to Meta Stack Overflow is whether this apparent over-representation of people with high reputations and more importantly, the importance given to reputation is causing people with lower reputations (which I assume is a large majority - and it will be great to see a reputation vs. number of people chart if one exists) to reduce their participation on the site, and is in fact hampering it.
Don't get me wrong. Credit should be given where it is due, and it is due in most cases on Stack Overflow. Just that I don't see the importance of making it front and center of the site (under every answer for example). We already know how many people found it relevant and that is the criteria that should be used to judge the answer.