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Since Stack Overflow asked for my birth date, I am expecting a gift. I would like Stack Overflow to award reputation to a user annually on their birthday in the amount of their age. To qualify, a user has to have achieved a minimum level of reputation points, say 1000. This gift will acknowledge the wisdom gained by aging.

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Do we all have to get gifts for Jeff & crew on their birthdays? – Tom Hawtin - tackline Jul 14 '09 at 0:50
Isn't being a marketable demographic sector gift enough? – user12752 Jul 14 '09 at 2:21
+1 for sardonic tone – Argalatyr Jul 14 '09 at 4:31
Imo really a bad idea, as stated in various answers. – mafu Jul 14 '09 at 8:27
If you participate on the site long enough, you'll get the yearling badge. Maybe it should be a re-awardable badge if it isn't? – akarnokd Jul 14 '09 at 10:45
No. Reputation should come from the community. Period. – toast Aug 11 '09 at 19:06
If this happens it must be done before the 5th. I'm not biased, of course. – Phoshi Mar 31 '10 at 20:51
What about vampires?! Some of them are over 2000 years old. That's not fair. – snicker Mar 31 '10 at 21:47

13 Answers 13

up vote 34 down vote accepted

I think this is a fine idea.

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900+ for Methuselah! – Sampson Jul 14 '09 at 0:28
wow bias! =( – Ian Elliott Jul 14 '09 at 4:34
@Ian- Agree. Poor overflowin if you ask me. – RSolberg Jul 14 '09 at 4:50
Ha Ha, I am not surprised Methuselah likes the idea. ;-) – Arlen Beiler Apr 1 '10 at 12:12

What exactly is the point of this? The reputation score on SO sites is a measurement of how well the system trusts you... Your age has 0 impact on your worthiness and trust... I've found answers on SO from people in their teens to be more productive than folks in their 30's and 40's.

Overall, I think this is a horrible idea and the controls around confirming age are nearly impossible.

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@Ian: That may be true for a number of reasons such as experience, etc. but age does not represent anything other than a number on someone's drivers license. Why should SO reputation be affected by age? There is ZERO correlation between age and rep. – RSolberg Jul 14 '09 at 0:22
@Ian: while age may imply more experience in the field, that is not an absolute which is even more of a reason why this is a very bad idea. – RSolberg Jul 14 '09 at 0:39
I have to apologize for misreading the original question, as I neglected to realize it said in amount of their age, and as a result have made a continually non-sensical argument. I am in agreeance that gross age should not be rewarded. – Ian Elliott Jul 14 '09 at 1:04
agreeance? What dictionary are you using? – Jeff Yates Jul 14 '09 at 5:30
I agree to not having a rep gain, but can I at least get a Tiara or a Birthday Crown on top of my Avatar for the day?? – devinb Jul 14 '09 at 13:23
@devinb: I think you can change your avatar at anytime... – RSolberg Jul 14 '09 at 15:12

What would stop a user from lying about their age? I'm not saying doing something on the user's birthday, since the information is collected, is a bad idea. But I wouldn't go for rep based on age. Additionally, you'd need to stop user's from changing their b-day daily, so receive the rep every day.

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I don't know. How to implement this feature would be a great question for stackoverflow. :-) – user12752 Jul 14 '09 at 0:02
I'm sure it could be implemented, I'm just not sure it would be worth the effort. I think tying just something like a notification to b-day would be more worth the effort and less worth "gaming". – Timothy Carter Jul 14 '09 at 0:03
I say don't worry about it, and my birthday is today, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that, and ...... – Brad Gilbert Jul 14 '09 at 16:37
Add a checkbox next to the birthday, "In order to get the birthday bonus check this box. NOTE THAT ONCE YOU CHECK THIS BOX YOU CANNOT CHANGE THE BIRTHDAY FIELD OR UNCHECK THIS BOX LATER - THIS LOCKS YOUR BIRTHDAY IN." Don't accept birthdays of people older than 150 rep, and apply the birthday at the beginning of the SO day so the rep cap limits the effectiveness of the birthday bonus. If people lie, they get up to 150 rep - and that's not a big deal if they're already over 1k. – Adam Davis Nov 20 '09 at 15:30

What's to stop a user from continuously changing their birthday on their profile so that they got "gifts" every day?

I don't think this is a very good or workable idea. That said, I won't argue if anyone feels overly compelled to give me 33 upvotes next year. ;)

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I'll give ya an up-vote right now ;) – Sampson Jul 14 '09 at 2:29
Wow! It's just like my first birthday, only I'm not covered in cake! ;) – gnostradamus Jul 14 '09 at 2:31

I agree most heartily with this recommendation, and it should be implemented right now!

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It should be applied retroactively of course, like the last change in rules – juan Mar 31 '10 at 20:53
Hmmm... Comparing the Google cache with the live version of your profile... I think Jeff must have recently introduced a one-off bug. Going to file a report. – balpha Mar 31 '10 at 20:54
Happy birthday (you wanted someone to say that?) – BalusC Mar 31 '10 at 20:58

I would definitely be against this.

I've never understood this fallacious idea about people getting wiser as they get older.

From what I've experienced of most older people (than me) is that they become more stubborn and set in their ways, quite often refuse to move with the times, and often become argumentative and dogmatic as a result.

Not sure that's worth rewarding.

Of course, none of this applies to anyone on SO or MSO ;)

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What about those who are born on February 29?

And I think it is bad idea on other reasons. SO is not a supermarket with birthday gifts. I believe that it is professional community and reputation points is a measure of professionalism.

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Um...not cool. My birthday was the 10th (3 days ago), and I got nothing :)

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I just upvoted this as a belated gift. Don't forget me on Jan. 18. – user12752 Jul 14 '09 at 0:31
That is great man! I'd say make this retroactive to the time I was born... That would give me 378 points. – RSolberg Jul 14 '09 at 0:31
If you guys remind me, I'll swing around and gift-vote you too ;) – Sampson Jul 14 '09 at 0:32
I'm going to need it. I'm in danger of dropping below the 100 free reputation I got for demonstrating that I had the ability to successfully complete user registration on two related web sites. – user12752 Jul 14 '09 at 0:40
I just tossed 10 points your way, Jamie. I like this idea - maybe 20 rep for your uneditable birthday, and only if your rep is already 100+ – Sampson Jul 14 '09 at 0:44

I agree that awarding reputation points just based on age is a bad idea. How about some kind of notification to all users that "These people are celebrating their birthdays on Stack Overflow", and list down people who have their birthday today and logged into Stack Overflow and are answering questions. This way, other people can just wish them happy birthday.

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It's not a bad idea. What if these were the rules:

  1. User cannot edit their birthday (who would need to afterall?)
  2. User must have 100+ rep already.
  3. User is awarded 20 points on birthday that is subject to the cap.
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I need to edit my birthday -- it changes every year! – quack quixote Apr 1 '10 at 2:39

I think everybody should get a set amount of rep on their birthday (no difference between age) as there is no way to confirm age. Or, maybe you get more rep the longer you've been a member (every birthday that you're a member, you get more rep).

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Knowing a person's birthday is a potential security risk. Many sites use that information for user authentication. Knowing the birthdate and age (age is already available) would be bad. You could easily scrape the site looking for increases of reputation equal to a persons age, thus getting their birthday.

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What about all those 82-year olds I've seen listed here? Why give them more rep? And why not give rep to the few 8 year olds?

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