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I've thought for a long time that answers that mention SQL injection get upvoted a lot, even if SQL injection is entirely unrelated to the question. It looks like the new data browser supports that conclusion:

MentionsInjection    RepGainPerPost
0                    57
1                    122

Are there similiar "hot words" for other tags? Maybe mentioning buffer overflow attacks for the C tag?

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I cannot believe that there doesn't seem to be any difference when mentioning jQuery in the javascript tag! Myth Busted! – Bill the Lizard May 27 '10 at 18:52
Parametrized query: – kennytm May 27 '10 at 18:54
@Bill: That was the first thing I tried. – Brian May 27 '10 at 19:02
I know this may be a "fun" question, but I still have to mention that correlation does not imply causation. – mmyers May 27 '10 at 19:10
+1 because SQL injection is a very important issue. – Robert Cartaino May 27 '10 at 19:12
Parameterized query that takes accepted answer and community wiki into account: – Joel Coehoorn May 27 '10 at 19:31
Doesn't this query return the average answer score if the question contains the keyword? Is that intentional? – sth May 27 '10 at 19:49
@sth: Looks like you're right! Here's an amended version: Funnily enough, this actually disproves my suspicion! Great :) – Andomar May 27 '10 at 20:06

18 Answers 18

up vote 16 down vote accepted

It may be premature optimization, but watch out for SQL injection!
If you read Code Complete you will be prepared.

If all fails, you can ask Jon Skeet for help!

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+1 Resistance is futile! – Andomar May 27 '10 at 18:49
Needs more generics. – mmyers May 27 '10 at 19:10
Needs more jQuery! – Pëkka May 27 '10 at 21:11
The data does not support that argument @questions – juan May 27 '10 at 21:12
@Juan who are you, and what have you done to Downvoter? – Pëkka May 27 '10 at 22:05
Other sites were copying my meta profile (highest reputation) and got tired of editing them manually, I may revert that decision though (in a month when I can change it back) @que – juan May 27 '10 at 23:20
@Questions your one to talk about name changes! (I was there to witness that one though!) – Earlz May 28 '10 at 0:25
@Juan I really dislike your profile page now :( – Earlz May 28 '10 at 0:26
@Juan: what if I want to parse HTML with regex? – Quassnoi May 28 '10 at 1:02
It just wasn't funny anymore @ear @mouth @nose... I'll need to think something new for next month – juan May 28 '10 at 3:12
@Earlz I have no idea what you are talking about. I was born this way. You must be confusing me with somebody else. – Pëkka May 28 '10 at 8:07

On Meta, not tag-restricted.

MentionsUnicorn      RepGainPerPost
0                    453
1                    1146
share|improve this answer
The average post on meta gains 453 rep, even without mentioning unicorns? That doesn't sound right... – Robert Harvey May 27 '10 at 20:40
I think Pollyanna should be excluded from the average @Rob – Earlz May 27 '10 at 21:05

People like cursing:

Subjective Tag:

Mentions F*ck:            Rep Gain
Yes                       3136
No                        880

Mentions D*mn:            Rep Gain
Yes                       2387
No                        879

Mentions Sh*t:            Rep Gain
Yes                       1139
No                        881
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Java Tag:

Mentions C++       RepGain
0                   65
1                   150

Java devs secretly love C++.

Python Tag:

Mentions Ruby       RepGain
0                   83
1                   182

Same for Python devs.

This pattern continues for every competing language pair I tried.

Added because I got curious:

Ruby Tag:

Mentions Python     RepGain
0                   67
1                   115
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+1 The grass is always greener on the other side! – Andomar May 27 '10 at 19:18

The phrase "premature optimization" in the algorithm tag:

MentionsKnuth        RepGainPerPost
0                    121
1                    387
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If asked for books of any kind, the answer to collect upvotes is always "Code Complete":

CodeComplete        RepGainPerPost
0                   216
1                   2529
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You can also mention the Dragon Book - of course the people recommending it will never have as much as opened it. – nb69307 May 27 '10 at 18:55
Why would I try to open it? My door would slam shut. – detly May 31 '10 at 5:10

As I already pointed out several times, mere mentioning SQL Injection is not enough.

To get the real rep gain, you should hotlink Exploits of a Mom:


MentionsInjection    RepGainPerPost
0                    57
1                    423
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I don't know how much more succinct an explanation you provide without referencing LittleBobbyTables. – OMG Ponies May 28 '10 at 0:51

[c#] developers love monads:

Mentions "Monad"      RepGain
YES                   164
NO                    67

[haskell] developers don't:

Mentions "Monad"      RepGain
YES                   117
NO                    149
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Always refer to the documentation when you're asking/answering .NET questions:

MentionsMSDN    RepGain
0               78
1               125

(Tags: {c#, .net}, Keyword: msdn)

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(In addition to balpha's answer)

Here on Meta (for all tags):

MentionsWaffles     RepGainPerPost
YES                 1204
NO                  454
MentionsPonies      RepGainPerPost
YES                 1343
NO                  454
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That's like getting a triple-word score in Scrabble. – Robert Harvey May 27 '10 at 21:35

Apparently you can gain lots of rep from being anti-SQL.

SQL tag, searching for nosql:

MentionsNoSql  RepGain
0              57
1              129

If you can't stomach that, then at least be sure to mention normalization (normaliz%) in any database-related question:

MentionsNormalization  RepGain
0                      66
1                      128
share|improve this answer
I spent a few months as the top ranked sql user, and I don't think I've mentioned nosql more than twice. – Joel Coehoorn May 28 '10 at 1:57
@Joel: Then just think about how much more rep you would have gained if you had mentioned it in every post! – Aarobot May 28 '10 at 20:01

In [iphone] mentions android:

Mentionsandroid PostCount RepGain
0               18085     44
1               137       73

In [android] mentions iphone:

Mentionsiphone PostCount RepGain
0              5131      35
1              142       78

Conclusion considering also @Justin's answer:

              Always mention the competing product if you want to double the expected rep gain

e.g. "Have you tried asking in ExpertsExchange?" :p

(Edit: Changed to use query #1378 for the correct result.)

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When posting on Meta, don't forget to link to the Stack Overflow Blog:

MentionsSOBlog    RepGain
0                 200
1                 939


Actually, any blog will do:

MentionsBlog    RepGain
0               186
1               701
share|improve this answer

HTML tag:

MentionsRegex  RepGain
0              61
1              78

C# tag

MentionsLippert  RepGain
0                67
1                152
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If you take out the 30000+ points counted for a certain answer we all know, it looks like mentioning regex might almost hurt your chances in html questions. There's hope for the species after all. – Joel Coehoorn May 27 '10 at 19:26

Even more curious are the converses of this.

Tag      C#
keyword  "sql server"
yes:     49
No:      67
Tag      assembly
keyword  "c"
yes:     101
No:      168
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I don't think c will have any meaning. A word like accumulator matches %c% already. – kennytm May 27 '10 at 19:36
@Kenny are you sure? I find it hard to imagine there are so many answers without at least one c in them. – Pëkka May 27 '10 at 21:13
@Questions: Because the 1270 is counts only questions. Use the query 1378. – kennytm May 28 '10 at 9:15

Surprisingly, mentioning "mvc" only makes a small difference for

Mentions "mvc"      RepGain
YES                   59
NO                    46
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I have one thing to say. Actually it has already been said for me. That is all.

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@mmyers: damn you for beating me to it in the comments. – Jason Punyon May 27 '10 at 23:43
I considered searching for how much impact xkcd had, but the data didn't appreciate such an expensive query. – Brian May 28 '10 at 15:34

Not sure if this works right, but whatever.

Tag is [sql]

Mentions "meatball"  RepGainPerPost
0                    57
1                    92
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