Honestly, I could understand how having a 10k+ rep on SO would be cool.
But, why not make some incentive to give back by asking canonical questions and rewarding the lesser (and/or later joining) rep users by farming out the research for rep.
For instance see this.
Here's a prime example of a community wiki that doesn't consist of programming outtakes, outrageous uses of preprocessor directives, programming jokes, famous programming quotes, or cartoons.
I would give this guy 500 rep (if I had 500 to give) just for actually asking a really good question in a community wiki; and, the best part is? He threw down a bounty to get good answers.
SO has a strong community capable of answering some really difficult questions right?
What I see a lot of are, high voted community wiki type questions related to jokes or interesting/funny programming trivia/experiences.
There few really ground-breaking answers to specific programming questions formally yet. There are good questions/answers, but none get intentionally revised to the point where they become 'the one true answer.'
Isn't there some way to nudge hi rep users to use their massive reps to improve the quality of SO, give them an interesting challenge and provide something really valuable to the programming community as a whole?
Update as requested by jjnguy:
"That raises an interesting side question... what happens to a bounty on a CW question (given you don't get rep for upvotes or accepted answers)?" Alconja
Right now rep from a featured question go to the chosen answer. There's gotta be a way to make it more interesting. For instance...
Create a special 'special' type of featured question:
- It would have to be sponsored by a high rep user (25k+ rep)
- The bounty put down by the sponsor high stakes (ex 1k)
- SO matches the rep put down automatically to double the pool.
- Then the points get distributed among the participants based on how they contributed.
- The details on how to divvy up the spoils need to be figured out still.
That would be interesting and would probably lead to some great answers. Farming out the research for such questions could prove to be really useful for answering some really great questions.
Update after taking Developer Art's concerns into question
1. "High-rep" users won't like giving away 1K. You know it from everyday life - the more money an individual possess, the more he wants and the less he's inclined to charity.
This may go beyond the scope of this question but, what if a new set of badges (platinum, diamond) were created that could only be earned by undertaking in some 'special' activities like that improve the SO community, require some rep investment, and include some risks that might not succeed on the first try.
2. Most "canonical" questions have already been asked. It's hard to think of something that hasn't been discussed numerous times with 1-3 main threads and dozens of closed duplicates.
That's the point. The question should be both, difficult enough that it would be too much work for one person to undertake and beneficial to the programmer community as a whole.
My whole take on this concept is... Once you break 25k rep, what's the point really? If rep is looked at like currency, why not have a way to spend it in a meaningful way. Maybe I'm alone in this but why not give the highest rep users of SO a challenge above and beyond just answering questions? I'm guessing they gained their high reps because it was challenging and rewarding. Why not provide some new challenges and rewards to keep them interested (they're obviously worth keeping around). Who knows, it might be a lot of fun.
Removed the whining rants (counterproductive) and references to 'canonical' questions as per some advice from Jeff Atwood about SO's goals I received on another post. Removed all references to the word 'awesome' because it rubs 'Neil Butterworth' the wrong way (whatever way is wrong about it).
After taking the comments/answers into consideration, here's a simplified alternative that might seem more worth-while.
Much like high rep users have the ability to edit questions. Give high rep users the ability to piggyback on a question and offer a bounty for the answer.
- The high rep guys don't have to worry so much about asking good questions that have never been asked.
- A question that, otherwise probably wouldn't get enough attention now has a much better chance of being answered.
- Questions that are really worth answering but fall off into obscurity can be resurrected by the political boost (of both bounty offering and attention and from a reputable user).
Maybe you thought of a good question you'd really like an answer to, but someone else got their first (and duplicate answers are looked down upon) but that specific question is a question that would really scratch a personal curiosity itch.
I'm not sure what a high rep user editing a question currently does to help it (other than bringing it back to the forefront of fresh questions) but what if you could also throw down a bounty.
This would be win-win for both the original question-asker and the piggy-backer. It would also provide an opportunity to draw attention to bring about a better answer.
It would promote 'good behaviour' by encouraging high rep users to ressurect and improve already existing questions over creating new near-duplicate version of dead questions that needs answering.
[Optional] Badges related to piggybacking to encourage its practice
Charity - awarded each time a user piggy-backs a question and invests a bounty for its answer
Philanthropist (gold) - piggy-backed question gained x amount of upvotes indicating a successful boost through charity.