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Add a rep “batting average”? (similar to the questioner’s accept rate)

I think it would be intersting to see an alternate way to order users on the users page.

In the same manner that you can order answers and questions on a tab-like interface with

[ Oldest | Newest | Votes ]

We could have a simlar tab on the users page [ Reputation | Avg Score ]

Just as an example, looking at the top two users, Jon Skeet and Mark Gravell:

Skeet: (21 Questions + 9020 Answers) / 197,990 Rep = 21.89 Avg score

Gravell: (21 Questions + 5682 Answers / 155,513 = 27.26 Avg Score

And already we have the list changing order based on the new metric.

I think this would help showcase some of the users who may be newer and/or don't rack up rep by sheer volume (not saying that Skeet's posts aren't of high quality, but the dude has a serious mass of posts on SO)

Instead of "Average Score" we could call it "Rep per post", "Quality Rating" or some other suitable name.

This could have the added benifit of discouraging me-too or junk posts.

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You aren't taking vote counts into consideration. –  Chichiray Jul 23 '10 at 19:25
    
@balus Also not taking bounties into consideration. Not taking 'downvotes-given', nor '100 point spam penalty', nor the rep-reward difference for questions vs answers. –  devinb Jul 23 '10 at 19:30
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marked as duplicate by devinb, waiwai933, Jon B, ChrisF, Grace Note Jul 23 '10 at 20:26

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

2 Answers

I don't think average score is relevant to a user's reputation. Reputation is a measure of your contribution to the site. It's a strange animal. It's not a measure of quality or of quantity.

The biggest problem I see with average score is that broadly appealing questions tend to get more views and higher scores. Some users take the time to post high-quality answers to obscure questions. These users would be penalized by an average score ranking.

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"I don't think average score is relevant to a user's reputation" it's not, it's something DIFFERENT, which is the point. "broadly appealing questions tend to get more views and higher scores. Some users take the time to post high-quality answers to obscure questions. These users would be penalized by an average score ranking." You're assuming having a low average is a "penalty" or that the slow rep growth from obscure questions isnt already an issue of rep itself. –  Neil N Jul 23 '10 at 19:27
    
@Neil If two posters have a different average post score, one higher and one lower, how am I to judge them based on only that information. If you say "Well, you can't really know anything about them from just that number", then why display it? –  devinb Jul 23 '10 at 19:31
    
@Neil - yes, it's something different. Another way to state my case would be to simply say that I don't think average score has any real value. –  user27414 Jul 23 '10 at 19:32
    
@devinb, i didnt know you "judged" users. Do you judge them on rep? –  Neil N Jul 23 '10 at 19:33
    
@Neil - it might, however, be interesting to devise an algorithm that took into consideration page views and number of answers. That would give you an idea of how someone faired based on how many votes they could have had, and how much competition there was. –  user27414 Jul 23 '10 at 19:33
    
@Neil - I think you mean that to be @devinb. But if you really want to know, I judge users by their MSO suggestions :P –  user27414 Jul 23 '10 at 19:34
    
well I DID do a search, and didn't find the dupe link posted above. –  Neil N Jul 23 '10 at 19:36
    
@Neil, Why provide information if I am not expected to use it in some manner ("make a judgement based on relevant information"). If you object to using the word 'judge' then change the sentence to, "How should their difference in average post rep affect my opinions about that user?" –  devinb Jul 23 '10 at 19:44
    
@Neil - you mean you didn't search on "batting average"? tsk tsk. :) –  user27414 Jul 23 '10 at 19:51
    
I guess what I'm getting at is, since rep is a semi-useless metric, whats the harm in another, semi-useless metric? –  Neil N Jul 23 '10 at 19:51
    
@Neil, see my answer for the harm of this 'semi-useless' metric. –  devinb Jul 23 '10 at 19:54
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This was fairly well covered on this question

My answer was as follows:

Rep-per-answer is not a useful metric

  • There are people with many answers in niche tags who would have low rep-per-answer.
  • There are people who have many answers in very popular tags who aren't fast enough to get huge upvotes.
  • There are people who answer very few questions, but answer them very very thoroughly and get huge upvotes.
  • There are people who only answer joke-type questions and get huge (undeserved) upvotes.
  • There are people who put off-the-cuff answers on a lot of questions and get a few upvotes.

The point being that the rep-per-answer averages will vary wildly, but will not add any extra information about the user who is giving you the answer. Because rep is given out arbitrarily, there is not (and never has been) a way to firmly link rep-gain to usefulness.

Basically, reputation is based on a huge number of factors and only one of them is skill.

EDIT

In response to comment:

"Basically, reputation is based on a huge number of factors and only one of them is skill." True, and so could the average. If you want to take into account downvotes given, bounties given, etc, then why not? The rep itself has lots of factors, why not the "avg"

In order for me to control (increase) my reputation, I need to invest more time in StackOverflow. This is very beneficial to the community.

In order for me to control (increase) my average-rep-per-post, I need to do one or more of the following things. (only a partial list)

  • Delete my lower voted posts (even if they are still valid, or even checkmarked)
  • Ignore any low-view tags or questions
  • Create a sock-puppet user to upvote all my posts
  • Downvote other users to make my posts look more attractive

You'll note that "write higher quality posts" is not on the list. There's a reason for that. Even a high quality post has a chance of not getting upvoted, which means it would lower my rep-average, and then I'd have to delete it. Also, "answer questions very quickly" is not on the list for the same reason.

Every item on that list is not a desirable behaviour.

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Very true all ! –  Chichiray Jul 23 '10 at 19:37
    
"Basically, reputation is based on a huge number of factors and only one of them is skill." True, and so could the average. If you want to take into account downvotes given, bounties given, etc, then why not? The rep itself has lots of factors, why not the "avg" –  Neil N Jul 23 '10 at 19:42
    
@Neil, I've responded –  devinb Jul 23 '10 at 19:53
    
"Every item on that list is not a desirable behaviour" I could also make a similar list of undesirable behaviours people use for the current Rep (some would be dupes of the ones you listed for an avg). Does that make rep a bad idea? Should we do away with it? –  Neil N Jul 23 '10 at 19:59
    
@Neil, you should make the list. :) We can't discuss it until you publicize it. –  devinb Jul 23 '10 at 20:04
    
I can start with 3 of yours: -Ignore any low-view tags or questions -Create a sock-puppet user to upvote all my posts -Downvote other users to make my posts look more attractive These are already things people can do under the current system. I dont see how an avg would increase any of these further than they already are. –  Neil N Jul 23 '10 at 20:26
    
@Neil, reputation is cumulative. If I post an answer that recieves 'only' one upvote, the result is positive on my overall rep and negative to my 'rep-per-post'. If I downvote all the posts around mine, I lose reputation. With reputation, there is no negative effect from posting a response that doesn't get upvotes. –  devinb Jul 23 '10 at 20:29
    
@Neil, to quote a comment I made on the other Q. "Answering a niche question will ALWAYS bring down your avg"... but never bring down your rep. –  devinb Jul 23 '10 at 20:31
    
And downvoting others doesn't bring down your rep? –  Neil N Jul 23 '10 at 20:34
    
@Neil, it does. "If I downvote all the posts around mine, I lose reputation." –  devinb Jul 23 '10 at 20:36
    
And in turn, you would also lose average. I'm not suggesting REPLACING rep with an average, only augmenting it. you assuming people would suddenly stop caring about rep, they certainly won't. –  Neil N Jul 23 '10 at 20:49
    
If your "Average reputation" is simply "reputation / # posts" then it is doubly ridiculous. If I post one answer and get a 500 point bounty, it would say that I have a 500 avg. If then I offered a bounty, suddenly my reputation average would go down, even though none of my posts have been modified or changed in any way. I assumed you were going to do take "score of each post"/"Number of posts" which is at least an accurate representation of what it is called. –  devinb Jul 23 '10 at 21:01
    
@Neil I'm not suggesting people will stop caring about rep, but I am saying that they WILL start caring about rep average. Probably care more about average than rep, because rep-average would seem to be a more accurate representation of their skill. –  devinb Jul 23 '10 at 21:02
    
And my answer to that would be "So what?" user priveleges are stil based off rep. Rep is what's displayed next to someones name... If someone DOES care more about an average, or some type of computed rating, ... who cares? Do you care that some people obsess about rep while others couldn't care less? –  Neil N Jul 23 '10 at 21:11
    
@Neil. Maybe I missed something. "I think it would be intersting to see an alternate way to order users on the users page." Why do you want this feature? You've said "This could have the added benifit of discouraging me-too or junk posts." If you want to order posts based on this, you are saying it is a valid way to measure quality of a post. We can't order posts by reputation, because reputation isn't an indication of quality. Neither, as I've point out, is rep-per-post. –  devinb Jul 23 '10 at 21:17
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