In the past few weeks, I have noticed a new trend: A considerable number of users having 4-digit reputations earned through a large number of mediocre, not-bad-enough-to-downvote-but-not-great-either, questions, with a small number of upvotes each.
I realize this is mainly due to the entire field shifting upwards: The top user has a reputation of almost 250,000 now. It is a perfectly natural development for the average reputation count to grow, the longer users are active on the site.
Still, I'm not sure whether this particular thing is a good development. The rep count on Stack Overflow used to tell me something about the user - yes, always with consideration for the inherent weaknesses of the reputation metric, and taken with a huge chunk of salt. But still. I have the feeling the metric is getting seriously watered down by this trend.
Let me be clear: I have nothing against users because they ask only questions; nor do I have anything against, well, normal everyday questions. Not every question can be deep and insightful and glamorous. I am not suggesting that the activity of these users be restricted in any way beyond what has been successfully implemented for persistent askers of really bad questions. (Although many among them have made it a habit to ask on SO instead of looking in the f-ing manual first, but that's a different story.)
I also don't really mind those users gaining reputation as such, but my impression is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell from the reputation count whether it's a) a true expert in their field who is moderately active on Stack Overflow, or b) a particularly persistent question asker.
Is this a problem?
If yes, does something need to be done about it?
I am starting to think, in a 180° turn from what I used to think, that maybe it's even time to devalue questions once again, from +5 to something even lower, or abolishing rep gain on question upvotes altogether, and creating other ways of rewarding good questions.