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I wonder, what are the plans of those people on SO (later on Meta), who have reputation way over 10k? Apart from being elected to a diamond moderator, what do you want do with your enormous amount of reputation?

No, no, forget that joke pal!

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15 Answers 15

up vote 15 down vote accepted

At one point I was really interested in whether or not I could get on the front page of users. A sort of interesting challenge. Now I know that there's little likelihood of me ever moving up the rankings beyond my current level. As far as reputation goes, I'm basically doing well to keep my current position.

For me the main, continuing motiviation is a desire to help and to learn. I actually find that I learn more by helping. That's what keeps me coming back.

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I know that feeling ;-p And strongly agree on the learning through helping. –  Marc Gravell Jul 21 '09 at 4:22

Reputation doesn't matter. If you're on SO to get reputation then you don't belong on SO.

Seriously, being 10k shouldn't change anything other than perhaps enabling you to help new users and clean up messes better with the moderator tools. We're here to help people and to learn. Gaining reputation is a side-effect of this and should not be seen as an end to itself.

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"If you're on SO to get reputation then you don't belong on SO." I don't think that's entirely fair. Sure, I like to help people, but I think the desire to keep getting points is what keeps people in for the long haul. –  Kyle Cronin Jul 20 '09 at 17:44
    
10 upvote, if I could :) –  Canavar Jul 20 '09 at 17:48
    
That's stupid. Reputation is pretty pointless, and behaviours that are seen as seeking reputation is seen as destructive by nearly every user and admin. Similarly, I would say that any user who wants reputation for reputation's sake is exhibiting destructive behaviour. –  XMLbog Jul 20 '09 at 17:49
    
The above comment was directed at Kyle Cronin, not Canavar. –  XMLbog Jul 20 '09 at 17:49
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@Welbog: It's not about the points, it's about the recognition. It's a great feeling when I post something and people vote it up, and reputation is a part of that recognition. –  Kyle Cronin Jul 20 '09 at 17:53
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My behavior on the site is solely upvote seeking. And, it has 100% positive impact on the community. Rep-seeking and positive contributions usually overlap. –  jjnguy Jul 20 '09 at 17:55
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@Welbog: I'd suggest that if you oppose reputation, maybe you don't belong on SO. Reputation is here to help drive positive behavior, and it seems to be working pretty well. I would most likely have quit answering questions long ago if it weren't for reputation; does that make me harmful to the community? –  mmyers Jul 20 '09 at 18:03
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@mmyers: You're crazy. Why do you care about artificial numbers? Here: have a billion: 1000000000. There, you're a billion to me. Does that make you feel better? Sure, answers should have upvotes because that helps people identify which ones are good. Questions should have upvotes because it's positive feedback for people who phrase questions well. I don't care about reputation beyond that. It's just an arbitrary number with a lot of bugs. –  XMLbog Jul 20 '09 at 18:08
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The numbers aren't artificial. They represent your contribution to the community. –  jjnguy Jul 20 '09 at 18:09
    
Yup, one user skewed all of the results... –  jjnguy Jul 20 '09 at 18:20
    
People, please hold yourselves back, I don't want to be closed down as inflammatory question. –  kd304 Jul 20 '09 at 18:21
    
@kd304: Your question is fine. –  XMLbog Jul 20 '09 at 18:23
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I do not share your optimism. –  XMLbog Jul 20 '09 at 18:27
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Dude, you don't get it. SO is a webgame, like all these generic productions where you click on things repetitively to level up and whatever, except you accumulate XP -- oh, I mean rep -- by helping people solve problems and contributing to the sum of public technical knowledge in the world. Taking the hoarding impulse, surrogate power drive, and general OCD that make people play computer RPGs and harnessing it for the forces of good, and moreover productivity, is SO's great innovation and victory. –  chaos Jul 20 '09 at 20:53
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Helping people is nice. Getting rep points is fun. I'm liable to be nicer when it's more fun. –  David Thornley Jul 20 '09 at 21:39

I was about to say that I don't have any plans.

But then I realized that would be a lie. I'd like to have a gold badge. I'm a bit envious of people who have gold badges. They have three colored dots after their reputation number, and I only have two!

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Muahaha, peon!! Kiss my gold badge!!!!!! :P –  jjnguy Jul 20 '09 at 17:55
    
Don't worry. Just wait. They'll come. I had the same feeling about gold badges. I got my first relatively late, it was after I got on front page. I'm envious of your MVP more than that :P –  LeakyCode Jul 20 '09 at 17:57
    
Guys, stay professional. –  kd304 Jul 20 '09 at 17:57
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Wait, we are supposed to be professional on meta? Crap!! –  jjnguy Jul 20 '09 at 17:58
    
@Mehrdad: I'm sure you'll be an MVP before another (your age)/4 years. :-) –  John Saunders Jul 20 '09 at 18:00
    
lol! such a long time. It can be even worse if (your age) is a captured variable, as it'll change as the function is being re-evaluated and the "time left" will increase :-" –  LeakyCode Jul 20 '09 at 18:19
    
@Mehrdad: No, not captured. I should have said (your age as of 2009-07-20 20:00 GMT)/4. –  John Saunders Jul 20 '09 at 19:00

I want some tag-expert badges. Apparently, I'm too much of a generalist, and despite my efforts, Generalist remains unimplemented. :(

Also, page 1 would be nice.

Edit: Got my php badge. So now I am officially an expert in what I consider to be the second worst language in broad use. Yay.

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What's the first ? –  alfasin Sep 21 '12 at 23:08
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@alfasin: Visual Basic. –  chaos Sep 22 '12 at 6:54
    
If I could, I would give you another +1 for that answer :) –  alfasin Sep 22 '12 at 7:45

My goal is to stay highly ranked in my favorite tags.

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Yeah, me too. The problem is that I'm already #2 in java, and Jon Skeet is well over double my total. The best I can do is keep erickson at bay. –  mmyers Jul 20 '09 at 18:13
    
Well, I'll catch up...just you wait!!!! –  jjnguy Jul 20 '09 at 18:14
    
I was away for the last two weeks. How much did you gain on me? –  mmyers Jul 20 '09 at 18:16
    
Not much. I made the top 20 list finally though. –  jjnguy Jul 20 '09 at 18:17
    
I'm about 40 back on Swing. That's my main goal. –  jjnguy Jul 20 '09 at 18:18

The best way to learn is by trying to articulate your thoughts to someone else, particularly without verbal communication. As a result I think my ongoing participation is making me better, well less worserer, at understanding and interpreting requirements and communicating complex technical issues. This can only be a good thing.
I also find questions just outside my comfort zone interesting and challenging, and I've ended up writing (and using) a few little widgets that wouldn't have occurred to me without trying to answer someone's question.

Once I reached 10K I set myself a few arbitrary targets and ongoing benchmarks. Some are readily achievable, some longer term goals. They either give me something to aim for in terms of rankings, or learning new things, or helping out with unpopular questions

Targets:

  • Get 2 gold tag badges (have 2 silver)
  • Get a silver tag badge for JQuery (only 391 to go!)
  • Get 350 rep in a day (done!)
  • Get 500 accepted answers
  • Get 100 accepted answers in 3 different tags
  • Get 25 accepted answers with no upvotes (help the noobs)

Ongoing activities:

  • Be the top user in 3 tags with more than 500 questions (unexpectedly just done this, am now no 1 in maven-2, ant, and build-process)
  • Make it to the 5th page (done)
  • Make it to the 3rd page (still gaining)
  • 1st page? tricky as they're all active users with mainly 6-9 months head start, but It could happen...
  • Get 1000 rep per week and 5000 rep per month minimum (unless I go on holiday)
  • Answer 1 question per day in a subject I know little about
  • Answer 1 old question per day (still going for that Enlightomancer badge)

I've been writing GreaseMonkey scripts to help learn JQuery and help me track those goals. To reinforce my first point, writing this list down has made me think about my goals more precisely and I've come up with a few more ideas for GM scripts.

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500 accepted answers? I don't even have 500 answers. (I'm kind of shooting for average.) –  mmyers Oct 7 '09 at 14:10
    
like I said, some are longer term goals, I've currently got 213 accepted out of 639 (it's been hovering around 33% for a while) –  Rich Seller Oct 10 '09 at 23:31

After you hit 10k, the only thing left fighting for is your place in the list (if that matters). I was on a big "get to the next page" kick for a while after I hit 10k, but now that I have Meta and SuperUser to play around in, I am not too concerned about my score on StackOverflow anymore.

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Is that because you've got Jon Skeet beat here (at the current moment)? :-) –  tvanfosson Jul 20 '09 at 17:25
    
tvanfosson: I am also ahead of him (barely) on SuperUser! –  TheTXI Jul 20 '09 at 17:43
    
Looks like I have to upvote Jon on SuperUser :] –  Ladybug Killer Jul 20 '09 at 21:55

I want to get onto the first page. That is all.

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I think that goal is far too lofty for me. –  jjnguy Jul 20 '09 at 18:30
    
When I started paying attention, I was on page 13. I never thought I'd make it to page 5, let alone page 2. –  mmyers Jul 20 '09 at 18:41
    
I just arrived on page 5, I dunno if I can keep up the daily rep gain. I might have to pick up C# a bit more... –  jjnguy Jul 20 '09 at 18:44
    
It's pretty much hopeless for me now, since I don't really have the time anymore. Staying on page 2 for as long as possible is about as much as I can do. –  mmyers Oct 7 '09 at 14:03

I just want to be on the first page of some tag ... Which gives me an idea ... I'm going to start my own tag ... muahahah.

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:) done that. Please welcome: fork-join. The sooner Java 7 gets out, the faster I get my Taxonomist Badge ;) –  kd304 Jul 20 '09 at 19:59
    
I must go through the JDK7 feature list and see if there any tags I can coin. –  Tom Hawtin - tackline Jul 21 '09 at 2:14

When you get that much reputation, it matters very little if actions have negative rep consequences. Downvote all day, who cares.

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With all due respect, what is your source of information on this topic? –  John Saunders Jul 21 '09 at 1:57
    
I was thinking of these lines in the FAQ, are they incorrect? "If you post something that's off topic or incorrect, it will be voted down: you lose 2 reputation points. " "Vote down (costs 1 rep)" –  smackfu Jul 21 '09 at 2:03
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Maximum downvotes a day is 30. It would take me five months of downvoting to get below 10k. Until downvote cost is readjusted. –  Tom Hawtin - tackline Jul 21 '09 at 2:18

Personally I thought it would be great if you could elect to display your own rep at a limit you choose. You'd actually keep a real, higher, and growing rep, but could decide say that you wanted it displayed as 68k.

Otherwise it's as useful as the mileage I have with 5 different airlines. Its just there to expire. Though I really appreciated the once Swiss Air lowest tier "gift" of a Sacher Torte Air freighted to you direct from Café Sacher in Vienna's Hotel Sacher.

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If I had plenty of rep, I would use it more for bounties on my questions - usually, I ask harder/newer things than the average. My only target was to reach 2k to be able to fix formatting.

My take on Meta? No need for 2k here, so I just try to ask questions about the sites, provide feature requests, and perhaps encourage people with bounties to improve things around.

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I agree, we need to add bounty rep pooling to give people more things to "spend" excess reputation on. –  Jeff Atwood Jul 21 '09 at 9:00

It seems to me that once you are fully trusted by the system (as in the stackoverflow stack) all your reputation means is that it is a sign that you are considered to be a respected member by other members of the site(s). However, it seems to me that the silver and goal tag badges such as C# or Java are going to be more relevant to most users as they will be a sign that a user is considered to be a respected authority on a subject.

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Or just written a shed load of answers and got a few upvotes along the way. –  Tom Hawtin - tackline Jul 21 '09 at 2:15
    
@Tom - It is true that eventually anyone that has been around for a long time are going to hit those high numbers of reputation and maybe a gold badge or two, my line of thinking is that the odds are better for a subject expert to get the badges as opposed to a prolific poster. –  rob Jul 21 '09 at 12:02

I'm hoping to cash it in for options in StackOverflow LLC ... is that on the table at all? :)

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I think that anyone behaves differently once they've joined the 10K club:
By the time you reach 10K you're probably already hooked... you already developed a good learning ability, quick thinking and the passion to help other people.
So I guess that if you crawled so deep into the rabbit hole - by this time (10K) there's no way back...

Remark:
After reading @Welbot's answer and the very interesting conversation in the comments as well, I think there's a very important point that many of us are missing:
Today there are more and more high-tech companies and recruiters that check your SO profile!
By helping other people you're actually not only learning & developing your abilities, but also helping yourself by making a good "first impression" - even before you got an interview!

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