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I really enjoy the reputation league pages that exist on most of the Stack Exchange sites. They help give new users the feeling that it's actually possible to climb the oligarchy that is the Stack Exchange system. Without such pages it's easy for a new expert user to falsely assume that Area 51 is not worth wasting any time on.

All I'm asking for is the same reputation league system that already exists on the other 2.0 sites.

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People do not explain downvotes on MSO. A downvote indicates disagreement. (FYI, it's not from me, even though I really don't agree either.) –  Aarobot Jan 15 '11 at 20:37
    
Ok, so a downvote indicates disagreement, but I think there is a little blind rage involved. If someone cannot even suggest a legitimate feature without raising the ire of some faction, then this kind of down voting serves as a censorship that may not serve the long term interests of the site. –  Mark Rogers Jan 16 '11 at 6:47
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1 Answer

I'm against this. In fact, I can't find the original questions/answers anymore, but a number of people have seriously suggested abolishing reputation on Area 51.

Why? It sets all the wrong incentives. Area 51 is a staging site; it's supposed to be a place for people to help define and promote sites that they are passionate about. If somebody actually cares about a site, they don't need the reputation incentive. Reputation only seems to be encouraging mass duplication (check the number of music proposals) and rapid-fire proposal- and question-spamming.

Of the above two, proposals are by and large the most important source of reputation there, and it's actually a bizarre system to me because starting a proposal is so far removed from actually contributing to that proposal or more importantly, supporting the site itself. Proposal-spamming is a genuine problem, and we've actually had notable instances of sock puppets trying to game the system to boost their proposals.

Basically, reputation on Area 51 encourages people to participate in proposals that they don't really actually care about, and while that look like a good thing in the short term, it's actually extremely harmful in the long term, because the new sites need committed members to survive, not drive-by rep-whores.

With incentives being as awkward as they are on Area 51, I really don't think we should be calling attention to the misguided notion that it's some sort of reputation game. I'm not going to advocate for the removal of reputation, but I definitely don't want to see any more attention drawn to it.

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While you have voiced some interesting concerns, I would argue that no proposal makes it out of the commitment phase without truly earning some real committers. Everything else is just trying to get the proposal to that phase. Asking people to come to Area 51 and launch sites for someone else to profit from doesn't make much sense unless there is a form of reward or recognition. Removing or not improving the reputation system is only going to cause Area 51 to loose followers and become irrelevant. But that's my opinion. –  Mark Rogers Jan 15 '11 at 20:23
    
@Mark: Opinion, it most certainly is. Reputation on the Q&A sites exists mainly to entice members to answer questions that they might not otherwise find terribly interesting. While that's a positive on a Q&A site where questions stand in isolation, it's a major negative on a staging site like Area 51 where the success of a proposal depends entirely (not just partially) on longer-term commitments. It's bad enough that Area 51 awards reputation for drive-by activity that provides an artificial and temporary activity boost; we definitely don't want to heap further rewards on top of that. –  Aarobot Jan 15 '11 at 20:35
    
@Aarobot "@Mark: Opinion, it most certainly is.", and somehow your views are based in pure fact and mine in pure conjecture? Anyhoo, I agree that there is a problem with drive-by shooters, but reducing the reputation system is not the answer. That's throwing the baby out with the bath water. The solution is to try to make the reputation system more nuanced. As an example, increase the reward for committers and launchers and reduce it for question askers. –  Mark Rogers Jan 15 '11 at 20:40
    
@Mark: There's already a reward for that - on the sites themselves. There are also extra badges for participation on Area 51 and on the betas. General policy is not to keep piling on rewards for no particular reason. And I didn't specifically advocate abolishing reputation in this post, which I made quite clear in the last paragraph; I simply said that some people have advocated that "extreme" view, and while I don't necessarily agree whole-heartedly, I also don't think that we should make the situation any worse (which this would be doing). –  Aarobot Jan 15 '11 at 20:54
    
Gotcha, to simplify my view: A better reputation system with more tools -> more users, experts, and interest -> more successful sites. Reducing reputation system -> less users, experts, and interest -> less stack exchange sites. –  Mark Rogers Jan 15 '11 at 21:01
    
@Mark: That is 100% true for the Q&A sites. There are no "experts" on Area 51, and as for interest, you want interest in specific proposals, not Area 51 itself. When people start wanting reputation on Area 51 and don't care where it comes from, you end up with exactly the wrong kind of drive-by participation in the actual proposals. –  Aarobot Jan 15 '11 at 21:09
    
@Aarobot, do you any links to neutral data, queries, articles, I could read that supports your position? It might help me to gain a better understanding of your view point. –  Mark Rogers Jan 15 '11 at 21:22
    
@Mark: I'm not sure what proof I could possibly give you that Area 51 does not have experts; it's practically an issue of definition when you're talking about a site that's intended to hold every subject under the sun. If you want to see what happens when people participate for the wrong reasons, look no further than the now-defunct Artificial Intelligence site. Or the never-ending circle-jerk on atheism. –  Aarobot Jan 15 '11 at 21:26
    
@Aarobot, lol, I still cling to my position, but I'll ponder this data. –  Mark Rogers Jan 15 '11 at 21:34
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Given that the total reputation from all of a user's linked accounts is used to calculate the percentage during the commit phase on Area 51, I wonder if it might make sense to use that combined value as reputation on Area 51. –  moberley Jan 16 '11 at 17:47
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