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This is a fix for a problem that is difficult to perceive: No one wants to merge their proposal if they can fight it in any way, because they will lose a significant reputation windfall. Even if fighting the merge hurts the overall chances that a similar proposal will succeed.

Essentially there is a direct incentive for proposal owners to resist merging, and it makes totally consensual merging almost non-existent.

This is wrong because the owners should be focused on creating the community they are truly excited about not on the rep reward.

The rewards for proposal ownership promotes far more destructive behavior than constructive and should thus be removed.

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First off, I haven't been involved in any cases of proposal merging personally. That said, aren't there other factors at play here? I mean, nobody would propose a site about [X] if he thought it would be a better fit for [superset of X], right? – Pops Mar 16 '11 at 18:53
@Popular Demand - "I mean, nobody would propose a site about [X] if he thought it would be a better fit for [superset of X], right? " - That doesn't seem to be the case IMHO, why support someone else if the system rewards you more for proposing your own and thus getting ownership and rep. – Mark Rogers Mar 16 '11 at 18:55
@Popular Demand - "That said, aren't there other factors at play here?" Yes, but I think that the net effect of reputation gains from proposal ownership is to promote extremely un-constructive behavior. – Mark Rogers Mar 16 '11 at 18:57
I don't think it needs to be removed, but it should probably be reduced. The Area 51 reputation system heaps ridiculous rewards upon members merely for being the first to post a rather mundane idea ("hey, let's talk about golf!") – Aarobot Mar 16 '11 at 19:49
I'm the owner of a proposal under merge consideration. I don't want it merged because of topical reasons. I don't give a rip about rep. Rep on Area 51 is pointless. – squillman Mar 16 '11 at 19:59
@Aarobot - Good point, I would settle for reduced. I'm curious if you have any ideas about how you would change the reputation rewards for proposal ownership so that it would not promote counterproductive behavior. – Mark Rogers Mar 16 '11 at 20:00
@squillman - if that's the case, then I encourage you to continue your fight. But you have to admit that there are many others who are motivated by the reputation system on Area 51. It appeals to a competitive instinct and the desire for more control over the community. – Mark Rogers Mar 16 '11 at 20:01

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