This is more of a suggestion than a question.

I have noticed that easier questions and in turn, easy answers get a lot of quick up votes. And most of the times, it feels that the reputation earned because of those answers is not really well-deserved. For example, consider this answer of mine: Link. I got 6 upvotes for this answer and I got 60 reputation points for this which, IMHO, are not equivalent to getting 6 votes for an answer which is well-researched and belongs to a difficult domain.

What I would suggest is to add a feature where every question has a weight. User who enters a question adds a weight to the question from 1 - 100. (Default it to some intermediate value, say 50).

All the users with a certain reputation lets say, 1000 or above should be able to step up/step down the weight of the question based on how hard it would be to answer such a question.

And the reputation should be calculated based on weight of the question. Simply multiply the no. of votes to the weight/divided by 10. i.e.,

No. of votes * Weight of question / 10

Similarly, we can devise a formula for negative votes as well.

Here are two extreme examples of very simple and very difficult questions. It seems quite logical that answers of these questions be rewarded differently.

  1. Very difficult question(requires indepth knowledge of C#)
  2. Very easy question (requires basic understanding of bitwise operators
  • Extreme example: I'm glad that I was over the rep limit yesterday, or this answer would have been embarrassing. – Joachim Sauer Sep 16 '11 at 6:06
  • 1
    Why negative votes? Anybody care to explain? – Aamir Sep 16 '11 at 6:33
  • 3
    Downvotes on meta only mean that they don't think that this is a good idea. – Joachim Sauer Sep 16 '11 at 6:37
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    If you feel like you do not deserve rep for an answer, just check the Community Wiki-Box. – Time Traveling Bobby Sep 16 '11 at 9:42

The system is designed to work well over time, not so much to be accurate for every single question. Are some questions easier to answer than others? Of course they are. Over time, though, I think this averages out. Implementing this on a per-question basis wouldn't really change all that much in the long run.

Also, I'm wondering what we'd do about older questions. Do we go back and rate the difficulty of every single one? Do we make them all a 50? Neither is particularly attractive.


The problem I see with this scheme is: what is the incentive for the person asking the question to choose the "correct" weight? Wouldn't he want to give every single one of his questions a weight of 100 just so that he gets the most answers?

There is no reason for the OP to select a weight less than 100.

  • 4
    I select a weight of 110. – Jeff Atwood Sep 16 '11 at 6:12
  • Obviously. The gravity is a lie. – Tim Post Sep 16 '11 at 9:42

Actually the bounty system is designed to award answers of harder questions. And probably statistically you may receive 15 upvotes for simple answer and 1 for a hard one, but for a well-researched and written answer you may receive 100 upvotes, which you won't for a simple answer. And, what is more important, what means 15 upvotes? This means that you've probably helped to 15 people. I mean most people have simpler problems - so simple questions actually answer not only the question of OP, but of a lot of people, while some hard questions are so hard, that few people have the same problem.

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