I would like to see a breakdown of reputation by post type on the user summary page.

This would help show, at a glance, how much someone actually knows vs. how good they are at asking questions.

For instance:

Reputation from Questions - 10,015 from 1024 posts
Reputation from Answers - 110 from 11 posts
Reputation from Edits - 400 from 1000 edits

I would take any answers the above person gave me with a grain of salt instead of assuming they were knowledgeable because they have 10k rep.

We already have a multitude of other readouts on the new page, so this shouldn't up the clutter factor too much either.

  • What about acceptances (both accepting answers and having answers accepted)? Where would the rep from these go? – ChrisF Jan 6 '12 at 14:35
  • @Scrooge - Obviously accepted answers would go under answers (since the rep is for the answer that a user posted) and accepting an answer would go to a question (since, again, the rep is linked to a question they asked). – JNK Jan 6 '12 at 14:37
  • Fair enough. Would there be any benefit for listing it separately? I'm not saying you should - just putting it out there. – ChrisF Jan 6 '12 at 14:38
  • @Scrooge - I'm not sure to be honest. I don't think it would be useful for me, since all I really want to know is "How much rep did this user get for what they know vs. what they don't know?" – JNK Jan 6 '12 at 14:40
  • Along the same vein as @Scrooge, what would happen with the rep changes from giving / winning bounties? – cdeszaq Jan 6 '12 at 14:41
  • @cdeszaq - A bounty awarded would go under Answers, or you could just add an additional "bounties" category – JNK Jan 6 '12 at 14:44
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    "We already have a couple billion other readouts on the new account page" Eh? I see reputation, badges, questions, answers, where are the other few billion? I don't buy the "shouldn't up the clutter factor too much", I'd argue it'd very much do just that - and for information very few people would care about. – Nick Craver Jan 6 '12 at 14:54
  • But what would happen with the loss of rep from issuing a bounty? Having such big increments with the inclusion of bounties also would skew the broken-out scores, especially when you consider that a user can be awarded a bounty simply because they are the only one to have answered a question and got 1 vote. – cdeszaq Jan 6 '12 at 14:55
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    @NickCraver - Reputation, questions, answers, tags, accounts, badges, bounties, and votes on the MAIN page, then ELEVEN additional tabs all with other stuff in them. I like it but it's pretty busy. Adding a 4 line chart on the reputation tab wouldn't affect the UX at all. – JNK Jan 6 '12 at 15:00
  • @cdeszaq - The bounty could go into the Bounty category or just not be categorized. All I'm looking for is an indication of where a user got their rep, not a detail account for every point. – JNK Jan 6 '12 at 15:02
  • @JNK's - That's the user summary, not the account page, for example your account page is here: meta.stackoverflow.com/users/151117/… You should update your question to be about the "user summary" or "user profile" if that's what you mean. – Nick Craver Jan 6 '12 at 15:02
  • @NickCraver - indeed I did, I apologize for that. I also removed the hyperbole :) – JNK Jan 6 '12 at 15:03
  • @NickCraver - I think the confusion was related me using "account page" as "user page". I basically just want to see it somewhere in the user page, not necessarily on any particular tab. – JNK Jan 6 '12 at 15:15

I would argue that showing this information, while interesting, is more likely to lead to false assumptions than just showing the reputation in full aggregate.

For example, some questions / answers get a large number of up-votes because they are funny or ironic or fall into the "interesting discussion" category. (arguably, the later happens much less now, but early on this was a major source of rep for a number of users)

Another way these numbers can get skewed is by the volume of questions, answers, and edits. One user that has only a handful of answers, but has a ton of rep from those few answers is, in my opinion, better at answering than someone who has answered a lot of questions but only gotten a vote or two each. The same goes for questions as well. Raw score doesn't indicate quality necesarily, but instead indicates a combination of quantity and quality.

I do agree that more data regarding a user's contributions would be great to have, but many people, myself included, are not as statistically-aware of what numbers mean. A number that gives the wrong impression or is used poorly is worse than no number at all. Statistics of all kinds wield great power, and with that power comes the responsibility to provide and portray those statistics in as accurate and easily comprehensible way as possible.

The point I am trying to make is that taking an aggregate number and breaking it out by category often changes the meaning, or at least adds another dimension to the meaning of it.

Reputation as it is now indicates the value of a user's participation to the community. By breaking that out into categories, you are not changing the meaning of the number (ie. you can't draw any conclusions about quality of answers or questions), but instead you are showing the value of the user's answers and questions to the community. Quality or knowledge can't be determined any more from the breakdown than it can from the aggregate.

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  • I don't know how this could give someone a false impression. Also, it would be really easy to modify the original proposal (I'll edit it) to include number of posts, which negates your whole third paragraph. – JNK Jan 6 '12 at 14:42
  • If we follow this logic to it's conclusion, then we shouldn't show any information at all and should just have a big OK or NOT OK beside each user to indicate if they make good posts or not. – JNK Jan 6 '12 at 14:47
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    My only point regarding the number of questions is that raw numbers without other context are often misleading. For example, averages are only an accurate portrayal of a set when the set follows a known distribution pattern, which is often assumed to be a bell-curve. If you have a skewed data set, the median is often much more representative, but is typically forgotten about. – cdeszaq Jan 6 '12 at 15:00
  • There is a big difference between an essentially un-bounded numerical scale and a boolean indication. I fail to see how approaching adding additional statistical information with caution leads to reducing it all to a boolean value. There are far more dimensions along which a user's interaction with the community and the posts they make are measured than just how many votes they have received. – cdeszaq Jan 6 '12 at 15:03
  • That is a discussion for another post. Feel free to start a new question about the validity of using reputation based on votes, but I don't care to talk about that here. – JNK Jan 6 '12 at 15:05

I think this would be good for a user to view his own personal history and get statistics. (Keep in mind that question +1 = 5 points, answer + = 10) But for other people to see this and to judge you off that is not right, because it could give them a false presumption of wether you are better at

  • Asking good questions

If you see someone who has made a ton of rep off questions, some might presume that they just ask alot of questions and never give back to the website. This may be true, but then again they may ask questions like this . So they weren't just getting help from the website, they were giving something that happens to be extremely useful for future users.

Some questions aren't really questions, they are guides, discussion boards, etc. But naturally if we see someone who has made *5 as much off questions than answers makes us think they ask alot, they don't care too much for answering.

  • Answering questions

Seeing this would make you think that they are good at helping people out. Which is 100% true, but you gain twice as much from this as a good question. Which means it would not be right to judge someone solely off the score they've gained from either category.

Also, not just for the stack community but for all the programmers out there that google questions and get directed to stack: They are usually (to my knowledge) directed to a question similar to the context of their question. Not so much the answer (if this is wrong please leave a comment stating why). So the answer helps everyone out, but without the question there would be no answer! The two are hand in hand, and shouldn't be seperated for others to judge you based upon that score.

It still would be nice for a user to look at his own statistics, but they shouldn't be allowed to see other's difference in Q/A points.

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  • You can see most of this now. You can see every post that someone has made, all I'm asking for is a summary. Again, this is starting into another discussion outside the scope of this proposal. I don't know or care how people choose to use this information, but I want to be able to see it. – JNK Jan 6 '12 at 16:00
  • @JNK'sMetAccount You can see a history of points you've gotten, but not a seperate total number (to my knowledge) – Gabriel Jan 6 '12 at 16:02
  • That's correct. So what's the huge difference? I can scan your post history and get a decent idea of the scale and quality of your contributions, all I'm asking for here is an aggregation of that data. – JNK Jan 6 '12 at 16:04
  • @JNK'sMetAccount and I posted my opinion of your request. Maybe you didnt read it. – Gabriel Jan 6 '12 at 16:11
  • I did but your argument makes no sense. – JNK Jan 6 '12 at 16:13

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