Why do you think Jeff Atwood's reputation points on meta has reached 7,733 in just 37 days, while on Stack Overflow it's only 14,371 after a year?

  • 21
    Waiting for him to answer in this question so I can down him one.
    – user1228
    Commented Aug 3, 2009 at 20:39
  • 2
    What would it matter? He is Jeff...the Jeff.
    – Troggy
    Commented Aug 3, 2009 at 20:40
  • 26
    Shouldn't this be on meta-meta-SO?
    – ehsanul
    Commented Aug 3, 2009 at 23:21
  • 8
    Politics man, it's all politics. :)
    – JP Alioto
    Commented Aug 4, 2009 at 3:14
  • 15
    Update table users set reputation = 7733 where id = 1 (additional queries omitted for clarity)
    – waffles
    Commented Aug 4, 2009 at 3:20
  • Everyone knows, Jeff just lives for "meta"! (Big wink)
    – gbarry
    Commented Aug 7, 2009 at 1:02

7 Answers 7


On Stack Overflow, he is just a well-known user of above-average skills.

To paraphrase The Matrix Revolutions:

Down here, he's god.

Basically, he runs the site, and I'd say a lot of people +rep him by default when he posts.

  • 8
    +1 for the Matrix Revolutions quote (which was an awful movie IMO).
    – Kredns
    Commented Aug 4, 2009 at 3:13

He's the authority on MSO. Every answer he gives is the answer.

  • 5
    the ultimate answer
    – MicTech
    Commented Aug 3, 2009 at 19:44
  • 4
    Shouldn't this be obvious?
    – Troggy
    Commented Aug 3, 2009 at 20:09
  • 4
    When someone asks him if he's a god, he says, "YES!" Commented Aug 3, 2009 at 20:12
  • @Joel Coehoorn: It was Linus Torvalds - "My name is Linus Torvalds and I am your god." - Linus Torvalds, 1998
    – MicTech
    Commented Aug 3, 2009 at 20:26
  • 7
    I was thinking more Winston Zeddemore, 1984: imdb.com/title/tt0087332/quotes Commented Aug 3, 2009 at 21:30
  • Excuse me?! What happened to Jon Skeet?!?! Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 19:00

I heard he has root on the box and will fiddle with the database sometimes.

  • Actually it's running on Windows, so it would be Administrator instead of root. Commented Aug 3, 2009 at 19:49
  • 3
    I know ;) But I thought everyone renamed their Administrator account to root on Windows! support.microsoft.com/kb/816109
    – Tom Ritter
    Commented Aug 3, 2009 at 20:09

Obviously, he's more active on this site than SO.

It may also be the nature of MetaSO... Rep seems to be more easy to come by here. Hell, I'm earning Rep twice as fast here as I am on SO.

  • oh yeah ? .
    – Sadegh
    Commented Aug 3, 2009 at 19:37
  • 4
    14 questions and 152 Answers on SO versus 15 questions and 345 Answers on MSO. Commented Aug 3, 2009 at 19:39

Probably a large part of it is due to the fact that he responds to feature-requests and bugs as the creator of the system - i.e. the guru / authority on it all. It is a bit hard to argue with him when he says that e.g. voting does work the way it has been designed to work, etc. Obviously, there are some things that people will disagree with and down vote him on, but since the up-votes are worth so much more, he will likely come out ahead in the end.


If Jeff didn't delete all the Meta discussion on SO after the private beta, he would probably be number two behind Jon Skeet on SO.

  • 5
    I would actually like to see a bunch of that migrated here so we have a searchable record of it. Commented Aug 3, 2009 at 21:30
  • Can't you migrate them, Kyle? Or are they not just deleted, but erased from the system? Commented Aug 4, 2009 at 10:48

It is funny, though. If you look at his rep, there are a lot of down votes. I guess some people have issues with authority.

  • 11
    And some people don't agree with everything he says. Just because he is the final authority on how things work does not mean that you have to believe everything he says like Gospel when it comes to his ideas towards future development. It is healthy to disagree so that the best solutions can be put forward.
    – TheTXI
    Commented Aug 3, 2009 at 20:01
  • 10
    We should erase the by design tag. It's his ultimate weapon. Commented Aug 4, 2009 at 10:56

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