Current voting and reputation system IMO is not bad at all. But I think it could be made better. All I am talking about here is want to improve this community and there will be no personal gain apart having a better stack. Therefore if I am wrong please just comment below, do not get personal. This can also be a discussion.

  1. Grand Score: Across all sites, people should have a grand score, a sum of all score, for example I have SO = 700, physics = 500, electronics = 200, I my score will show up in Stack Overflow as 700:1400, this may improve people to participate in more sister sites. and willing to post appropriated thread in different site.
  2. Auction/Trading/competition idea (still brainstorming): use user score as reward. above certain score can also trade into real currency?
  3. Graphical badge: let SO design some visual badge to user to grant and reward to users that have high expertise in certain area (accept rate, specific language, specific area), This promote user to participate more to grant a pretty badge.

Every one of the things you suggested already exists...

  1. This is called the combined flair. You can get yours by visiting the flair tab in your profile..

  2. Trading of reputation already exists as the bounty system. Converting reputation into a "real" tangible currency would be (for lack of a better word) unfair. People with mountains of time but not that much expertise would do well in this scenario but users with mountains of knowledge are not always going to be able to spend enough time to catch up with the users that are banging out simple answers as fast as they can. Involving "real" currency also reminds me of the un-nameable hyphen-site... (* shudder *)...

  3. Tag badges pretty much cover this point. For a bronze tag badge you need to get 100 upvotes for at least 20 answers in a certain tag, silver is 400 votes for 80 answers and gold is 1000 for 200 answers. Tag badges are exactly that. If you see some one with a gold tag badge, you'll be able to know that that user has spent a considerable amount of time answering questions with that tag and has also recieved many up votes for their contribution.

    If you take a closer look at some other badges, you'll see that there are many things that you can get a badge for... For flagging, for voting, for visiting the site 100 days consecutively...etc...

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