When viewing a question, I was wondering if it would be possible on the nameplates of the members who asked the question and the members who provided answers and comments, that their nameplates only display the reputation points earned in relation to the tags which are attached to that question?

I'm not sure if I'm explaining this the way I intend to but what I would like is for the reputation points you see on a member's nameplate to only reflect the reputation earned for the tags on that question and off course still see the total rep in smaller font at the bottom of the nameplate.

This should be dynamic, and be derived on the fly, depending on the tags.

I would find this good as it would not give a false impression of someone. Say for example someone with 20k rep (all earned from c# questions/answers) is asking his first jQuery question. Seeing 20k rep on the nameplate could be miss-interpreted and influence how people may treat that question. Will there still be down-votes if it is a bad question? Maybe..but maybe not.

Same goes for answering off course. If I'm answering my first question under the Java tag and I never done that before, my rep should probably be 1 in relation to the tags on that post, still showing my full rep as well off course.

By no means has that any additional effect on privileges and the like as the total rep is still used for that off course.

We already have the number of answer or questions associated to tags on the profile page I was just wondering if something similar could be done to the reputation displayed on the name-plates (not on profile pages).

I don't know if I explained this right but if not let me know and I try to clarify.

  • I see how this can be useful, but is it useful enough to be worth implementing? I mean, you can always click the user name and see the complete profile, with tag score and much more. – bfavaretto Aug 15 '12 at 1:02
  • @bfavaretto: I agree and I do that a lot but I think a tag score has not the same effect/impact as seeing the actual reputation. Also being able to see that dynamically not having to click on the profile would be nice. I'm not talking a breakdown of all rep per tag. I only would like to see the total rep of the user in relation to the tags on that particular question. – Nope Aug 15 '12 at 1:05
  • I don't think REPLACING the current display is a good idea, but adding a second display may have merit. – JNK Aug 15 '12 at 1:15
  • @JNK: I didn't mean to imply to replace it. Just adding to it or slightly modifying the CSS to show aditional information or a second display like you said. I just think that this type of information dynamically available could be a good thing. – Nope Aug 15 '12 at 1:20

If I've earned 5000 rep on java, 2500 on SQL, and 1500 of those were on questions tagged with both, what should show? The average? You're potentially proposing some pretty complicated math, especially since you can have up to 5 tags on a question. If I've never answered on one of the tags, does this pull the average down? Should the number of overall questions on a tag factor in? If not, I can add two obscure tags to a question to pull down the average.

You also seem to think that a bad post won't be down-voted if it's a high-rep user. I can assure you this is not the case - I'm no Jon Skeet but at roughly 50k I still see down-votes if I post something stupid. Similarly I've down-voted crap spewed by higher-rep users than me. You should be voting on merit, not by scanning the user's rep count. I think your proposal implies and promotes that merit might be less important than reputation.

A high-rep user is probably not going to be posting crap, whether they're currently participating in the tag that drove their "wealth" or not. If you really want to see how much of their rep came from a certain tag, that information is in their profile, two clicks away maybe?

  • May we could just add them together. I'm not sure realy. If you answer/ask a question with your example with the tags of java and sql your rep would be 7500 would that make sense? Maybe your username could have it as part of the tooltip and see something like java*5000; SQL*2500. I'm just thinking out loud. – Nope Aug 15 '12 at 1:10
  • That makes no sense. If I've only answered questions tagged java and SQL, my rep for those tags combined could be double my total overall rep. Add another tag and it triples. Cool! Mind blowing! Or totally confusing and meaningless. Fielder's choice I guess. – Aaron Bertrand Aug 15 '12 at 1:13
  • I totally see your point and I was only thinking out loud. Off course some accurate algorithm would have to exist but I wouldn't think it can be that hard. We already keep scores on tags that are derived somehow too. This could be some calculation based on already recorded data maybe? – Nope Aug 15 '12 at 1:18
  • The tag counts on my profile show number of answers and number of upvotes per tag. It's very easy to calculate the reputation derived from up-votes, again per tag. Note this doesn't include reputation from accepts, bounties, editing, etc. In any case, I'm still not clear on how you intend to meaningfully combine them into one number that represents my authority on, say, the three tags a particular question happens to be tagged with. I'm not saying it's a bad idea, I just don't know how it can be implemented in a universally understood way. – Aaron Bertrand Aug 15 '12 at 1:22
  • It's also possible that my profile page could show that I've answered 100 questions on java, had 300 up-votes, but would that tell me I've had 600 down-votes? I don't think it shows a total plus-minus, just the positive up-votes. – Aaron Bertrand Aug 15 '12 at 1:24
  • Maybe if say the post has 3 tags, those 3 tags are individually displayed in the tooltip of your username: Such as Java(5k) SQL(2.5k). Off coourse not all tags only the ones of this current post. And most posts have only a few tags and if they are a lot, just show the first 3-4 with the highest values maybe. – Nope Aug 15 '12 at 1:26
  • I'm accepting your answer because your feedback was trying to focus on the technical parts of it not trying make this about human behavioural issues and how evil people will miss-use this information. thanks again. – Nope Aug 15 '12 at 2:12
  • I'm not sure it's worth the trouble, but I think you're overstating the complexity. You could just sum up all their reputation from questions which had at least one tag in common with the current question. – Brad Mace Aug 15 '12 at 2:34
  • @BradMace perhaps, but I think that kind of real-time calculation (which it would have to be, especially as tags on a question can change often) would be expressly frowned upon by the higher-ups. – Aaron Bertrand Aug 15 '12 at 2:37

The problems with this suggestion are two-fold.

First, this puts a lot of trust in the accuracy of tag placement on questions. Trust that I don't think is well deserved. You're effectively making it so that the apparent rep of users will change based on tags being added or removed.

More importantly second, it is based on the assumption that reputation is a reliable measure of how good your answers are. Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn't.

What we most certainly should never be doing is filtering answers from low-rep users only because they have low-rep. That leads to low-rep users remaining low-rep users. It also creates a sense that SO is just for an isolated group of people who got in early and so forth.

Information should be disregarded based on the veracity of the information, not based on where it comes from. Read the answer and decide for yourself based on its content.

  • ` I think it's a bad idea to disregard something just because it comes from a low-rep user. And I don't want any feature that suggests that we take that attitude.` The feature request is far from that. I Personally would quite enjoy to know I only have a rep of 1 or a few hundred in a new area I never worked in. Motivates me to learn more and doesn't give any false impressions to users. I already said in a comment on the other answer, this feature is not intended to be about the behaviour of users! To me this is purely about localised information and statistics. – Nope Aug 15 '12 at 1:43
  • +1 I don't really know much C++. Yet I'm one of the top 10 users in the C++ tag. – Mysticial Aug 15 '12 at 1:43
  • @Mysticial: However, your rep in C++ tells me you enjoy working with it and are most likely enthusiastic enough about it to give others useful advise. You must have learned something being in the top 10! I doubt you magically appeared there when you created your account :) – Nope Aug 15 '12 at 1:45
  • @FrançoisWahl Nearly all my C++ rep/votes are from cross-tags with "C" and "performance". All the C++ regulars know that I never (am able to) answer any "real" C++ language questions. – Mysticial Aug 15 '12 at 1:52
  • NicolBolas To address your points from your answer. First: Yes the rep would be dynamically derived from the current tags. Second: That is an implied point by you, I never said that or assumed that. I merely wanted a different visualisation on existing data. Regarding you mentioning filtering. again, an implied point I never said I want to filter people out. Again: This is about requesting a few on to data already available in many other forms. This is not about jdgment of character, peoples quality on posts or their behaviour. It is about statistics. – Nope Aug 15 '12 at 1:55
  • @FrançoisWahl: But that's what it leads to, inevitably. The minute you start changing what people's rep looks like based on context, people will start judging them based on their rep in that context. It doesn't matter if you want it or not, that's what will happen with such a system. – Nicol Bolas Aug 15 '12 at 1:56
  • @NicolBolas: In that case we may need to get rid of the voting system all together as those behaviours already exist and voting for sure is already abused by some users. We all know about popular fan-votes and hating down-votes. In that case we should remove all rep and voting and merely help out our fellow programmers because we love to. – Nope Aug 15 '12 at 2:00

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