I think Stack Overflow has grown a lot. Many people have reputation in the 1ks. I think we should make all that to 0 and start the new reputation point system so that there will be fiercer competition.

Currently there are people at the top who have gathered points years ago when there many fewer competitors.

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    Hmmm... stackexchange.com/leagues/1/month/stackoverflow. Seems many at the top are still gaining a lot of reputation. Oct 31, 2012 at 5:23
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    It's not a race.... Oct 31, 2012 at 5:34
  • @night , it is a race , where one tries to answer a fast as possible to gain rep points.
    – Mirage
    Oct 31, 2012 at 5:41
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    @user1713836 - "it is a race , where one tries to answer a fast as possible to gain rep points." See my answer. Don't participate in the race. If you're the turtle instead of the hare, you can get lots of rep and create great content at the same time. ;) First doesn't always win. ;) Better wins.
    – jmort253
    Oct 31, 2012 at 5:45
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    Is SE rep a contest now? Oct 31, 2012 at 5:50
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    It's only a contest if you make it one.
    – Bart
    Oct 31, 2012 at 6:04
  • @bart , then what should drive the person to answer the questions where u know that eventually this questions will be answered by senior persons. what should be in mind while answering
    – Mirage
    Oct 31, 2012 at 6:08
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    I answer for the simple reason that I can answer. If I think I have knowledge worth sharing, I share it. And I try to do so to the best of my abilities. If you do it well, you will get some upvotes every now and then. Even if there are other competing (better) answers. Don't just make it a competition. Learn from the other contributions as well.
    – Bart
    Oct 31, 2012 at 6:11
  • @user1713836: Not really... The FGITW problem's been long solved. Oct 31, 2012 at 7:44
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    What should drive the person? For me, the fact that I like helping people, and that problem-solving can be fun.
    – jalf
    Oct 31, 2012 at 9:47
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    But if it is a competition, then why should we compete if our rep gets wiped from time to time? What motivation do you have then? You struggle for a year to build up a massive rep count, and then next year, someone makes a post like yours, and suddenly, all of your rep is gone. And then you decide "screw this, I just won't bother any more". If it is a competition, then you have to apply the "reward" for answering consistently: give rep to anyone whose answer gets upvoted, regardless of when they do it.
    – jalf
    Oct 31, 2012 at 9:50
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    I can't overstate how stupid and selfish this idea is. You have no rep to lose. In effect, you want everybody else except you to lose all their reputation? How would you feel about this suggestion if you had spent time on the site and earned some rep? I honestly can't believe you've suggested something so silly.
    – user229044
    Oct 31, 2012 at 13:26
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    It's a shame that I can only downvote this once.
    – user164207
    Nov 2, 2012 at 23:04

5 Answers 5


I don't think that's the best solution, if it even needs one. Although I understand some of the frustration of having so many people "ahead" of you, resetting the reputation score of everyone is not the way to go. Reputation is there as a measure of how the community trusts you, it isn't supposed to be a competition and if the rep is reset, then how will the community moderate and sustain itself?

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    Agree. I believe some of the fastest guns would draw even faster, to try to regain their rep. Would probably not make it any easier for everyone else.
    – Bo Persson
    Oct 31, 2012 at 10:37

Reputation isn't a race, it is there so I know how much I can trust someone's answer.

Ideally, a high reputation means someone has made a lot of points others agreed with, so they upvoted. Ok, it's not a perfect indicator for knowledge, but IME it's pretty good.

However, if you want to take this as a race, go ahead. Pick some popular tag in a field you know a lot about, keep updating the tag's page, and give many damn good answers. It isn't too hard to get, say, 30k per year, on answers alone. If you try harder, you can certainly get past 50k, and if you're really desperate, hitting the rep cap daily, and raking in extra rep from accepts (as Jon does), you can even make 70k.

What do you mean, "this is work?" Why do you think it's called "reputation?"


You don't need a blue ocean, free of competition to participate and get rep, you just need to focus on writing good, high quality answers or great, researched questions that show your work and help future visitors.

If you answer a question and others answer, take a look at your post. Ask yourself what you can do to make it better. Many of the low rep users will do drive-bys. They'll post their answer and move on. If you stick around, you might just see some things that they left out, which you can use to expand your answer into something much better.

As others have said, the health of the community rests squarely on the shoulders of those with the reputation and experience to help moderate the site. Resetting all reputation on a site of this size would effectively cause it to implode on itself as the site gets quickly overrun with so much garbage that the moderators and Stack Exchange employees wouldn't be able to keep up with it all.

Also, you're failing to take into consideration that with all of the users that are here answering questions, there are just that many more here asking them. There is plenty of activity on the question page to keep you busy, just lurk for awhile until you find things you can answer. Good luck! :)

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    @jmort253- i have also seen that if the exact same answer is given by new bie and same answer by 100k user , the OP accepts the answer given by 100k user not the newbie
    – Mirage
    Oct 31, 2012 at 6:01
  • To add to that: even if you ask questions, take a look at your posts. I went through several of the 5 questions you (the OP) asked and found them riddled with simple spelling mistakes you simply should have caught. Taking the time to detect and fix simple mistakes like those will make your contributions read a whole lot better and might result in at least some upvotes. You need to do very little to get the ball rolling. But once you do, and consistently post decent content, your rep will most likely steadily increase.
    – Bart
    Oct 31, 2012 at 6:01
  • And @Bart just made me think of another point. If this is about competition, then that's a good thing. Part of the reason people gained rep faster early on is that quality standards weren't as enforced because there were less people. Today, the standards are enforced, and that helps us do the things Bart suggests, like go back and edit our posts to make sure they are stunning representations of great Q&A! The more people there are, the more we have to do to stand out from the crowd!
    – jmort253
    Oct 31, 2012 at 6:05

Let's assume for a moment that this is indeed a competition.

Basically, what this post is asking for is a bit of fairness for those that are just starting. Those that have not contributed anything yet, those that have not made any effort yet, those that have not actually competed yet, should not start at the bottom! What kind of mad man thinks otherwise?

Those that have been contributing for years, those that have been making an effort to get their imaginary Internet dollar points, those that have been fiercely competing all this time, should not be at the top! What kind of mad man thinks otherwise?

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    For the benefit of the sarcasm-impaired, this is an attempt of reductio ad absurdum. I do not agree that Stack Overflow is, or should be, a competition, and I do not agree that punishing long-time contributors is a good thing. I also do not agree with viewing new users as the worthless maggots that this post describes. Oct 31, 2012 at 10:53

I think this is yet another argument for hiding the rep points.

If it's not a race, the points don't matter. But if it is a race, although it shows the clear winners, people who got here first have an advantage, naturally. How can anybody new ever compete against with those who have been harvesting points for four years?

So, just hide the score from the Q&A pages. It can be left up on the profile pages though; if people want to see the rep they can go peek there. But not out in public where it's in your face all the time.

As another thought (and somewhat less serious) how about this alternative.
Show the scores to me that people had when they were a member for as long as I've been a member now.
For instance, I've been a member for 12 months (just got my yearling badge), so the rep that I should see for other people should be the rep they had when they were active for 12 months. That would be more fair!
(Of course, we'll have to work something out that can be shown for people who are newer than me, but that's details.)

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    Exactly , if no one cares for rep points then just have badge name like senior member or something else which just tells about the reputation rather than points. The NUMBERS always play on the mind. People say that its not about the points . i can BET that if we just hide the point and display the text then number of answers will get reduced by 50%
    – Mirage
    Oct 31, 2012 at 7:51
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    But that would be a bad thing, wouldn't it? I mean, a reduction in the number of answers. Or am I reading you wrong? Oct 31, 2012 at 7:53
  • I mean to say that people here say that its not all about points and competition. i want to say that people only answer because of points/ competition rather being the nice guy. although some may fall in that category but other 90%
    – Mirage
    Oct 31, 2012 at 7:59
  • Oh, so you want to keep the current rep system. That's find, but your starting with "Exactly" threw me off. Oct 31, 2012 at 8:04

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