It could be useful to display some metrics on each user's profile page:

  • mean and/or median vote score per question (at the top of the Questions section)
  • mean and/or median vote score per answer (at the top of the Answers section)

(Number of votes is a better metric than reputation because of the daily rep cap.)

Displaying these metrics would help to encourage quality rather than quantity of posts. It might even get some of the more experienced users to go back and improve or delete low-scoring answers that don't contribute anything additional to the site when compared with other answers to the same question.

  • You can get this information from the Data Explorer.
    – Mysticial
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 2:42
  • 4
    @Mysticial Maybe so, but most users don't know that. General gamification principles show that if you give people any metric, they'll compete to improve it. (Just think of the many people who competed for number of followers on Twitter once it was made a visible metric.) By displaying a metric that emphasizes quality rather than quantity, the game changes, and people are motivated to compete for something more meaningful.
    – 3nafish
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 3:03
  • You'll piss off a lot of people by doing this, and the downvotes of this question reflect it.
    – Ascendant
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 23:17
  • 1
    I don't see why this question is in the negatives. Isn't the whole point of a reputation to show how useful a user is, and how much they are trusted on the site? On a particular beta site, I noticed that a user had a relatively high reputation, even though the two answers I saw by that user were junk. After looking at his/her user page, I saw that the user's answer average was in the negatives. Shouldn't this be relevant for knowing whether a user is well trusted, or whatever the point of a reputation is?
    – That Guy
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 16:51

1 Answer 1


I don't think that this is a good idea. It's very similar to the Accept Rate, which got shot down because people were voting on a post based on previous behavior of the OP. If someone has posts with an average score of -2, they have a much smaller chance of asking a good question(they'll probably be banned by this point, at any rate), but that does not mean that they are incapable of doing it.

I feel that this will encourage voting on the person for their average scores, rather than voting on the individual posts. Also, quantity is an important factor when determining these things (see Blankman). He has a ton of posts; a lot of them are highly upvoted, but the truth is, the vast majority of them are simply mediocre or bad.

Also, when you say that it will encourage people to improve or delete low-scoring answers, a lot of the time, when people delete low scoring answers, it triggers the post ban. It also may be helpful to keep those answers around, so people know what not to do.

If this is going to be implemented at all, I suggest we ignore the mean and go with the median; it's a much better representation of a person's asking and answering ability, since a few highly upvoted or downvoted posts will throw this completely out of whack. I'm not really familiar with the Data Explorer, but I'm trying to learn it to compose a query for this, but I'm sure someone else could do it a lot more quickly than I could has done it here (Change postTypeId to 1 for question)

It's not a bad idea, I just fear that it could cause a lot of serial voting sprees.

  • 2
    (1) I agree that if only one of the two metrics is used, it should be the median. (2) I doubt that this feature would have the negative impact of the Accept Rate; keep in mind the Accept rate was displayed on each user's flair along with the post. This would only appear in the profile page, and thus should not have a significant impact upon voting behaviors.
    – 3nafish
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 2:46
  • 1
    What? You can already see if a user is low-quality if you see a bunch of red rep-history bars. This won't be much worse.
    – bjb568
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 5:43

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