I would imagine that most of the users who come from America (and probably more from outside our shores) are familiar with the concept of Rollover Minutes when it pertains to mobile phone plans. The idea is that if you do not use all of you minutes in a month, they will get "rolled over" to the next billing month, allowing you to use those rollover minutes in case you go over your limit in the future.

I think that we can take this concept and apply it towards the idea of rep limits here on StackOverflow. The idea is that if you hit your rep limit, but then continue to gather upvotes for that time period, those extra upvotes could be "banked". These banked points would then be used to offset downvotes that you cast and downvotes cast against you (and other reputation droppers such as a deleted post costing you 100 rep).

Current System

Daily Rep Limit = 200

You have accumulated 200 rep through 25 up votes (50 rep not counted due to limit)

If you receive a downvote, your rep is now down to 198 and it will take another future upvote to push it back +2 (wasting another 8 points) to get you back to the rep limit.

Note: If you have 215 rep via 25 up votes and an acccepted answer, this turns out even worse because you'll be dropped to 213 rep without any chance of boosting back up that +2 because you are still technically over the rep limit.


Daily Rep Limit = 200

You have accumulated 200 rep through 25 up votes (50 rep "banked")

If you receive a downvote, your rep remains at 200 (Banked rep now = 48)

If you have 215 rep through 25 up votes and an accepted answer, I would also hope that it could correctly calculate your "new rep limit" of 215 so that you could be prevented from losing that 2 rep (which would knock you down to 213) and have no way of making it up.

Also, any further upvotes (again now that you have hit rep) would be applied to your banked points.

Further Details

  • Banked rep can only be used during the same day it was banked (this would prevent someone from accumulating hundreds of banked rep points which could prevent them from ever really losing any rep again)

  • If necessary we could impose a bank limit, which would only allow you to have X points banked at any one time (say 50 or 100).

  • This might help fix a few holes in the algorithm, while possibly simplifying it. – Brad Gilbert Jul 4 '09 at 14:39

I'm thinking it's a pretty large system change to prevent people from losing a few rep.

You already have 200 rep for the day and got an accepted answer, and are worried about the 2 rep you lost and didn't get back when someone else upvoted you later on the day?


Perhaps a simpler solution would do: first count downvotes, then upvotes, and finally accepted answers and bounties.

  • 9
    good idea! we need to revisit this – Jeff Atwood Jan 26 '10 at 20:56

A very much larger anomaly is when you put a bounty on a question. Start the day putting 200 rep on a bounty and you can earn back the 200 rep and gain 200 on top of that. End the day with putting 200 on a bounty, and all you can do is break even.


There exists several edge cases that, although most people never notice, do happen on occasion. Doing this might help simplify the Rep Cap algorithm so that the edge cases that do occur, would have an affect that would be easier to predict.


I really don't see the point... you're talking about a few percent of something that has no intrinsic value whatsoever. The rep is useful at the macro scale to understand involvement etc - but don't micro-analyse it.


Here's what I tell myself when it happens to me: Get over it. It's just a web site.

Having once done something that (I hope) is completely out of character due to perceived inequities in the rep process on SO1, I try really hard to keep it in perspective now.

1 Read through my questions if you need more details.

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