I have come to enjoy the Stack Exchange community as a whole over the past few weeks. Originally, I started out seeking computer help from a couple of subcommunities where I could learn and get help with my computer problems. Itself is a great idea and there are a few forums that offer similar help resources.
What makes Stack Exchange different is that it expands across so many arenas with a single account making it a very expansive place to give and take. For example, I found myself on the English Learning site where I actually have a lot to contribute. I am actually an English teacher but I have computer problems sometimes.
One thing though, the reputation points don't carry over across subcommunities which I think is a bit detrimental and defeating the purpose in a way.
My arguments are:
If the purpose of reputation points is to build a character reference, then shouldn't it be global? For instance, I can be helpful in one community and have a ton of reputation but a complete 'weirdo' in another. Whereas a universal point system wouldn't allow this. Reputation as a whole builds your identity across multiple communities.
I join a new community and I am limited to what I can post (even if my post can be useful or helpful). Specifically, I ran across this during commenting. I had a perfectly viable comment to help a person but wasn't allowed because I didn't have reputation but I had reputation in another community. I had to post it as an answer and then I got 'moderated' by the community on where I should post and was down voted for leaving a comment in the answer area. Thus, losing reputation.
It doesn't seem to create a way for incentives in some cases. For example, I have computer problems and I can't say I am phenominal at solving or answering computer questions. I could ask a question that may not get answered but if I have enough reputation I could put a bounty on it as incentive to get people to answer it. BUT WAIT!! I can't really earn reputation on a computer community to put a bounty on a question because there is nothing I can really answer or be helpful with.
However, I am great at writing, editing and dealing with international students!!! But, what is the sense of me just racking up points in a community when I will hardly need to ask a question much less put a bounty on it? Sure, points are great. It's nice to have a lot of points but what if I need them elsewhere?
So, when I need computer help desperately I can use my reputation collected from another community to put incentive in trying to get a question answered. Essentially, I'm a good guy and helpful at something but I am not a computer whiz.
Everyone is good at something and thats what the community at large should be in my opinion.
Just my opinion. I used my situation personally to explain but I am sure other people have experienced a similar situation or have had a similar thought.