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The association bonus gives you the established user privilege on a private beta. This does not really make sense in my opinion. Just joining a site doesn't mean that you are an established user.

I see two solutions:

  • Increase the threshold for established user to, say, 150 reputation.
  • Do not apply the association bonus to private betas until they reach public beta.

The first one might be the simpliest to do, and personally I would prefer this one.

But there is also something to say for the second point: the association bonus has been invented for giving basic privileges (in particular upvoting and commenting) to users who know how StackExchange works. However these basic privileges are already 1 rep on a private beta, so there is no real need for the association bonus.

  • 4
    "Just joining a site doesn't mean that you are an established user" It means you are established on "Stack Exchange" in general - knowledge of voting, commenting, asking, answering, etc. Not necessarily experienced on that specific site. The associated rep only grants you a privilege level with access to such things you are already familiar with on other sites. – James Aug 18 '15 at 18:52
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    "However these basic privileges are already 1 rep on a private beta, so there is no real need for the association bonus." So there is no need to remove it either then? If we did, it's dev work and scripting etc, and then if the site moves out of private beta, the associated rep has to be reshuffled back to suit the non private beta? – James Aug 18 '15 at 18:57
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Before discussing solutions, let's first establish that there's a problem that needs solving.

I will grant you that the bonus doesn't have quite the same effect on a private beta since most privileges have already been scaled down, but it also does no harm. If anything, it does some good by making it easier for people who have experience with another site to gain access to things like the review queues or edits that don't require approval.

Increase the threshold for established user to, say, 150 reputation.

Why? What is the problem you're trying to solve here? Don't get too hung up on the name of the privilege and think about the effects instead.

Do not apply the association bonus to private betas until they reach public beta.

Aside from making the whole system more complex, removing the bonus would hamstring the sites early on when they need to grow and start taking care of themselves.

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  • Fair enough, but you didn't seem to adress the first point: why not making the requirement 150 rep? – wythagoras Aug 18 '15 at 19:14
  • @wythagoras Edited to address that. – Adam Lear Aug 18 '15 at 19:17
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The "established user privilege" is an interesting one. It gives you two features - an expanding user card:

and viewing vote counts:

The first one is kind of a non-privilege. It is giving other people a quick view to your profile. In no way does it affect me - in my opinion.

And the second. Well there's an app for that, and you don't need any reputation for it.

So being an Established User; it's a milestone because between 500 and 2000 is a large jump. But it really doesn't give you much special...

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