In one of the stackoverflow podcasts, Jeff pondered the idea of having a reputation limit. The concern was that certain users (e.g. Jon Skeet) will get so far ahead and might discourage other users. I don't particularly see that as a huge problem because most people aren't doing this in order to become the #1 user on the site. On the other hand, promoting competition for good questions and answers is certainly a goal of the site, and being an early user of the site leads to a higher reputation and doesn't evenly promote the competitive spirit.

One way to address this would be to have two stats next to everyone's name: their total reputation and their "average reputation" (total reputation divided by the number of days that they've been using the site). Alternatively, you could put a "rolling reputation" (the reputation over the past year, for instance). In essence, you could base it on a sports metaphor: this a new reputation season.

What do people think? Would that be worthwhile? Of course, I would still expect the top users to lead in this category (over 200 a day), but it would also motivate late adopters.

  • @ChrisF that would still be a rolling reputation. Dec 4 '09 at 18:05
  • @Rene - my (now deleted) comment was added before the post was edited.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Dec 4 '09 at 20:26

I've previously suggested a "monthly league" for reputation, which was a popular idea... although as you say, the usual suspects would probably be near the top.

One interesting point would be to have two reputation graphs (either show one at a time, or overlay them) - one would be absolute reputation, and the other would be reputation gained per day, basically the gradient of the first. I'd be interested in seeing that, certainly - and it can easily be done with the existing data. (Heck, it could be done with the data which is already being shipped down to the browser - it could be entirely client-side.)

Showing the average per-day rep in things like the Users screen would be interesting as well, certainly.

One problem with this: it all focuses people a little too heavily on reputation. Reputation should be a corollary of giving good answers, rather than the driving force. That doesn't mean I'm not hopeful of one day achieving 500 in a day without bounty of course...


Reputation leagues are now rolled out:

Blog entry:


Please, don't.

I put time into SO when I can. That isn't very much time, so my rep growth over time is slow. If I put a lot of time into it in a day, I can make some strides, but I have more important tasks. I think I may have a rep/day of <15.

Further, those who have been members a long time are then at a disadvantage, particularly if they have to neglect SO for a while to address real-life issues... their rep will be averaged over a longer time period that doesn't reflect their trustworthiness.

I think the amount of rep you can get from asking lots of stupid, badly worded questions is a much larger issue, as is the rep from the 'fun' questions. Worry about how rep is gained, not how much Jon Skeet, et. al. have.

  • 1
    I'm not suggesting replacing the existing system, just adding to it. Are you saying that you would be at a disadvantage because you've been a member for a long time but don't contribute much? Isn't that the whole point?
    – Shane
    Dec 4 '09 at 16:49
  • Yeah, that's the whole point. The point that I don't like. It isn't 'leveling the playing field' at all.
    – retracile
    Dec 4 '09 at 18:38

Interesting idea, but I think that it might be a bit more interesting if the linked account box was updated to have the total reputation as well as the average number of up-votes per answer. This might need to be tweaked a bit to exclude outlier questions due to popularity, but might give a fair idea of how their responses are accepted by the community.


IMHO the best idea would be to focus on average reputation per post. That way people are rewarded for quality rather than quantity.

  • 1
    And for sticking to the top-viewed tags...
    – mmyers
    Oct 27 '10 at 21:01
  • true, but isn't that also true if the focus is on absolute reputation?
    – AdamRalph
    Oct 27 '10 at 21:27

I don't particularly see that as a big problem because most people aren't doing this in order to become the #1 user on the site

(...) being an early user of the site does lead to a higher reputation and might be considered an unfair advantage

Isn't that a little contradictory?

  • 1
    @Juan: Not really. The first sentence gives his personal opinion, the second sentence gives a hypothetical third parties' opinion (note the use of the passive voice). Dec 4 '09 at 15:50
  • So, he doesn't think this is a problem, but he wonders if others might, and if so, how it could be addressed. Dec 4 '09 at 15:51
  • @Adam, oh... ok
    – juan
    Dec 4 '09 at 15:53
  • Fair point. I clarified further.
    – Shane
    Dec 4 '09 at 15:56

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