There have been a few recent suggestions about either removing the daily reputation limit here on Meta or increasing it. The questions have been received differently and their answers actually contradict one another.

  1. Increase rep limit
  2. Get rid of rep limit

3 Answers 3


Overall, I do not see major differences in what the reputation scores mean and believe that yshuduietelu's answer was pretty good. It is totally a measurement for how the system trusts and ranks you amongst others in the community.

But... I do see a difference in what the real world values are for the scores. For example, I most likely will never brag about having a high meta score and I'll never put it on my resume while the SO reputation score in theory could be used for those things...

The reason there is a reputation limit was to keep the system constrained and prevent runaways users. Some argue that this has worked others look at the rankings and see the top few users as unreachable.

I simply do not think the rep limit on the meta site is as important as the others because it requires heavy participation from users to drive the best results (yes you could argue this for the other sites too). As TheTXI pointed out here, once you hit the limit, you are not as likely to stay involved with things. I feel the same way. Why have a system that would discourage folks from participation? Rcar also suggested that the cap limit here on meta would have the same affect on him here...

  • Absolutely agreed. SO and SF scores suggest (though they shouldn't blindly be trusted) more of a technical, marketable skill. Though I believe some questions and answers on meta may also prove your skill at analyzing programming problems and making choices/suggestions about solving them. Certainly not marketable to the level of SO/SF, but still might be there. Jul 8, 2009 at 22:08
  • But "I don't care about my rep here" isn't a reason for removing the rep cap, nor is it a reason for you to post three questions about it.
    – devinb
    Jul 8, 2009 at 22:08
  • Crap. Mea Culpa: Two questions.
    – devinb
    Jul 8, 2009 at 22:09
  • @Jeff Atwood: Italics don't work when followed by a colon.
    – devinb
    Jul 8, 2009 at 22:10
  • @devin: I think you'll find way more than my 2 specifically about the rep limit here on meta from some other users... The community seems to have interest in this and having a site like meta to hear out the community is great. I think that these questions go to show the power of the meta site and how great of an addition it is. As I stated elsewhere, I'm not the community, just one of many users and can voice my opinion and see others... At the end of the day, we're all using the same system, right?
    – RSolberg
    Jul 8, 2009 at 22:11

I believe reputation means the same thing on meta as it does the other sites; its a measure of how much the system trusts you as voted upon by your peers. In this case, the system is concerned with your involvement about and discussion of the concerns of the overall stackoverflow ecosystem. With increased reputation comes increased tools (editing, etc) and in the same way as it does other places, an increased "trust" in your answers. If you see someone with 10k rep answer a question about the site, subconsciously I believe people are more likely to trust that person's answer than the answer from a person with 1 rep. Just the way it would be with a programming question on SO or a system admin question on SF.


On meta-SO, it is arguably easier to receive votes, because there can be so many more 'correct' answers which are not duplicates, in the same way that myself and yshuditelu can be right (me more than him =P) and not contradict each other at all.

So limiting rep makes just as much, or MORE sense here, because the only way to gain rep faster than others is to have your answer marked as correct. If you simply 'shotgun' answers all over the place on SO, you will not get votes. But if you do that here, there is a chance that you could get significantly upvoted without putting any thought into any of your answers.

The reputation reflects both your involvement, your tendency to provide solid answers, and how often people agree with you.

  • I find it much easier to get votes on SO. For one thing, there are far more questions. For another, when you can be "right" it's easier to persuade people to vote. Maybe I'm not entirely typical though.
    – Jon Skeet
    Jul 8, 2009 at 22:13
  • @Jon: Just curious, could you simply not be active on the site for a day and still earn over 150 points?
    – RSolberg
    Jul 8, 2009 at 22:14
  • @Jon, that's because you know everything. And that's cheating.
    – devinb
    Jul 8, 2009 at 22:16
  • It would depend on the day. Before now I've hit the rep cap before getting out of bed. However, when I went on my second honeymoon it was over a weekend - on the Saturday and Sunday (0 activity) I earned 80 and 90 respectively. I hit 200 on the Friday and Monday, when I was only active for a small part of the day. IIRC, there have been about 3 days other than that weekend where I haven't hit the rep cap since I joined SO.
    – Jon Skeet
    Jul 8, 2009 at 22:17
  • @Jon: Must be rough :) Not downplaying your contributions or what you offer, but I think that this shows that there is a flaw in the rep process a bit. I wonder if changing the value of posts over time (old posts worth less than new) would help.
    – RSolberg
    Jul 8, 2009 at 22:19
  • Oh, and I'll also say that it's much harder to go over the rep cap significantly here, as there are fewer answers to be accepted, and they're usually fairly subjective.
    – Jon Skeet
    Jul 8, 2009 at 22:20
  • @Jon: Generally agree... But you can get a flurry of activity around the few questions with lots of voting action...
    – RSolberg
    Jul 8, 2009 at 22:21
  • @RSolberg: I should point out that the "200 before I get out of bed" situation is pretty rare, and usually only happens after a significantly active previous night. But yes, it does make the whole thing slightly odd. Usually only a relatively small amount of reputation comes from posts more than about 24 hours old.
    – Jon Skeet
    Jul 8, 2009 at 22:22
  • @RSolberg. I don't think it's a flaw that Jon Skeet keeps getting extra rep. If you consider the quality and quantity of his answers, it makes PERFECT sense that he would continue to get upvoted. It means that if a particular answer is incredibly useful, day after day, it will continue to gain you reputation.
    – devinb
    Jul 8, 2009 at 22:22
  • @RSolberg: Flurries of activity can happen on SO quite often too: stackoverflow.com/questions/1089018
    – Jon Skeet
    Jul 8, 2009 at 22:23
  • 1
    @devinb: It does make the whole scale of reputation pretty arbitrary though. What does 200 rep mean to me vs another user? Why do I even care? (I do care, but only in a "game" kind of way. I probably still care more than I should though.)
    – Jon Skeet
    Jul 8, 2009 at 22:24
  • @Jon that was a good example... Thanks.
    – RSolberg
    Jul 8, 2009 at 22:30
  • @Jon, well, accepting the obvious fact that you're an atypical user, I would look at your points as being more valueable than mine, considering that you have 'rep-cap lost' more points than I have gained in my SO career. As I mentioned, the rep-cap keeps one user from running away, EXCEPT if that user is phenomenal. If all your answer are marked as correct, then the rep cap won't touch you. As I mentioned in one of my flurry of answers on this topic, (which have all been downvoted, thus pushing me further and further down with no chance to recoup =D), the reputation is a combination of
    – devinb
    Jul 8, 2009 at 23:12
  • the quality of your answers, the number of them, and the time they were spread out over. If you have been deeply involved for a while, you can have a high reputation, if you have been lightly involved for a very long while, you can have a high reputation, and if you are consistently marked correct, you have have a high reputation. The rep-cap allows us multiple ways of garnering the same amount of rep, while still having exceptions that reward those users who choose to be all three.
    – devinb
    Jul 8, 2009 at 23:14

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