In the question that defines "Total Reputation", David mentions in a comment that it's just to show off how many people you have referred.

Reputation has value in normal Stack Overflow world (it allows you to do things). Does that mean that "Total Reputation" on Area 51 provides no value other than looking good for having referred people (who themselves have a lot of reputation), or will this referral based reputation have some other use down the road?


I just realized that reputation garnered from referrals does have real value: it has meaning on the Area 51 site. See this user as an example of someone who referred many people but hasn't contributed any proposals or questions:


I realize that referrals are important, but it seems like it's being overstated in importance compared to other forms of contribution.

Related question:

What is the Total Reputation field on Area 51?

  • Your own total reputation is displayed beside your name, of course.
    – mmx
    Commented Jun 17, 2010 at 20:39

2 Answers 2


What I was asking myself is, should the commitment percentage take total reputation into account.

The situation now (if I am not mistaken) is like this:

  • A user commits to a proposal
  • That proposal's percentage of completion increases proportionally to the user's total reputation

I committed to the Personal Finance and Money proposal. How is my reputation on StackOverflow (progamming) related to how much of an expert I am in personal finance? I think it is not. Yet the more reputation I have on SO, the more this proposal comes to completion.

The probability that a user with 0 reputation on the trilogy sites is a better expert on personal finance than I am is really high. Yet that is not taken into account. I don't have a concrete suggestion to overcome this, but if we're trying to refer "external" experts to Area 51, this is wrong.

If I have wrong assumptions or misunderstandings in the above, please clarify.


I think it's useful in determining how much commitment is dedicated to a proposal. The GIS group has both more committed people and more referrals, but Web Applications has more progress. I think this means that the total rep of the committed people determines how far the progress meter runs. It's probably not quite that simple, but it looks like a strong influence.

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