Some forums have titles for participants with different post counts and I thought that this could map reasonably well to the reputation system whereby different levels give you a different title. For example, you could have (these are Western themed for no reason whatsoever except to give an example):

0 = Out of towner
100 = New in town
1000 = Gunslinger
10000 = Regulator
100000 = Skeeter

I envisage that this would be shown either alongside your reputation in posts or instead of your reputation (maybe dependent on user preference).

Thoughts? Please discuss - I don't know if this is a good idea or not.

  • Java Ranch has similar titles. They certainly don't take anything away from the site. faq.javaranch.com/java/SaloonTitles – Bill the Lizard Jul 16 '09 at 18:12
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    @Bill: But does it also have the concept of reputation? That's the thing - there's already a better (well, in some ways) measure, as well as the question and answer counts being available. It's not like we're bereft of information here :) – Jon Skeet Jul 16 '09 at 18:14
  • @Jon: No, it doesn't have a reputation system. In my opinion, this is one of the areas where Stack Overflow is a clear improvement over other forums. I agree with your answer and comment, which is why I was purposely ambiguous in mine. I don't think the titles take anything away from Java Ranch, but given that you can see reputation scores everywhere you turn on SO, they probably wouldn't add anything here. – Bill the Lizard Jul 16 '09 at 18:17
  • @Jon: While we're not bereft of information, I think for some, attaining a label is more compelling than attaining a certain number of rep points. It could just be another way to make the sites fun enough to want to hang around. – Jeff Yates Jul 16 '09 at 18:31
  • Perlmonks.org has this feature – dreftymac Dec 4 '09 at 23:49

Personally I think it would add extra clutter for no real benefit.

Between badges and rep I think there's already enough information available. People can make up their own (private) labels for how they think of people if they really want to. Badges give room for creativity for naming (and in terms of what's achieved) - putting a label on reputation feels like it would be doing the same thing again to some extent.

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I think this might be a good idea, as long as the titles follow the rep-based permissions. It would be easier to tell someone that they need to be a "gunslinger" or whatever in order to edit other peoples posts than to quote the rep value, especially since with StackExchange those values may not be constant.

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  • This was one of my motivations for posting. I find it hard to remember the numbers and agree that labels would help with this. But I think Jon's points are valid too. See why I posted this? :D – Jeff Yates Jul 16 '09 at 18:23

Perhaps, drawing from the answers provided by Jon and Kyle, this could be displayed next to the badges as a glyph with a suitable tooltip to show the string. This would provide a neat UI that doesn't add so much clutter as per Jon's points, while adding the labels as per my idea and Kyle's points.

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    Are you saying Jon's Points add clutter? Because I agree. There are too many digits in his score. – devinb Jul 16 '09 at 19:16

I'm not sure there would be a meaningful way to display this, that would be more helpful and clear than the reputation number and badge counts displayed by each user's name. In fact, I think those are far more informative.

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  • I disagree as they don't in themselves inform you of the privileges allotted to that user unless you've memorised the FAQ. A more descriptive name would do so. – Jeff Yates Jul 16 '09 at 20:11

There's plenty of incentive for folks to want to increase their rank. I feel there's no need to make folks feel bad about their rep by applying potentially demeaning ranks to those who are new or who have been unsuccessful in gaining rep despite genuine attempts at contributing.

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  • Don't concentrate on the labels I gave. You can call them what you want. They don't need to demean anyone nor are they intended to. Having a rep of 0 is demeaning enough. – Jeff Yates Jul 16 '09 at 20:10
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    Indeed. I wasn't focusing on the sample labels. It's just that ranks on, for example, forums are sometimes negative towards newcomers and I was cautioning against that. Personally I don't think ranks add much. The rep system is nice as-is. Project Euler's solution was a good one though, using Platonic solids. Obviously copying that is a bad idea, but an abstract icon might be preferable to extra text. – Gregyski Jul 16 '09 at 21:31

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