It would be nice to have a feature where the community can suggest the difficulty of a question, and based on that the reputation awarded to the answer would be added by a plus X based on the questions difficulty.

That would increase the chance of difficult questions being answered.

It would be something like,

(1) User(s) voted this question as Hard

(5) User(s) voted this question as Medium

(0) User(s) voted this question as Easy

(0) User(s) voted this question as Subjective

Maybe Stack Exchange could use this to balance the questions attention.

In My Opinion: Voting as it is today, only determines community preference for questions.

OBS: This could also be used for custom searching questions.

  • Your right @Popular. Please disconsider My first comment. (or delete if you can) Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 21:15
  • 1
    if you want to delete your comment, mouse over it and click the (x) on the right hand side (next to "mins ago").
    – user27414
    Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 21:49
  • There are 66 definitions for OBS found here. However, I don't think any of those fit here.
    – Luuklag
    Commented Jul 6, 2022 at 19:52

2 Answers 2


Reputation is not a measurement of your expertise. It is a measurement of your contribution to the site, and the extent to which the community trusts you.

Getting lots of points by answering easy questions is still a valid contribution to the site, and will earn you the community's trust.

  • I don't propose reputation to be used as measure for expertise. I propose We have different ways to categorize questions. Like Difficult, Medium and Easy questions. Reputation would only be a incentive. But this would help us measure questions dificulty and retrieve information about them. Furthermore would be an incentive for having a rank on the questions difficulty and so we can compose efforts on different ways, maybe we can create discussions on the hardest questions (as a future feature) Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 17:24
  • Gabriel: Sure some questions are easily categorized but others the level of difficulty appears to be quite a subjective category.
    – Chris
    Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 19:56
  • @Chris I get your point and I'll add subjective as a possibility. Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 20:30
  • 1
    @Gabriel "I get your point" Obviously you do not. Chris's concern is the to some person a question may be easy but to another the same question might be difficult.
    – Welbog
    Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 21:44
  • 1
    @Sid That's why the difficulty is cast by votes, so the community will come to a level for the whole community. Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 22:56
  • Unfortunately this isnt entirely true. People view users with high rep to be knowledgable and we dont downvote answers that are correct but shouldnt have been given because they are not in accordance with expected community behavior. Categorizing questions in difficulty levels could mitigate the problem that easy general reference type of questions get upvotes galore while more difficult questions usually dont because people wont look at them that often.
    – Gordon
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 14:36

I think this is unnecessary as the community already uses up and downvotes in the manner you describe.

For example, if someone asks a trivial "how do i used html 5" question it won't get upvoted (and might even get downvoted). A trivial question will get attention because it's easy to answer.

Reading a harder, more thought-out question, people will upvote it. A more involved question will get attention because it has a lot of upvotes, a lot of views and a lot of comments/answers/discussion.

In this view, upvotes and downvotes are already what you want. Plus there's the fact that a lot of us are here specifically because we like solving problems and the harder they are the more fun they are to figure out. To those people votes make no difference, and they're the people you really want answering questions.

Think you have any examples where upvotes and downvotes aren't used this way? Any highly-voted trivial questions or low-voted difficult questions to show us?

  • I don't think Down Votes and Up Votes are used this way and were never used this way. Questions are upvoted if they are good questions, if the question is a question other members might find usefull, like other people have the same question, And if they liked the question. It is down voted when the question is offtopic, not clear, or not in context. This is not about questions attention is about rating the questions difficulty. Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 15:44
  • @Gabriel, evidence suggests that you are wrong. Looking in the admin tools for the last two days, this is the most highly-upvoted question: stackoverflow.com/questions/4179581/… It's very difficult. In fact, it is impossible. This, however, is a trivial question and is heavily downvoted: stackoverflow.com/questions/4187135/… I'm suggesting that trivial questions are not upvoted more than they are downvoted, but this one works just the same.
    – Welbog
    Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 15:49
  • @Gabriel, if you're going to make claims about how upvotes are being used, I would implore you to find evidence. I'm willing to believe that upvotes and downvotes aren't being used this way, but I've seen more evidence to indicate that they are rather than not.
    – Welbog
    Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 15:50
  • 8
    In my experience, questions like "what is the difference between ++i and i++" get lots of votes, and really complicated stuff does not. I would dig up examples, but I don't feel like it.
    – user27414
    Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 15:51
  • 2
    OK, here's one: stackoverflow.com/questions/971312/…
    – user27414
    Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 15:52
  • @Jon: That could be. Again, I'm the only one with examples to back up my claims here. I suggest you find examples to show that there really is a problem before we think about solving it.
    – Welbog
    Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 15:53
  • 6
    Ha! I have made you look foolish(er) by 10 seconds!
    – user27414
    Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 15:54
  • @Sid your bad example was downvoted as not SO like question. There are tons of tools who does that... That not related to that being or not a easy question. the good one is a good math question that only brings up the community preference for questions, not their difficulty. Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 15:57
  • @Jon: I don't think that question is trivial. It's also a pretty subjective question. I don't think it's hard either. I'm not trying to say that difficulty is the only reason people vote. I'm trying to say that it is a component. For every trivial high-voted question you find, I can find 50 more trivial question that haven't been upvoted (e.g., almost every new question in almost every tag).
    – Welbog
    Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 16:08
  • @Gabriel: I'm not entirely sure why you feel the need to make a distinction. People who prefer hard problems with upvote hard problems.
    – Welbog
    Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 16:09
  • @Sid the distinction exists and we can use it to make new ways of using our community. Even later we can use this on a BI and learn how the community is answering questions, using this could provide more analysis that we currently could have. Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 16:16
  • @Gabriel: I don't doubt that.
    – Welbog
    Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 16:22

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .