Having a sliding reputation score, over the last x months, would show the user's current activity on Stack Overflow more correctly than the current system does, I think. One of the main reasons is that the size of the community using Stack Overflow is constantly changing, and your reputation is changing with it. What I mean by that is that if there are only ten people using Stack Overflow, it is not too hard to be the first one to answer a question. With 100,000 users, it gets harder, and that indirectly affects your reputation.

Of course the total score should be kept as well, and that could be used to give access to new actions like today's reputation does.

UPDATE: The main goal of having some kind of sliding reputation will be to show how current the knowledge of the user is. Let's say we sit here looking at Stack Overflow in five or ten years. You will have a reputation based on answers you made five to ten years back. Is that reasonable? If Stack Overflow started ten years ago, mainly people who knew C (only an example language) or some other language very well would have a high reputation. A sliding window is something that I think would stimulate the community to keep up with their surroundings. If you're not up to date with the technologies/languages that are relevant, your knowledge becomes more and more irrelevant and your reputation should too, since I think it should reflect how valuable your knowledge is at the moment.

  • Something similar was been discussed long ago...looking. Commented Nov 26, 2010 at 8:30
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    Reputation of a user does not necessarily show knowledge. Rather, it measures how the community has valued user's contribution to the site. See "What is reputation?".
    – user151803
    Commented Dec 1, 2010 at 13:38

3 Answers 3


Have you looked at the user leagues?

They're not quite sliding scores (they're week-so-far, month-so-far, quarter-so-far and year-so-far) but they're reasonably close to it.

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    That's exactly the statistic I was asking for, but I think the quarterly or year reputation is the one that should be shown together with your name so you get a quick answer to how active the user are at the moment. Commented Nov 26, 2010 at 8:50

The issue is that users like Jon Skeet get most of their rep some days from answers they posted many months ago. So a new “top poster” has to build up enough of a bank of old answers to generate 200 rep each day just to keep up.

So a user’s current rep gain per week may have very little to do with their current activity. This may or may not be a problem depending on how you think about rep, at present I don’t view this as a problem, as the actions of these high rep users are positive.

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    And that's is exactly my point. I want the reputation to show how active a user is at the "moment", of course you should still get reputation points for old question but they should only be accumulated to your total reputation and your "current" reputation. Do you see my point? Of course it could be hard to define how many months that should be used for your current reputation. Commented Nov 26, 2010 at 9:25
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    @Tomas I see your point, but I'm not sure why it would be a good idea? Does it really make a difference whether a user is currently active if their contributions are still valid?
    – Pekka
    Commented Nov 26, 2010 at 15:36
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    This isn't really accurate, for some of the most active users the majority of rep still comes from accepted answers on most days, not votes (since you're limited to 200 there). Commented Nov 26, 2010 at 15:58
  • @Rejoice rejoice kbd is back: If the users contributions are still valid he would still get score from up votes for his answer several years back, right? If the contributions is decreasingly valid the votes will stop. This would make it more of a rank like they have in golf or tennis (I think). Commented Nov 26, 2010 at 16:17

You seem to be mixing up all sorts of issues in this question: rep as a measure of technical expertise, rep as a measure of site activity, progress in programming languages, the size of SO's userbase, &c.

Ten years ago, C was kind of a big deal. Today, C is... well, actually, it's still kind of a big deal. It may not be new any more, but it's still used. The need for C knowledge due to legacy code alone is significant. How are we supposed to put a mark on a timeline that says "okay, here's the point where C knowledge stops mattering; no more C questions on Stack Overflow"?

Assume, for a moment, that it is possible to put such a mark on the timeline. What about Java? When will Java stop mattering? Has it already stopped mattering? And more importantly, was its "relevance duration" exactly the same length as C's relevance duration?

Using sliding rep to show anything other than how active a given user has been in the past n months would be wrong. Using it to show activity... would be accurate, but what's the point?

  • First, I just used C as an example, I know it is still big. I didn't say that you would stop asking question about the topic but I would like the reputation score mark how relevant the expertise of the person is to the current time we are in and to the topics that are most relevant as we speak. I still think that most of the people that have the highest score would be there either way, but it forces you to maintain your activity and provide good answers. Maybe it's a bad idea, but I think it's an interesting point to discuss. Commented Nov 26, 2010 at 16:10

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