When one is evaluating posted answers, we can use the reputation of the "answerer" to help decide the quality of the response for our own purposes. This is done at times when our knowledge is limited and needs to depend upon others as the experts. Of course, up votes are also used in this process. The intent of this request is to add a feature that tempers the global evaluation of users with personal applicability of the answerers skill set.

I would like to be able to add a star next to someone when I have observed that their answers work well for me. Or there might be variety of tags that I could apply to a user. The available tags could be community-defined to prevent outrageous abuse.

This is not the same as the accepted answer to the question "Is there any way to mark a user as favorite?" which is to use "RSS feed".

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    Godwin's law states that it's just a matter of time before you start decorating people with 卐. ;) Mar 30, 2011 at 18:45
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    Just take a cd/dvd labeller, and annotate the user index manually? Mar 30, 2011 at 18:51
  • @gnostradamus then only have the option of a star or not. Mar 30, 2011 at 19:15
  • Why? Why would you want to do something like this?
    – Shog9
    Mar 30, 2011 at 19:43
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    @Shog to mark you U+2620 SKULL AND CROSSBONES, of course! I also like U+2639 WHITE FROWNING FACE. And U+2668 HOT SPRINGS
    – Pekka
    Mar 30, 2011 at 19:45
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    You might want to clean up the grammar mistakes a little and rephrase, while I get the gist of what your saying, the request is actually very difficult to understand as is. That said, I don't think anyone's going to go for this. Mar 30, 2011 at 19:59
  • I don't dislike the idea in itself, I just don't think this is in the scope of what SO should be doing. I've never tried it, but it should be possible to keep notes on users by using a service like Google Sitewiki (if that's still around?) on each profile page
    – Pekka
    Mar 30, 2011 at 20:05
  • @gnostradamus - Ohhhhh...you had to take it there. Mar 30, 2011 at 20:06
  • @Justin E. Morgan: Well, better to get the rituals out of the way, so we can get to the actual question ;) Mar 30, 2011 at 20:15
  • @Mark Rogers done. Mar 30, 2011 at 20:32

1 Answer 1


Focus on the content. Not the users. Down-vote poor content, up-vote good content, flag abusive content... The system is designed to aggregate and make use of this. Users who post consistently good content will be elevated, and consistently poor / abusive users will be dealt with.

Ideally, users react positively to feedback and adjust their behavior to work with the site, for the good of the community. The worst possible thing you can do is treat poor content with kid gloves because you've developed some sort of relationship with the user... Wait, no - that's bad, but the worst thing you can do is to continue to pound on a user who has seen the writing on the wall and is trying to better himself. That just creates an ugly feedback loop.

Focus on the content. Not the users. Moderators have the tools to do what you ask, because they do need to focus on users at times. That's why we elect them. To do the dirty work.

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    +1. In addition to this - the fact that it's impossible to keep notes on people on SO is a great thing because it makes it impossible to bear a grudge for longer than a day or so. You simply forget who the asshole user you had a run-in with was, and the next time you see them, it's water under the bridge. It's one of the fascinating characteristics of a community this large.
    – Pekka
    Mar 30, 2011 at 20:01
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    @Pekka well, not impossible ... Mar 30, 2011 at 20:15
  • @Daniel yeah, true. You get to know the more frequent visitors, no doubt. But I can currently think only of two users I think are real pricks, and I've forgotten at least 40 others. :)
    – Pekka
    Mar 30, 2011 at 20:17
  • The request has been narrowed to just track the positive. The same aspects that helps one forget the bad also helps one forget the good which is the motive behind the request. Mar 30, 2011 at 20:47
  • @CWHoleman: I really do feel that this is only slightly less bad than the reverse... Ultimately, what's important is whether or not an answer solves the problem raised in the question - who wrote it shouldn't matter.
    – Shog9
    Mar 30, 2011 at 21:52

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