20

Nothing one does is 100% altruistic. Nothing. And there is nothing wrong with that. All the more so when it helps others and does no harm.


14

While this is certainly true (and probably intentional) in this case it is addicting you to something which is (in reasonable doses) good for you. Thats because in this case there's something else to win besides rep points; heightened expertise and knowledge. I've learned a lot from being a part of stack exchange and that's worth a lot more than a few rep ...


13

I think that if all answers were automatically awarded, then SO would not be so attractive (or addictive). It would also not be so useful - which is really the best reason to not hand out points like candy... Some Q&A and forum systems give you a score that goes up every time you post. It might not be called a score, but it's the number next to your ...


13

It correlates well with the useful work for the sites. That is the intent with reputation, yes. But this does not mean that there are not parasitic means of attaining rep, ways which garner reputation without meaningfully generating useful work. For example, money often correlates with doing useful work for society. But it would be difficult to argue that ...


11

The rep is not given for anything. It correlates well with the useful work for the sites. So the crucial thing is what's considered to be useful by the community. Constantly answering off-topic or duplicate questions isn't useful IMO. Even if these would often generate reputation, it hinders the process of closing and deleting those questions which litter ...


10

There is a reason why the system is loaded with rep, notifications, badges, and the like: It makes people do more than they otherwise would. What they otherwise would is what they would do if they were only altruistic and looking to improve themselves by learning. So by being motivated by more than just those two, you're not only being perfectly ethical, ...


10

Yes, I would say you are right in saying SO can be addicting (Actually, I had just been sitting on my front porch thinking about this.) However, unlike many other websites, SO has a very friendly atmosphere and contains upright users. And at least this "addiction" is better than many others out there. Gambling, as you pointed out, and also there are many ...


8

About a year ago, I wrote something about this under different circumstances in answer to a different question: Why do you stay? (on Stack Exchange): Sharing knowledge is addictive I should have known about the addictiveness; when I'm at the office, I'm getting all kinds of questions from colleagues asking to explain how X works or how to solve problem Y. ...


7

There are already motivations to edit a question to make it better. Editing can: prevent any further downvotes, and maybe get upvotes from people who view the question after the edit, prevent the question from being closed, help the OP to avoid giving a (hopefully) wrong impression about themselves to more people that they already have. That the score of a ...


7

First, define "game". Before answering your question, I think its helpful to have a definition of "game". Wolfgang Kramer, designer of many Spiel des Jahre games, writes1: Games are objects which consist of components and rules and have certain criteria: rules, a goal, always changing course; chance; competition; common experience; ...


6

I think that Personal Productivity could be the site you are looking for. Depending on your exact question it will fit there or not, so make sure to check their help center or meta before asking.


5

Stack Overflow isn't a game! It is a so-called gamified application. Gamification means, by the definition of Deterding et al., "the use of game design elements in non-game contexts." Usually the game elements or atoms are points, badges and leaderboards. Thus critics speak of badgification, pointsification, or boardification instead of ...


4

I found an existing query on data.stackexchange.com, maybe this is what you are looking for? The query displays the reputation grouped by date, not exactly the kind of long-tail view you are looking for but imported into a spreadsheet you could do a quick graph and check the reputation change for a single user. My SQL is not really enough to modify this ...


3

There are several reasons to provide answers. One reason is the warm fuzzy feeling you get knowing that you've helped someone out and answered their question; it's the same reason you stop to help someone in the street. Another reason is, well, for the gamification. Stack gamifies pretty extensively; the current Winter Bash activity aside, you earn points ...


3

Not to trivialize your question, but... raspberry cordial is also addictive to some people. That doesn't mean we need to do anything about it. But answering is like a contest – who will be faster? Who will write a better answer? But there is no straight rule that your work will be rewarded. This not strictly like gambling because you have some control ...


2

I like to solve problems, especially programming related problems. At the same time I learn new things about programming and how to write english better. That's my motivation.


1

I see a logical flaw in your reasoning. If you are doing good for imaginary reputation points, you are still doing good in this world. Yes, there are religious systems where the purity of intention counts as much as the outcome, but the reward/punishment for that would come in the afterlife. There's another factor to consider: Stack Overflow is not the best ...


1

I think the idea behind the SO merit system is that when users prove themselves, they earn more privileges. I know how frustrating it can be to earn a rep in one community and be totally unrecognized in another; but the system is in place for a reason. I only concentrate on boards that I have knowledge in, ask questions when I need to, answer when I know the ...


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