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The reputation for an upvote on a question has been changed from +5 to +10, as announced in this blog post: We’re Rewarding the Question Askers. (So now reputation gained from an upvote on a question is the same as the reputation gained from an upvote on an answer.) You can check in your reputation tab or in the reputation breakdown that question upvotes ...


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Up to 20k there are moderation privileges gained from earning reputation. After that, it's mostly bragging rights. You can also spend reputation at any point to put a bounty on questions you'd like to see answers to (whether they be yours or others). This is mostly what I choose to do with my surplus rep now that I have all the privileges. But, ...


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The best way to gain reputation is simply to direct your efforts towards answering questions that aren't closed / do have proper context. Off-topic questions are mostly closed and deleted, so answering them is a waste of your effort from a reputation standpoint. You can also gain reputation by coming up with good questions of your own to contribute to the ...


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$$\begin{array}{l}\text{Hundred Thousand, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain,}\cr \text{And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet, When the wind comes right behind the rain,}\cr \text{Hundred Thousand, Ev'ry night my honey lamb and I,}\cr \text{Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk makin' lazy circles in the sky.}\cr \text{We know we belong to ...


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If you unaccept an answer, the author of the answer will lose 15 reputation points. Additionally, you yourself will lose 2 reputation points. However, if you select a new answer, then the new author gains the 15 reputation and you gain back your 2 reputation. Note that if you accept an answer which you yourself have written, there is no reputation gain. ...


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It is not possible to go below 1 reputation. Hence if a new user posted a question, received 5 downvotes (reputation now 1), 1 upvote (reputation now 6), then 2 downvotes (reputation now 2) the situation you describe arises.


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Thank you all for your kind remarks! When I reached the 100k limit a few days ago, I checked a couple of times - of course - to see if someone had arranged a surprise party here at Meta. But either I had overlooked it or this thread got created just after I had stopped looking (could be a time-zone issue). So much as explanation why I didn't express my ...


27

Imagine playing a (video) game where there was no reward for achievement, where there were no consequences for stupid...how long would such a game hold your interest? How many people do you think would play a second time? Think: reputation == health. reputation == gold coins in my bag. Reputation points are the currency in this economy.


27

You ask how democratic and fair the reputation system is. I will start by answering that "democratic" and "fair" are not the same thing. This site allows just about anyone to come in and upvote, and not too many fewer to downvote. Allowing just about anyone to vote, while highly democratic, leads to results that may be far from "fair," depending on your ...


27

I do agree that sometimes higher reputation users are given greater leeway than lower reputation users. This is not just true with questions, but also "answers". This is unfortunate, but also somewhat understandable. If you have achieved, say, 10K reputation on the site, you have likely been active for a considerable amount of time, and have contributed a ...


27

Context is everything. When one of my students asks me "How can I solve question 1", I know what they are asking, I know what they were taught and what tools they have accessible to solving the question, and I may or may not recognize them personally and be able to size up their ability to approach the problem or their difficulties in doing so. When ...


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Mathematics, unlike most other branches of human knowledge and experience, is relatively universal in the sense that everyone has to take some mathematics classes in their academic career. This means that a very large number of people either are currently, or have in the past, worked through the kind of basic algebra and calculus problems that show up here ...


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The point is that reputation is equivalent with privileges. If you have "enough" on one site, this means that you are familiar with some basic norms as to when to upvote, flag, comment or otherwise use the functionality of the site. The SE network has a clear interest in keeping you inside the network. So letting you access some of the basic features of ...


25

I answer questions on math.se for several reasons. In roughly decreasing order of priority: To help researchers with problems they run into (especially those from fields outside pure math, whose mathematical problems have a chance of being at the level I can understand!) To teach the general public and curious independent learner. To help students who are ...


24

This was Jeff Atwood's decision, and he explained it thus: The StackOverflow team believes that everybody's special in their own way and doesn't deserve to have a negative self-esteem (aka reputation). A rep of zero or negative seemed cruel. Plus, everyone starts out as "a one" instead of "a zero". The thread Why does reputation start at 1, ...


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It is not exactly clear to me what type of answer you are looking for, but for what it's worth: Yes, as far as reputation points are concerned the relative impact of downvotes on questions is reduced; now five downvotes cancel one upvote while formerly they canceled two, as the deduction of two points per downvote was not changed. This is "by design" ...


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It seems unreasonable to me that the same person would ask good questions sometimes and crap questions other times. As user "40 votes" says, this happens. I would put it much more strongly: it happens to everyone who is thinking about mathematics and asking sufficiently many of the questions that come to mind. It is fun (for us; less so for them) to ...


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It helps keep people from getting carried away with downvoting. If you didn't lose any points from it, you could downvote a lot of stuff (and you can kinda see that here on Meta). That $-1$ point is enough for most people to step back and ask themselves: do I really want to take a hit for this? These points are not tied to money or anything of material ...


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Thanks to Brian and André, I aced my discrete mathematics exam in college :) A big thanks for all your patience and awesomeness! You make math less painful!


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Nope. If you are to share in the upvotes of an edited question, then you're to share in the downvotes as well. And that would discourage the editing of questions that already have downvotes. This would hurt new users the most. Put yourself in the shoes a new user. You don't know anything about how math formatting works on this site. You ask a question that ...


20

One reason I like reputation: Reputation is a digital (and numeric!) substitute for feedback of appreciation or agreement. A lot of the people here have backgrounds in math education. Recall, for a moment, what it's like to tutor or teach someone, or help a classmate with a problem. When you help someone, and they respond with "YES! I get it now," that ...


20

I'd be much more empathetic to your question, had you asked "How can I contribute positively to this site?", and not asked only about how you can benefit by earning rep most easily. There's nothing wrong with wanting to earn rep; but the best way to do this is by concurrently working toward the goal of contributing positively to the site. That means ...


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Most high reputation users have gotten that way by answering questions well, whether those questions are easy or hard, low-level or high-level. I think it is very important for the introductory questions to be answered well as those usually cover the bases for understanding the more advanced concepts. Between two people who can provide acceptable answers, ...


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The timeline of this post reveals that you started a bounty worth 100 points on that date. The bounties are deducted from the rep tally immediately.


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The information page for the downvoting privilege states: Downvotes on answers remove 1 reputation from you, the voter. Downvotes on questions are free. (Why?)


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Now that you've reached 2000 reputation, your edits are no longer reviewed by others - you submit your edits and they go through immediately. Lots of people would game the system if there were an action that always brings reputation points and is not checked by reviewers. See this thread on meta.SO for a similar response. See this thread on meta.SO for the ...


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After having been away for a year, and upon return, to work this hard on answering questions means there can be one and only one possible answer to this question: Bill Dubuque is a unique individual who is a truly dedicated mathematics educator. Thank you for all your hard work.


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