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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 ...


75

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, ...


57

Here is the full list of privileges and moderating abilities that come with reputation. Apart from that, there isn't much use. Reputation points tickle the reward center of the brain without providing any tangible benefit that is meaningful outside the context of the site. This is called gamification, which is an easy way for someone to motivate you to do ...


39

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 ...


37

I am sorry that you've had a bad initial experience on MSE. I have never heard of anyone encountering all the problems you describe. I suggest that you try the math chatroom. You can describe what's been happening to you and see if anyone there has had the same experiences, and perhaps someone there might have a suggestion for how to solve whatever has gone ...


33

This is inevitable for structural reasons, as Will says. The truth is that most users simply do not have the expertise to judge less elementary questions and answers one way or another, and there's not much we can do about this that wouldn't be unhealthy for the site as a whole.


32

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. ...


31

$$\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 ...


30

Thank you for the post about $100$K. It is more a matter of longevity than anything else. Soon there will be several more. But no one will ever match the percentage increase that Arturo Magidin achieved.


29

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.


28

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 ...


28

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 ...


28

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 ...


28

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

The real rewards of writing an answer are to help the OP and getting a better understanding of a question by writing a coherent answer. Points are an extremely crude measure of anything but points. Perhaps we could encourage OP's who see an extremely good answer to their question to post a bounty and then reward that bounty. If there is a weak point to the ...


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, ...


24

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 ...


24

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 ...


23

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" ...


22

At a certain point, reputation grants some moderating abilities, and these are very important to the continued functioning and health of the site. Ideally an SE site becomes self-moderating so that it takes care of itself. After that point... bragging rights? It isn't completely ridiculous to guess that reputation on sites like math.SE (but more ...


21

Yes, but only to someone who's answered a question. You can do this by setting a bounty on the question and then assigning it to the answerer. (I am not entirely sure whether you get to choose who gets the bounty if the question isn't yours, but I assume you do.)


21

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!


20

Currently, when a user is deleted for whatever reason, all of his votes are deleted as well. The reputation other users gained from his upvotes is removed upon deletion. If you lost 110 reputation due to this, it means the deleted user had voted e.g. on 11 of your answers, and those votes were retracted upon deletion. Users are deleted for various reasons, ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible