Unrelated story, I have a day one Stack Overflow account. I don't remember how I found it but I'm sure it was posted on digg or slashdot or something at the time. I had a lot of posts in the first few years about some generally broad concepts, and completely inactive since.
In spite of this, I am in the top 7% of accounts on the site, which is a nice reminder on the power of compound interest!
Edit: I'm in the top 2%. Most of my rep. comes from interest earned on questions/answers I posted very early on.
There's definitely an "interest" dynamic to it, but there's also something like consuming the solutions with a good effort-to-reward ratio inside a search space early and then subsequent solutions get harder (kindof like a cryptocurrency?)
Through the “asking and searching” phase, he was sitting next to me on a rooftop at a really stressful job, we were drinking daily on the job, and I had no idea why he suddenly started smacking my left arm and laughing to the point he couldn’t speak. He finally turned his laptop towards me and I just saw my StackOverflow profile with the icon I use at work and on GitHub and everywhere else, the picture of my first dog. He could have just spoken up (but I’d probably forgotten the answer) … he googled instead and got the answer of the person he was sitting next to.
When occasionally I have worked at big companies, now people know my dog’s face more than they know me as a person.
Btw, is there a simple way to backup all of ones own answers from across all stackexchange, in case the new owners mess everything up?
Come on brain, you remember fucking commercials.
Crypto doesn't behave any differently than the stock market (except the fundamentals are a little shakier, okay, a lot shakier).
Crypto is only valuable, because others think so, too. You control a place inside a distributed list. Others think a place in exactly this list is valuable, while all the other lists are shitcoins.
I don’t know whether your statement about the price difference is true and if so, I don’t know why. Maybe different free float? My statement was about inherent value not short term price negotiations via stock exchange.
I thought about an actual attack against my argument: Stocks are just shares of companies, which sell stuff that is valuable because other people think so. Some stuff might have inherent value (because it can generate money), but in the end it still comes down to people deciding something has value. Turtles all the way down.
How would you know they're voting in your interests?
I've never known how any other shareholder voted in any of the stock I owned. For all I know they could have been voting completely contrary to what I'd wanted.
No. Unless you own enough of a stock to vote and make a difference, stock ownership is not about influencing a company but just about hoping the value of the stock will rise, and there are many theories about why that might happen, from fundamental to technical analysis to people who invest based on the phase of the moon, divination, tips from friends, insider trading, trend following, news, etc.
This is an out of date view that does not match the current reality.
The same is true if N people use the currency without any new money coming in they can’t cash out. Therefore it’s not an actual dividend. This is why everyone calls crypto a pyramid scheme, the only way to cash out is to get someone else to buy in.
Proof of stake coins that don't have much usage and mostly pay out rewards from new issuance have an interesting piece.. - they are inflating the base supply to pay out dividends that holders pay taxes on. Effectively moving normal gains from the capital gains bracket to regular income, which is sub-optimal.
For DeX's, the image is a lot better - the biggest issue here is - are fees arbitrarily high, and will they go down over time. My gut says the percentage fee will go down, but the volume increase will more than make up for this loss.
Could you please make a specific section that justifies your claim?
I skimmed https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_asset_pricing_model but I don't see anything there that validates your claim. I may have overlooked something, if so please let me know.
I'm skeptical of your claim. Based on some other reading :
> To manage your portfolio, you need a way to compare your different investments and decide which are worth keeping. The dividend discount model and the capital asset pricing model are two methods for appraising the value of your investments. DDM is based on the value of the dividends a share of stock brings in, whereas CAPM evaluates risks and returns compared to the market average.
Your comment comes across as passive aggressive, unfortunately. I hope that wasn't your intent.
the more newbish the better
I'm user 537XXXX with an account that can't be more than 8 years old but I did spend a solid 6 months actively posting detailed solutions to problems I ran into - ~50 in total. And some more general answers. Which has amounted to ~4.900 points. Which isn't _that_ much. Just 490 upvotes. Or 10 per answer on average. Still - that puts me in the top 8%.
My guess is that the high percentage is more due to the sheer volume ;-)
I still get a steady rep trickle from a generic answer about WinRT back when Win8 was the hot new thing (or mess, depending on your outlook): https://stackoverflow.com/questions/7416826/how-does-windows... - but most upvotes there are from back when it was posted, and I doubt it would get anywhere as many if that answer was written today.
And sometimes, it's the tongue-in-cheek answers that score massive upvotes, like the famous one about using regex to parse HTML.
"No, int_19h, he said to NOT use regex to parse HTML!"
int_19h: wạ͈ͣ̿i̘̱͚̝̍̎ṱ̜̙ͯ̏̾̐̃ͮ,̿̑̓̒̇̄ ͈̺̯͙̰ͦ̐̎̂w̜̦̱͇̝͂̐̈́̄ͅh͚̞̯̰͑͑̐̋ͪa̩͕͑̂̒̔t̪̬̱̞̞̹͌̿́̆̑ͮͮ?͕̮͒̊̃͒̊̈
I got my reputation asking > 1,000 questions and answering > 1,200 , and I can't say whether I should be higher up than people with 10x less reputation than me or 2x more than me.
It's probably better to think of the points as something akin to money paid out by mechanical turk for doing things the site needs, including cleanup and formatting in some cases. At that point, your contribution and what it means is fairly clear.
One person asks a single naive question once: "How do I undo the most recent local commit with GIT", gets 200,000 reputation.
Another person answers 100 complex, delicate questions useful to high-performance computation underlying widely-available cloud services; gets an average score of 5, has 5000 reputation.
Another person occasionally asks and answers a few questions, reaching 2000 reputation, but does a lot of editing work, triages new posts, fixes up tag pages etc.
Who has been more useful to the site?
I imagine the person that asked the question about git was the first to ask. There's a benefit to being the first, or asking unique questions. The value of the first time that was asked and answered usefully on SO is vastly greater than the 100th time, and the value of having it at one time compared to a year later is also great. Sometimes what matters is how it's asked, so it looks like other people's questions.
> Another person answers 100 complex, delicate questions useful to high-performance computation underlying widely-available cloud services; gets an average score of 5, has 5000 reputation.
I would guess those complex and delicate questions didn't help a lot of people, or they would have upvoted, right? Whether that's because people didn't see them or it's so esoteric as to not really help many people, the result is the same.
> Who has been more useful to the site?
The person who asked a question that got a useful answer first, or that answered a question usefully first, is greater.
Stack Overflow would be a pretty shit site if the first time someone answered that git question was in 2021 and not a decade or more ago, so optimizing for people identifying, asking and answering unique questions that match the questions other people have and are easily identified when people search for that problem makes sense IMO.
In the mechanical turk metaphor, you're willing to pay a lot for someone to take out your overflowing smelly trash because that's what you need, but you're not willing to pay as much for someone to do the same thing a day later if it's not even half full and doesn't smell. You reward people more for doing the things you need.
They're fake points that don't matter
A well tuned monolith is a beautiful thing.
Personally, I was a latecomer to the podcast and was about a year behind the launch of SO but still in top 13 today.
I was never even very active. I can only suppose that only 1 out of every 50 signups ever accrues any real significant amount of rep.
But any such "interest" does apply to the magnitude of the initial contribution, so merely being around for long is not enough - you had to have a sufficiently productive period of activity to capitalize on.
Is there anything else out there like it?
EDIT: People mentioning that they could remember where they were when they listened to the podcast makes me remember where I was when they had Jason Calacanis on the show who informed them that they were sitting on a gold mine.
We’re now on AWS, go figure ;-)
Do not get me wrong, I understand the whole point of
giving back to a community, selfishly helping others
and all that. But lets get a simple example: For example
the famous Jon Skeet.
Based on the account statistics this user is a member
as of today, for 12 years and 8 months.
So a total of 152 months.
Again according to the site statistics, Jon Skeet
provided so far 35,254 answers.
Making some assumptions of continuous linear work, :-) this user in the last almost 13 years, provided an average of 232
answers PER MONTH,non-stop for the last 13 years.
That is an average of almost 8 answers PER DAY non stop,
13 years in row, while having a job at Google ( per the
site account details ...) maybe a family, side interests ? etc ...
Assuming the mythical Jon Skeet, is not a team of 200 engineers at Google :-) I want to understand how a
person who provides EIGHT well researched developer
related answers PER DAY, non stop, for 13 years,
feels about the site founders making 2 Billion while this user ( again...presumably...) gets a pat in the back and
"reputation " ?
Not from Stack Overflow / Stack Exchnage
That's for sure
There may be employers that look at your standing and say, "hey - let's toss a couple extra $K in this candidate's offer"
..but I've not seen or experienced it
Nothing to brag about, but it's definitely higher than I would've expected. The required mental model is different from what I'm used to HN/reddit — rather than posts going stale and/or getting archived, Stack Exchange and Quora are more like social wikis. Writing a popular early answer that happens to remain relevant over time is like writing a high-profile Wikipedia article and then collecting karma on it indefinitely.
As user 100,754, I am ranked in the top 0.12%, current #830 based on 2,139 answers and 33 questions
Some of my useful answers get no upvotes: https://stackoverflow.com/a/18162345/100754
And some just keep accumulating :-)
Now, if you look on the ranking pages, you'll see the following table:
Total Rep* Users
100,000+ | 1,007
50,000+ | 2,879
25,000+ | 7,533
10,000+ | 23,325
5,000+ | 50,374
3,000+ | 85,384
2,000+ | 125,638
1,000+ | 229,491
500+ | 398,573
200+ | 675,767
1+ | 14,875,253
I have a similar experience though, I haven't been active for many years, and have a handful of very simple answers to common problems that still make the reputation graph pretty linear.
Maybe there more people like me who create an account just to do one thing. And the next time they create a new account?
My point is the no real activity is bad intepretion of this chart.
It's kind of like Craigslist for me in that random people like me are also the source of poor-quality and low-effort participation, one-sentence or obviously-homework questions. However, I do realize the structure of the site and the Ponzi-like nature of voting there makes the n00b experience difficult if you want points and privileges. But at the end of the day, question choice and moderation are the comb and brush of informative crowd-driven sites.
That said, I assume there is plenty of action to be had if you're participating in cutting edge, new version, or new technology topics. Unfortunately that conflicts with the low-effort/homework population who I assume are constrained by their curriculum and so they have only C++ questions to ask. By that token I wonder how many questions even remain to be asked of common and popular topics like Java. It could just be that SO is "full" in certain topics.
The way to grow an economy is to participate in the economy, but this acquistion is no doubt going to change things for me.
I also speculate that there's a certain mindset that sees unmonetized ratings (or even points) as a market failure, which is what generated acquisition interest.
I recall listening to the stackoverflow podcast and Jeff was asked about his threshold for upvoting.
I recall he said he upvoted something like all answers that were nor spam. Since, people are trying to help for no benefit to themselves, so why wouldn't you at least give them that?
Fuck that. I'm not going to waste my time farming karma for the privilege of answer questions for complete strangers that I happen to know the answer to. The moderation on stackoverflow is a complete mess -- it reminds me of the powertripping that you see on Wikipedia, but maybe even worse because there's far less room for interpretation when most of the questions are technical in nature.
You need 15 points to up vote which means you need to have received 2 up-votes yourself on either a question or answer or have edited 7 questions/answers and had those approved. It's quite easy to hit those numbers. Once you have 1000 points (I think) on any site and you join a new site you get 100 points by default which means you always have those base privileges wherever you are.
Well, not low enough for me. After a few attempts to answer some questions early on, I gave up. Read only for me. I don't even remember what the problem was.
Why making contributing difficult and consuming easy? I guess it worked for them. Counterintuitive, but nice jackpot.
Having a barrier greatly helps overall quality.
Then again, same stupid "earn points before you can post" system here on HN too.
I don't know why you had a hard time posting. Maybe you're thinking of commenting?
The counter is ExpertsExchange: very difficult to do both.
Very few questions are protected.
The problem is that the Newb doesn't even know where to start in the manual.
I just saw someone with an unsolved problem and found out that I'd had to go through loops to help, so I gave up.
Actually it seems that owners became rich and it's now a popular site without my help, so I guess it can still survive without me :)
Just, say, google some programming question, get directed to SO, create an ID and post your question. Some time later, google an OS -- or maths, literature, whatever -- question, get directed to a different SX site, and repeat the process before (or wholly without) realising they're parts of the same whole.
Possibly do the same a few more times, and hey presto, you have umpteen SX IDs.
Seems utterly plausible to me. Not you?
There was a time when SO used their own openId server/backend.
It was confusing because you had one openId stackexchange account to sign-in into something but still had to create an account on each stack and you could login from any stack but not with your email but with the openId account... for which you used your email to login... so the URL jumping around was confusing. Add one forced logging out when cookies expire or something and it was frustrating just to log in because you could be logged in into SO but not into SU for instance (despite using the same login but with a different identity).
I could log in with another openId providers but the details are fuzzy.
At the same time, google search results are massively less useful now and if I don't get a hit, I'm going to reach out to the source.
To that extent, I think SO has the same problem as Google - it will regress to the mean.
This is also because google search results will be flooded with SO mirrors that rerender content but with more ads.
On the other hand if I'm casually browsing twitter or instagram I'll gladly like posts that are interesting and there's no cost because it's recreation time.
Also, maybe this is just because I'm just a forgetful idiot, but on numerous occasions upvoting has proven beneficial to me. I'll be searching for the solution to a problem and I find that I've already upvoted a question which relates to my issue - then if there's an answer I've upvoted, that's probably going to be the best one.
My high priority work questions: mostly no answers, even years later. I wrote a self answer, years later one or zero upvotes.
I ask a question with an example, the only answer "solves" the example and ignores the question, I self answer correctly when I figure it out on my own, years later no upvotes.
Several questions I arrive from Google are closed without an answer, or duplicate to a completely offtopic question. Or it's an XY question where I still need an answer for X but I don't have the secret question Y.
If you're not actively gaming SO for karma, it can be kind of a wasteland for anything but read only.
[In particular, I don't have an account in SO.]
What matters more is the rate at which content is generated, and I think GH has a pretty competitive story considering that people naturally want to ask the project maintainers/community questions directly (as evidenced by all of the GitHub Issues which are formulated as questions) and considering GitHub's significant share of those maintainers/communities. I posit that new content will increasingly appear on GH Discussions.
Please don't mistake this for some exaggerated "GH is going to kill SO" argument--SO will do fine, but there is a compelling story for why MS wouldn't spend $1bn on SO.
This is a weakness of SO and really the whole knowledge base business model (Q&A or not). You think you're building up this network-effect moat. "We have the best question-askers, answer-givers and answered questions. So everyone comes here!"
But, knowledge goes stale. "How do you X in JS?" is different than it was 10 years ago. People don't want a historical archive of how it was 10 years ago, they want to know today!
Then, like you say, GitHub brings in a whole new weird angle. Why ask on some other site when I have a spot where the maintainers and users hang out? Since my loyalty to SO is approximately zero, I'm just as likely to click on the Google result that takes me to GitHub if it looks more promising.
That's you though. It's not about loyalty, it's about Stackoverflow almost becoming a verb like Google. Many many people are used to using it, it's brand is very powerful. I don't see some competing tool stealing lots of mind share.
Btw the thing about talking to maintainers directly is already done on small communities on discuss pages (ElixirForum for instance), on Discord, IRC and many other channels. None of it actually hurt SO.
If it's saying "roundabout," I hope you're not correcting it to "roundabound," because "roundabout" is the correct word.
> If you think about it it's mostly the brand, not anything to do with taste. Same can be said about different beers or about Nike, Levi's, Apple (arguably) etc etc.
Brand is king in fashion (and to a lesser extent, low margin consumer products like cola or cereal) because fashion is largely about signaling status. I don't think this effect extrapolates to SO.
SO has a network effect moat, not a corpus-size moat (I don't know that SO was ever thinking the size of its corpus would stave off competitors--they probably were correctly assuming that their user-base was their moat). The network-effect moat keeps the rate-of-change of the corpus higher than competitors, which is where the value is (not the size of the corpus). This moat has held up really well apart from (maybe) GH Discussions, which seems (to me) likely to succeed because GH has a similarly large network of experts.
More directly, I question StackOverflow's network effect. Compare it to Craigslist, IMO the best example of network effects ever. It is their sheer size that has entrenched them. They're also not vulnerable to groups moving to another platform (rise and fall of everything from AIM to Snapchat).
I don't actually search StackOverflow. I end up there through Google. If Google starts pointing me somewhere else, or the search previews start looking better for somewhere else, I'm going there. It's not like if I try to sell a single bag of concrete on anywhere but craigslist, which would end in failure.
I'm sure in the M&A docs there was some disclosure like "75% of our traffic comes through Google. If Google started directing people to other sites, that would have a material impact on our business."
As soon as the answers I need start appearing in some other site, I will use the new site.
I want both! With commentary!
And SO is particularly hostile to this, with their "duplicated question" giving canonical status to obsolete answers.
I wonder how much of SO fits in the "particular repo" category? Not so much for my interests, but I imagine the chunk for popular web frameworks is huge.
Recently I need some python + mariadb answers and most of the top ones are out-of-date enough that I can't even use them (deprecated packages). I was a bit surprised TBH.
Also TIL GitHub Discussions is a thing.
Some of those SO discussions are the only references to ancient legacy code that is useful, when asking any questions about it today would not get any answers.
So, depending on how we calculate value, if we ignore demand, it can be more valuable.
Github issues, on the other hand, seems to be receptive to open-ended "why" questions which would be smacked down hard on SO. Github has a higher barrier to entry. You have to know where to go, but if you're in the right place it's a much nicer community with more classy and professional conduct. Also, it doesn't have a gamification aspect to it, unlike SO, and thus fewer irritating/persnickety types are attracted to Github because they can't really score points.
The culture of SO become incredibly weird and IMHO will eventually sink it.
I feel like most “often asked” questions has been answered. I very seldomly find that creating a new question is necessary as most things is covered in past awnsers. However for package related problems, GitHub issues has become the go to.
Unless..."Prosus" pulls a Google+DejaNews and obscures SO's availability or paywalls it or, or, or...
The way to integration that content into an existing project would be to document it better - possibly with a FAQ for development questions. That doesn't really need CC licensing (its helpful, but not essential) in that people who want to contribute documentation can already do so.
Just pull up a SO tag for the library, find the top voted question, and figure out where it goes in the docs.
Q&A shouldn't be used as an alternative to documentation.
I think they said a couple years ago that over 50 or 60% of registered users have 1 reputation.
Questions by new users usually need a lot of editing so there is no shortage of things which need editing. You'll get 15 rep after 7 approved edits. Things will accelerate from there.
You'd think that with such strict rules, StackOverflow would have very high quality questions and very high quality answers. But it actually doesn't. One aspect of being a good developer is catching a stackoverflow answer in a mistake and being capable of rejudging the rest of the answer section as a result (ie: scrolling further down and finding the correct answer that has zero upvotes).
If you want to participate in other ways without answering or asking questions then there are still ways to do that.
Many times, people try answering questions in comments when they're unsure of an answer rather than trying to say "this is the answer" and create an answer of their own that is sufficiently in depth to be helpful to others.
Other times, new users try to ask questions on the comments of "I'm having this problem too, do you have a solution yet?" or, while they do try to ask for clarification on the question - do so on questions that are stale.
Lastly, comments were often (in the days of 0 rep comment permissions) targets of spam that could go undiscovered.
The way that SO decided to solve these problems was to add a bit of friction to leaving a comment. This meant that users who were trying to contribute answers were directed to answers; users who were trying to ask questions on stale content would... get frustrated and go to a question where there is sufficient information; and automated spam would be that much harder (requiring an investment of time from the spammer).
It's not an ideal solution, but from the standpoint of a site with volunteers curating and moderating the content, creates fewer problems for the people who invest the time than other solutions do. Burning out those people who invest the time is one of the things that has concerned people in the company concerned about the existing community - losing them would have SO devolve into something that more closely resembled the software development section of Yahoo answers... or https://www.answers.com/t/computer-programming
My real surprise isn't the continued flow of points, just the apparent stasis. I could imagine being at 0.003% by now, for instance, from this phenomenon.
A lot of the early broad answers got those huge upvote counts and make the early users who answered them stay in the top percentiles.
For me the reputation points are a proxy for how helpful I've been to other people overall. I like being helpful. Suddenly seeing that score go down for absolutely no reason would be very disincentivizing for me.
Same thing with Bitcoin. I knew about it from the first day, but never mined any since it was such a dumb idea. Face palm.
That's how I'm in the top 5%.
My old posts that are still relevant get votes. Every time I log in there is a new notification about how many more points I have.
Hard to see that many new questions with such broad appeal that weren't already asked or answered for any new users to get their rep as easily
It's remarkable as perhaps the lowest effort/highest benefit to others online action in my life.
I'm also in the top 7%. That's down from 12% or so from five years ago. However, I haven't gained many points during the same interval. That leads me to believe it's not about compound interest but new users joining.
Isn't being in the top 7% up, not down, from being only in the top 12%?
The "top n-%" contribution would also improve if the lurker userbase increases. No need for continuous up-votes of old answers
Around 2016, I wanted to get deeper into some tech and used the learning curve to answer SO questions. I basically stopped the same year, but I am still in the top 8%, used to be top 1% for a couple of months.
Contribution rate must be an extremely uneven distribution.
Probably another case of the 1% rule.
This isn't hard since the majority of people are just browsing the site instead of contributing to it, e.g. I'm in top 0.09% from just answering support questions for our product from a minority of users who prefer asking on StackOverflow instead of our Customer Forums.
My questions seem lame and my top answer is my own question: https://stackoverflow.com/users/108512/andrew-johnson?tab=pr...
Not horrible enough to stand in the way of $1.8 Bn, though.
That said, my profile is very clearly linked to a real person, I don’t see how resale would even work (not that I’d consider it).
The heyday of SO is long over and all the serious Q+A takes place on GitHub, which MS already owns.