I would think this would be most prevalent in politics. Those getting their reputations bashed the worst; probably deserve it. Unpopular politics alone should not do it. I'd wager both Finn and Georgeob1 will have fine reputations because they post intelligently, despite the fact that their conservative views are in the minority here. Those who just spout inanities will suffer. Rightly so, no?
Gamers: I don't believe people disinterested in games will be in the game threads to vote down individual posts (like poly people will and do). The magnitude of their posts, therefore, should have little effect on their reputations... just the quantity of new
games they start. Meanwhile, they'll be voting each other's individual posts up when they see fit so I would expect that ultimately these folks will develop HUGE reputation numbers.
Reputation numbers (down the road when it's been established for a long time) will provide a level of credibility to those who answer questions. The waterboy, for instance, would develop an admirable reputation if he stuck to answering water questions. But if he chooses to spout nothing but useless inanities in the politics sector; his rep will plummet. Rightly so, no?
Now say Rama announces that the United States is about to attack Russia.
One look at his reputation and even a newbie will know better than to listen. But what if Nimh says it? Does he not deserve the additional credibility he’s earned through posting so helpfully for years? Are his posts not beneficial to the newbie and old-timer alike? I think in both cases the reputation is a helpful thing. I think it can encourage better behavior while discouraging bad behavior as well. Not a perfect science; but an effortless, scalable one that aides the site... which is among Craven's goals.