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This is the maximum year-wise reputation obtained by a user so far.

2011: 31,002 (fossfreedom)
2012: 43,677 (ish)
2013: 27,938 (Radu Rădeanu)
2014: 37,417 (Oli)
2015: 58,133 (A.B.)
2016: 36,112 (Rinzwind)
2017: 35,917 (muru)
2018: 29,278 (WinEunuuchs2Unix)
2019: 25,835 (Rinzwind)
2020: 21,406 (Rinzwind)
2021: 25,884 (N0rbert)
2022: 24,021 (Vanadium)
2023 (upto 19th November): 10,140 (Artur Meinild)

I noticed that the maximum reputation obtained by a user is significantly less this year (2023) compared to any other year. I also noticed that the average of the last five years is quite less than the previous years.

Since the maximum reputation is so low in 2023, it means that all the active users (on average) earned less reputation than any previous year, which could be because they asked or answered a less number of questions, or their posts received less votes.

Why could that have happened? (Are users losing their interest to vote up?)

Are we gradually losing our most active members? What all constructive steps can we take to make our community more thriving?

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    Looking at site analytics, the issue is not voting specifically, but participation and posting in general. Over the last 5 years roughly, the number of posts has decreased to roughly a third of its peak period around 5-10 years ago, while vote count decreased only to around half of its peak. So, people are even more actively voting nowadays in proportion than before, but there are less posts to vote on. The focus needs to be on that.
    – Byte Commander Mod
    Nov 20, 2023 at 9:31
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    I would not use Reputation as a metric. Rep is just fake internet points.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Nov 20, 2023 at 19:41
  • FYI 10,140 rep to Nov 19 extrapolates to about 11,147 for the full year. Nov 22, 2023 at 10:29
  • At first glance, this seems like an extremely arbitrary metric: most reputation gained by a single user in each year. There are many ways that this could be consistent with a healthy community. Nov 22, 2023 at 10:31
  • @SteveBennett The most reputation gained by a single user also limits the reputation gained by every other user. Nov 29, 2023 at 2:19
  • Each user can only vote once per post though, so I don't think this community loses the most active members, assuming they have upvoted every useful post. On the other hand, a massive surge of upvotes may come from visitors from Hot Network Questions instead.
    – Andrew T.
    Nov 29, 2023 at 15:48

3 Answers 3

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Great contributors have come and gone since AskUbuntu started.

Communities change over time, and people change over time too.

It's completely natural for folks to drift away as their interests evolve.
It's NOT natural for folks to drift away because they feel unappreciated or abused. That's cultural, and we can fix that.

One of the easiest ways to retain great AskUbuntu contributors is to offer positive feedback that their hard work is noticed and appreciated: Upvote good answers. Offer positive suggestions and edits for improvement. Ask for great comments to be expanded into answers.

If you run across a former contributor in another venue, let them know that you remember their great contribution...and that you miss them here.

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    This is a excellent answer! Over the past year I've seen so many good questions and great answers, but both have 0 votes. I don't pass on voting or commenting. I wish others felt the same way.
    – stumblebee
    Nov 25, 2023 at 7:48
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    I feel it cathartic that in a world over-oriented on performance and studied and depicted through statistics and analytics, you find and nurture the human behind all those performances and achievements. We human individuals in today's world, I indeed observe, are starving for caring, nurturing attention. Thank you for representing and nurturing humanity.
    – Levente
    Nov 25, 2023 at 17:34
  • "It's NOT natural for folks to drift away because they feel unappreciated or abused." 💯 Nov 29, 2023 at 16:57
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    Compare Ask Ubuntu with Aviation Stack Exchange for instance. Answers get many more upvotes there than answers do on AU. I figure that the users of AU are looking for very specific answers to highly individual problems, whereas aviation attracts a lot of general interest. Therefore Ask Ubuntu users are less likely to upvote something of general interest. Posting answers and getting no upvotes, or worse, downvotes is not very encouraging. The downvote warriors are pretty active too.
    – Raffles
    Nov 30, 2023 at 22:37
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    @Raffles I feel, on Aviation SE, an upvote merely means: "I believe this person got it right". Whereas here on AU, there may be an additional notion that an upvote on an answer is like a testimony, expressing: "yeah, the info in this answer (e.g. commands, procedures) works, and can be reliably used in an instance of troubleshooting, with the expectation that it will work correctly". Or: "This helped me too". However, I am not in the position to verify each good- and well-researched-looking answer. So in order to not leave behind an unverified "testimony", I held back from upvoting.
    – Levente
    Dec 5, 2023 at 1:57
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I don't disagree with your observation at all, but I think there's more to it than presented in the question. A couple of points:

  • Isn't it natural that the total number of new questions that needs to be answered will be lower over time, since more and more questions have already been asked, and thus closed as duplicates?

  • Total yearly rep is just one metric of many. As Byte Commander states, this should at least be compared to the number of answerable questions.

  • Taking everything else into account, lower yearly rep could also be an indication that there are simply more qualified active members, so that the available voting points are spread out over more people.

I haven't really dug into the metrics, nor do I currently have the time to do so...

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    On your first bullet point, it's also possible that products that are easier to use and perform more consistently would produce fewer questions on a site like this - and certainly one would hope that the trend would be toward those things with Ubuntu itself, in addition to your point that there are only so many unique issues that will commonly present themselves. Nov 21, 2023 at 0:53
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Maybe because many questions have been answered already. This leaves repeat questions, or no questions for top contributors to answer and gain rep from. Combine that with the fact that we are in a ever changing environment and these new bleeding edge technologies like ai and web3 and biotech have less contributors to answer questions because the tech is so new. I'm sure theres many other reasons for the slowdown such as chatgpt,quora, tech layoffs which means less people interested in tech but the big part may be as others mentioned is that people will come and read and not leave a vote

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