Starting a few months ago, I believe, the StackExchange site software began adding an "impact" statistic to a user's profile. The impact statistic is posted in the upper-right portion of the screen that's shown when one clicks a user's profile. The impact is expressed as the number of people one has reached. For instance, TeX.SE currently estimates my impact at "~ 5.5 million people reached". Very flattering -- actually, perfectly mind-boggling!

Perusing the profiles of the 5 TeX.SE users who have more than 200k lifetime points at present, one finds impact estimates ranging from a high of 14.7 million people to a low of just [!] 6.4 million people. Among the 11 users whose lifetime total point count is currently between 100k and 200k, the impact estimates vary between 2.1 million and 9.3 million people reached. Among the 6 users with a current lifetime point count between 50k and 55k (a fairly tight band), the impact ranges from a low of 271k to a high of 2.9 million -- a ratio or more than 10:1!

Clearly, one's lifetime point count and the impact statistic are not exactly tightly linked. How does the site estimate/guesstimate the impact factor? What informational value does the impact estimate possess?

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    I'm not aware of any relevant post after this, but here is the proposal for the calculation method (it may have changed since this proposal): meta.stackexchange.com/questions/244534/… – Paul Gessler Dec 9 '15 at 2:30
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    We spent way too much time here :) – percusse Dec 10 '15 at 22:41
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    I doubt we have this impact at all ;-) – user31729 Dec 11 '15 at 14:18

I've checked the highest voted question TeX-SX which the grandma stuff. It has been viewed 51K times. An answer with 104 votes and the poster has no other questions/answers on the site has the impact of ~51K. So I guess it considers it as a great answer and added all the views.

Then if you select one of those with 3/4 voted answers at the bottom they have ~5-6K impact even when they have other contributions in the form of questions and answers. That means even if everyone visited the page sees the same answer set, some of them don't make an impact one tenth.

However Mattallegro's answer is voted as 4 and he has 104K impact. So it comes from elsewhere. But it is more than the 104 voted answer owner. So small things should matter but didn't matter for the other 3-4 voted ones.

Conclusion, this is yet another ego-boost pack from SO that doesn't even mean anything. Moaaar rep, moaaaaar impact !! Touch the screen...

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And you Mr. Mico, don't need any confirmation, we know how big your impact here is. Gratitude.

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A million for the xkcd thingy, a million for the fireworks. So only mine is correct as usual. I wish I wasn't this perfect all the time.

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    I'm certainly grateful for your answers and other forms of participation, including your dedicated vote-casting! – Mico Dec 11 '15 at 21:09
  • Also related : meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/312031/… – percusse Dec 12 '15 at 10:59
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    Many thanks for all this information. I'm starting to suspect that a good chunk of the roughly 5.5 million people I have supposedly reached so far via this site have been readers of the Cthulhu-Worshiping Madman posting. Not exactly sure if should be proud for having reached those guys... – Mico Dec 13 '15 at 7:56

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