I'm asking because I'm curious whether people with high rep are significantly better at answering than other people. If you are above 10k (or thereabout), I have these questions for you:

  • How long (approx) did it take you to get to 1k?
  • If you were to create a new user and start over, how long do you think it would take for you to gain 1k rep? Do you accept this challenge?
  • Are you mostly gaining rep from old questions or new ones?

Note: Interestingly, the question Do you have a life? showed up on the top of "Questions that may already have your answer".

PS: @DavidCarlisle shared this link where you can check some of your stats

  • 3
    At least the third question I can answer: I think I got like 4 upvotes for old answers. The rest is only from new ones. As noted below Mico's answer I'm too lazy to create a statistic about my history. Reaching 1k again might take me a while, because I don't answer much questions lately.
    – Skillmon
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 15:55
  • It's already created for you: tex.stackexchange.com/reputation Commented May 17, 2018 at 17:16
  • Wow, didn't know about that one, only about the reputation tab in each users own profile. My first reputation earning was on 25th November, 2016. I cracked the 1000 on 25th March, 2017. 2000 reputation was reached on 10th May, 2017. My last 1000 step took me from 9th April till today, so 38 days.
    – Skillmon
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 18:09
  • 16
    A high rep user will gain more reputation for a single answer than a low rep user for a similar answer. Fact.
    – Johannes_B
    Commented May 19, 2018 at 6:13
  • 1
    I don't answer since I don't have 10k rep, but it is mostly a question of how active you are. I'm only checking now and then, once a week at most. As with most of these items, daily presence helps.
    – norbert
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 4:39

3 Answers 3


How long (approx) did it take you to get to 1k?

According to the site stats, I joined this site in May 2011, I posted my very first answer on 16 July 2011 -- siunitx: how can I avoid adding decimal zeroes? which, by the way, got accepted/checkmarked: woohoo! -- and I reached the 1k rep mark on 30 August 2011, or about a month and a half after my first posting. Still according to the site stats, I reached the 10K rep mark in mid-December 2011, or about 3.5 months after reaching the 1k rep mark.

If you were to create a new user and start over, how long do you think it would take for you to gain 1k rep? Do you accept this challenge?

One of the many things I've learned while contributing to this site is how to write better, i.e., more focused and also [I sincerely hope!!] more helpful answers. I've also learned how to write answers more quickly and efficiently.

Looking back at some of the answers I posted in very the beginning, I can't help but feel that quite a few of the upvotes I received back then were sympathy/encouragement votes from "oldtimers" for this newbie contributor. During this initial phase, I also got quite a few helpful and encouraging comments on how an answer might be improved -- and I was really glad to receive such feedback. E.g., on that very first answer I posted, I got helpful advice from none other than Paolo Cereda on how to pretty-print LaTeX code -- you know, the indenting-by-four-spaces part... (Aside: I'm still happy to get feedback!)

Thus, should I somehow have to start over, I'd hope that I'd reach the 1k rep mark more quickly than in 45 days.

Are you mostly gaining rep from old postings [not just questions] or new ones?

In my case, definitely from new answers. Even on a good day, I usually don't get more than 3 or 4 upvotes, total, per day for "old" postings, i.e., those that got posted more than a few days ago.

The distribution of upvotes tends to be extremely skewed across answers: Just 7 answers of mine have received 100+ upvotes over time. I suspect that the reason these answers have tended to attract so many upvotes is that they show up regularly in Google searches related to LaTeX (hopefully not "latex"...) topics. In contrast, ca 250 answers have never received even one upvote. :-( Interestingly, a good fraction of the zero-upvote answers were nevertheless accepted/checkmarked by the persons who posted the queries.

  • How can I access those detailed statistics?
    – Skillmon
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 14:45
  • @Skillmon - Do you mean your own stats, or another user's stats?
    – Mico
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 14:57
  • Initially my own (getting them so nicely, I'm too lazy to take a deeper look at the reputation tab and get all those statistics by hand...), but other user's would be interesting, too.
    – Skillmon
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 15:00
  • @Skillmon - Here's how I went about obtaining the stats: On my own page on this site, I went to "Activity" -> the "Reputation" tab (somewhere in the middle), selected the "time" or the "post" subtab, collapsed the three most recent daily stats, scrolled to the bottom and found a series of numbers in square boxes. In my case, the oldest box is marked "81"; I clicked on it for the daily stats from July to August 2011; I copied-and-pasted them into a spreadsheet file (I'm a Mac user and ran the free "Numbers" app) and then used the spreadsheet program's capabilities to compute running tallies.
    – Mico
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 15:13
  • @Skillmon - If this all sounds a bit ad hoc, that's exactly what it is. Somebody with better programming skills than me (Karl Koeller?!) might be able to automate the whole process, but I'm afraid I have no clue how to even start down that route.
    – Mico
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 15:14
  • Thanks, but I guess I'm too lazy for that. Thought there was maybe a builtin stackexchange query function that I just missed out.
    – Skillmon
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 15:40
  • 2
    @Skillmon this site for stats! Commented May 17, 2018 at 17:16
  • @AndreasStorvikStrauman - Wow, that's a great link indeed!!
    – Mico
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 17:32
  • Creds to @DavidCarlisle that showed it to me! Commented May 17, 2018 at 17:33
  1. I am not sure but probably something like a year. I didn't understand the whole privilege system for quite a while (can't say I understand now) and only after I passed 2K the popups told me that I did something good.

  2. If I'm doing a PhD, I would probably go bananas and get it in a week, probably. You go a bit nutty if things don't work out with your daily work. I remember working on a problem for three days for no rational reason and then user deleted that question... that was not fun.

    If I do it now, probably a few weeks as I got a bit fed up with the whole SE thing.

  3. I hardly get any votes, other than once in a while, say 1 on a tuesday, 4 on a thursday and nothing in between.

The thing about the early times, there was a lot of people building this site with inhumane effort (and many of them didn't have matlab excuse as I did because of the speed it did the computations). The retagging, the voting, and other community forming habits made rep building really a by-product. Now as people become more picky and hard-to-impress that effect is diluted. So you might be seeing that effect too.

Without a David Carlisle, egreg just snatched all our rep with no shame. To this day, that injustice persists.

Look at my first question, I couldn't even ask it properly which speak volumes Block Diagrams Multi Input - Multi Output Components in TikZ

  • 9
    +1 for the egreg injustice!
    – Skillmon
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 8:42

How long (approx) did it take you to get to 1k?

About six months. There was several reasons for this long period. No idea of LaTeX, nor SE rules (written and no written), my poor English not used to deal with programing & typography jargons, no pressure to gain reputations, pressure of my dogs that need walk daily, etc.

I did not seem difficult to win 1K but impossible, because in the rare case of know a good solution, there is someone faster and more expert able to reply in few minutes as soon as you look away while you are wasting 20 minutes making a good example and some explanation. So most of y solutions ended in the trash.

If you were to create a new user and start over, how long do you think it would take for you to gain 1k rep?

Not sure, but munch less. With now years of writing only with LaTeX and procrastinating in SE everyday, who not will learn something about LaTeX, make effective answers and the written and not written "netiquette" in SE?

Do you accept this challenge?

No. Among few things that I learned (not only here) one is not to tempted excessively by challenges where the reward are fake points.

Are you mostly gaining rep from old questions or new ones?

Old question. My most frequent silver badge is Necromancer ... I know. Is the terrible strategy to gain reputation. Who hits first hits twice. Recent question have highest attention to possible solutions and there are not still answers from competitors, so you have munch more chances of be accepted and upvoted.

But I focused more in older questions, even with several accepted answers and one accepted, out of the top list, because probably I could work quietly in provide alternative solutions, without the risk of post too late. The problem is that will receive visits occasionally, and then people will see your non accepted answer of 0 upvotes beside others with maybe several dozens of votes, so the first feeling is that your solution is probably wrong. But I do not care, my motivation was never reach the top users of TeX.SE

Do you have a life?

You mean other life that read dozens of useless messages in your email account, dozen of silly dialogs in Whatsapp distracting you of talk with person in front of you, consume trash TV, see yet another zombie movie, listen the lies of politicians, fill every day several forms that stupids bureaucrat have devised ? :)

  • 2
    I agree: 1K seemed impossible. Actually, 100 seemed impossible when I first grasped the idea (which wasn't initially). Either my first or second answer was a mistake and not even intended as an answer. Probably I meant to comment or something. I forget what exactly. I had no idea what SE was either. And I did not mean to get sucked in. However, I don't remember not being able to comment or upvote. I guess I had enough rep by the time I figured out what those were.
    – cfr
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 1:31
  • I didn't know what reputation was or what it was good for until I read when will egreg reach 654321, which, if you read it the right way, tells you how unimportant reputation is. ;-)
    – user121799
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 17:14

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