This is a tricky subject.
The site upgrade - by nature of the upgrade - is going to introduce changes to our reputation system. There is no stopping the change. The current reputation system is custom-made and is not portable to the upgrade. This doesn't mean we couldn't port it, but it's a question of ROI. Some may perceive this to be a negative, but the new software has an integrated and much more flexible reputation system for us to work with. We can carry forward with our existing reputation rules, but we don't have to do that.
The purpose of reputation is to encourage participation and interaction with members. I do believe our existing system achieves this to a degree, but it has its issues. For instance, it doesn't take into account or potentially over-weighs certain activities that aren't as important in a growing community. Also, reputation loses its impact over time, meaning once you reach a certain level of reputation it's like getting to Level 100 in World of Warcraft.
The name "reputation" itself doesn't make complete sense, either. If you logged in every day of a non-leap year you'd earn 365 reputation points, without participating in the community. If you upvoted every comment you saw you'd earn thousands of points, without providing your own content. Our reputation system right now is more of an activity meter, and just because someone has high reputation doesn't necessarily mean they have contributed valuable content and interactions in the community.
For these reasons and the fact we're doing a complete software switchover, perhaps it's time to reconsider how our reputation system operates.
Before sharing my own thoughts I want to gather yours. So let's start with a few simple questions to help frame the conversation:
1. What do you like about the current reputation system?
2. What do you dislike about the current reputation system?
3. Do you have any proposals to improve the existing system?
If the community can contribute a minimum of 25 answers to these questions (i.e. 25 comments answering these 3 questions) I'll randomly select a winner from the comments to receive 3 free months of GDNet+ (or 3 months added to your existing subscription).
I look forward to seeing your feedback. :)