I was surprised to see that Users Reputation by Year - Skeptics Stack Exchange shows that I'm in the top 10 users on this site by reputation for the current year, yet (no false modesty here) there's no way I would ever consider myself worthy of such a position.

What happened? The current strike might have some effect, but this is based on 7 months of data. Have most of the best people on this site gone away, or what?

I've answered only 8 questions this year.
4 of them are deleted, and of the 4 that remain, only 1 was top voted and accepted.
I asked only 1 question, and it scored +5-8.

I don't mean to pick on this one person (even if it is myself), but a record like that should not make anyone a top-ten contributor.

I'm almost feeling like Groucho Marx: "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.".

  • Is there a way to write a Stack Exchange Data Explorer query to show "10th top annual score, by year"?
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Jul 27 at 3:48
  • 1
    @Oddthinking there's this thing - you can view top reputation earners per year there. Jul 27 at 5:58
  • Maybe this is related to overall Stack Overflow decline? ref: observablehq.com/@ayhanfuat/the-fall-of-stack-overflow
    – pinegulf
    Jul 27 at 7:22
  • 1
    @DanilaSmirnov: That's amazing! Thank you.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Jul 27 at 9:05
  • I got my perfect answer deleted. Obviously, I'm not going to contribute here again. Good luck with a dying forum ran by weird moderators
    – Aksakal
    Jul 28 at 21:14
  • If you think your answer was deleted incorrectly, you can post a question here on Meta to dispute it. (Stack Exchange isn't a forum, by the way.)
    – F1Krazy
    Jul 30 at 14:36
  • @Aksakal: I would be happy to defend why it was deleted if you want to ask a meta-question on the subject.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Aug 3 at 16:28
  • If we're basing strictly on reputation, then probably the luck of the "Hot Network Questions effect".
    – Andrew T.
    Aug 7 at 15:49

1 Answer 1


This Stack Exchange Leagues Table [hat tip to @DanilaSmirnov] can show us how much rep it took, in each calendar year, to get in the Top 10 list.

(I am going to use year reputation of 10th ranked person each year. We could quibble that they only needed to get 1 more point than the 11th, but let's keep it simple.)

Year Rep
2013 3998
2014 4473
2015 4039
2016 6261
2017 5920
2018 5660
2019 3976
2020 3584
2021 2809
2022 2676

So, it bounced around a little to a peak in 2016, and has been dropping each year since then. This was my first surprise: I thought our COVID-era bump in activity about lockdowns, medications and vaccines would have made 2020 higher.

As of today (Day 208 of 2023) you are on 1195. Making the spurious assumption that you will continue to earn rep at the exact same rate for the rest of the year, we can predict you will earn a total of (365/208*1195) = 2096.

This was my second surprise! Based on my informal perception of your level of activity on the site, I fully expected to finish this answer with "That would have ranked you in the top 10, for [some number like 2-5] of the last 10 years. Congratulations, and good luck with your impostor syndrome :-)"

However, the numbers support your perception that there is a lower hurdle for the top spots this year.

I don't have an explanation, just data to support you.

Nonetheless, congratulations and thank you for your contributions to the site!

  • 5
    It shouldn't be surprising that it takes more effort to get the same amount of rep, or equivalently that the same effort will earn less rep, as years go by. The low-hanging fruit has been picked and pickled, and the wild west of the fastest guns is thankfully long-gone.
    – Nij
    Jul 27 at 10:36
  • This doesn't really answer the question 'Have most of the best people on this site gone away, or what?' Based on the statistics, the answer would be 'yes and others have taken their place'. So what happens to the people who have contributed but do not anymore?
    – pinegulf
    Aug 3 at 15:22
  • @pinegulf: I am not sure I understand. While I am sure there is churn in our users, I don't think my answer shows how much there has been. What happens to the people who have left? I want to say "Based on their experiences here refining their research and communication skills, they go on to lead extraordinarily successful lives and live happily ever after" but obviously the truth is we don't know what happens to the people who don't login. Are you asking if there is a model that describes SE's "stickiness" amongst users - is it a half-life or a bathtub curve or something else? I dunno.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Aug 3 at 16:33

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