suggestion to reduce existing reputation for upcoming season
At this point, it seems that there are about 75 people who have maxed out their reputation dots. When one compares the list of those 75 people with their join dates, only about 10 of them have joined since the reputation system started. This brings up the question as to what the purpose of the reputation system is.
If the reputation system is designed to reward older members, it is doing exactly what it was designed for. There is an inherent bias against new members that will only get worse as the years go on and people build up more reputation and more reputation altering power. I wouldn't doubt in 2 or 3 more years that JVN (assuming he keeps posting) will have a reputation exceeding 100,000 and would be able to give 1000 reputation points to other people.
I think that it's time to reduce the existing reputation (and probably do it once a year).
One way to do that would be to divide everyone's reputation by a constant, say 5 or 10. I kind of like the idea of indexing this constant to the amount of reputation of the highest member (for example divide everyone this year by a constant that would leave JVN with 1000 reputation points). This would preserve the existing reputation strata, while allowing new members to move up more easily. If this were done each year, someone who amassed a lot of reputation but stopped posting would within a few years see themself with the same reputation as a new poster.
Another idea would be to set an amount of reputation, and set everyone above that level to that level once a year. Somewhere between 500 and 1000 seems good to me. This would allow the highly regarded poster who stops posting to maintain a certain amount of reputation while still allowing newer members the ability to get recognized.
What do people think?