This is somewhat a self-centered question, but I love this site and yet at the same time feel my interest flagging recently, so I'm looking for some guidance from others who have and remain loyal and active here.

The gamification aspects of the SE model were enough to get me engaged initially, and kept my attention for a while.

I can't remember quite when it happened, but I think around the 10K mark, when the last "useful" (by my lights) privileges are earned, I stopped caring about rep¹.

In part, this makes my use of the site more enjoyable; I can be more casual, care less about the inevitable spats, take my time to offer comprehensive answers rather than fast answers, and so on.

But, as a side effect, it also makes me less motivated to provide answers at all. This effect, combined with the fact that I'm usually visiting the site from a phone, a device designed primarily for consumption rather than production (i.e. with inconvenient and handicapped input capabilities), is the reason you guys have to periodically chide me to convert my comment-answers into answer-answers².

Today, I noticed that SE has added a new tier of privileges, "Access To Site Analytics", which at a high level promise "three graphs show a timeline of posts, votes, and traffic" as well as access to a full Google Analytics dashboard. That sounds neat!

So, finally, on to my question: for those who have this new privilege, and use it: is it fun? Has it given you any interesting insights into how people use the site today, or ideas for how we could shape people's use tomorrow? Is it a draw for you to visit the site more frequently? Is it worth (probably) a couple months of investing time and effort to earn another 10K points?

Outside of that, for those of you who have 10K, 20K, 30K+ and are still growing: what brings you back? What motivates you to answer or ask questions? How do you keep the site fun for yourself after a year, or two, or three?

¹ Or, more precisely, I stopped caring about rep, qua rep, at about 2-3K, but I continued trying to gain it until I earned the last few privileges I thought would make my time here more satisfying.

² Though I will take this opportunity to note that it's always fair game for anyone sees one of my comments and likes it, to go right ahead and convert it to an answer himself.

Consider this permanent and carte-blanche permission, so you don't even have to ask me. Heck, you don't never need to attribute or cite me! Feel free to either quote directly or paraphase, and bend, fold, spindle, and mutilate to taste. The only thing you can't do is put words in my mouth.

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    Hi Dan, I am new here and unfortunaly I can't be of much help about your question, but I'd like to say just one thing. It sounds like if you were saying: "I don't like drinking and I no longer enjoy the company of my old friends, so why do I keep coming back to my old pub?
    – user 66974
    Feb 29, 2016 at 20:40
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    @Saturana Well, to extend that analogy: I still like my old friends, but they don't think I'm too much fun sober. I have no problem drinking, but I'm tired of all the beers. Except I heard the pub just got a new variety on draft. And I want to know if it's tasty....
    – Dan Bron
    Feb 29, 2016 at 20:47
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    @Sally Well, that's too bad. I appreciate the feedback. Thank you for taking the time.
    – Dan Bron
    Mar 1, 2016 at 1:28
  • I think "Access to site analytics" privilege was established long ago. Did you notice it just recently?
    – BiscuitBoy
    Mar 1, 2016 at 9:15
  • @BiscuitBoy Yes, I only noticed today when I went through my profile looking for new/interesting badges to chase.
    – Dan Bron
    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:15
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    And the sign on the door says 'wine bar'. And all I'm looking for is a coffee and donut.
    – Mitch
    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:32
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    @Mitch The sign says "etymologist, linguists, and serious English language enthusiasts, but all we see are serious learners who are looking for a verb for slowing something down.
    – user140086
    Mar 1, 2016 at 13:40
  • @NVZ Your edit seems like an improvement to me. Highlighting the question vs the background needed to understand the question is something I should have attended to in the first instance. Thanks.
    – Dan Bron
    Mar 1, 2016 at 13:52
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    If you're wondering why you still come here, it's because you're a stackhead.
    – Mazura
    Mar 6, 2016 at 2:25

2 Answers 2


As someone who has site analytics access, I can safely say that I looked at it once when I first heard about it (probably a couple of years ago), and then again today after I read your question, and at no point in between.

From what I see of it, it is idle-curiosity information at best, a momentary diversion. I have no idea why they slotted it all the way up at 25k rep; there is nothing in there that merits such restrictive requirements. I could just as easily imagine them putting it at 1k.

I could be wrong and there's a wealth of fascinating detail buried in there somewhere, but a first glance shows "voting percentages are pretty constant", "people visit less on weekends/holidays", "the network sidebar drives a lot of traffic", and "google drives a heck of a lot of traffic", and doesn't promise to deliver much more insight than that.

As for my motivational factors, I like seeing what questions people come up with. I have a very hard time generating a question that is interesting, but isn't either already answered here or easily searched for elsewhere. I also particularly like learning about idioms in other languages and coming up with corresponding English idioms.

Also, while it's nice to watch my numbers creep up (very slowly at this point, for the most part), and I will be mildly tickled when I finally hit 40k, I do still like to try and work my way toward some new badges. I'd love to get a gold tag badge and have to try to avoid accidentally badgehammering questions. :-)

  • Thanks, though not what I hoped for, that's kind of what I expected. So, given you're at about ~40K, long past any additional privileges you could earn (barring an extra close- or delete-vote or two), what keeps you not only coming back, but more importantly, answering questions? If you hit 50K, will it be because of "passive income" from previous high-ranking answers, or do you continue to answer questions today?
    – Dan Bron
    Mar 1, 2016 at 18:45
  • @Dan I know how you feel. I lost interest in gaining rep before earning any handsome amounts on any SE site. If you want to take the gamification aspect into account, at this stage I recommend just watching the number go up and not set any milestones. This is the part of the show where you'll totally forget about points and just post for the sake of posting. :)
    – M.A.R.
    Mar 1, 2016 at 19:29
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    @IͶΔ Ha, thanks. I lost interest in rep a long time ago, even in the "watch the number go up" sense. The reason I ask is not because I want rep, but because I don't feel the urge to "post just for the sake of posting" (sadly), and I was hoping I could renew / reignite my interest in rep as a mechanism to motivate myself to post. The goal is to get myself posting more. Was hoping SE's incentives could help me do that.
    – Dan Bron
    Mar 1, 2016 at 19:32
  • @Dan then as I said, you should just watch the number go up at this stage, I don't think any built-in milestones are enough incentives now.
    – M.A.R.
    Mar 1, 2016 at 19:35
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    @DanBron, edited in some motivation explanation.
    – Hellion
    Mar 2, 2016 at 2:20
  • Bro, do you even analyze? :P
    – BiscuitBoy
    Mar 3, 2016 at 15:45
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    I can say that it was put at that rep level because they wanted to put something at that rep level, and for no other particular reason. There was some mention of "being more involved in the community" or somesuch, but that was more of an after-the-fact sort of thing.
    – Joe
    Mar 3, 2016 at 22:38

I can't answer your title as I am at 15K reputation points. It's fun to get my reputation points growing. One day I received 245 reputation points (200 daily limit reputation points + 3 acceptances + a few downvotes). I didn't know there is a daily limit until that day.

I don't post many answers, but really enjoy reading comments and answers. Some users including you write a really good English that I will never possibly be able to command. And as a non-native English speaker, I learn a lot everyday.

Also, there are some real English enthusiasts who care deeply about others' problems and difficulties. Many of questions on English Language and Usage are those I had when I was a beginner and intermediary and still, I find a majority of questions very helpful to me and they really help me to work on my project.

There is also a human part. There are conservatives, moderates and liberals on ELU as all other communities and countries have. Some are strict enforcing the rules and guidelines of this community and some are not. They sometimes have exchange of comments and opinions. People have different opinions and watching them how they behave and express their opinions is the real fun part.

Once, I was caught drunk-driving in Singapore. It is notorious for strict rules and punishment. They still cane people. But I was not charged with any fine or penalty. I still find it strange and ask myself, 'why did this officer let me go?' But since that happened, I've never driven drunk again anywhere.

There is another fun part; close-voting, up/down-voting, delete-voting and protecting questions. We can use moderator tools after we pass 10,000. It was one of the motivating factors when I crossed 5,000. But 20,000 doesn't seem to be as much motivating for me because I am not that interested in deleting answers. I don't even know what expanded editing means.

All combined, I think it is fun to visit ELU. But, I don't find it as fun as before to increase my points after I crossed 15,000 points. I don't see big difference in privileges I will get eventually if I keep visiting ELU.

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    Thank you for your thoughtful reply and sharing your own motivations. One of my own motivations which has not diminished is developing an understanding of the linguistic and grammatical mechanisms underlying the usage I employ daily. I really appreciate reading the contributions of you and people like you, who can explain to me things I only know intuitively and could never justify.
    – Dan Bron
    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:20

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