I decided to leave stack overflow after about 6 years. Two realizations lead to this decision.
A – moderators and editors are much more valued than people who actually create content. For every question I tried to ask, or tried to answer, I have been talking more with moderators than I actually spend time writing it. Just a grab from my experience,
- you write a sensible answer, some mega moderator just deletes it because he believes it is link spam. After sending an email that it is not link spam the post gets reinstated.
- a shitload of stupid questions coming in. Bad grammar, unclear what they are asking and so on. With a signal/noise level of about -24 dB it is very very bad.
- there are so many disrespectful people who actually demand that you look at their question. “It has to be a completely self standing solution before I will accept the answer” is not uncommon at the site.
- but if you yourself ask a question, it is downvoted right away, without any explanation.
- people who game the system: You answer someones question, someone comments on your answer and adds a detail. Then that same person takes your answer, reposts it 2 minutes later, and claims the reward.
- people who think that downvoting an answer to a question they don’t like is the correct thing to do
- people who cannot read a question and keep insisting that they cannot give legal advice. This resulted in a of close/reopen/close/reopen round for that particular question.
- idiots who place a bounty on their question, yet after you answer them they do not award the bounty.
- yet stack overflow that will not return the bounty to the original poster if not awarded.
- and of course people who are not really interested in the question. You put a bounty on a question you have. About a day before the deadline expires someone ‘answers’ the question by well formulating some general things I already knew. Clearly hoping to get more than 2 points so he can claim his non-answer.
Thus we end up in a situation where the teachers (those with high reputation) suck the livelihood out of content creators, who maybe don’t need endless discussions. By doing so, they create a new class that will tend to behave the same.
Because the above problems are systemic I decided to leave.
B- There is however a second reason. Namely, reputation is just a number, it doesn’t mean anything. I really do not need to “play the game”.
What do I loose by leaving ?
The possibility to ask questions ? Only 1 question has been answered sensibly.
The possibility to answer questions ? I will not do that anymore because it really has become too difficult.
The reputation that I am this person at stackoverflow ? Doesn’t mean a thing either except if you believe that a large number makes you a better programmer.
I realize that some people might like to play the S.O. game and that is fine. It is just not for me anymore.