I am by no means an expert in politics, as attested to by my low reputation on the site. I don't ask a lot of questions (most of my little reputation comes from answers). What questions I do ask are meant to solicit "general information" so I can become more knowledgeable about politics. I don't need expert answers, and welcome any good faith response, upvoting those that add to my existing knowledge. I take this "amateur" approach not only on the Politics site, but also on History, where I have a much higher reputation.

But I have met at least one or two people on this and other SE sites who really are experts in their field, and who are NOT looking for general information. When they ask a question, they know perhaps 90% of what their question is about, and are looking to hear from someone of comparable or greater expertise who happen to know the 10% they don't know. In short, their needs are very different from, in fact opposite of, mine.

I don't want (and wouldn't qualify) for this option for myself, but was wondering if we could provide an "only expert answers wanted" for high rep members of the site (at least 500-1000 rep). Questions that are so marked might be less likely to be upvoted and more likely to be downvoted than questions that aren't marked this way.

I plan to honor such preferences where I know they exist, but don't relish the task of remembering 50-100 people from 10 different sites. Would a mechanism of this sort do a better job of matching answerers with questioners than is currently the case?

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    I don't think a reputation barrier would be useful. Reputation is not so much a measurement of subject matter expertise, it's more a measurement of familiarity with the culture and mechanics of the site. And the barrier you propose may prove quite counterproductive, it might stop actual experts (and not SE experts) from answering a question.
    – yannis
    Commented May 27, 2013 at 17:32
  • Well, as Eugene's answer notes, the requirement is already there for everyone. This and every other Stack Exchange site's goal is to become a place where you'll get expert answers to your questions. Lots of other places on the internet where you can get general / amateur / non expert answers (and that's especially true for politics).
    – yannis
    Commented May 27, 2013 at 17:41

1 Answer 1


The mission statement of Stackexchange, as formulated by co-founder Joel Spolsky, is this:

Make the Internet a better place to get expert answers to your questions. Source: various, f.e. here

It is worth reading Spolsky's reasoning for he goes into depth why expert answers and only expert answers are required.

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