Today marks a full year since I returned to AskUbuntu and started answering questions. This is despite "retiring" in March of 2021 in the hopes of focusing on other things. All in all, the return is no surprise as this wasn't the first time I had left Stack Exchange, deleting my account in frustration, only to return shortly later. What's different about this time, though, is that I've stuck it out and participated in some fashion on the site every day for a year; something I've wanted to do for a while but found impossible.
There's no denying that being an active participant on any Stack Exchange site can be an exercise in patience, as people will often ask new questions rather than use a search engine to find an existing answer. People will claim their issue is unique despite hundreds of similar questions that all point to the same answer. Some will even become indignant and demand that the world bend to their whims because … reasons. However, despite the asininity that can persist for weeks at a time on occasion, there is a lot of good to witness on sites like AskUbuntu and elsewhere. As a result, it can be hard to stay away.
As the screenshot above illustrates, I managed to earn almost 12,000 reputation points over the course of 365 days, as well as 80 participation badges. 451 answers were left in an attempt to solve people's problems, and six questions of my own were asked with varying degrees of success. All in all, this is an achievement to be proud of and one that would be difficult to replicate over the course of a second year.
This realisation, however, raised an interesting question: Should I create a new account – not deleting the current one – and try to out-perform my past record?
Defeating the score could be done by investing more heavily in bountied questions, but what about the badges? A lot of these are earned through participation and it would likely be deemed uncouth to start over and clog up the various review boards with yet another attempt to gain reputation in order to participate more fully. The idea is certainly an interesting one, but the effort is not something I'm really keen on at the moment as there are other things that must take precedence over the next few months. Still, to beat my existing "high score" would be an interesting challenge.
Perhaps this is something I can consider at another milestone, such as 10K points or 5 years of activity. At this point, it seems unlikely that Stack Exchange, Ubuntu, or AskUbuntu will be going away anytime soon.