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I'm not sure whether it's technically possible to implement.

Idea: allow users to define the "difficulty" of the problem. Each user can vote to determine how hard the problem is, from $1$ to $10$. The difficulty can be measured for:

  • Reputation calculation.
  • "Hot" question sorting.

About the first point: I have a feeling similar to this: one could easily get a lot of points answering trivial questions, and very few - answering hard ones. While, of course, the motivation should come primarily from the inside, I think it's good to add some reward, even if symbolic. This is also part of the reason why I prefer commenting to answering for easy questions: I don't think I deserve any reward for that. With this, the reputation for such questions will be nerfed, so at least this issue will disappear.

The first point is simple: I would like to see harder (read "more interesting") questions first.

Exact difficulty calculation I suggest is the weighted average of all votes. The weight of each user can be discussed, but I think it can be along the lines of $\log (\max(1, reputation - C))$. We should also add a "bias user" with a fairly large weight and fixed vote.

Reputation calculation: Positive reputation gains should be proportional to difficulty. E.g. when one answers a question with difficulty $1$, they gain $+2$ per upvote, when with difficulty $10$, they gain $+20$ per upvote.

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  • $\begingroup$ 1) We can't get users to vote up/down consistently; I have no confidence that difficulty votes would happen at amounts anywhere close to significant. 2) Seems like this system could be easily gamed: I'd always vote the questions I answer to be hard! So, more abuse detections necessary. 3)_If_ it works, you might observe unintended consequences such as people no longer answering "easy" questions, or not engaging with "hard" questions at all. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Mod Apr 6 at 21:27
  • $\begingroup$ 1) I think it's a valid point. 2) This is solved by assigning a heavy weight to a bias user. So if you alone vote that the question is difficult, you'll gain, say, $+0.1$ reputation per upvote. 3) The vote should be hidden, so people won't know what others think about the difficulty until it affects their reputation (i.e. only after they have already answered the question). $\endgroup$ – user114966 Apr 6 at 22:11
  • $\begingroup$ 2) Hum. Yet more motivation for sockpuppeteers. 3) Less transparency? Rubs me the wrong way. 4) I suspect that the sheer increase in rep calculation complexity to an already complex system (there's a lot going on under the hood) is not worth the gains, if there are any at all. BUT: if you feel strongly about this, raise it on Meta Stack Exchange. Make sure you search for similar proposals first, and be preparsed to be shot down unceremoniously. Meta Stack Exchange is a harsh place. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Mod Apr 7 at 14:02
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I don't want to disrupt your suggestion, but I can make the following offer in the meantime:

If you see a good question that you think is of high difficulty and has a good answer that hasn't received the recognition or reputation points it merits, leave a comment here, and if I agree, I'll offer a bounty on it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I'll be sure to do this! $\endgroup$ – user114966 Apr 2 at 16:15

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