I noticed that below everyone's profile picture, it states the number of posts they've made, and below that a Reputation number. Maybe I just missed the obvious, but I couldn't find a place on the forum where this is explained. What does it mean?
Is your Reputation linked to the number of posts you've made?
For example, right now I have posted over 20 Pictorial Reviews in the Deck Reviews forum, have 29 Posts, and have a Reputation of 2. Or is there no link between these numbers?
This is a subject that's been covered many times over in previous topics, but I'll review it for you.
When someone likes one of your posts, they can click on a link - "Good Poster" - in your little mini-profile next to your post and it will bump your Reputation up by one. If they don't like one of your posts, they click on "Bad Poster" link found there and your Reputation goes down by one.
Right now, Reputation serves two functions - one tangible, the other not so much. The tangible function is that you have to have a Reputation score of at least one before you can post in the STISO boards for trading with other board users. (There are other prerequisites as well - please read the rules before posting!) There are limits as to how frequently you can ding or boost any one person's reputation and I've been known to edit one's reputation if it appears to have been dropped without any real justification in order to permit someone to post in the STISO boards.
The non-tangible function is that someone with a high Reputation score would be generally considered by their peers on the forum to have a worthwhile opinion, while someone with a low score is probably new to forum and/or doesn't post a lot and someone with a negative score (or a low score after a large number of posts) has probably said a few things to tick off the other users. In other words, it functions as a numerical value for one's actual reputation as it exists in this virtual environment much like one's own non-numerical reputation in a face-to-face community in the non-virtual, "real" world.
In that sense, it's worth about as much as the photons of light that make it glow on your screen, if you boil it down to brass tacks! It can rise with one's popularity, fall with one's infamy or if someone (or a group of someones) decided to pull a practical joke on you, etc. - at one time, when there were no limits on how frequently one could alter another's reputation (under the previous ownership of the forum), complaining about a low reputation often triggered the more whimsical members of the community to repeatedly ding you well into the negative numbers, sometimes even as low as the triple digits! A few members actually wore that as a badge of honor!