The new system has substantially increased the reputation needed for editor powers. If anything I would have expected the bar to be lowered not raised. Apart from an apparent grandfather clause and special powers given to TMW employees, of the currently active editors only Walter and Jan would be able to delete, and a few editors (including myself) would not even have editor powers yet. I think dumping more editorial responsibility on Walter and Jan is a mistake.
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Fangjun (on vacation) and I can also do whatever based on rep, and IA is almost there. On that note, we're all going to see a big spike in our reputations now that all those high quality old answers can be accepted.
Recently I have been considering the opposite: that there might come a time when the reputation bars might need to be made higher.
I have been monitoring reputations the last few weeks, and noting people accumulating multiples of the earlier 1500 level, and considering that over time just through sheer accumulation more and more people are going to reach the 1500 level, and that there could come a point where that becomes a "too many cooks" problem. We aren't there yet, though.
Meanwhile, I look and see that I am skewing the grade curve rather a lot. I suspect that if I were on the MATLAB Central team, I would be looking and saying, "We now have someone at 9 times the editor level: have we set the level too low?"
I do foresee problems along the lines Daniel mentioned.
The existence of the "flag" box implies that people will do a bunch of flagging. Someone has to investigate and make decisions on everything that is flagged. My assessment is that MATLAB Central does not have the resources to do that on a large scale. I partly base my assessment on the fact that we have tagged a number of posts with "duplicate posts requiring merging" but I have observed very little merging being done by staff.
The "not appropriate" and "spam" possibilities require Delete powers to deal with the situation. The new rep structure would set the Delete level at 3000. Only 3 of the still-active volunteers have reached that level (including Sean.) Another 2 of the still-active community volunteers are "reasonably close" and would reach there pretty soon. 2 of TMW volunteer staff are a bit down from that and would reach that level in about another 3-ish months.
Doing some mental estimates based upon my knowledge of whom is active and how long it has taken them to earn the rep they have learned, I would guess that, of the people who are not already Editors, the person who would probably be next to reach 3000, would be Thomas, currently 916, if he doesn't burn out, and I would estimate it would be another year-ish (perhaps a bit less) for him to get to that level.
Thus, this load of clean-up work is, for quite a number of months yet, going to be upon those who are already editors and are still active. And that leads me to think that if the flagging is going to be a success at increasing SNR that we do not have the human resources to handle the situation and the levels have not been set at a point suitable for gaining more human resources in time.
The "unclear" option of flagging questions is a bit easier to deal with - at least in theory - as appropriate reaction from those with enough privs would include Closing the question, which is a 1500 rep instead of a 3000 rep level.
There are plenty of questions that are sufficiently confusing that one would barely know where to start to answer them. And there plenty of others so vague that they would need several textbooks to answer. "Close" may well be appropriate for such questions.
Myself, I find that many many questions are unclear, and that part of the art of Answering is reading enough "between the lines" to be able to steer the Poster towards productive aspects. A plain "this is not clear" message is not going to do the trick for most posters, as often they do not know what is unclear or do not know how to explain themselves better without being prompted. Questions that fall into this category of Unclear are, I feel, not best dealt with by Closing them: they benefit from dialoging.
When I think of such Questions being flagged as Unclear, then since the flag needs to be dealt with by someone, I feel apprehensive that I will feel pressured to undertake those dialogs personally even when I do not know anything about the topic, or don't Feel The Enthusiasm about the topic. Or when it is by one of the Posters who over-uses the resource and don't do their own research and have a history of difficulty in understanding explanations. I can't handle everything! I expect that it wouldn't take long before I wanted to UNFLAG something on the grounds of "I don't feel like dealing with this; let's toss it back in the pot and let it stew and maybe someone else will feel like answering."
There is a difference between "So vague and so little effort put into it that no-one should be expected to deal with it", versus "There's real meat here but someone needs to work with the Poster to get the question to a (potentially) solvable form." Both of these would be handled by "Unclear" though...
Did I mention that I'm due for a long vacation soon? A Turn Off The Computer And Get Out of Town vacation? (Hmmm, sounds good at this point!)