Due to conversations that have been going on in the Area 51 forum for quite some time, as well as in our IRC channel, I have decided to make reputation no longer count within the Coffee House category.
To quote Davey in Area 51, "reputation is meant to be a metric of the members value to the support side of the community, so a newbie can quickly see if the person answering their question is more or less likely to know what they are talking about. It was never intended to be a slap on the back thing for boosting the ego of ones friends or destroying the fragile ego of others."
As a result, I feel that disabling one's reputation power in the Coffee House is the only viable alternative towards reestablishing any type of significance to reputation.
It should be noted that the only change being made is that positive or negative reputation you receive for a Coffee House forum will not affect your reputation. As a result, it will not taint the overall rep # sitewide.
It is still possible to give reputation to Coffee House posts, comments will still show up in member profiles, and you will still be able to see all of the reputation comments handed out inline within posts. Additionally, posts within the Coffee House that receive reputation will still display a little icon indicating so and everyone will still be able to see at a glance the good posts versus the bad ones.
To reiterate, reputation handed out in the Coffee House will still be considered positive or negative, and be displayed everywhere like regular reputation, but it will have no influence on a user's rep power bar.
I think this is a happy medium because, to the best of my ability, it restores the original intention of reputation in the technical forums, while still allowing reputation to be an added-value feature in the Coffee House.
This will be a retroactive change. In other words, all members' rep power will be recalculated to not include the reputation points gained or lost in the Coffee House. The recalculation will happen over the course of this afternoon and evening.
Thank you for understanding and bearing with me.