I sometimes run into puzzling conflicts in the culture of this site and I wonder if there is a way of clarifying this for me.

Is there a way of answering the question of how many anonymous members are self-identified music professionals (that is, get paid) in the following categories:

  • Musicians
  • Music teachers
  • Both musicians and music teachers


  • I have posted an answer, but can I ask what you would like this info for?
    – Doktor Mayhem Mod
    Jan 28 '16 at 8:56
  • @Drmayhem For my own understanding in terms of interacting with people on the site, particularly as it comes to asking and answering questions. I seem to stub my toe frequently in discussions on this site in ways that I never do with professional performing musicians. With some musicians, I have other issues, but they're not relevant here. ;-) The down votes on this question are particularly instructive.
    – empty
    Jan 28 '16 at 15:49
  • 2
    Down votes in meta mean disagreement with the proposal. It is nothing to do with whether or not folks are musicians. It is an SE thing. I am also trying to identify what problems you have had - many of your interactions are with professional musicians. If you can give me some links I can try and be more helpful
    – Doktor Mayhem Mod
    Jan 28 '16 at 16:23
  • Thanks for the clarification and your help. I understand the situation now. No further action is necessary.
    – empty
    Jan 28 '16 at 17:23
  • 1
    I have been paid for both of those activities, but I'm not currently employed, self-employed, or an independent contractor as either a musician or music teacher. The voting and acceptance system for Stack Exchange is meant to take the place of credentials, which is nice because it enables people with knowledge that exceeds their credentials to post high-quality questions and answers that help other users. Jan 31 '16 at 5:13
  • Uh, is this question meant to be ironic? You have nothing in your profile bio section. Jan 31 '16 at 5:14

There is no way of doing this - by their very nature, anonymous members are anonymous.

Even those who are registered do not need to put any information in their profile. It is entirely optional and voluntary.

You'll find that folks do sometimes include information about themselves in posts where relevant to indicate their experience, but there is definitely no aim to insist that people do this.

Stack Exchange is reputation based, and rep is from votes. External experience obviously influences how people answer, and those posts viewed as 'best' by the community get up votes, but it is not important to the site what those individuals do in their day job.

  • 5
    All correct, and to add: Generally speaking, SE is a meritocracy -- so users earn reputation (both site-bound and "real") based on their contributions. Ideally an answer's quality should be assessed independently and influence one's opinion of the asker, not the other way around.
    – user28
    Jan 29 '16 at 7:52

It should be clear in the answers people give what the amount of experience and skill they possess. Also the amount of money that a teacher gets paid is not all that descriptive of the skills they possess.

I personally know of a few teacher that began teaching when they where 16 and a few also that did tutor work when they where at college before they even graduated.

If all it takes to be a professional is to get paid than all of these people would be professionals as well.


Usually, if the qualifications of the user are important to the answer, experienced users will identify their own qualifications in the body of the answer. Note that also checking the profile info of the responder can often reveal their professional status. If that fails, you could always ask in a comment (but, as this site can be anonymous, some users may refuse to provide this information for identity purposes).

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