I understand why there is a large step to entry - but it should be possible to contribute almost immediately because, well that's why I came here in the first place. Is there a walk-through our best practice for building reputation in a legit way?

It's making it hard to adopt and find use if I'm blocked every time I intend on doing something useful. The ends don't justify the means for me.

  • 1
    reading the FAQ and posting in the right forum would be a start
    – Keltari
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 1:51
  • 1
    It's not that large of an entry. You answer good high-quality questions with detailed superb high-quality answers; and ask high-quality on topic questions yourself;
    – Ramhound
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 3:07
  • Doing successful edits gets you a handy +2.
    – Burgi
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 7:24
  • 1
    Why do I need 50 reputation to comment? What can I do instead? will get you started.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 10:43

4 Answers 4


There's the Tour - 3 scrolls in and it shows up to build up reputation.

On the Help centre page to the right there's a link to how to earn rep

Not sure how hard that is..


Spam. Spam is a scourge. The initial restrictions all revolve around preventing that abuse. As you gain reputation then it becomes a form of gamification which encourages subsequent engagement.

  • And enjoy an upvote, that's a first step along your way. :)
    – headkase
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 1:48
  • I do take for granted my desire to be helpful and meaningful - where it seems the internet is for anonymity and data thugery :P
    – user600547
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 2:35

There's no real magical formula to it.

The parts of it you can control is really to post great answers and post interesting questions. Its pretty hard to define what that is though. Its a soft skill as much as a hard one

Of course what a "great" answer is varies - some of my favourite answers are underloved, and I've occationally mock complained about an answer I consider trivial hitting hot network question - I have a fuller write up here, but it comes down to posting stuff that's well understood, stands alone and clear.

I do use a few tricks in my answers - As a visual person I often use screenshots, and animated gifs, and I tend to focus on things where I'm familiar with the subject matter, and draw on external sources where my expertise isn't quite there. A lot of that's experience and seeing what works.

In your case your answer isn't 'bad' but got posted on a question that's a software recommendation - the accepted practice has been changed over the years.

  • My answer from 06/01 to a cloud storage question or you mean in this thread? Sorry a little confused. I wrote a response to someone yesterday and I really cant tell if it got deleted or never was posted because I don't have enough reputation. Regardless - I think its unfortunate that I'm interested in participating but the barrier is quite high to do so. I get why its that way - It just makes it hard to spend time only to have something tell you you can post. It very literally turns into an "F*** this!" moment.
    – user600547
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 17:35
  • @ShowyAJ - This is your only answer on Superuser. The answer isn't very helpful because the question is clearly not on topic. I read the answer 3 times, and while the question itself is pretty bad, I don't see how what you submitted answers it.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 21:07

If you click on your profile there should be a little link that says something like "earn a badge for taking the tour". In it, it tells you about the website as well as how to earn reputation.

Reputation is based on points, you get points from other people doing things with your posts. You get 5 reputation points for a vote up on one of your questions, 10 points for a vote up on an answer, 15 points for an accepted answer (the author of the post can select the "best answer" or technically the one that worked for them). Finally, you get 2 points for an approved edit when you edit something for say grammatical errors or misspelling etc. As you rank up in reputation points, you will earn privileges such as voting up, commenting, and voting down (costs 1 reputation point in order to discourage false down-votes). When you receive high enough reputation (somewhere in the thousands) you will start earning moderation tools.

That is the slightly more than basic gist of building reputation on Super User.

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