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I created an account here so I can answer a few questions. It is not that the issues I want to respond to haven't received responses, but instead, the answers were too complicated for the average person. The problem I am running into right now is every time I try to answer a question; I see a notification that reads "you need 50 reputation to comment". There is a link inside the warning but there is no reference to what reputation is or how to generate reputation in the page the link leads to.

I find this very odd because the link within the notification is the word reputation. As the identity of the link is reputation, I would think the page I am lead to would explain what reputation is and how to accumulate reputation.

How do I accumulate reputation?

The reason I chose to ask this question in this format is to inform the moderators of an ongoing problem in hopes of getting this one little issue fixed. Although this may be a small problem, it could be the difference of deterring a newcomer do to confusion or making it easier for them and ensuring they use the site in the future.


I understand what you are saying, and for the most part, you are right. At times giving a wordy explanation is the best course of action and yes if there are some elements which are Incorrect, they do need to be identified.

In the case of a fundamental question, less is more. If someone asks "Why is the text on a webpage so big when on my computer when on another computer the text on the same page is smaller?" I see this a lot where the person answers the question giving a long spill which ends up confusing the inquirer. When just saying hold down the Ctrl key and scroll down on the wheel on your mouse or if you don't have a wheel hold down the Ctrl key and tap the minus symbol. For Macs/Apple users use the cmd key instead of the Ctrl key. This basic answer is more effective than a long spew.

migrated from superuser.com Apr 22 '18 at 12:33

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

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    You cannot earn reputation by submitting comments, commentary shouldn’t be submitted as an answer, so it’s not clear why you want to submit commentary. – Ramhound Apr 22 '18 at 16:31
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    You should start at superuser.com/tour. – Melebius Apr 23 '18 at 7:33
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The reason I chose to ask this question in this format is to inform the moderators of an ongoing problem

In the case of a fundamental question, less is more. If someone asks "Why is the text on a webpage so big when on my computer when on another computer the text on the same page is smaller?" I see this a lot where the person answers the question giving a long spill which ends up confusing the inquirer.

That is not a problem which requires moderator attention. Moderators are not here to edit answers and distill them down to the minimum required information.

In any case it is a matter of opinion whether comprehensive answers are asking confusing the person who asked the question. It is up to that person to ask for clarification.

If you are confused then you need to wait until you have the comment everywhere privilege and then you can ask for clarification.

You can also visit Root Access (the Super User chatroom) and ask for clarification there (talk in chat requires 20 rep).


Every time I try to answer a question; I see a notification that reads "you need 50 reputation to comment"

Comments are not answers. To write an answer you should scroll down below the question, write an answer and click the Post Your Answer button.


How do I accumulate reputation?

Please read Why do I need 50 reputation to comment? What can I do instead?.

You only need 50 rep to comment and that is only 5 upvotes on questions you have answered. So concentrate on writing good answers and you will soon earn the comment everywhere privilege.

In any case, you can always comment on your own posts.

To make requests for clarification, or mere responses to other answers, you need to wait until you have the comment privilege.

How do I write a good answer?

If you are sure you can provide a real answer, then you are of course welcome to go ahead, but make sure it's a full, valid answer to the question. If you saw something wrong with an existing answer, do mention it and its flaws, but make sure you provide an alternative solution that can stand on its own. Do not just copy and paste your original comment into the "answer" field. But I can't write a good answer without more information!

Answers don't have to be exhaustive or infallible, they just need to try to answer the question. It's perfectly fine to post an answer saying, for example, "I'm not sure what the cause of your problem is, but if it's X, you can solve it by doing Y. If that doesn't help, try Z and let me know what it says." Also, if further information does become available, you can edit your answer later to make it more precise. This is a good habit to get into even if you can comment!

On busier sites, if you cannot even try to answer without asking for clarification, then move on to another question. Many new questions are asked every minute, and there are many unanswered questions still waiting for your help. You might feel bad about abandoning the question, but it is the absolute responsibility of the asker to include all relevant information, presented in a clear manner. Failure to do so at any level decreases their chances to find a good answer to their problem.

Welcome to the community, and good luck!

See also How do I write a good answer?.

  • I understand what you are saying and for the most part, you are right. At times giving a wordy explanation is the best course of action and yes if there's some elements which are Incorrect they do need to be identified. – user897622 Apr 22 '18 at 13:07
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    You should focus on questions you can answer without submitting commentary, then once you have earned the privilege of submitting comments, you can answer questions that require clarification. Commentary should never be submitted as an answer. – Ramhound Apr 22 '18 at 16:33
  • @DanteVega Answer updated. – DavidPostill Apr 22 '18 at 19:01

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