There's a fundamental problem here now that stackoverflow is branching to all these different specialized sites and that problem is that my reputation doesn't carry over.

This is an issue because I've become quite good at using Google over the years and therefore finding an answer to my question on a StackExchange-based website is trivial for 99% of my questions.

I can't count on two hands the number of times I've found a solution to my problem on this website and been unable to upvote or comment on the answer to thank the poster or ask a related question in the comments simply because I don't have enough reputation to do so.

But I can't get reputation because I don't need to ask a question because my questions have all already been answered somewhere on this site or the greater internet.

Therefore the problem is circular. Need rep to upvote / comment but can't get rep because I don't have a unique question to ask.

Additionally, this creates a small problem where a lot of people's thoughtful answers go unappreciated as discussed: here

Therefore I pose the following questions to you now:

  1. Why is it 15 rep minimum?
  2. Does the act of logging in build enough trust to allow users to upvote regardless of rep?
  3. Does the act of logging in build enough trust to allow users to comment regardless of rep?
  4. Should the minimum rep for upvote and commenting be the same?
  5. Can a minimum amount of rep be carried over or common through ALL of the StackExchange websites, therefore users transferring over from say, StackOverflow, don't have to re-earn the same privelages just to participate on a more specialized StackExchange website.
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    Once you get 200 rep on any StackExchange site, you get a bonus of 100 rep on all other sites you're on. This usually eliminates this problem. Jun 25, 2012 at 19:26
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    5. is already done. Rest; read my post.
    – Sathyajith Bhat Mod
    Jun 25, 2012 at 19:32
  • 1
    I would argue that the 200 limit is too high for those of us who are mostly passive / transient users but who still wish to make a contribution to the site in the form of comments / votes. Jun 26, 2012 at 21:15

3 Answers 3


that problem is that my reputation doesn't carry over.

While the rep doesn't & shouldn't carry over, you do get a +100 rep bonus on first time that you sign in to a Stack Exchange; provided you have >200 rep on any other Stack Exchange site.

Why is it 15 rep minimum?

15 rep isn't much of a hurdle, 1 up vote on a question & a answer or 3 upvotes or an answer is what it takes to cross that & the rep limit's there to avoid false/fraudulent voting via sockpuppets, spam reduction amongst others.

Does the act of logging in build enough trust to allow users to upvote regardless of rep?

No. It's trivial to have a script login 'enough' number of times to build this trust and I do believe this would lead to false/fraudulent voting

Does the act of logging in build enough trust to allow users to comment regardless of rep?

No, for the same reasons as outlined above, with no barrier it's pretty easy to spam about with comments. And comments are treated as second class citizens on the network. Commenting doesn't bump up a question. It becomes too easy to have comment spam across posts, without having an audit trail of activity.

Should the minimum rep for upvote and commenting be the same?

No; for reasons outlined about - when you upvote - you're saying this is a useful answer passively; with comment you actively get to push your thoughts forward - and we certainly don't want posts to be inundated with noise comments.

  • 2
    Amen to the sock puppet thing. If I think about how certain users from certain countries abused these privileges lately, I would have even considered raising the bar needed to be able to upvote.
    – slhck
    Jun 25, 2012 at 20:34
  • 1) You have no argument for why rep shouldn't carry over 2) Clearly I don't have >200 rep on any stack exchange website. Again, this is a very high number. 3) You can't get rep on an upvote if you don't have enough rep to upvote in the first place... 4) You say you don't want posts inundated with noise comments and yet here I am commenting away without the ability to vote up / down. This is contrary to your statement. Jun 26, 2012 at 21:13
  • @advocate, you are able to comment freely on this question, because this is your question. On questions you create, you comment all you want. You earn rep, by asking questions or providing answers, not by voting. If you want to earn some reputation, you must participate. With thousands of questions, surely, if you spent some time looking you could find a few to provide a helpful answer to. Or you could ask a good on-topic question.
    – Zoredache
    Jun 26, 2012 at 22:58
  • 1. This been discussed enough number of times. Why not merge reputation across SO, SF, and SU? Should my rep be combined? for starters. 2. I don't agree 200 is 'very high'. 3. ?? I'm talking about upvotes on your posts by others. You can't upvote your own. There are a significant amount of people who can vote. 4. What Zoredache said. // @advocate
    – Sathyajith Bhat Mod
    Jun 27, 2012 at 3:01
  • You need more than 15 rep to comment, anyway. Getting 50 rep needed for that takes a bit more effort.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jun 28, 2012 at 18:08

While I as a new user (under a month) on a couple of StackExchange sites agree with the frustrations of being limited by low rep, I have to think that lowering the bar isn't the right answer.

I do think there should maybe a little more "bleed across" of rep for similar topic exchanges.

For example, I am mostly just on Superuser and Unix/Linux, but I occasionally forget that I don't yet on Unix/Linux have the ability to retag without doing a full edit of a question.

I think more Superuser users would ask their questions on Unix/Linux if their rep from Superuser were maybe a little more evenly mirrored on Unix/Linux. I think some of the decision of where some questions are asked ends up being affected by where the user has a "comfortable level" of rep.

With there being a lot of knowledge overlap among the tech-related StackExchanges, I think maybe there should be some rep incentive to "spread yourself around" if you have knowledge to share.

  • 1
    I agree. And I'd upvote you but I don't have enough rep to do so. Hooray! Jun 26, 2012 at 21:11

I think a big part of the problem isn't just about rep, its about participation. I'll give an example of three sites i'm currently active on - Superuser, Serverfault and Ask Ubuntu.

I ask my questions here since, well, I'm a platform agnostic. Sadly i don't work in a proper business environment, so i can hardly answer any questions on SF (I do, occationally). I do edit a fair bit where i can. I notice you have 8 rep. SEVEN good edits would bump you up to 15, One answer to a question would (Its not hard. I try to answer at least one a day!).

As for trust? I answer more than i can (I've only asked about 70 questions in over 2 and a half years) . I respond to comments to my answers. I improve on my answers, sometimes even when there's nothing wrong with it. There's just too many users to build a capital R reputation just by showing up and logging on.

Answer one question today. If it dosen't work, answer another one tomorrow, and polish the answer you answered today a little more. Sooner or later you'll hit that magic amount of rep and realise you're learning new things.

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    The problem here is that I don't have that much time to spend on this site but I still want to be able to help good content reach to top and reward those who take the time to create that good content in the first place. Jun 26, 2012 at 21:10

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