I started to feel discouradged answering Excel questions here on SU because of my much diminished privileges than I have on SO:

  • I don't have enought rep to edit questions to make them more searchable or fix title/tags to be more relevant to the problem - I feel like a second rate citizen here on SU because my edits have to be reviewed and the review process can be painfully slow
  • unanswered questions tend to be from users with low rep who cannot upvote my answer and sometimes don't even accept it => my rep is not increasing enough to be encouraging that I will get the edit privilege any time soon
  • unanswered questions tent to be niche use cases with even lower trafic than usual and more effort required to answer (e.g. https://superuser.com/a/865108/118860, https://superuser.com/a/865049/118860 from today)
  • statistics about low-rep users who do their equivalent of an upvote (not sure how it's called) are not displayed, so I don't have any feedback even if there were any low-rep users who found my answer useful enough to click on the link

Taking away my hard-earned privileges takes away my intrinsic motivation, I am not going to answer any more SU questions today even when from a quick look I would be able to answer the next 5 unanswered Excel questions without problem - I think am going to stick to SO where the community appreciates that I already proved myself to be capable of improving other posts by editing them without an a-priori distrust towards me.

But before I leave, I wanted to ask if there is any current or proposed mechanism whatsoever that I could ask for to be able to edit questions and answers even with <2000 reputation? Same applies for other SE sites to a lesser degree, but I just started on those - here on SU I feel like I somewhat contributed already, but the community just doesn't accept me as a worthy user yet - and I will never be a worthy user here because I don't feel like helping in a community that makes me feel untrustworthy, so I am not going to earn enough rep here to become "worthy" any time soon...

Am I the only one who feels disgusted by the separated reputation and privileges just because I focus on a topic that exists in parallel on both SO and SU (Excel)? Are other topics really so different that users with high rep on SO shall not be allowed to edit questions and answers on SU - or is this just a misguided policy that aims to improve content but actually discourages people to improve content?

EDIT: answers seem to be based on individual opinion, but are there any hard data about how many more bad edits and how many more or less good edits would SE have if editting privilege was a global right? any research has been done by any chance?

Assuming that all other users except me go through the suggested edit proces with the same probability as through non-review edits, SQL pseudo query to extract the data for analysis would be e.g.:

from all_suggested_edits_from_all_SE e
join (select
        sum(reputation) total_user_rep
      from all_reputation_from_all_SE
      group by user
) r on r.user_id = e.user_id
group by r.total_user_rep, e.suggested_edit_review_status
order by r.total_user_rep

then just pivot the data into 1 series per status and plot e.g. as a stacked column chart (rejected edits red, accepted green) to see if there is any trend and whether 2000 or some other value of global repuration is the correct break-even point when enought of the suggested edits are accepted for the review process being unnecessary (assuming users with high total reputation do not wish to vandalize sites where they have low rep).

  • 1
    Often the only reward for answering niche questions from new or one-time users is the satisfaction. Go into those with realistic expectations. If you focus your efforts on those kinds of questions, it will take a long time to accumulate rep. How you choose to perceive that result is up to you. The system isn't personal. You can accumulate up to 1,000 rep from edits, but only ones you do while you are below 2,000. You do them "for free" after that. Do as many as you can now and use it to build rep. 2000 may be a "milestone" for edit permission, but it also marks loss of a rep source.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Jan 18, 2015 at 0:53

4 Answers 4


SO isn't SU - just cause they're all stackexchange sites dosen't make you a subject expert on all of them.

I have 70K here. Does that make me a great programmer? (Nope. I have 210 rep, mostly from correcting ONE typo). Does it make me a great parent? Does it have anything to do with my knowledge of pets? (well, I have 555 rep).

For that matter, does it have anything to do with my sysadmin chops?

In short, your SO rep dosen't count for anything here.

On the other hand, as a lower rep user there's always the option of suggested edits, so you arn't losing much. Its free rep.

I'd note I'm a moderator here, and I still need to flag things like a pleb, and often do suggested edits like anyone else of low rep elsewhere. :)

You'll just have to consider a good answer its own reward first.

  • so you think I should NOT have the right to edit Excel questions here, because Excel questions on SO and SU are soooo much different that you simply don't trust me. ok, no problem, it's not like I HAVE to edit or answer any more questions on SU. I hope I am the only Excel expert you are loosing, that the tons of unanswered questions are here for some other reasons and not because Excel experts are being sent away from this site
    – Aprillion
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 15:48
  • How would we tell though? Would a python expert on SO be an expert on pythons on Pets.SE? They are seperate sites, which happen to be run by the same folk, and let us move content.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 15:51
  • How would we tell though? all you would need would be an ability to grant individual users privilege to edit questions having a particular tag - but I understand that having unanswered questions might be a better business case than increasing the code complexity and potential admin workload to implement my obscure requirement
    – Aprillion
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 16:01
  • 1
    also, what does being a "great programmer" or "great parrent" have to do with edit privileges??? I don't like your straw man argument at all. As an admin here, I am sure that you would know the limits of your abilities to choose whether to edit or not a post on any other SE site - whether you know enough about the topic to recognize and fix typos or whether to leave that post alone - post-hoc review / reverting undesired change is always possible after any edit
    – Aprillion
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 16:06
  • 1
    What does SO have to do with SU? They're not the same site either, and have the same relationship Parenting or Pets have with SU or SO.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 16:07
  • both are about computers. still, having a clue about whether or not to edit has nothing to do with expertise within 1 particular domain outside any other context - even if I had 5000 rep on SU how does that prevent me from making bad edits? is the decision about edit privileges being bound to 1 site based on any empirical evidence? how many more bad edits and how many less good edits would SE have if it was a global right - are there any hard data?
    – Aprillion
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 16:10
  • I edited my question with a proposed SQL pseudo code if any admin is interested enough to collect the available data instead of expressing their feelings that they are affraid of users with high total rep who make bad edits which get rejected/improved in the very very useful review process.
    – Aprillion
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 16:50

Unless you have a wide spectrum of topics you can cover, you will not earn reputation quickly on Super User if you're not active in extremely popular tags.

Reputation is often gained over long periods of time through people finding your answer through Google.

I don't see your point about editing and review. You actually gain reputation in that process. So in a way it helps you gain reputation faster.

  • I couldn't care less about my reputation. The only reason I answered questions so far was to help the people asking the questions and users in general. The only thing I need rep for is to be able edit posts from which my eyes bleed. I am simply not willing to go through the suggested edits and it looks like I might be the only one who feels this way, which is perfectly ok, I found out that SU is not for me.
    – Aprillion
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 15:50
  • 2
    @Aprillion: You mentioned that you don't like that your edits need to be reviewed. That's what I was addressing. I really don't see the problem with having your edits reviewed though. If your edits are of such high quality that you feel that they don't need review, then they will pass review anyway, it will not require any more work from you and you even gain reputation in the process, which brings you closer to not requiring review. Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 18:20

I totally agree with @OliverSalzburg's answer.

I'm also mostly active on Excel here, however my two questions with the most upvotes are related to graphic cables and kensington lock, which questions I've found just by chance and was lucky to know the answer.

When you check number of upvotes, popularity of the topic often matters more than the quality of the answer. I'm also not happy with this fact, but we can't change it.

I've had the same period too, when I asked myself: why I'm answering questions and putting effort in them if only quarter / half of them get any upvotes? My answers were:

  • because I like to train my brain solving them
  • it's good to help others solving their problems
  • if I'm unhappy with not receiving upvotes, probably others are too. To break this I've started actively upvoting good quality answers. Before I've upvoted only ones with a lot of effort and excellent quality or really giving new information for me. Now I upvote also the ones which are answer the questions and I don't care novelty and amount of effort put in it.
    I know this won't have any direct effect on your reputation, however the more people do the better motivated we'll be.

Between different exchanges, there is some logic to the separation of powers. However I've personally been annoyed by some of the bleed-over that I think should occur between very similar communities. For exchanges that have a strong gravitic center, like SU, Ask Ubuntu, Unix/Linux, and possibly SO, I think that there should be more bleed-over of reputation. Maybe even an ability to move some reputation at a penalty cost. I'd love to be able to transfer to Unix/Linux or Ask Ubuntu ~200 Reputation at a cost from SU of ~230-250.

Of course reputation on SuperUser should only count for ~100 bonus reputation on an English, Math, or Science exchange.

But, within the computer-related sites, I think maybe there should be an exchange of some sort within which a person can convert reputation from site to site.

  • 1
    I disagree with this, the power users here on SU would immediately be out-ranked by a huge portion of SO. SO has different rep requirements for privileges than SU does. This would skew terribly, which is something that was dealt with when SU first came online Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 17:36
  • @Raystafarian Maybe that's part of the problem. I may have ~1700 rep on superuser, and maybe that means that on the tech-general exchanges (ubuntu, unix/linux, Mac, some others) I should maybe have 50% of that as a lesser cap. As a group, there may also be a reason to have a +1 on the best only count as +0.5 on the others (if it improves the rep at all).
    – killermist
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 23:33

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