I have a dilemma. I have asked questions on Stack Overflow and Computational Science previously. However, I have not done so on Ask Ubuntu. Hence I have 1 reputation. The problem starts when I am in search of an answer at Ask Ubuntu.

Take the following Ask Ubuntu Question. Now I found the answer provided by Sylvain Pineau to be helpful. Helpful as in, following the advise given and achieving the desired result. In eagerness to respond to this persons help by pressing the vote up button, I am not allowed to since I have in total 1 reputation. Hence, all I could do was to locate this persons email address and submit my gratitude through email.

So in a sense my journey on Ask Ubuntu must start with a question. This is somehow problematic as many users (like myself) do not actively contribute in the different StackExchange communities. Rather when a problem arises we search for it, and upon finding the answer we merrily walk our way to other issues that may concern us. Some of us decide to make accounts at StackExchange so that perhaps we may ask a question which does not seem to have been asked or answered. While others simply want to give a little back by pressing the vote up button if the answer was helpful.

Asking a question for the sake of asking is futile and redundant as many would agree.

  • 1
    When you build enough reputation on other Stack Exchange sites you will get +100 when you sign up for a new one. For me that was when I got around 200 on the Science Fiction and Fantasy site and around 100 on English Language Usage. One day it just gave me 100 starting reputation wherever so I could comment, vote, etc anywhere.
    – BenjaminJB
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 15:33
  • @BenjaminJB According to askubuntu.com/help/whats-reputation : "If you are an experienced Stack Exchange network user with 200 or more reputation on at least one site, you will receive a starting +100 reputation bonus to get you past basic new user restrictions. This will happen automatically on all current Stack Exchange sites where you have an account, and on any other Stack Exchange sites at the time you log in." Still seems a bit steep entry price to contribute in a positive manner.
    – imranal
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 15:49
  • I asked two questions on Science Fiction and Fantasy and it was quick to happen. It maybe is a long process otherwise though.
    – BenjaminJB
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 15:56
  • 1
    Welcome to AskUbuntu! This does seem to be more of a meta question, I would say you can always try to improve things, this is a constant increase of reputation (although slow).
    – No Time
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 22:01
  • Also, for what it's worth, I upvoted the answer you mentioned for you.
    – muru
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 8:37
  • Thanks muru, I appreciate it!
    – imranal
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 10:29

1 Answer 1


Overall, I must disagree.

  1. While there are genuine cases like you, there are also a lot more spammers out there. There's also the problem of new users who don't really understand how SE works.
  2. You journey doesn't necessarily start with a question. You can also write answers. If you want to start with a question, you can write share-your-knowledge questions (that you answer yourself), perhaps guides on something you found difficult and you think hasn't got much attention here.
  3. I have seen a fellow get 200 rep in one day (the daily threshold) from a single question and the answer that he posted to it. (This wasn't a share-your-knowledge question - but a proper problem that went through a bit of work.) That's enough to set him up on all other SE sites.

Be careful with share-your-knowledge questions, though. You should be clear in what you're asking. Here's a classic (IMHO) example of this done the wrong way: Does Libre Office have an equivalent of OneNote, or is there another alternative? Every single answer (including mine) bar the OP's answered the title and not the body, because they asked different questions. The question was edited, but you can see the original in the revision history.

  • I was not aware that people with low reputation could answer questions (besides their own). Regarding the misuse of the answer accepted or correct answer by spammers; it seems less likely, as one is required to be registered before voting (and have accumulated enough reputation - the point which I do not agree upon). Though I agree that misuse can and will occur. Regarding so-called share your knowledge questions, I think there are better platforms for such questions, like wikipedia. Besides you do not gain any reputation for answering your own questions, do you?
    – imranal
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 10:45
  • @imranal Anybody can ask or answer a question, reputation no bar - you need only 1 rep to do so and rep cannot go below 1. Sock puppet accounts are a problem here, and some people are plain malicious. There also spammers who register throwaway accounts. Registration is not enough of a deterrent. You don't gain any rep by accepting your own answer, but you can gain/lose rep by people up/down voting your answers - that remains true for all non-wiki answers. Whether they are better suited to other platforms is debatable, some syk questions I have seen are well suited to AU.
    – muru
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 11:00

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