EDIT: As per answers, I want to clarify that I am not merely focused on

  1. upvote, and
  2. acceptance

of answers, which are two forms of providing feedback. I am also referring to

  1. editing questions according to what is posted in answers/comments.
  2. commenting on what is the result of trying an answer, and
  3. replying to comments.

From my experience, I think that low rep (say, <20, and particularly newcomers with rep=1) are much more likely not to provide feedback on whatever help (comments, answers) is provided. This is either by not replying at all, or by not reasonably following a thread (not posting needed info, etc.)

That has two consequences, in my view:

  1. Not being able to follow-up on a solution.
  2. Discouraging helping in questions from askers with low rep, based on a increased expectation of the above.

So my two questions are:

  1. Do others have the same impression?
  2. Is there any way to measure the distribution of "feedback rate" vs. rep, to confirm or reject this hypothesis?
    I understand a confirmation of the hypothesis might be a double edged sword, as it may improve the overall quality of Ask Ubuntu (drive more productive interactions, and a cleaner database of Q&A), but it might discourage others answering to low rep askers... I don't know which would prevail.
  • 2
    Might be worth bringing up here for consideration. If its on the current roadmap, it would be a good idea to get attention to it Commented May 23, 2021 at 12:46
  • @JourneymanGeek - I was not aware of the New user onboarding project. I guess this question is a quite relevant thought for it. I will add this there. Thanks for the pointer. Commented May 23, 2021 at 14:14

3 Answers 3


Do others have the same impression?

Well, I had quite a few such cases when first-(or-so-)question people were really engaged in either providing and/or requesting further feedbacks, and were appreciative after finding a solution for their cases.

I had plenty such positive experiences that the premise of your question is not a bother to me; if a lot of newcomers don't follow-up, well then they don't. Still, I managed to feel helpful — and to reinforce my personal impression of this platform as useful for the success of the Ubuntu effort — even in this "thin statistical environment".

I guess our impressions may differ; they may depend on how one approaches Linux and this website.

For my case, I'm a Linux/Ubuntu learner myself without a strong specialization in anything. That is reflected in my path on this site.

I, like everyone, felt the pressure from SE's rep-points-oriented design, especially as a beginner. But in lack of substantial Linux knowledge, I had to go at anything that I had a chance of solving. Due to this condition, I feel I ended up more on the "helping others" side, instead of "sharing substantial knowledge", which latter one is more worthy of those numerous upvotes.

I have built-up ~1800 rep in five months — I think, while it's far from stellar, or even impressive, it's still not a slow rate — but what is interesting is that my highest upvoted contribution is currently at 7 upvotes (okay, I got a +100 bounty once). So, overall, I'm not getting a growth graph with several-dozen-times upvoted bombshells of contributions. I got where I am with a lot of small little things. (It was a lot of work and it needed a lot of time; so much that I now feel I won't be able to sustain.)

Also: I'm not seeing much passive rep growth: a lot of my sense of success came from acts of help in pretty unique or obscure cases, which may not earn much attention from others apart from the OP. Now, you may ask, does this kind of success justify the existence of this website? Will statisticians be able to put that into a powerpoint presentation, and drum up more support or whatnot with it? I don't know.

I personally feel I got my reward for most of my efforts, while I'm also pretty convinced that most of those who needed help, got some; even if it does not always end up getting reflected in rep points.


I just remembered that there's one beef of mine that I would mention in this regard.

What I cannot seem to stand is when someone submits a question, and then promptly disappear from the site for a few days.

This does not only squash the chance for efficient clarification / feedback rounds, but also gives the impression that the asker just came here to throw their problem into this free answer-automat, and they plan to return at a later time to fetch their free result that "got delivered" in the meantime. That's just plain disappointing.

I however haven't observed yet whether this is more likely with low rep members or not...

Do I seem to have an answer for myself?

I have just realized that there is this trend, or even, fashionable fad going on, called "social anxiety"; it's where some people even show off (through memes) how they avoid social interaction at all costs. Maybe this "waiting for my free answers while staying away" pattern has something to do with that?

  • Quick clarification: 7 upvotes at the time of the original submission of this post :)
    – Levente
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 3:20

I think that a big part of not getting upvotes and accepts from low rep users, is that no nobody has explained to them that this is the only thanks the people answering questions get.

Another problem is that when a similar question with answer is linked in the comments, the new user does not have the necessary reputation to comment on or upvote the linked data.

This would put the much of the blame on site management and site design, not on new contributors.


Another, altogether different take:

In cases of disturbing lack of feedback, look at the user profile of the asker: it will show their SE-wide network presence.

If they are enrolled in only a few stacks and are altogether low-rep, I think it's safe to assume that they just don't yet get how SE works.

I would guess that if they manage to stick around, they will eventually get the hang of it, and their pattern of interaction improves.

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