When you register for a new subdomain of StackExchange, your reputation is 1, which means the only thing you can do is ask questions or answer them. If I find someone already asked my question, and someone else already provided a great answer, I can't vote it up to pay them back with a little reputation until I myself have 15 reputation. That's messed up.

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    You're right, it suc... HEY, that's not a question! Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 7:05
  • You caught me, it's not. Turns out I can't even answer my own question for 8 hrs so I can accept the answer and get it out of the pool of unanswered questions. Lame. Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 7:06

3 Answers 3


I'm not so sure that's that messed up. The rationale behind it is to avoid trolling and falsifying votes. Imagine someone answers a question and decides to boost his rep. All he would have to do is frantically create new accounts and hit the upvote icon. Now that would be messed up...

At first these things are less obvious and probably seem absurd, but IMHO stackexchange is one of the systems that is best tuned out there, in terms of community voting systems.

  • Being new to SE, I only last night discovered meta (I'm guessing every subdomain has a meta subdomain). About the same time I saw the term that I think was "overflow reputation". Is there some way to gain top level SE reputation so that whenever I visit a new subdomain for the first time it recognizes that my account is not a new temporary account, but one that has activity and reputation elsewhere on the site? That way when I find good comments/answers and my question is already answered I can reward the answerer? Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 6:11
  • Would this be better at meta.SE, since I'm not talking about TeX but the ability to move freely in a trusted manner between SE subdomains? (Is there a better term for them?) Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 6:17

For what it's worth: the system does have a concept of "we trust your account, go ahead and skip the initial low-permissions phase".

This privileges-conferring mechanism is called the association bonus, and the threshold is set at 200 points: once you have earned that much reputation on one Stack Exchange site, you automatically get a bonus of 100 points on every other SE site you are on. (Also on sites you sign up for in the future.) I don't know why 200 points is the threshold.

Lastly, on a purely personal note: In life in general, saying "this has disadvantages. Why is it so anyway?" is a better opener than "This sucks." Less accusatory == more better: one comes across as much nicer, and one gets answers that are more complete.

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    Thank you. Count Zero answered the "why it is the way it is" so I feel his response is still the "answer", but I appreciate you filling in the "fix" around the remaining problem. I've been cruising ALL over SE for the last couple days and I still haven't learned where to find this kind of info. I'd vote your answer up, but ... D'oh, I can't yet. (When one has been getting 2 hrs sleep a night for months on end trying to finish their Masters degree, social interaction is naturally detrimented. I'm looking forward to feeling human again.) Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 9:56
  • @Travis: Good luck with your thesis/defence/whatever you must do to get your Master.
    – Stephen
    Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 8:06
  • Hah, I sympathise on all counts. Best of luck with your travails!
    – Esteis
    Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 10:54
  • Thanks! My wife is looking forward to "getting me back" when I'm done. @Esteis, I recognize that my attempt at humor wasn't sufficient to cover my frustration and lack of civility. Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 19:49
  • (@Travis) Slip-ups happen. No worries, mate. :-)
    – Esteis
    Commented Aug 26, 2012 at 15:15

The problem is that no laws can be "fair". As Count Zero explains, the SE laws are quite fine-tuned to make the sites run fluently. But each law puts someone in "wrong position". Your situation is so occasional that the law cannot cover it. I believe you'll soon bump into a problem that you can ask about and get the necessary reputation points.

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