I want to be part of the community, helping to upvote good answers, and answering questions. But, I need to get 15 reputation to do those things. It seems to me the only way to do that is to ask questions. However, the community is a great place here, and all the questions I would ask, have already been asked. What's a guy to do?

How can I get the required 15 reputation without spamming the questions with junk?

I really just want to be able to participate.

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    You could answer questions. Questions about U+L are on-topic on Meta, not here.
    – dhag
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 18:01
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    @dhag although you are correct in pointing out that this belongs on meta, the OP needs 5 rep to participate there.
    – Anthon
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 18:05
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    +1 for your desire to find out how to play Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 18:06
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    Welcome to U&L superboot.
    – Anthon
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 18:06
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    See Six simple tips to get reputation fast on any Stack Exchange site (and be aware that a large portion of it is tongue-in-cheek). Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 18:06
  • @Anthon: Oh, OK. I wasn't sure what the best course of action was in such a case. I assumed if the question got moved to Meta, will the person who asked would be able to comment, accept answers, etc?
    – dhag
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 18:08
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    @dhag yes, you always can comment on answers to your own post, even if moved to meta. The correct thing to do with your reputation level would be to flag the post as needing closing because it belongs on meta (if you have that option under your flag, sorry that I don't know exactly at higher rep levels you can directly vote to close)
    – Anthon
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 18:13
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    It's also totally OK to answer your own questions. Linux is great to experiment on and U&L is great for sharing the results of said experiments. (Just make sure it's on-topic and doesn't sound like a blog post.)
    – Anko
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 18:59
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    Even if your premise that all the questions have been asked is true, there are still better answers out there, and even one answer is likely to net you the needed rep to vote. Likewise if all the answers are already there, surely there are 6 posts in the thousands on the site that could use a little editing love, which would also earn you the rep to vote. The bar is actually pretty low, you just have to demonstrate some modicum of knowledge and/or good faith before you get vote privs. Otherwise any troll or bot on the Internet could dilute the signal-to-noise sorting with impunity.
    – Caleb
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 6:40

2 Answers 2


You can answer questions, without the need for reputation. Upvotes on those answers earn you 10 reputation. Just find a question in an area you are familiar with, preferably one which is recent and not yet answered (or answered and you have a better solution).

You can also earn 2 reputation by correcting errors in a post. E.g by removing chit-chat Like greetings, "thank you" and names from other people's posts.

Asking questions is not that hard, but finding ones that have not been asked before can be a challenge. Take a few minutes to think about something U&L related where you had a problem that was never solved. Or something you found hard to find a solution for. It is fine to post such a question (as long as it is not a duplicate) and the answer to that question, with double chances of earning reputation.

Make sure you read the help→tour and get familiar with the rest of the help pages.

  • For an example of what Anthon is describing, see : How can I be assured that my issue can be helped here?. I asked and answered my own question.
    – eyoung100
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 22:33
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    "but finding ones that have not been asked before can be a challenge." Not only that. It can also be a challenge finding ones that have not been answered before! Because a small amount of very active people who seem to "virtually inhabit SE" seem to be monitoring SE and related sites hourly for new incoming questions, and you sometimes really have to be a VERY fast typist to win the race against these ever-present fellows who (statistically) never sleep. So it's way harder than it looks. Because you would not want to write an answer near-identical to one of theirs, either, would you. Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 17:33
  • @syntaxerror Yes it can be tough to find unanswered questions. And around my effort to get to 20K I have been one of this answer-every-question persons myself. However it looks like there is no one currently aiming for the legendary badge and the last few weeks there were always multiple questions in the most recent 50 that were unanswered.
    – Anthon
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 21:34
  • I think some years ago, it was way easier to get to 20K than now because some subjects were only treated marginally, whilst there are more questions (most of which have good answers now) to these subjects at present. Hence, considering that the good old questions will stay on SE (and related sites) for the forthcoming years, it will become an even more rare case in 10 years to gain even a 10K reputation (unless you deliberately camouflage your questions so that people think they're new ones, while in fact they were simply reworded old ones). Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 18:22
  • It was probably easier in the past, but it is still possible; I've got nearly 7K in three months, and I'm not the only newcomer to get lots of reputation recently... There are always new things coming along too, so the window of opportunity isn't yet shut; think of all the systemd questions that are bound to come up in the next few months! Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 21:04

This is not an answer for everyone, but it was the correct answer for me: Participate on Another SE Family Site

I'm a fairly infrequent user of several sites in the StackExchange network. However, I have answered several questions on StackOverflow.

If you gain 200 reputation on a StackExchange site, you get an instant bonus of 100 rep on all other SE sites.

This is my first answer on this site, but I'm able to give it because I've posted answers which have been upvoted elsewhere. I actually think this is the best approach, as it gives you privileges on all SE sites.

Understandably, that 200 rep burden seems much larger than the 15 rep burden on a given site, but the benefit offered is similarly greater.

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    "If you gain 200 reputation on a StackExchange site, you get an instant bonus of 100 rep on all other SE sites." Well, this only holds for the first time you hit 200 reputation.
    – MERose
    Commented Apr 24, 2015 at 8:32

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