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I am trying to be a productive member of this website and I'm having a problem with the reputation system.

Now I don't have a problem with the reputation system as a whole, I find that it works well. I am familiar with it as I am also a member at StackOverflow.

My problem is this: Twice now I've wanted to comment on an answer or vote it up because it didn't seem to be getting the votes or recognition that it needed. But, since I didn't have enough reputation I have no real choice but to leave another answer with a nod to the previous answer. Both times I was voted down, leaving me that much further from being able to vote up or leave comments.

Here are the two questions and answers:

How can I locate my Android device around the house?

https://android.stackexchange.com/questions/2935/best-screen-protector-htc-desire-z/2942#2942

In the second one I was very explicit in my answer about why I was posting an answer, but I was still down-voted.

So, what am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to help the community find the right answers when I can't steer them towards them? I post as much as I feel is necessary and no more. I'm not going to go around posting in every question I find just to get lucky and get an up-vote. That's not helpful to the community.

In Al Everett's post about voting, he lists reasons to vote down an answer. It does not say anything about a duplicate answers.

So, what to do besides posting the odd answer and hope that it is up-voted?

It is really discouraging me from trying to participate.

My thoughts: Perhaps any answer should give the poster one or two reputation points in order to encourage participation. Otherwise, I don't quite see the point.

  • Do you already have a SO account? Did you try to associate your accounts? You'll get a free 100 points if you do. – Bryan Denny Nov 18 '10 at 15:03
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    ...only if the other account has over 200 rep. – ale Nov 18 '10 at 15:04
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Don't post an answer that should be a comment. "Me too" answers will (eventually) get deleted and, as you've noticed, the community doesn't like them (hence the downvotes).

To gain reputation: Ask good questions; make good answers.

You're not the only one who is occasionally frustrated with the rep limits for activities on the beta sites. I've seen several such questions on http://meta.stackoverflow.com

On the plus side, you'll get those reputation points back when your downvoted answer is deleted.

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I can see your frustration and I don't necessarily agree with many of the arguments that are made in support of the current commenting threshold limit. That being said, I also don't see a compelling reason to change it because the rep level to be able to leave comments is very low at 50 (which you now have from the looks of it). All this requires is one or all of your answers getting 5 votes. Or 10 votes on your questions. Or any number of combinations... the point is that even if it's a problem, it should only be a problem for a short time for any productive member of the community.

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