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How does “Reputation” work?

I'm a new user on Stack Overflow, so I'm starting with 1 score. Am I right in understanding that I'm not allowed to do almost anything except posting an question or looking for grammar mistakes in other people posts? Or am missing anything here?

What is the reason behind such restrictions? It seems that some people would abuse the system by posting dummy questions or dummy edits to raise reputation to a level which would allow at least to answer the question.

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marked as duplicate by Lix, Manishearth, ChrisF, kiamlaluno, Rosinante Apr 20 '12 at 14:09

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Please read the reputation section of the FAQ. If you search, this question has also been asked in one form or another many times already. – RivieraKid Apr 20 '12 at 8:50
Have you read the faq? – Ankit Sharma Apr 20 '12 at 9:02
Yes, I did read the faq. – Andrey Apr 20 '12 at 9:11
up vote 8 down vote accepted

No, you can post answers. One can get by perfectly well on SO with 1 rep--the main functionality is all there. You just can't vote or use too many links/images--which is OK. To get rep:

Post questions

+5 rep per vote for a question, plus +2 rep if you accept another user's answer (cannot be your own answer). Dummy questions won't work, since they'll be downvoted.

Post answers

+10 rep per vote, and +15 rep if the answer is accepted. Again, dummy answers don't work.

Edit posts

+2 rep if edit is accepted, try to make the edits substantial.

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Thank you, I indeed missed the fact that I can answer questions. – Andrey Apr 20 '12 at 8:54
@Andrey: Note that you can accept this answer by clicking the green tick if you feel that it answered your question. You don't have to, though (if you want to wait for a better one, etc). – Manishearth Apr 20 '12 at 8:55
@Andrey: Note that answering questions is by far the easiest way to get rep. Especially if you answer the harder ones (on SO, lots of the easy ones get ten answers and you won't get attention). Also, if you want to get-rich-quick, answer the questions here . Questions with a bounty are generally harder, but you get lots of rep if you get the bounty. – Manishearth Apr 20 '12 at 8:57

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