Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

I understand that reputation can be gained by answering questions. However, it seems that more often than not the questions do not contain all the required information to give an answer. Since new users can not comment questions and ask for more details, this creates a sort of catch-22.

Any good advice on how to get initial reputation, given the new user restrictions?

share|improve this question
Now, would you believe that I have Catch-22 at arm's length? – Yannis Jul 13 '12 at 11:42
Just answer some easy question. Save the hard ones for next week. 50 rep is like 2 or 3 answers, no big deal. – Bo Persson Jul 13 '12 at 17:59
I have not had any success just by browsing questions. If a question is simple and answerable, it is already taken by 'the fastest gun in the west'. The rest lack details. – Eero Aaltonen Jul 17 '12 at 9:55
@RegDwight - Nice edit for the hat! – Chris Gerken Dec 24 '12 at 22:41
Im having the same issue... trying to work on it – Jony-Y Sep 24 '13 at 17:26
Is any comment sufficient? – user3048987 Nov 29 '13 at 10:22
Would the top specific tactic be: "Ask some good new questions and nicely manage/curate the answers you receive?" (as that, and this comment, have been the only things I can do so far) – esalwin Feb 15 '14 at 1:13

50 reputation isn't all that hard to get, unless you're only knowledgeable in a very specific and isolated section of programming. Sure, that initial 50 reputation might seem like an insurmountable barrier, but it'll be gone before you know it if you do the following things:

  • Write well-formed questions and answers — Do your research. If a question doesn't seem to provide enough information, you don't have to write a very specific answer. Research what could possibly cause the error and post as many solutions as you can. If your technical knowledge is lacking right now, post good questions.
  • Improve Stack Overflow — Propose edits for answers and questions. Even if it's just grammatical or orthographical errors, correcting such things will improve the readability and provide better accessibility to other SO users/visitors.
  • PROGRAM — Above all else, keep programming. It's easy to get into a rut just surfing Stack Overflow. Don't do this. You'll learn more programming by doing, which will expand your knowledge base for answering questions, and you'll eventually run into problems while programming, which will provide fuel for questions.

Remember, when asking or answering questions, no question is too basic (unless it's a duplicate). Stack Overflow is to be the repository of programming knowledge, essentially the Library of Alexandria without all the fire and burning.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for convincing me to stop absent-mindedly flipping through meta and get back to work... – gobernador Jul 13 '12 at 14:48
Don't worry, you'll be back in ten minutes. I know I will... – Yawus Jul 13 '12 at 14:49
+1 for "without all the fire and burning" Oh and the rest of the answer was also good, I suppose :P – Eva Mar 5 '13 at 0:17

Advice based on recent experience.


Initially it is very hard to find questions you can answer for rep and you can't ask clarification without comment rights.


  • DO NOT BROWSE AT RANDOM. The volume of questions on Stack Overflow is huge. If you just hit refresh you are probably just wasting time.
  • 'Very easy questions' are probably not are very good investment either. They are quickly taken by the 'fastest gun in the west'.
  • Setup some filtering. Browse a bit and look for tags. There are likely some tags with a lot of volume that are not relevant to you, ignore those. Similarly adding favorites may actually let you find something relevant.
  • KEEP PROGRAMMING. Keep developing code and searching for solutions. This is a good way of finding relevant questions. Questions related to specific libraries are more likely to be complete and answerable than very general questions on some programming language.
share|improve this answer

See this post for understanding how to get 50 rep early and get comment everywhere privilege.

According to new-user priviledge,

New users cannot:

  • post images
  • post more than two hyperlinks at a time, either in a post or their user profile
  • contribute answers to protected questions
  • ask or answer questions too rapidly
  • access the review tools

And why this feature are not given also given there.

You can posts answers and questions. Just be nice while posting questions & answers.

See How to get over 200 reputation points every day?. It will help you to learn how to get reputation.

See also Jon Skeet Facts and What's the best way to boost my Stack Overflow score?


See Why limit is rep 50 for commenting everwhere

share|improve this answer
OP asked what he could do, not what the privileges are. – thegrinner Jul 13 '12 at 11:54
No worries, I think I caught it right as you posted :p – thegrinner Jul 13 '12 at 11:56
Actually I was wondering about the main site [] where 50 points are required for commenting. This prevents me from asking more details on a question I might be able to answer. – Eero Aaltonen Jul 13 '12 at 12:18
Answer questions with enough details to be answerable. Suggest edits to posts (+2 rep when approved). Ask questions (+5 for upvotes, +2 if you accept an answer). – Daniel Fischer Jul 13 '12 at 12:32

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .