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I just noticed as I was reading through the privileges section, that it is much more difficult to achieve the necessary reputation for privileges on meta than on the trilogy sites themselves. Take for example a complete noob with 1 rep. There is unlikely to be any question they can ask that has not already been asked by someone, But that's not a huge deal. People find ways. Its the exponential rep gap that you see as the privilege list progresses, that bothers me. On SO there is virtually no limit to the possibilities of ways to answer and ask questions, so there will always be ample ways to earn rep, but here on meta its just not so. I recognize that there are already concessions made (like being able to comment with 1 rep), but shouldn't the other privilege rep requirements be lowered a little as well? To make them seem at least a little more "attainable" for those who were not around to ask a lot of the good questions that have already been asked?

Edit Clarification about why they should be more attainable

Here are some reasons why they should be more attainable.

First, Everyone take a step back and see Meta for what it really is: a way to guarantee that sites like SO are the best they can be. Am I right?

With that in mind, People should be encouraged to spend majority of their time contributing to SO, not Meta, IMHO. If meta were an independent site focused on its own culture, I would agree completely that things should stay as they are.

And an example of this line of thinking is the free 100 rep on connected accounts that comes from high contribution on a connected site. I think that privileges should be more influenced by participation on the main sites

Summary: Meta is for the improvement of SO, Having such high rep requirements distracts users from participating in SO, which is the real goal. Again IMHO.

Edit: Added another contention for my argument.

Another reason I believe the rep limit should be lowered is because of questions like this. We are having a great discussion with lots of activity, however I am gaining very little rep. Because votes are designed to show agreement/disagreement not good question/bad question this kind of contribution to discussion brings me no closer to those privileges.

Thanks for the feedback

Note: After starting a discussion like this, don't go to sleep. A lot more attention came to this question when I was asleep than when I was awake!

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I totally agree! I cannot think of any way to earn the first 15 rep to earn voting rights. Every question I thought of has already been asked... –  Johnny D Aug 7 '12 at 12:06
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Then answer them. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Aug 7 '12 at 12:07
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Having earned >5k in rep on Meta through both questions and answers over the last year I have to say this is nonsense. Earning rep on Meta is even easier than on SO. –  Bart Aug 7 '12 at 12:10
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Honestly I find it much harder to earn rep on meta than SO/etc. Not as interesting maybe, maybe not your area of expertise, but all you have to do is answer some support/discussion questions or post some bug reports/feature requests. –  Ben Brocka Aug 7 '12 at 12:11
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I earned my 4K since May. It's not all that hard. –  Ernest Friedman-Hill Aug 7 '12 at 12:12
    
@BenBrocka "much harder"? –  Bart Aug 7 '12 at 12:13
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I am in the same boat as @Johnny D, I agree with John, I think Meta privleges should be determined by those who actively use the Parent Site. –  Yui2 Aug 7 '12 at 12:41
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@Yui2 Keep in mind that currently Meta SO is not merely the Meta site for Stack Overflow, but for the whole SE network as well as the Careers site. This will change at some point. –  Bart Aug 7 '12 at 12:43
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@Bart I thought Super User had it's own meta already? if that's the case, change which way? As in every site has their own meta, or "one meta to rule them all?" (couldn't help myself :P) –  Robotnik Aug 7 '12 at 13:13
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@Bart OK - So how will this change? will Meta SO become Meta 'Stack Exchange' and SO be assigned its own meta to be in line with other sites? (or vice versa) –  Robotnik Aug 7 '12 at 13:21
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@Robotnik meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/124015/… –  Bart Aug 7 '12 at 13:23
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RE: your edit: With only five votes, you have gained 26 rep. I fail to see the problem here. –  Andrew's a Unitato Aug 7 '12 at 13:42
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The whole point of rep is that it's hard to get. The point of the site isn't to gain rep, the point of rep is to protect the site. It's supposed to keep the masses from having access to certain administrative features. It is by design that this is hard. I'm going to be terribly blunt: If you aren't able to gain rep, you'll probably make a bad moderator and it's likely that the system is working as intended. –  meagar Aug 7 '12 at 13:52
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12K reputation on Meta in six months. If I can do it, everyone can ;) –  Yannis Aug 7 '12 at 15:26
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maybe I'm just bad, but upvotes seem so stingy on SO compared to meta, SF, and really any other site (though it does have a higher volume of questions) –  smcg Aug 7 '12 at 18:12
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9 Answers

I just noticed as I was reading through the privileges section, that it must much more difficult to achieve the necessary reputation for privileges on Meta than on the trilogy sites themselves.

I disagree. My personal experience:

  • Of all my Meta posts, there's only one question and one answer I didn't earn rep for.

    My list of SO/SU posts that I didn't earn rep for is much, much longer.

  • I own 182 posts on Meta that earned me 11,235 rep. That's almost 62 rep/post.

    In comparison, I own 298 posts that earned me 11,995 rep. That's only 40 rep/post.

    On SO, I own 206 posts that earned me 4,725 rep. That's barely 23 rep/post.

I recognize that there are already concessions made (like being able to comment with 1 rep), but shouldn't the other privilege rep requirements be lowered a little as well?

To fully participate on any SE site, you need the following privileges:

With that in mind, people should be encouraged to spend majority of their time contributing to SO, not Meta, IMHO. If Meta were an independent site focused on its own culture, I would agree completely that things should stay as they are.

Meta is fairly independent from SO. It's the meta site of all SE (which is going to change soon). The users that participate here not only form part of discussions (which may help improve the entire network); they answer support questions too.

There's nothing wrong with spending time on Meta, even if it's more time than on the main site. Participating on either site can be beneficial for the community.

I think that privileges should be more influenced by participation on the main sites.

On all meta sites but Meta SO, that's how it is. You have the same privileges on both sites. You can't even earn rep on the meta sites.

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+1 Love the rep/post stats. Mine are 27.3 on SO, and 53.7 here. That's quite consistent with yours. Sitewide averages would be really interesting! Hmm... –  Ernest Friedman-Hill Aug 7 '12 at 22:07
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@ErnestFriedman-Hill Here's a query for rep per post SO Avg/Max/Min/Std_Dev: 10.134 /5609 (John JQuery Resig) / 0.00004 / 26.618 and the Meta.SO it's 80.7867/1334 (JCL1178 Experts-Exchange VP )/0.00136/ 56.590 Generally speaking Meta.SO is eaiser as long as you don't invent some really popular framework –  Some Helpful Commenter Aug 8 '12 at 14:37
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Many questions are time-sensitive. Asking if a particular tag should be removed, or two tags merged, couldn't have been done years ago because those tags didn't exist. Suggesting a new badge may get a little harder when the best ideas are already badges, but as new features are added, there is a chance to suggest a badge related to the new feature. As the network grows, you may spot a pattern in some new beta sites and come to Meta to ask about that pattern. Years ago, when those beta sites didn't exist, that question couldn't be asked.

I think my rep slope is much steeper on meta than on SO. But if it wasn't, so what? Some people care about the topics Meta covers, and they hang out here, and earn rep, and gain privileges. What privilege do you think should have its rep lowered? And not because "getting rep is hard and it's only fair more people have this privilege" but because "you don't need to have done X to gain the privilege Y".

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If you have enough rep on any SE site to get an association bonus, you'll basically get the important things you need from the free +100 rep except downvoting, which is easy enough to get at 125.

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You can follow Meta for the current conventions, and then answer questions that pops up every now and then about the site. It will earn you rep quickly when other people find your answer goes along with the current convention.

Another thing you can do is request for tag synonym or tag deletion (when you haven't passed the requirement to do so on the main site). If you find 2 tags that differ on in the inflection form, and the difference is not significant in any language (you need some research here), then you can request it here. If you find a tag that is used for many different meaning of the tag name, then you can request for disambiguation or deletion - depending on how useful the tag is for categorizing question.

You can also report bugs on the web site here. Bug on the site is not that common, but there is bound to be one every now and then.

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There are not as much posts on meta than on SO. So you have to follow a slightly different strategy:

  • visit often, preferable several times a day (for example during compile break).
  • answer questions you know the answer of.
  • be a bit lucky. (Sometimes there are a few questions in a row you can answer which often push you over the rep cap).
  • ask questions, for example, bugs, tag cleanup, and other questions that are not answered yet.

But I assume that if you want higher privileges, you are already visiting often.

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Wait that's my strategy for SO (except for the 4th bullet)... maybe I'm doing it wrong on SO. –  Some Helpful Commenter Aug 7 '12 at 15:56
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I think as well as looking for opportunities to gain rep, you can try to maximise the amount of rep you get from each post by taking some time to make them a little better:

Questions

  1. Tag appropriately - use the correct mandatory tag when asking questions, only use the tag when your question relates only to Stack Overflow itself, etc.
  2. Give a full description of any problems you're reporting. Include screenshots where possible and browser/computer configuration if appropriate.
  3. If you're making a feature request, take the time to explain it clearly and also explain why it is needed (the problem it's fixing or the advantage of the new functionality it's adding).

Answers

  1. Treat every question kindly - everyone is new once.
  2. Take the time to explain things clearly, even if the OP is a veteran user someone searching MSO later might not be.
  3. Reference your answers with FAQ page links.
  4. If you're answering from scratch, make special effort to get your point across (even using screenshots if there is a risk of getting lost in menus).
  5. There is a large degree of FGITW when posting answers, therefore it's a common "tactic" to write a shell answer then flesh it out in the grace window for editing. Not going to go into the ethics of that but if it's rep you want then that may be a way to get more attention to your answer.

In General

  1. Use formatting appropriately. Ordered lists nearly always go down well ;-) In addition, the [tag:foo] conversion into is nice when used sparingly in discussions about tagging as it links directly and gives the tag wiki excerpt.
  2. Search first, duplicates are normally closed quite quickly on Meta.
  3. Some people provide a tl;dr version for the upvoter with short attention span.

And Always

  1. Refrain from making absolutely terrible feature requests if you want to hold on to your hard earned rep!
  2. Use freehand circles. Always.
  3. Mention other memes for superfluous upvotes. Particularly Unicorns.

Two fine reasons for upvoting.

Hope that there is some helpful stuff in there for you, it really does start to pile up as you go along, just be patient.

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It's really not that hard.

The main thing is to participate actively on Meta, throw your two cents in when and where appropriate, and always research a question about the site before asking the question. A well-written question/answer is also pretty important.

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Quoting smcg's answer:

If you have enough rep on any SE site to get an association bonus, you'll basically get the important things you need from the free +100 rep except downvoting, which is easy enough to get at 125.

Well, almost. One privilege that is IMO extremely important, specially on Meta, is "view vote counts" (the split up/down vote counts). And it requires 1000 rep, which is way too high. The reasoning for this seems to relate to performance, but on Meta that shouldn't be a problem. Although this has already been requested, I frequently consider opening a new about it.

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I don't understand why you need to see it. You should be voting by what you think the answer deserves, not following consensus. I never look at it, even where I am a mod :-) –  Rory Alsop Aug 7 '12 at 19:32
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@Rory I don't use it to decide how I should vote, I use it to better understand what other people think, usually when I'm browsing meta casually - yes, I do that :) –  bfavaretto Aug 7 '12 at 19:48
    
okay I understand that. –  Rory Alsop Aug 7 '12 at 20:05
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I look on in this way: meta have lower traffic than main site, so need for privileged community to take work off moderators is lower as well. That's why, IMO, privileges being harder to obtain is not really a problem from eco-system POV.

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