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I'm not sure if this is a stupid question, but here goes anyway... I have only recently started learning PHP and Javascript and I'm reasonably proficient. One of the reasons I'm so proficient is because I LOVE Stack Overflow and find most of the solutions to my dilemmas here.

But I've found that I never get the chance to ask a question because it has normally been asked many times before and when I go through the unanswered questions to try and help someone else, they are generally WAY over my head.

So I'm not sure how to get more privileges. I can't even vote up answers that I like or that helped me. I can't comment to thank someone for their solution. It is most tragic and demoralising... How do I change the situation?

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I'm surprised nobody has posted a tutorial on how to do FGITW repwhoring. That is undoubtedly the fastest way to increase rep. –  Mysticial Sep 10 '12 at 1:54
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@Mysticial Well, OP already mentioned that they don't feel comfortable answering (and do we really want to encourage FGITW?). –  Yannis Sep 10 '12 at 2:21
    
@YannisRizos The OP says that for the unanswered questions list - which are significantly harder. (even I can't answer any of them) I'm not trying to encourage FGITW, but I don't see the problem if new users do some FGITW to learn the system and get some of the basic privileges. Then as they gain more rep, they can move on to the harder stuff. That's the path I took... –  Mysticial Sep 10 '12 at 2:26
    
@Mysticial - There's nothing wrong with being fast, but all that other nonsense in the post you linked we can definitely do without. –  jmort253 Sep 10 '12 at 2:54
    
@jmort253 The only one I disagree with on that list is #2 and partially #1 as well. (I'd say #1 is acceptable only if you follow it up with a detailed edit.) Everything else (like formatting) is all good. –  Mysticial Sep 10 '12 at 2:56
    
As for #1, in my experience, the quality oftentimes trumps being first. If I write a better, more detailed answer than someone else, my reputation score generally benefits. Maybe not immediately, but it does in the long run. –  jmort253 Sep 10 '12 at 2:58
    
@jmort253 I've seen it go both ways. I've had many cases where my fast and short answer beat out late (and better) answers even in the long run. There's been a few cases where I've come from behind with a better answer to become top-voted. Being mostly an early answerer, the first scenario is much more common for me. –  Mysticial Sep 10 '12 at 3:19
    
Hey! I got 86 reputation from this! ^_^ Thank you to everyone for responding. I think I want to make my contributions as meaningful as possible and I like the suggestions of editing questions and learning, learning, learning until I can answer meaningfully. For now I'm just happy to have enough reputation to upvote good answers! Its a sad little life I lead... ;-) –  Just Plain High Sep 10 '12 at 23:06
    
And its a pity you can't mark two responses as the answer because both Yannis Rizos and ajax333221 provided great answers. Thank you very much! –  Just Plain High Sep 10 '12 at 23:08
    
Really nice post. This may help a lot of new people. But you have not followed this post as you still have 1 reputation on Stack Overflow. :) –  hims056 Dec 26 '12 at 8:47
    
Stalker :-P I was waylaid but I'm back to coding so I should be racking up the points soon :-) –  Just Plain High Jan 11 '13 at 9:16
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Answer questions. –  ɥʇǝS May 18 '13 at 17:21
    
Ugh; merging can lead to ridiculous-looking answers when they're question-specific :( –  Dave Newton May 18 '13 at 17:49
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9 Answers

up vote 23 down vote accepted

Gaining rep through asking: I will suppose you will try the tags you mentioned (PHP and JavaScript), well, the thing is that these tags are already well covered and have a vast number of questions.

And if you are starting to learn, chances are that every question you could possibly have in the first weeks you learn the language have been already asked, so I would try something else.

Gaining rep through answering: you will have problems with the same issue, but sometimes can get lucky and find a not-so-out-of-your-knowledge question that you can answer.

Gaining rep through editing: this will be slow, but if you have the patience, it will give you enough to unlock the basic restrictions of new users.


In conclusion, what I would do in your case:

  1. Learn the advanced search settings
  2. Start browsing for questions that you can learn from (skipping the harder ones)
  3. Read how, what and when to edit
  4. Find posts that needs editing and edit them
  5. From time to time, check if someone asked an easy question that you can answer
  6. Learn and learn :)

After about a month of doing the above, you should then be better on those tags and able to do things with more confidence.

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Actually gaining through editing is not really slow; around 40 reputation a day just from fixing bad grammar, fixing links or improving formatting is pretty cool and fast in my opinion. Especially for those having hard time posting good content of their own. –  Shadow Wizard Nov 19 '12 at 11:13
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Post a question that describes the core of a recent challenge that you have successfully solved that you think may be helpful to others; make sure it is not a duplicate. Provide a clear and succinct statement of the problem, check "answer your own question" box, and describe your solution. If you do a good job at it, you would get an upvote on both sides, and will be able to upvote other answer.

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After having seen some of the amazing solutions provided on SO, the thought of posting my own "baby" code here fills me with horror... I'd rather learn at someone else's expense ^_^ –  Just Plain High Sep 10 '12 at 23:12
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Thank you for taking the time to search for similar questions before asking your own.

The easiest way to get some quick rep is by suggesting great edits. Every time one of your edits is approved, you'll be awarded 2 points. It's not much, but you can earn up to 1000 points from edits alone and there are tons and tons of posts in need of some edit love. You only need:

That said, you should really avoid minor edits, any edit bumps the question to the front page and minor edit suggestions tend to be rejected and if a lot of your edits get rejected, you'll find yourself unable to suggest any more.

Another way would be to exploit the association bonus:

You gain reputation when:

  • you associate accounts of two or more Stack Exchange network sites, and at least one of those accounts already has 200 or more reputation: +100 on each site (awarded a maximum of one time per site)

You might find it difficult to ask or answer questions on Stack Overflow, but there are 80+ other Stack Exchange sites where you might feel a bit more at home. Earn 200 points in at least one of them, either by edits or by asking and / or answering questions and you'll get the bonus on every other site, including Stack Overflow.

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Nice suggestion about gaining 200+ elsewhere then it's a neat +100 on all associated accounts. Never thought of it that way! –  Shadow Wizard Nov 19 '12 at 11:12
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I started my account on SO to ask questions about Haskell. I am also an experienced programmer in Java and C++, so I have been able to answer questions in those two languages. Since you are learning JavaScript, do you already know HTML with some proficiency? Perhaps you can find HTML questions to answer. The same applies to any other programming languages or topics that you know something about.

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You are right, I've got an excellent grasp on HTML. Will definitely give this a go! –  Just Plain High Sep 10 '12 at 23:13
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  • Answer many questions
  • Answer fast, edit your answer and put effort in it; explain your answer to get more upvotes
  • After hitting the rep cap look for bounty questions to answer
  • Monitor your prefered tags to get notified for new questions
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It might seem obvious, but the easiest way is to post great answers. Quick and dirty answers may earn you a handful of upvotes today, but if you focus on posting great answers, you'll be earning reputation from them for... ever.

That said, 10K in a month is probably unattainable for most of us. It's not only a matter of expertise, or writing skills, the tags you participate in are also important. Some tags just don't have as many active voters as others, and great answers in those tags will take a while before they get the recognition they deserve. And there's also the rep cap to consider, as Camil explains.

I'd say, don't try to get 10K in a month. Instead, try to give one or two great answers on complicated questions every week. A more noble goal, and one that will earn you a lot more reputation in the long run.

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Nah, easy! 10 answers each upvoted twice and accepted, every day... bound to fail one day though :-). You can hit 10k in every month bar February this way. –  ben is uǝq backwards May 18 '13 at 17:35
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My 2 Point Policy:

  • Ask the good questions
  • Give the best answer
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Merged from What are the most efficient ways to earn reputation on StackOverflow?, hence the specific calculations.

You're going to have a problem here.

10,000 / 30 = 333.33

The maximum reputation from upvotes and such is 200. That means you need 133.33 reputation a day from other stuff, like getting bounties and getting your answers accepted.

Assuming you get your max 200 from upvotes (writing good answer, basically) every day, you still need 133.33/15 = 8.89 accepted answers per day, or you need bounties.

So:

  • Write a lot good answers
  • Make sure people accept your answers
  • Stalk the featured tab to get some bounties
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Merged from What are the most efficient ways to earn reputation on StackOverflow?, hence the rep-specific calculations.)

Why?

10k in a month means:

  • Rep cap of 200, which is ~6k, leaving a deficit of ~4k.
  • Assuming no bounties, that's an additional 8+ accepted answers every day.

Is it doable? This depends on a few factors:

  • Are you answering questions in high-volume tags?
  • Are you able to answer good enough, fast enough?
  • Can you augment answers with a few decent questions?

Hitting 200 a day is relatively easy, hitting 325+ a day is trickier.

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