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If you don't mind, check out my account. Agreed, I have asked a lot more questions than written answers, but I'm still learning.

Here's an example of a post that was down-voted 3 times.[6 downvotes now - point proven?]

Personally, I think it's a great post, although maybe not a great question because I left out the top of the code (I figured that was obvious).

Most of the time I visit this site it's to read existing answers, but sometimes I get stuck. Reading the posts in meta, it seems like new members are practically shunned. I just recently received the ability to comment questions, which prevents me from getting an answer downvoted because I'm requesting more information. The site seems chocked full of catch-22s.

I love the site, it's a great resource. The system is a bit harsh on newcomers though. Maybe there needs to be a separate resource for web and software, or a place for beginners. I understand that some questions just lack research and I agree some should be punished, but in my personal experience this is ridiculous.

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marked as duplicate by Time Traveling Bobby, hims056, Bart, Toon Krijthe, Rory Feb 28 '13 at 9:23

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.

I have read that and about 5 other ones. The fact remains. – Casey Hodge Feb 28 '13 at 8:10
A quick glance shows me 4 downvoted questions, 2 closed questions and not many upvoted ones. I don't know if anything was deleted or if you deleted anything, but that will only have added to the problem. Even more so if they were downvoted and/or closed. Fact is, the overall score is not that great. All that remains for you to do is follow the advice in the link posted by @SulfurizedDemonbobby – Bart Feb 28 '13 at 8:10
I've spent hours looking for questions I can actually answer. I'm decent in 4 languages, but this site covers such a vast array of subjects with many different skill levels that downvoting just seems to be 'the thing to do'. I don't see that many upvotes, even for great answers. Even now, as soon as I posted this, someone downvoted the question linked to it. – Casey Hodge Feb 28 '13 at 8:13
@CaseyHodge First order of business is to improve your own content. – Bart Feb 28 '13 at 8:16… Here is a down-voted answer just because the guy didn't like how the post was. I updated it as details were added and ultimately, the OP was getting the audio from .swf. I made the code prettier for future visits to the page, yet the down-vote remains. – Casey Hodge Feb 28 '13 at 8:19
This question has a problem - it's not self-contained…. You have to go to another site and so forth. That's really not how it's supposed to work. I think your question quality is meh-OK, I would have downvoted the WSO for off-topic and the one I linked. Otherwise they look decent I guess? What articles and so forth have you read on how to ask good SO questions? What FAQs of what stack exchange sites have you taken the time to review and determine which questions might go on which site? – Carl Veazey Feb 28 '13 at 8:21
Yes, yes I did. Do you wanna know why? Because the question is's actually horrible, so is your code. All the problems you have with that code stem from two problems: First, you don't format your code correctly otherwise you'd realize that something is wrong there. Second, your usage of global, unnecessary braces and code formatting tells me that you're pretty new to PHP. I know it's not nice to say this, but it's the only right way: Buy yourself a good book on PHP, or two, or three, and read them. It's outside of the scope of SE to teach you PHP. – Time Traveling Bobby Feb 28 '13 at 8:21
And RE: your answers, whenever you answer without finding out the context fully, you're going to get things wrong. And laying out your code so it's readable is absolutely a requirement for quality submissions. – Carl Veazey Feb 28 '13 at 8:24
sorry , no offence but you are literly abusing php ... you can se that your quetoin is too localize... please go through manual – NullPoiиteя Feb 28 '13 at 8:25
I understand your frustration, and cheers for taking the calm approach and trying to figure what you did wrong. The system is harsh on newcomers that do not make efforts before asking for help. This sums it all up in my opinion. If your question does not show enough effort it has good chance of being downvoted. Also true for trivial questions or questions that has no value to others. – Shadow Wizard Feb 28 '13 at 8:34
@CaseyHodge That's all very frustrating, but you have to realize - there are high expectations here. We want this site to be awesome. It doesn't matter if you're new, or don't know the language very well, or young, or old, or whatever - you still need to put research effort, thought, and time into your posts. Proofread them. Make sure you provide context so others can understand you. People who do these things don't usually have problems. – Carl Veazey Feb 28 '13 at 8:34
@CaseyHodge But you are on the right track - you just need to accept that the community doesn't rate you being where you need to be at right now, so edit your existing content to make it great. If you deleted your own posts, try to get them undeleted and improved. – Carl Veazey Feb 28 '13 at 8:37
I plan to keep answering questions and if I do not get question privileges back by 150-200 reputation I'll likely give up. With all of the other posts I've seen on meta about this there's clearly an issue. Even a simple warning that a user is approaching the ban would be courteous, and give users a chance to read up on the subject before they are banned. – Casey Hodge Feb 28 '13 at 8:40
@CaseyHodge Answering might help, but I'd suggest your priority should be improving your existing posts right now - that's what I gather helps the most. The ban is in many ways a time-out to help you do so. Best of luck. – Carl Veazey Feb 28 '13 at 8:45
Thanks for the answers/comments. Many users have helped clean up some of my posts, hopefully that will help. I know this is a great community, though I do think there should be a Y U NO DOWNVOTE meme for this site ;) – Casey Hodge Feb 28 '13 at 8:57
up vote 11 down vote accepted

Don't give up, it takes a little time to get into the swing of things. You're obviously passionate about helping people (and learning yourself), which is great :)

I'm just going to state what others have already stated, but I think it might be helpful to think of this site a little differently perhaps. This is something many new people get "wrong" (and I include myself here in "new people" - just look at my rep ;) ) If I'm wrong just ignore this!

While you are learning how the site works, and/or learning more about your preferred languages etc (in your case, PHP), it is understandable that your answers (and questions) will have, er, room for improvement, both technically, and in "how" you answer. I think we all get that.

However, SO is a questions and answers site, not a forum. In my mind, this means that the "older" questions that are posted or answered are probably/potentially still just as important and visible now as they were a little while ago, regardless of whether you were "still learning".
It is up to the whole SO community to ensure that all content is as awesome and clear and helpful as possible. This means that it is a GOOD thing that those Q's and A's are upvoted and downvoted on their merit, according to the person who is reading them, and whenever that is.
It also means that all users who post questions and answers should ideally update content of their own that is less-than-ideal, incorrect, unclear, etc etc (basically, whatever might make it less than "awesome") - and there is pretty much always room for improvement.

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Fantastic answer :) – Carl Veazey Feb 28 '13 at 8:58
blush My first time will always be special... – baldric Feb 28 '13 at 8:59
Wow. You said it quite well, IMO. – Andrew Barber Feb 28 '13 at 9:13
"However, SO is a questions and answers site, not a forum. In my mind, this means that the "older" questions that are posted or answered are probably/potentially still just as important and visible now as they were a little while ago, regardless of whether you were "still learning"." This is spot-on. Countless people find SO through typing questions into Google, and find that question has been asked on SO. They don't care if it was asked yesterday or 3 years ago, they just care it was asked and answered in a way that helps them out. – JonW Feb 28 '13 at 9:27

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