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Anything I try to do requires reputation. How am I supposed to start using it? I cannot reply to answers. I cannot comment. I cannot upvote.

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marked as duplicate by dmckee, hims056, AsheeshR, jonsca, Azik Sep 28 '13 at 5:45

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.

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Start by asking a good question or giving a good answer. You may also suggest edits for posts, giving you +2 rep for each one that's accepted. –  Jamal Sep 28 '13 at 0:13
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See also: How does “Reputation” work? –  chue x Sep 28 '13 at 0:15
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Do we really need to downvote someone who is new to the ways here, as we all were, is a little frustrated at the system, and thus make them feel even less welcomed? :rolleyes: –  James Sep 28 '13 at 0:36
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@James: Apparently some don't remember what it was like being new... –  Jamal Sep 28 '13 at 0:40
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@James The answer to the question is rather obvious. None of the actions that earn you rep require rep; you can do all of those things (answering, asking, and suggesting edits) with one rep. To do most anything else you need to earn some rep. What else do you expect people to say in an answer? You don't need to do any of the things that require rep to benefit greatly from the site. If you want to be an active participating member with access to those extras, earn the rep. You shouldn't need to ask this question to learn that. It's more just a general complaint than anything. –  Servy Sep 28 '13 at 0:49
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@Servy: Obvious to you and me maybe, but they're new, they don't know about everything you just mentioned. Perhaps it would have been better with some scattered rose petals and furry kittens? :D Perhaps a bit nicer wording wouldn't have gone amiss (or some searching..), but I also just see it as factual and to the point, which is what most people here are like anyway. –  James Sep 28 '13 at 1:04
    
Of possible interest: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/193884/… . Frankly I can see an argument for a downvote--or maybe two--as a gentle hint to do your research next time, but this is a case where I don't see any value in piling on. On the other hand the question should probably be closed with alacrity. –  dmckee Sep 28 '13 at 1:17
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@james New users are asked 46184946254728 times (by the system, automatically) to read the FAQ. If one ignores all that -- let him do so and go to the waste. –  H2CO3 Sep 28 '13 at 4:33

2 Answers 2

I thought the same as you when I joined..
"Huh? You wont let me make simple comments but I can answer?? Doesn't make sense"... but it's like that for a reason.

The answers and questions can be community moderated, that is downvoted for those being a nuisance or providing bad answers/spam/etc, and upvoted if it's on topic and good quality etc.
Then once you've asked or answered a bit and suggested some edits on poor questions, and earned some rep (aka trust) you'll get access to comments and other things.

This process also gets you accustomed to Stack's ways, which being a Q&A is quite different to most other sites like forums etc.

Just make sure to answer on things you understand well, and take a little time so it's good quality, you'll get upvotes in no time.

It doesn't take long. Really doesn't.

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Stack Exchange sites require points (reputation) to do these things because reputation is a (very rough) measure of trust. Once you have a few upvotes on a question or answer, many of these privileges are unlocked.

To start participating, just ask or answer a few questions! If the community thinks that they are quality, they will upvote them. You gain reputation from this, unlocking more advanced privileges.

Also, you could suggest edits to improve questions and answers. Every suggested edit is reviewed by two (three on SO) people, and you get +2 for each edit approved.

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