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So I've been a longtime lurker of various StackExchanges (specifically Overflow) and the value it has given me cannot be described in words, however, I find myself wanting to upvote solutions or questions that I think are really good. Problem is, I have zero (ok well 1) reputation.

I've looked at the ways to gain reputation and it's really limited to users who may not want to ask questions or answer but still want to contribute to the community by placing a vote to signify they believe that this comment or answer has validity.

Rather than try to pollute Stack with questions that may already been answered or similar questions exist just to get to 15 reputation, what is the alternative for users like me? How can I still contribute to Stack without posting or answering questions?

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marked as duplicate by random Dec 20 '13 at 1:10

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.

7 approved edits – OGHaza Dec 20 '13 at 1:06
Your English seem like a native educated speaker. If not mistaken, you can grab a thousand points fixing plenty of Globish that's posted daily. – brasofilo Dec 20 '13 at 2:08
Hmm. You're making me think about adjective order, @brasofilo, because I'd say an educated native speaker. – TRiG is Timothy Richard Green Dec 20 '13 at 2:45
@TRiGisTimothyRichardGreen, I knew there was something weird in my comment. Thx for the link, duly noted. – brasofilo Dec 20 '13 at 2:48
+1 for expressing frustration over this – n00b Dec 20 '13 at 20:10

There are 310,016 questions on Stack Overflow with no up-voted answers. In theory, if you post a good, well-researched answer to one of them, someone might find it useful and up-vote it, thus granting you the reputation necessary to do something you want to do on the site.

In practice, this isn't assured. You might put that time and effort into researching an answer, learning things about a topic you never realized even existed, and get ZERO meaningless Internet points in exchange for garnering all that knowledge.

Sad and alone, you would then be stuck the same as you were before, with nothing to comfort you but a better understanding of a programming topic.

So it goes...

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Sad and alone. Until any given day your Answer is found and upvoted by someone who already passed the threshold (how many who didn't?). And you think "hey, this actually helped someone else, cool!" – brasofilo Dec 20 '13 at 1:59
I appreciate the wit, but that's Slaughterhouse-Five. – Mystery Dec 20 '13 at 2:02

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