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I know I said I won't semi-duplicate this question, but for now my comment was ignored, so I post it here.

My question is what happens when a user has < 50rep but wants to participate in a question? She/He maybe has something interesting to say/suggest but don't have enough rep, so, She/He decides to post an "answer" that it's clearly a comment.

It happened here, where I down-voted an answer for that reason and the user came with the valid point that he can't comment because his low rep, so he answered with the intention to get some clarification to the question.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Unfortunately that's the way things are. Tell them to go out and get some rep. If they've got something to share, it shouldn't take long for them to answer a couple questions, get a couple upvotes, and start using more features of SO.

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Sorry Jonathan, but ‘Tell them to go out and get some rep’ is not a reality for some people. Seems you've forgotten what it was like when you were a noob yourself. SO now attracts many people who are just getting started with programming, and they DON'T have anything to share yet. It would be almost impossible for someone like this to build any rep. I don't have a solution to this problem, but we shouldn’t be dismissive of it. – David HAust Jul 15 '09 at 2:29
David, if they know nothing, they shouldn't be contributing to answers. They can however ask questions that get up-votes, giving them a nice amount of rep-points. I do remember being very new to programming, and the forum that I participated was based on rep too. I had none for the longest time - and it didn't kill me :) – Sampson Jul 15 '09 at 2:42
A lot of answers can be found by simply using some google-fu, my highest voted answer came from said method. – soldier.moth Jul 15 '09 at 3:26
You guys know that you can get rep for asking questions, right? If they're really that noobtastic, just have them ask a question (shouldn't be hard!) to garner some rep. – Eric Jul 15 '09 at 3:27
Jonathan - I think there is a significant difference between your experience and mine (124 rep after 2 months), and it's not because I'm a noob to programming (30+ years experience). I think it has to do with the relative popularity here of the topics we post on (C, C++, and algorithms for me). Some areas of expertise are a lot easier to get rep points here than others. – dewtell Jul 15 '09 at 3:54
It is not all all easy to gain the needed 100 rep. Providing answers is hard, and asking questions is a very slow way to gain rep. – mafu Jul 15 '09 at 10:16
@DavidHAust how is rep related to being noob? Even noobs can get here high rep just because they answer low level questions... Eric yeah, maybe not everyone on SO who is new is also noob.. the problem is that I find almost everything in the Q/A already but sometimes I want to comment and I can't. How would u solve that? – Ms. Nobody Apr 30 '13 at 12:29

Hopefully will be a better place for people (n00bs) like that (myself included), since the question's will be more mainstream or more within their domain of knowledge.

Like commented above if rep is the problem: let them post good questions. If their comments are good answers, they should be able to come up with something.

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