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How do the first users of new Stack Exchange sites get reputation? You need 15 rep before you can upvote, but if nobody has rep, nobody can upvote. And if nobody can upvote, nobody can gain rep.

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I think this is an important issue to consider with the upcoming StackExchange service. –  Kyle Cronin Jul 16 '09 at 3:26
    
Kyle: If they were smart, they would allow the thresholds and limits to be parameters that can be set :) –  TheTXI Jul 16 '09 at 3:28
    
It seems to be a bit of a problem over at superuser right now, I've answered 7 questions, and only managed to get one vote, up or down. I guess it'll sort itself out in time. –  FigBug Jul 16 '09 at 17:37

4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

As long as you have an account on a sister site with at least 200 rep, you can get an initial 100 rep from linking your accounts. As long as this is true, that will never be a problem.

If you were starting from scratch without any sister sites, you'd want to remove the restriction on required rep to upvote for at least the first week or so, or have an admin/moderator give out the initial upvotes, or maybe have a "beta" period where any participants get an automatic +100.

But even if you didn't, you can still accept an answer to a question, which gives you +2 and the answerer +15.

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That worked for me on stackoverflow and meta.stackoverflow. but my linked accounts on superuser and serverfault didn't get a 100. –  FigBug Jul 16 '09 at 3:23
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you must be doing something wrong, it worked for me... maybe e-mail team@stackoverflow.com, or post another topic here on metaSO –  Kip Jul 16 '09 at 3:25
    
Apparently you have to do the linking from the account with the exp. I think that's kinda dump. The direction of the linking shouldn't matter. –  FigBug Jul 16 '09 at 3:51
    
This should be explained somewhere, for newcomers. I've been here for 5 months and I am only finding this out TODAY. –  Xonatron Feb 16 '12 at 13:32

This has been taken care of now by allowing users to associate their accounts to other accounts they may already have on other sites, and doing so will give them an immediate +100 boost to their new profile.

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A StackExchange site, be it part of the SO/SF/SU 'family' or the hosted commercial brethren without sisters sites (and bonus), is about more than upvotes and scores. There is a significant 'community' dimension, and that needs building. To that end, these sites start out with some moderators and they can upvote whoever they please, which can kick start the community and resolves the apparent vote-score paradox. Receive two upvotes and a user is in the game...

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  1. You make a question;
  2. People Answer your question;
  3. You select in one of them as the right one (don't need to upvote);
  4. The user who made that answer gets 10 points and you get 2 points for accept.
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