Am I being penalized for asking about an obscure programming language?
I don't care so much about my reputation, it's just I cannot vote for people who had helped me.
So what can I do to increase my reputation?
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Here is how to gain reputation. For example you might start accepting answers, they will earn you 2 points:
I feel your pain. I'm using a relatively unused programming language too.
You can answer general questions. It doesn't matter what language you're using for questions about preferred software, algorithms, etc. It's harder work to get points on these questions, (as they're applicable to everyone, tend to go to community status, and encourage bikeshedding), but it can be done.
You can push stackoverflow to other members of your community. Your particular programming language will have places on the web where users hang out, and you can tell those users to come over here.
You can do what the R guys did, and organise a [your language] flash mob. This is encouraged behaviour, and can help move a community over from wherever to this site. http://en.oreilly.com/oscon2009/public/schedule/detail/10432
For me - I'm pretty certain I can't get the questions and answers for my language moved from the forum they use over here. In this situation, you may have to accept that stackoverflow is not for you.
Answering questions is a sure-fire way to increase your rep a lot faster than asking questions. People are a lot more liberal with their voting on answers. It also doesn't help that you are involved in a subject that many people are not interested in.
If you want to consider that being penalized, so be it. StackOverflow and the sister sites are not charity cases, and you aren't going to get rep just for the heck of it.
You can increase the reputation by answering the question asked by other users. And help them to solve their issues. If the OP is satisfied with your answer then your answer will be accepted, resulting in a reputation increase.
Another way of earning reputation in a quicker manner is try to answer the
Featured questions which have a
Bounty on them. These are the questions which are mostly visited. So more chance to get up-votes.
You need only a little of reputation to be able to cast upvotes.
Such an amount of reputation you can earn by suggesting edits - for example adding syntax coloring, helping with code formatting, fixing grammar/spelling issues.
If the edits are non-trivial (they fix more than single words) they are likely to be accepted.