For the past month or two I have been involved in the non-nerd sort of junk that you have to do to keep real life going and keep the business of the business happening.

During these months my participation on Stack Overflow has been very low; maybe I answered one or two questions; whatever. I think this is the first question I've asked in several weeks.

What should one do during such periods of inactivity?

  • Stay away and don't connect in the first place?
  • Connect to Stack Overflow every day despite my lack of intention to participate?
  • Ponder esoteric circumstances and ask questions to make it look like I'm doing stuff?
  • Abstain from connecting until I have a zillion questions again like I did before?

With what this place has returned on my investment, I want to be the best member that I can be, but at this moment, I don't know what that would entail. Still, with Stack Overflow in particular, you really need to be at your keyboard right there; particularly with software development questions.

Or again, is the best plan no plan? I.e., if I don't need the place for two months, will my reputation still be the same when I return?

  • 14
    We don't really have any inactivity penalties, so... just do what you gotta do. Your reputation may or may not change depending on whether folks vote on the posts you made so far in the meantime.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    May 30, 2013 at 22:28
  • 1
    Participate when you can/want to. I rarely ever sit down and say, "Now I'm going to spend the next 4 hours answering questions." It happens organically when something piques my interest.
    – Tim M.
    May 31, 2013 at 1:16

1 Answer 1


You should not ask questions just for the rep, that's called rep whoring.

If you have a good question to ask, ASK IT, but otherwise, stay away.

If you want to answer questions, go ahead and answer them. Your reputation will be the exact same when you return, unless a user/question/answer gets deleted, and all of the reputation from those will be taken away.

Connecting is fine, no problem with that, I often surf Stack Overflow when I have nothing better to do, but under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you think up esoteric circumstances and ask a question that is not likely to help anyone, you'll probably lose rep in the process.

  • Thanks, Your counsel is appreciated
    – User.1
    May 30, 2013 at 22:24
  • 4
    Fundamentally disagree with your first sentence. If questions get rep, then either they're good questions and are welcome, or bad questions are getting rep. If the former, then who cares why the questions were asked? If the latter, then we need to look at why bad questions would garner rep.
    – jball
    May 30, 2013 at 23:29
  • Well, I certainly took a hit on my reputation with this question, that's for sure.
    – User.1
    May 31, 2013 at 17:01

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