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I appreciate I'm interacting in with developers and so allowances have to be made re their lack of social skills but I'm going to ask anyway.

I asked a question regarding VBA code reading from a text file. I was polite and I even finished my post by thanking anyone who'd read it.

A very helpful guy gave me a spot-on reply and I thanked him effusively.

My rating went down by six points?

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  • 2
    For what it's worth, greetings, "thanks", and other social niceties are superfluous in questions (and answers) and are generally not well received. You would do well to leave them out and focus on just your question.
    – ale
    Jun 12 '13 at 19:47
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    and once the "thanks" has been removed you're left with one sentence, that's a tiny bit longer than your title... which is part of the problem. This is not a site to ask for people to provide you code, it's not one of the goals. The goal is to help you with your code in as generic a way as possible so that other people will be able to apply it in the future. If you have no code then this becomes difficult. Jun 12 '13 at 19:49
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    It seems a rather poor display of social skills to start a question with I appreciate I'm interacting in with developers and so allowances have to be made re their lack of social skills but I'm going to ask anyway.
    – Pekka
    Jun 12 '13 at 19:52
  • Well.. you did " thanked him effusively ". Jun 12 '13 at 19:55
  • See this faq, especially "How can users gain or lose reputation."
    – Kevin
    Jun 12 '13 at 20:23
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    Tim, Welcome to Meta. Here are a couple of (hopefully helpful) thoughts: 1) It's not totally clear what you're asking - the title of your question suggests that you're asking what causes reputation to change, but the body implies that you're more curious as to why you got down voted, which is a different question. 2) I can appreciate your frustration, but leading off by implying that much of your audience lacks social graces may not maximize their excitement to provide you with additional feedback.
    – Jaydles
    Jun 12 '13 at 21:06
  • This seems /very/ suspicious of this question Jun 12 '13 at 21:32
  • The two questions have nothing and no users to relate them to each other @Cole... it's best not to speculate if possible, it can cause hurt where none's warranted. Jun 12 '13 at 21:48
  • @ColeJohnson - It appears to be this question: stackoverflow.com/q/17063950/606539 Jun 13 '13 at 0:20
  • Yes Kevin, that's the question....thank you for clearing up Cole Johnson's confusion. Jun 13 '13 at 18:35
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Your question https://stackoverflow.com/questions/17063950/vba-code-to-read-in-the-last-line-from-multiple-text-files-in-a-directory did not show any research effort, or you did not show your previous attempts at solving the problem yourself.

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/how-to-ask

Do your homework

Have you thoroughly searched for an answer before asking your question? Sharing your research helps everyone. Tell us what you found and why it didn’t meet your needs. This demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to try to help yourself, it saves us from reiterating obvious answers, and most of all it helps you get a more specific and relevant answer!

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  • Help center link would be better choice: stackoverflow.com/help/dont-ask
    – hjpotter92
    Jun 12 '13 at 19:42
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    But his question meets all the criteria in the dont-ask page as far as I can tell. The only issue is the lack of research. Jun 12 '13 at 19:44
  • Thank you all, it appears I may have misunderstood the reason for the site's existence and for that I apologise. I will try harder in future but will make a point of thanking someone who provides assistance (sorry Al Everett, civility is civility whether it's in the real world or on a web forum and if someone has taken their time to assist me then the least I can do is afford them gratitude). Jun 13 '13 at 17:55
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How the rating system works is that people vote questions up if

  • they are well written and clearly answerable
  • they are a "good question" that others might want an answer to

People vote questions down if

  • they are vague and unanswerable
  • they are poorly written: spelling, grammar, tone, length (both too short and too long get downvoted), amount of code and so on
  • they show little or no preparation or effort
  • they aren't a good "fit" for the site
  • the voter is just having a grumpy day

For each downvote your question receives, you lose two points of rep.

If you are wondering why your question was downvoted, it's probably because it was written as though you expected answers to be complete solutions beginning to end. My bet is that you just wanted hints or tips about where to start. Those are the kinds of questions that do poorly here. In fact your question will likely be closed (put on hold) as well as downvoted.

It is a rare downvoter indeed who pauses over the button and thinks "well, the OP did say Thanks in Advance" or "hm, this question is way too broad and shows no effort, but I see someone else has good guessing skills and the OP praised the answer, so never mind". They downvote based on the content of your question, not whether you are nice or not. (That's good news: though downvotes sting, they aren't about you, they're about your question, which makes them easier to put behind you.)

Did you get started? Do you have some code that kinda works but that doesn't do all you want, or gets an error? If so, excellent. Edit the question (don't ask a new one) and show what you have and what your problem is with what you have. That's a question people can answer.

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