I am new to SO. I was wondering why the initial rep is 1 (and not 0) on any new stack exchange site that I join?

  • Because 1 is psychologically more than 0. Here at Stack Exchange, everyone is at least a one, not a zero. – Martijn Pieters Sep 10 '13 at 18:19
  • one rep for simply signjng up snd joining the community? :P – aug Sep 10 '13 at 18:24
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    @MartijnPieters It's also mathematically more than 0 – Michael Mrozek Sep 10 '13 at 19:03

You're a member, you have basic privileges (such as asking and answering questions), as such you have positive reputation.

Zero would suggest the system has zero confidence in you and that's not true; it has limited confidence in you.

Not strictly related but you only start at 1 on new sites while you don't have at least 200 rep on one site; once you get 200 you'll get an association bonus of 100 on every site you're a member of.

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  • When a user is suspended their reputation is temporarily set to one; if what you are asserting were correct I would expect it to be set to zero instead. Of course setting it to zero would make more sense, IMHO, but I'm not sure the "system" sees this the way you're thinking about it. – Mr.Wizard Sep 10 '13 at 18:30
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    @Mr.Wizard I would agree, suspention should mean zero. That said; it really doesn't matter – Richard Tingle Sep 10 '13 at 18:31

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