6

First off, I understand how reputation works from reading the help center.

Today I ran across this for the first time when I signed up on the musicians' SE site. I was confused as to why I got all this free rep. After looking into it, I see that there is a good rationale behind starting you off right on a new site, as explained by this paragraph:

If you are an experienced Stack Exchange network user with 200 or more reputation on at least one site, you will receive a starting +100 reputation bonus to get you past basic new user restrictions. This will happen automatically on all current Stack Exchange sites where you have an account, and on any other Stack Exchange sites at the time you log in.

That's very clear. It explains how it works. I'm not asking "how" it works, but why. I have read this question as well as several others, and they only explain what it is, and that it is by design. My issue is exactly the same as described in this question, but again, I understand why it happened--it is by design--I just don't understand why it is by design.

Why do I receive this rep bonus on my first SE account?

It makes sense I should get the bonus on a new account, as it says above, to get past some new user restrictions. But if I already have 200 rep on another site (this is the reason I'm getting it on the new site), why give me 100 rep on the old one as well?

  • Looking at your network profile you have a Stack Overflow account with a rep of 732? That is part of Stack Exchange. – PeterJ Sep 14 '14 at 6:26
  • Yes, and it was 632 before I joined Music Practice & Performance. – Gutblender Sep 14 '14 at 6:28
  • Ahh sorry misread your question, I see it's not technically why you got it you want to know the underlying reason. – PeterJ Sep 14 '14 at 6:30
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Ease of implementation and consistency.

Once you pass the association bonus threshold on one site, a flag is set on the network wide account profile that you are deserving of the association bonus.

Then, for site you have are a member of (or when a new account is created), a flag on the site's profile is set and you get +100 rep on that site.

Note that this has no concept of which site it was that gave you the bonus - its just a "has the association bonus been applied? Nope? Ok, here's +100"

The amount of work to try to say "yes, that one gets it, but don't actually award the rep" by SE devs probably isn't worth it to try to add special rules to not have it. Consider also that it would add additional logic that would need to be tested and people can be rather testy when they're supposed to get rep but don't.

Its easier to explain (and code) it with consistency than with exceptions:

If you are an experienced Stack Exchange network user with 200 or more reputation on at least one site, you will receive a starting +100 reputation bonus to get you past basic new user restrictions. This will happen automatically on all current Stack Exchange sites where you have an account, and on any other Stack Exchange sites at the time you log in.

(from The FAQ should add clarifying detail about the +100 account association bonus )

Its easier to explain, its easier to code, and its less likely to have people complain about getting rep on a site than not getting rep on a site because of a misunderstanding of the logic (try explaining the conditions for awarding bounties to people some time...).

  • I suspected as much. As a programmer, this makes perfect sense to me. – Gutblender Sep 15 '14 at 5:38
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Until official answer will come, I'll share my own $0.02 here.

Why we get it on the first site? As a bonus. Pure and fun bonus points for expanding our horizons and joining more sites in the network.

It has no "real" value i.e. it's not meant to give more privileges on the first site, just to make us feel better and know we did something good.

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