I recently spent about half an hour trying to determine why I wasn't getting reputation for an upvoted question I asked on a child meta site.

Let me give a bit of background.

  • I posted a question to a child meta site and it got an upvote.

  • I was puzzled when I didn't get any reputation for this, so I investigated.

  • I clicked on the link for https://writing.meta.stackexchange.com/help and was redirected to https://writing.stackexchange.com/help.

  • Based on this, I (incorrectly) assumed that the behaviour of the child meta site should be in no way different from the behaviour of the child main site. (Since they shared the same help pages.)

  • Because I was interested in reputation, I went to the What is reputation? How do I earn (and lose) it? help page.

  • That page didn't mention anything about reputation on the meta site behaving differently.

  • So, I posted a question about why I hadn't received any reputation, and got the answer that votes do not affect reputation on child meta sites.

  • I was also referred to the What is "meta"? How does it work? help page.

  • It hadn't even occurred to me that there would be a separate section within the child main site Help Center that discussed everything about its meta siteā€”and so, I hadn't thought to search for "meta."

Therefore, I propose a couple of changes to how the help pages work that could make this more easily discovered.

  • If there is something specific to a child meta site, it should be cross referenced within the child main site's relevant help page.

    For example, add the following to the bottom of the What is reputation? How do I earn (and lose) it? help page:

    Note that the meta site treats this differently.
    For more information, see What is "meta"? How does it work?

  • When viewing a child meta site and clicking the link to its Help, do not redirect to its main site's Help Center. Instead, show the What is "meta"? How does it work? help page, along with some text and a link at the top along the lines of:

    For help in general, see the main site Help Center.

Both of these changes would be ideal, but even just one of them (the easiest to implement is the second) would have prevented a lot of confusion on my part.

  • 1
    Funny thing is main meta is literally the outlier here, and works differently from everywhere else. – Journeyman Geek Jun 16 '18 at 7:01

Right on the page you linked on "What is "meta"?"

Votes on meta do not affect your reputation; your meta reputation is the same as your reputation on Writing Stack Exchange (synchronized hourly), though you earn separate badges. You must have 5 reputation to participate on meta.

Its worth reading anyway cause meta's are a pretty unique (and sometimes hard) feature of SE

Now, the single page FAQ from the old days would have shown this clearer - but at this point I'm doubtful its coming back.

And here's the funny part.

MSE's an outlier. It works differently and uniquely from ever other meta site since... its never actually used the meta-site rules. Its a regular site, as it was pre per site meta. In a sense it would make more sense to go "unlike other metas"

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  • 3
    As for it being on that page, that's exactly my point. :) Had I known of the existence of that page (to search for "meta" rather than "reputation") I would have easily found the information I needed. It's also possible I would have had this issue well before I started following MSE and getting used to how it works here. I could have been used to simply one child main site, gotten used to it, and run into exactly the same confusion with its meta site. – Jason Bassford Jun 16 '18 at 14:38

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