I confess, I didn't jump on the Stackoverflow bandwagon when everyone else did. I've recently signed up and I have a reputation of 176 on stackoverflow.com. To my surprise, I now find that I need 20 to be able to participate in Chat. Is this 20 regarding meta.stackoverflow.com? I find it odd that when signing up it detects my Stackoverflow account and associated me yet ignores reputation.

What happens if I have absolutely zero interest in meta? I understood the chat is irrelevant of meta itself or was I wrong?


Yes, the 20 rep is regarding meta.stackoverflow.com, which is chat.meta.stackoverflow.com's parent site. Other chat sites will follow, chat.stackoverflow.com, chat.superuser.com, etc.

If you earn another 24 rep on SO (200 total), you can associate your account here for a bonus 100 rep which will allow you to chat.

What happens if I have absolutely zero interest in meta? I understood the chat is irrelevant of meta itself or was I wrong?

That is an incorrect assumption. From the chat FAQ:

This site is meant to be an extension of Meta Stack Overflow, so discussion should more or less revolve around the same topics you'd find at Meta Stack Overflow — but in a chatty, interactive, less strictly Q&A focused way.

Although this is not necessarily the case, lots of other topics are discussed in chat at the moment.

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    Thanks. I just earned my 20 for being a student...oh the irony :) Thanks again. – Hadi Hariri Aug 6 '10 at 7:13
  • Apparently there is some issue in the Chat since I have 23 rep now but still demands I have 20 to talk. – Hadi Hariri Aug 6 '10 at 7:16
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    @Hadi the reputation in chat isn't refreshed in real time -- go to chat.meta.stackoverflow.com/logout to update it – balpha Aug 6 '10 at 7:23
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    @balpha, perhaps the restrictions should be realtime though? Whenever it tests against your rep to see if you are to be excluded from something it should be checking the real data. – devinb Aug 6 '10 at 14:37

What am I exactly proving by a 20 points rep? Isn't Chat supposed to be a "third place" where people can (supposedly) talk about whatever they want? why the rep in the first place, either on meta or the main site?

I might understand this for the trial/beta period, but I'm not sure it's reasonable to do it later when you roll out the new feature to all sites

  • This could be it's own question, because well, I feel like I should answer it. You need 20 rep in order to prove that you exist. Otherwise someone could create hundreds of spambots. But, getting 20 rep is something that you have to do manually. – devinb Aug 6 '10 at 14:38
  • I'd create it if you want to.. Anyway, let me reply here.. this is not an answer.. proving that I exist can be done via the email confirmation or even CAPTCHA.. Actually the mere fact that I'm writing this comment or answer is quite enough to prove so!! – Shady M. Najib Aug 6 '10 at 15:50
  • Not so :p You COULD write a bot that creates questions and posts comments, but they'd all be the same. How do I know that you're not a clever spambot that is human shaped? – devinb Aug 18 '10 at 19:42
  • As a matter of fact all current bots are still too dump to show emotions :) or stay in context of a conversation. So, if you can't discover whether I'm a bot or not, I guess... Another thing if (hypercritically) they are that smart, 20 points is as hard as 100 as hard as 0 points.. :) – Shady M. Najib Aug 19 '10 at 6:48

I also find this rather annoying. For me, the point of the chat room associated with e.g. the stats SE site is to talk to other people working in the field, perhaps to ask informal questions regarding the subject matter, etc. Why I should have 20 rep in meta makes utterly no sense when I have > 200 rep on the stats SE site. The chat room to me props up the social side wing of the SE model: Q&A forum + Wiki + social identity/network.

  • There's two issues here. First, each separate site will eventually have their own chat site. Having a chat room on the Meta Stack Overflow site is merely a placeholder. When the site has its own chat, you'll only need to worry about your reputation there. Second, normally with 200+ reputation on the Stats site, you could associate with your Meta account here and get 100, more than enough to chat. But unfortunately, there's a bit of a problem with associations due to the server migration. In normal circumstances, though, you would be able to chat thanks to that 200+ rep. – Grace Note ModStaff Oct 22 '10 at 16:30
  • Ran out of room, but here is info on said association issue. – Grace Note ModStaff Oct 22 '10 at 16:31
  • @Grace Note: ah, OK, "is only temporary". Now if 2 people could upvote my whiny answer, I could use the chat room in the interim. but whatever. – shabbychef Oct 23 '10 at 5:39

I concur. It makes very little sense for all the people on WordPress Answers (for example) and be unable to chat because they don't have 20 on meta.stackexchange.com. I understand why but the effect is just brain dead. Chat's reputation filter needs to be tied to the relevant site, not to meta.

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    Please read the accepted answer. The wordpress site chat will be tied to the rep on the wordpress site. – balpha Aug 18 '10 at 6:16

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