I understand the reason why Stack Exchange has different sites to separate Cooking from Programming or Gaming. I understand too why the reputation is associated on each site.

Why do I have to create a new OpenID for each web site? I know that when I create a new account, it is automatically associated to my other accounts. But, is there a reason why, when I originally create a user on the first site, I can't go on another site with this user?

1 Answer 1


I assume you mean "why do I have a separate user account for each site" (note that the openid can be, and often is, identical between sites, and in most cases the association between sites is fully automatic). And the answer is simply that your credibility etc does not logically flow. You can be the greatest chef in the world, but that doesn't qualify you for fixing a server.

This way, your expertise is acknowledged appropriately between different sites. The StackExchange inbox-thingy should help make it a breeze to track activity between sites.

  • 12
    This design decision is understandable, reputation shouldn't span through all StackExchange sites, but IMO it could be easier to reuse logins among them. For example: I'm an SO user, when I find Programmers and want to register, instead of having to remember how did I login to SO, the site could tell me "Here you can create your Programmers' account in 1 step using your SO credentials" (in the case of users of multiple SE sites, "using your SO credentials" would be replaced with "using the same credentials you used in other SE sites)
    – Jose_GD
    May 28, 2013 at 13:45
  • 6
    Your argument is partly invalid. There are at least 10 programming-related platforms (e.g. programming, stackoverflow, android, ...) between the credibility definitely SHOULD flow.
    – Eugene
    Jul 8, 2013 at 9:45
  • 4
    Well, I do see the importance of segregating reputation by category of a given StackExchange site. However, I think having a single account with default associations to all sites would be easier than manually linking site by site.
    – ezpz
    Aug 5, 2014 at 18:59
  • ...continued: It would be a matter of having a reputation bucket for each exchange. That way, a single account can be a master chef, but still deliver minor contributions to physicists or linguists. Although not an impossible design implementation, I dont expect a paradigm shift so late into the game. *Noticed I can comment with 1 rep even though some SE sites require up to 50rep. (Also dont like that [Enter] auto submits the comment).
    – ezpz
    Aug 5, 2014 at 19:08
  • @Emran you can explicitly blame me for the "enter submits a comment" thing; I guess it is a love/hate choice... Aug 5, 2014 at 19:47
  • I was wondering the same thing as Emran: why not use segregate reputation?
    – OlavRG
    Oct 21, 2014 at 7:48
  • @OlavRG do you mean aggregate? We already do use segregated / separate reputation. Oct 21, 2014 at 7:50
  • 3
    @MarcGravell to clarify on my earlier comment, my question is why SE isn't set up to use a single account per person, with separate reputation for each category.
    – OlavRG
    Oct 28, 2014 at 15:28
  • 9
    very good answer. But if that is the case then it just means poor implementation. It is extremely easy to manage posts to site separately and have separate reputation per site. Not only would this mean less storage space for repeated user data but better overall performance even if just by a margin of 0.4%. There isn't any excuse not to have unified accounts. Nov 4, 2014 at 5:57
  • 1
    I just downvoted this answer. Not because is not correct, but because I just don't agree with the idea. I have been a developer for a few years now and had my account with StackOverflow since the beginning, but always interacted with many of the other sites in the exchange realm. I think it really hinders people to engage more. Also, now that I started joining other accounts I realized is kind of easy, but I also noticed that I joined 5 of them in just 2 weeks, all related to the same topic, code.
    – A Campos
    Jan 31, 2020 at 16:10
  • This doesn't explain why you need to manually click "yes, join this stack exchange community" or something like that for every single new community you want to join when that could just be automatic. The reputation being separate is good, but they could just let you use one account for all the sites and just store reputation separately. Jul 27, 2023 at 23:07
  • Yeah, this explanation makes sense. However it is absolutely the wrong design to require separate logins if these forums are related in some way. Probably what happened is the architects made this design choice then never got bothered enough to iterate this aspect of the design. Yeah it's totally ludicrous to require users to create separate accounts. Just keep their reputation and responses isolated to each forum. There are plenty of solutions out there that do this correctly. Oct 6, 2023 at 23:28

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