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This user asked a good question, was responsive in comments, and eventually found an answer elsewhere on the site that led him to a solution (that wasn't obvious to me). I suggested that he should paste his comment into an answer with his code, then accept it, but apparently his reputation was too low for him to answer his own question. (See Require 15 reputation for new users to answer their own question.)

What's the best way forward? I (or someone else) could basically copy his question edit into an answer, he could accept it, and gain that little bit extra reputation, but he did all the work, he should get rewarded for it. (I wish I could just give him the specific privilege to answer his own question, then he would have the reputation...)

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    Does he really need 15 rep to eventually add an answer for his question? I thought that it was just time limited. Somehow I occasionally see 1 rep user's answers to their own questions. Commented May 30, 2011 at 23:55
  • @Jeff, the 15 points seems to be relatively recent.. I too thought it was just time-limited except he pointed out the reputation limit.
    – sarnold
    Commented May 30, 2011 at 23:58
  • You could always award him a bounty for being a go-getter.
    – Zoot
    Commented Nov 23, 2011 at 21:06
  • @Zoot: True enough, a bounty could be awarded to the poster on another answer elsewhere to give the points necessary to skip the eight hour limit -- but I like to think that the upvotes, ✓, or bounty on answers should accurately reflect the best answer for that specific question -- rather than just be thrown around to reward behaviors elsewhere on the site. (Such as the occasionally-proposed "good edit votes" -- yeah, I can always go upvote something else, but the thing I vote up might not be the best on the page in question. I want to reward the specific behavior I like.)
    – sarnold
    Commented Nov 23, 2011 at 23:54

2 Answers 2


This is not correct; 1 rep users can answer their own question after 8 hours. This restriction is lifted at 100 rep.

  • 6
    Man, I wish all these hyper-fluid rules were cataloged somewhere obvious :) there's nothing about this (or the 15-rep rule which apparently lasted about six weeks) on the additional privileges page or the faq.
    – sarnold
    Commented May 31, 2011 at 0:34
  • @sarnold so write one and tag it faq-proposed ... on second thought, you probably don't know about the meta site use of faq tags as a way to document those things.
    – jcolebrand
    Commented May 31, 2011 at 2:22
  • I found this one out the hard way too, had to wait 8 hours to answer my own question. Unfortunate, but makes sense logically.
    – ardavis
    Commented May 31, 2011 at 2:25
  • 1
    @sarnold the error message tells you that you have to wait (n) answers before answering because you have less than (x) rep. So it's self-documenting in that sense. Commented May 31, 2011 at 3:50
  • 1
    @Jeff, at least it's nice to know the new user knew the details :) but I looked quite the fool giving him answers that might have been right for only a few days. Perhaps someday the privileges page will be auto-generated from the database that controls the privileges? :)
    – sarnold
    Commented May 31, 2011 at 8:27
  • 1
    @sarnold if the user can't read that is neither your problem nor my problem. FWIW I did slightly improve that message just now so it gives the absolute (8 hours from ask) and relative times (2 hours from now) at once. Commented May 31, 2011 at 8:29
  • There is a link to the ever-changing hyperfluid list of magic! meta.stackexchange.com/questions/59445/… -- I'm stuffing it here, just in case I forget I have it bookmarked now.
    – sarnold
    Commented Jun 13, 2011 at 0:02

Yep. I have basically the same problem. I have 13 reputation. Can only accept my own answer 24+ hours later. I actually did that, but at the same time I was trying to answer a question one of the users didn't like my answer and voted it down. I have been using this website for 11 consecutive days and can't wait until my rep = 15 or more to actually vote on something. So here's what I have been doing:

  1. I guess new users have to be patient: Not answer the first thing you see but actually study their own answers a little bit. See if it makes sense before posting.

  2. Ask questions making sure they don't exist already. This takes a while. You have to come up with something interesting. Work a little harder look for similar questions and maybe suggest edits.

  3. If you haven't earned the necessary reputation yet: Visit your own profile for 30 consecutive days. That will give you a silver medal and a little more respect when they see your badges.

  4. hang out, look around. The more questions/answers you see the better chances you have to find something that's pretty clear that needs some edit or improvement on answers. Look for lazy answers and try to make them look a little more like a quick tutorial explaining all the details.

  5. Speaking of details. There's a lot of questions with "quick answers" that might need a little more detail since the new users might not fully understand what's been talked about. So let's improve them so everybody understands and not only the experts.

  6. Talk about concepts, software versions or even your shot of answering a question asking if there's a better way to get to the point.

  7. Visit the faq as many times as necessary to understand the rules and improve your own judgement skills around here.

  8. Don't be afraid of asking. Some users don't like some questions but I've seen a lot of users saying: Hey, you've been a newbie before, let people ask basic questions!

And please, if you have something to say, you're more than welcome to edit my own answer so we can have this list complete and clear for rookies like me!

  • 3
    Nice first meta post; I especially like the points on patience, details, and don't be afraid of asking -- with the caveat that showing some effort makes all the difference in the world. But I'm not so sure about the silver badge -- I almost never see the little badge indicators.
    – sarnold
    Commented Nov 23, 2011 at 23:49
  • 1
    Ironic that new users who find this useful can't upvote it and will have to hopefully remember to come back and upvote it once they can :-)
    – UpAndAdam
    Commented Apr 29, 2013 at 14:47

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