I've been asking a few questions here and was told you get more responses if you up-vote the answers received. But I can't up-vote w/o a reputation of 15 or better. How do you show appreciation for insights/answers if you can't up-vote? And how do you get a reputation of 15? (I really appreciate the insights I've received from this sight, and don't want to seem ungrateful.)

Don

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3 Answers 3

You can accept the best answer to your question by clicking the green checkmark next to it. This will give the answerer a reputation increase of 15, and you an increase of 2. This will (slowly) lift you up to 15. You can also get upvotes on good questions (+5), but the most important way to get an increase in reputation is via answering questions. An answer can get +10 reputation from each upvote, and +15 if the asker thinks you gave the best answer and accepts it. Because accepting answers is the best way to thank someone, your profile will display an accept rate, the percentage of questions you have accepted an answer for. In your case it's 0%, probably because you did not know you could do this. I recommend you go back and accept answers to your older questions, otherwise people might incorrectly think you never return the favor.

Another nice way of getting more reputation is by suggesting edits to other questions and answers that contain (small) errors. You also get +2 rep for each accepted edit.

The threshold of 15 rep required to upvote is needed because otherwise people could create fake accounts to upvote their questions. Yes, it's sad if you spend your time like that, but some people have too much time on their hands...

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Wait … you are not Mike Schinkel? –  toscho Mar 29 '11 at 7:01
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well said Jan. This should be added to the FAQ. –  Chris_O Apr 8 '11 at 14:20
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How zen, you are your own solution.

In your situation, if you were to simply designate the best answer for each of the questions you've asked, you'd have the reputation score you need.

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Not always that easy...I had this problem on another SE site where I never asked a question (and have a 1 reputation) but found something I needed. The original questioner never accepted, but I would have. Unfortunately, I couldn't even upvote. –  Ray Mitchell Mar 29 '11 at 10:40
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@Ray: Indeed, it can be frustrating to get your first rep points - but then it can go up in no time. Also: when you have more than 200 rep on one site (and you're close - let me browse your answers...), you start with a +100 bonus when you register on other sites because you already know the system. For your existing accounts you can de-associate and then re-associate them to get the bonus there too. –  Jan Fabry Mar 29 '11 at 13:20
    
@Jan Fabry - thanks for the heads up on de-associating and re-associating. –  Ray Mitchell Mar 29 '11 at 23:29
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In absence of voting, the natural way to show appreciation is leaving a positive comment on the answer.

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This is indeed a natural thing to do, but on the main Stack Overflow site it is considered "pointless noise". Discussions about ways to express thanks when you have low rep go nowhere, because it is expected that everyone knows that you "pay it forward" by answering other questions. I'm grateful we are not that harsh on this site, and give room to newcomers. –  Jan Fabry Apr 12 '11 at 15:27
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