When trying to comment on an existing Q&A (How can I get memory usage reported in SNMP under Mac OS X 10.8 Server?), I am getting an error, "you must have 50 reputation to comment".

I understand spam and relevancy concerns but still, how do I get through this and build up my reputation enough to comment short of trying to answer questions and hoping for upvotes?


2 Answers 2


It also seems to me that in the process of writing answers good enough to gain five upvotes, you learn enough about the site that your comments will be in keeping with the general site ethos (which I suspect is also why the ability to comment is one of the ones you get for free on your second and later SE site, by virtue of the "active member" 101-point bonus).

In general, over the years I've thought that rep privileges came in at about the right level. The requirement for rep for various priviileges isn't so much a prize for success, as a requirement for sufficient amounts of participation and immersion in the ethos of the site that you'll use the privileges (broadly) in keeping with the site's intent.

That said, kindzmarauli, kudos to you for not doing what a lot of inexperienced users do, and posting your comment as an answer (which then has to be flagged, converted by a mod, etc.). Somewhat less points for posting this to SF rather than meta, though!

  • Thank you for the extended answer @MadHatter. Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 8:19
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    You're welcome, @kindzmarauli. You've not made a bad start on SF, so I hope you decide to stay around and participate. (Oh, and just for completeness' sake: you can accept answers in meta just as you do in SF. It has no reputation impact (like everything on meta), but it helps mark the question as "dealt with".)
    – MadHatter
    Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 8:21
  • Afraid the sheer volume of non-intuitive rules and limitations has taken a toll on my desire to seek or post answers here - so we shall see. The answer to the OQ was "you can't", really. Thanks again. Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 8:38
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    @kindzmarauli, I like to think that we're not totally deaf to self-improvement around here. If you have any constructive suggestions on how we can improve things, we'd like to hear them. I've upvoted your one extant question on SF, so you should now be able to post to meta. But I will warn you that one avenue we're almost totally closed to is "how can we make it easier for people to ask newbie-level questions on SF"; the community has made it extremely clear that helping people who need a sysadmin (rather than people who are sysadmins) is not what SF is for.
    – MadHatter
    Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 10:21
  • I appreciate that. (1) On an error like "reputation N required to comment", include a link with an explanation that refers to the mantra you mentioned (no newby questions) and perhaps a justification. (2) Remembering that seasoned veterans and experts are always newbies at something (e.g. SCCM guru being a newby at Ubuntu or perl), rethink, adjust the "no newby (level) questions" mantra - otherwise it might descend into an ole' boys club with established elite that is condescending to outsiders, anything it considers uncool, or even anything it does not understand. Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 11:20
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    @kindzmarauli, your first suggestion seems interesting to me. The privileges page is only two clicks away from any SF page, via the help link, so I'm not sure another pointer is needed. But I will ponder suggesting that we clarify that the link between privileges and rep isn't by way of a prize, but more by way of matching ability to experience. Your second suggestion, though, I think will fly like a lead balloon. We've hashed the "no newbie questions" issue to death, here, and the community simply isn't interested in answering them.
    – MadHatter
    Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 15:49

The simple answer is that you need to ask and/or answer questions to gain the reputation to unlock the privileges.

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