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    Apparently, you need some reputation even to leave a comment to answers to your own questions. That seems unnecessarily strict.


    It's not correct. You can always leave comments on your own posts and on answers to your questions.


    Ah, thanks for clearing that up. I suspected as much, but couldn't think of any way to test it without access to the source code.


    I think this came up somewhere else, but I figure I should probably mention it here too. Some people may ask, "why can you leave answers with no reputation, but need 50 reputation to comment?" This leads to situations where a new user wants to leave a comment, but can't, so she has to leave an answer, mildly annoying everybody. The reason you need reputation to comment is to prevent spammy comments. Since new answers bump the question to the top of the homepage, it's much harder to sneak in a spam answer (without everybody flagging it as spam) than it is to sneak in a spam comment.

    I have 25 rep, and have been unable to add a comment to my question or to the answer. Here is the comment that I was trying to add:

    I don’t understand the reputation algorithm. I had 21 rep before I asked this question, which I then lost 2 rep on, and afterwards had a rep of 24. Since the answer that I received had a vote of 5, the only thing that I can figure is that I also gained 5 rep on that, for a net increase of 3, which would give me 24 rep. The FAQ apparently does not give the full algorithm for computing rep, so I looked at meta, searching for “reputation”, but found no discussion of the reputation algorithm. Since no one else seems to be asking about this, I’m pretty sure I’ve overlooked something. The one thing that I did find out from meta is that, contrary to the impression given in the FAQ, I do not need any certain threshold of rep to comment on my own stuff.
    • CommentAuthorWillieWong
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2010 edited

    I assume you are talking about the Wedderburn question? Answers you receive does not factor into your rep.

    You get +10 for each up-vote and -2 for each down-vote you personally receive on your questions and answer you provide (not the answers others provided for you). (This is, by the way, already explained in the FAQ.)

    The change from 21 to 25 rep is most likely that one person voted you up for the question, and three people voted you down, giving a net of +10 + 3 * (-2) = +4 of reputation, and +1 + 3 * (-1) = -2 of votes.

    • CommentAuthorjbl
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2010 edited

    Indeed, if you click on the "reputation" tab in your user profile, you will see that you have +10 and -6 (so net +4) reputation for the Wedderburn question, as WillieWong suggests.

    • CommentAuthorMike Jones
    • CommentTimeOct 12th 2010
    @WillieWong and jbl: Thanks. I understand now.