I stumbled onto this site after answering other Doctor Who questions, elsewhere. I am a writer myself, and don't have time to jump through hoops to response to a question, then learn I cannot comment until I have 10 reps when I have no idea what that means.
Just tell me if you expect me to jump through to give you the answer and I will cancel.
Not all writers are computer geeks, we just use them to create scripts, stories, etc.

  • 7
    Browse the help center, everything is detailed there. (There's a specific section on reputation as well)
    – Jenayah
    Jan 7, 2020 at 6:41
  • 6
    If you got to this point, you've already jumped through all of the hoops.
    – JRE
    Jan 7, 2020 at 6:48
  • What genre do you write in? Are you self published? (I know it's irrelevant to your question but I'm wondering if I've ever read any of your work)
    – Danny Mc G
    Jan 7, 2020 at 7:10
  • 10
    "[I] don't have time to jump through hoops to response to a question". "[I'm not a] computer geek". It certainly sounds like you're approaching this site with the right attitude.
    – Valorum
    Jan 7, 2020 at 13:06

3 Answers 3


Meta is the site we're currently on: a second website attached to the Science Fiction & Fantasy website which is called Science Fiction & Fantasy meta, and whose purpose is for questions and answers about the website. The main site is for questions and answers about science fiction and fantasy. Since your question was about the workings of the website itself, users migrated it to the meta site, which is where we are now. See also What's meta? from the help centre, which has more details.

Reputation is the "points" a user can earn by participating on the site. If you write a question or answer, every upvote on your post will earn you 10 reputation points, while every downvote will lose you 2 reputation points. See also What's reputation? from the help centre. (Note that there is no reputation on meta, so the voting on your question here about the website will not earn or lose you any points.)

Some site activities require a certain amount of reputation to perform: these are called "privileges" and are again listed in the help centre. In particular:

  • To ask a question, there is no reputation requirement.
  • To answer a question, there is usually no reputation requirement. Some questions are "protected" because they've had too many low-quality answers, which means you need 10 reputation to answer them. (Let me know if you want to answer one of these "protected" questions, and I can temporarily unprotect it for you.)
  • To leave a comment, you usually need 50 reputation. The exception is for commenting on your own post, or on answers to your own question, which you can always do with no reputation requirement.

One more thing: this website doesn't work like a typical forum, where responses to a query can be tangential remarks or new questions or anything else. Here, if you post an answer you need to actually answer the question you're responding to.

  • 7
    Protected questions are now labelled as "Highly active question" to confuse matters.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Jan 7, 2020 at 12:55
  • @TheLethalCarrot Unfortunately.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Jan 7, 2020 at 14:52

I [...] don't have time to jump through hoops [...]

While you have already received an excellent answer, I'd like to address the gist of your question, or at least how it came across to me.

Besides hosting questions and answers, this site is home to a community. You'll find that most sites that allow for interaction between its users, will see some form of community grow. Sometimes, if the user base is big enough, several communities, interacting and overlapping.

When you're looking to join a community, be it online or in real life, the community will already have established rules, both written and unwritten, and customs. To become a part of that community, you will have to adhere to its rules and join in its customs. That doesn't mean you have to fall in line and follow the rest of the sheep, but if you violate the rules too much, or go against the customs, you may find yourself ousted from the community you sought to be a part of.

That goes for any community, be it a site like this one, or Reddit with its reddiquette, or your place of work, or the neighbourhood or town you live in. While you perceive them as hoops to jump through, you're actually in luck that on this site, the rules have been formalised and written down for your perusal. The question mark in the top bar is your door to several sources of help, such as the tour, the help centre, and even an answer to your first question, "what is meta?"

You may not be a computer geek, but you're expected to be computer literate enough to know how to use the help, and savvy enough in general to know what is expected of you if you participate in a community's activities.

Welcome to the Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack. I hope you'll stay.


We always welcome people who are willing to spend some time supplying quality answers, but if you don't have time to read, learn, and then follow the rules, then maybe contributing to the site is not for you. It isn't particularly reasonable to expect those who have taken the time to understand the site (which isn't difficult) to spend more of their time turning the help centre pages into a bite-size chunk that you can be bothered to read.

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