I don't often hit the 200 daily rep ceiling (only 8 times in two years), and am looking for guidance on what to do if it happens fairly early in the day. Do you compose and save up answers to new questions and post them at 00.01 GMT of the next day, or just say the h--- with it and post them when they occur to you?

One reason I am posting this trivial question on Meta is to lighten things up on Meta. Downvotes on this will not bother me.

  • 8
    I'm of the opinion that rep is imaginary and so doesn't matter. So I post when posting itself feels rewarding, not because the number next to my name will increase. Though the number on the post itself increasing can be rewarding, if only in the sense that I know I've (a) got an audience for my hard work and (b) have patently struck a chord with them. But that water is muddy too, because my highest-scoring posts are usually the trivial SWRs that I happen to know the answer to off the top of my head, which then hit the HNQ.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 9:46
  • 5
    Also thank you for asking this, the effort to lighten the mood is definitely appreciated!
    – Dan Bron
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 9:47
  • 1
    @DanBron - you are right, rep is imaginary but, as the current mood suggests, upvotes and downvotes may have deeper and more far-reaching implications than we can imagine....
    – user66974
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 12:33
  • 1
    @Josh Yeah, that's quite true. So it seems there's two remedies which sound contradictory but are actually complementary: gently remind people that votes matter (as you do) and gently remind people votes don't matter (as I do).
    – Dan Bron
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 12:47
  • 1
    @ab2 I have the opposite problem.... I want to hit the rep cap (to work toward the "I've hit the rep cap X times" badges) but instead I post answers that get 180 one day and 170 the next.
    – Hellion
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 15:59
  • 1
    @Hellion My sincere sympathies. Maybe if you got up at 4:00 am you could time things better. Or maybe not.
    – ab2
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 20:28
  • 6
    I have a really good answer to this question, but I’m afraid I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to post it.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 2:45
  • 2
    I have given the correct answer to your question below ;-) (I hope you can sense my tongue firmly jammed in my cheek with the 'correct' bit there :D ) Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 9:57
  • 1
    Stop worrying about your bally reputation points. They don't really mean anything. Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 5:58
  • @ab2 really, why bother posting such a waste of time question Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 18:29
  • 4
    I don't get it. What does "rep" actually do for you? Do you brag to girls at your local bars that you have a 15K rep on EL&U?
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 2:40
  • 2
    There's this place you can go... what's it called? Oh yeah, it's called outside.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 23:28
  • @Mazura Please clarify. Do you mean I should go to The Great Outdoors SE or do you mean I should go outside the house? :)
    – ab2
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 23:42

3 Answers 3


If you wait with what you consider to be a good answer, someone else might beat you to it. You'll then be posting a duplicate answer, which is Not A Good Thing To Do.

Don't forget that although you may not reap the benefit of upvotes immediately, the answer will continue to accrue votes the following day, and beyond. Would you rather have those future votes, or risk them going to someone else?

However, the most important reason to post immediately is that you are helping someone else. You are contributing to the body of knowledge that is Stack Exchange. That's the primary purpose of the network: to be a repository of knowledge in the form of questions and answers. That it's gamefied and you get points is surely a side issue.

  • 9
    If you carry your analysis to its logical conclusion, you will find that posting a good answer ASAP is the best strategy for both the selfish and the altruistic answerer. The key point is the advantage of posting early; even a brilliant answer will not get many votes if it is sitting underneath more than about 3 to 5 decent answers; not enough people will read that far down the queue.
    – ab2
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 20:57
  • 6
    @ab2 ... or, what's worse, 4 or 5 terrible answers ;) Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 8:47

The answer to this question is: Get over to ELL Stack Exchange, where your knowledge and experience will be both welcome and well-appreciated and where you'll be able to help budding English speakers flourish whilst earning nice fat juicy rep scores.

Do it!

  • 2
    I hits the link ELL in your answer and it goes to your profile page! Is that the meaning of tongue-firmly-in-cheek, methinks. Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 10:10
  • 1
    @EnglishStudent Ooops. Sorted, thanks! Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 10:29
  • 1
    You are welcome! Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 10:31
  • 2
    Thanks for the invitation! I'll take a look.
    – ab2
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 1:25

Reputation serves many valuable collective purposes by appealing to a powerful private craving: vanity. When the desire to score points leads you to behavior that undermines the good purposes it normally serves, it’s time to turn your pride against point-scoring. Here are two ways that’s worked for me.

  1. When I hit the daily reputation cap, I find myself thinking, “WOO-HOOO! I’m on a roll!” It’s easy to take pride in how many points you can lose to the rep cap—so post as much as you can before the GMT date changes.

  2. But then a deeper insight kicks in, still related to pride. Isn’t the rep cap the universe’s way—or maybe our StackExchange overlords’ way—of telling us that we’re spending too much time posting here? Sure enough, I see that I’ve been neglecting worthy pursuits in which I take more pride than my posts here, sometimes even work that earns money for me and not StackExchange. Now beholding those reputation points gives me a twinge of shame! Memento mori! Time now to take pride in humbly heeding the rep cap’s signal to take a break. There are papers to write, copy to edit, a faucet to repair, sunlight to enjoy, email to answer, deadlines to meet, …

  • 3
    Point #2 resonates with me. Thanks for posting it. I am going to sign off now!
    – ab2
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 1:17
  • 1
    Just take a short break and look at it philosophically / poetically: __"There are papers to write, copy to edit // a faucet to repair, sunlight to enjoy // email to answer, deadlines to meet, // … __ and miles to go before I sleep!" Do you think Robert Frost used to be a member here at EL&U? Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 8:32
  • @EnglishStudent Actually, while writing that, I was hazily imitating the song "Bring Me My Bride"—which, now that I think about it, is a song about pride!
    – Ben Kovitz
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 15:10
  • 2
    @Ben Kovitz you have raised an intriguing question as to why we spend so much time at ELU apparently ignoring 'more worthwhile and possibly more rewarding' pursuits:in fact I think the motivation is not really reputation points, but most likely the linguistic kicks - I only 'discovered' EnglishStackExchange 7 weeks back, which is my delay and no reflection on this site: I am not at all a social media person, so what attracts me to ELU is the focused interaction built around the intricacies of the English language (which I love) - and I like it so much: thats why I spend a lot of time here! Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 15:21
  • @EnglishStudent Same here. Indeed the main reason I post (mostly on ELL) is to scratch my itch for "grokking" language and especially English. Gamification serves useful purposes, like giving special privileges to people who take care of the community, filtering out people who don't treat the site seriously, etc. Sometimes, though, it goes the way of all metrics: people focus on the metric and not on the thing it imperfectly measures. Sometimes it even seduces excellent contributors away from the thing they love most—getting their (insert topic here) kicks.
    – Ben Kovitz
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 15:38
  • @Ben Kovitz very true! I think of it this way: my time is luckily my own, and I should probably be choosing those activities that both capture [attract & retain] my interest and give me gratification -- if asking, answering and discussing English at ELU were stressful or boring why I should continue? (As we Indians say) - so the fundamental enjoyment of linguistic discussion and debate is only helped by reputation,which cannot replace the basic satisfaction derived from the interesting activity. This is, of course, true for everything that we do by choice, and ELU is a great website! Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 15:51
  • @Ben Kovitz yet another question has attracted controversy, because users voted to close when some experienced users feel they might have migrated to ELL english.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/10310/… In this context, mainly because you are a senior member at ELL, I should like to get your bird's eye view of the whole migration debate which I had addressed last month and now revisited in my own unresolved meta question english.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/10215/… Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 15:58
  • If I comment on a question at StackOverflow (computer coding)that requires making up a demo plnkr of the code I feel like I'm doing a real service as well as advancing skills through reinforcement. Here... I think of it as "playing a game"... like a crossword puzzle -- but slightly more useful as it sometimes helps the person asking a question they legitimately have a purpose for.
    – Tom22
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 20:59
  • @Tom22 You speak very true! Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 22:10

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .