What exactly is this "reputation?"
User Reputation's basis comes from the opinions of all the forum users that choose to take part in it. Users gain and lose reputation based on how their posts are scored by other forum participants. Users with the ability to affect reputation will either give or take away points by approving or disapproving with a post's content.
Does it mean that I am not respected or beneficial to the board if I have a low reputation count?
Not at all! Reputation points really have nothing to do with the importance of a member or their benefit. It is simply a system implemented primarily for fun and entertainment purposes. Please do not be overly-concerned about your rep count. There are very few people, if any, that even care what your reputation count is. Some choose to ignore the feature altogether by disabling it. See the question, "How do I disable reputation system for myself" to see how one can disable their reputation from being displayed.
How can I turn the reputation system off/on?
You can turn your reputation off or on through your User Control Panel.
To do this, go to your control panel. Next click on, "Edit Options" from the panel on the left.* Next uncheck or check the check box titled, "Show my reputation level." Now scroll all the way down until you see the button, "Save changes" and click on it.
*Tip: You can also use the "Nav Links" section of the menu to select "Edit Options" from the drop-down menu. Alternatively you can just Click Here
How can I give out reputation to other members?
You can give out reputation to others simply by clicking on the reputation button next to their post. The button looks like this: . When you click on the button, a little box should pop-up. There are two options in that box. You can either give positive or negative reputation (see the next two questions below). The default feature is to give out positive reputation. When you have decided on what type of reputation to give out, you can comment on the reputation you are giving. The little box that allows you to type things (input box) is simply there as an extra option to tell the other person why you are giving them reputation. It is not a requirement to type anything in that box, but it will certainly be a plus for the member you are giving rep to if you can tell them why you are giving them the rep. A typical comment often associated with a reputation is, "Thank you for the research." Once you are done, click the submit button and the reputation will transfer to the other member.
When should I give positive reputation?
You should give positive reputation whenever you feel that the post of another member of the forum was good and deserving of some praise. For example, if you think that a member's post answered your question very well, you can rep them so that they know that you are appreciative of their contribution.
When should/shouldn't I give negative reputation?
The issue of when you should give negative reputation is a tough one. Unlike positive reputation, do NOT give a member negative reputation ("rep" for short) if you simply disagree with them. For example, if a member posts a post stating that they believe in OSAS and you do not, do not give them negative reputation. It will not prove anything for yourself and will just make you look like an angry person who can't accept anyone disagreeing with your opinions. Basically speaking, only give negative reputation in extreme situations. If the person is personally insulting you, harassing other members, being rude and nasty, you may think about giving negative reputation. Please note that abusing the reputation system may result in disciplinary actions.
How can I see how much reputation I currently have?
You can see the amount of reputation that you currently have by going into your User Control Panel.
What are those comments I see in my UserCP?
The comments are given to you by the member who is 'repping' you. These comments may sometimes justify the reason for giving you the reputation points. You can give out comments like these to other members by typing in the text field in the reputation pop-up. Please note that it is not a requirement to give out reputation point comments and some users that give you reputation points will not leave any comments.
Why did I get positive/negative reputation?
First off, it is best to refer to the comments (see above) for the reputation point in question. If, however, the member leaving you the reputation did not leave a comment or left one that is ambiguous and you are interested to know why they left you the rep points, kindly PM them and ask them nicely.
What are those color boxes next to the reputation comment?
The color of the boxes indicate if the reputation point given is: negative, positive, or neutral (can be both). A blue box means that the reputation is positive. A red box means that the reputation is negative. A "yellow zero" box means that the user giving you the reputation does not have sufficient reputation power (see below) to make a difference on your reputation point level. The positive, negative, and neutral boxes are (respectively):
What is the amount of reputation I can give out based on (reputation power)?
The amount of reputation you can give out depends on several factors. The factors are as follows: number of days you have been a member, number of posts you have, number of reputation points you currently have.
What are the values for all of the factors affecting my giving reputation power?
The values are as follows: For every 250 number of days, users gain 1 point of reputation-altering power. For every 2500 number of posts, users gain 1 point of reputation-altering power. For every 800 points of reputation, users gain 1 point of reputation-altering power.
Can anyone give out reputation?
There are several factors that must be reached before a member can give out positive or negative reputation. The member must have at least 50 posts. The member must also have a reputation equivalent to or greater than 0
Is there a limit to how much reputation I can give out?
Yes. You can only give out no more than 10 reputation points per each 24 hour period. You can give a reputation point to the same user only after you have given reputation to 10 other users. Basically, if you have given 'Joe' a reputation, you must give 10 other members reputation before you can rep Joe again.
Extra notes to consider:
Some of these restrictions or rules may not apply to moderators and/or administrators.