I've been a regular visitor at SO for years, and finally created an account 4 months ago so I could participate in the conversation. Eventually I realized that a huge part of what makes SO/SE such a unique & valuable source of knowledge is how "strict" most of the members are in regards to how/when/what/where to post, staying on-topic, limiting sharing of speculation, etc.
[IMHO some members go overboard with newbies, being rude or belittling them for not already knowing "how" to post, where to search for existing answers, etc, but that's a discussion for another thread.]
I only recently discovered the wealth of Stack sub-sites, each packed with knowledge. The last couple weeks I've joined a new site every other day,
Health being the most recent.
Over a few months of daily visits to the site, I've worked my way up to 227 reputation (and a few dozen of my answers "upped"), and was finally starting to get some privileges, but the fact that this all "resets" on every site I visit is frustrating at the least. This is discouraging for potential new members, plus causes shoddy posts, like my first one on
Health. I took a while carefully writing it because I wanted to make sure it was organized & professional, and that every claim was cited from a reputable source. Then I click
Post and am given the task of choosing which sources to remove, this making it like making my stats look made-up, causing confusion for others, and so on.
If I had never used a Stack site before, I think the restriction would be more appropriate, but when it starts feeling like the restrictions never end, it's bound to make people either stop joining new sites, or stop putting effort into detailed answers.
That being said, I realized afterwards that a simple workaround is to post my disallowed links as a separate, which is what I will do in the future (thus defeating the restriction and making it pointless anyway). Similarly, the only apparent reason that I can't up-vote questions or answers until I have 15-rep, is to make it very clear that my approval is worthless and unwanted.
What is the worst thing that would happen if these restrictions were lifted? If I wanted to spam 100 links I can still do it now - just has to be an even-more-annoying 50 comments with 2 links each. Same goes for if I was just "uninformed" and posting un-reputable links.
With or without the restrictions, other members are still able to remove or fix irrelevant my posts.
@LangLangC mentioned "explaining the rules to newbies" and I (as someone finally getting past his newbie status and starting to feel like a member) strongly agree with that as well. Being completely unaware of SE's posting policies (ie., "if asking for help always show what you've tried and where you've searched"), of the varying policies of the individual sites (ie., on
Health, "only link to medically-reputable sources"), and then topped off with new-member posting restrictions that are prohibitive and confusing, as I haphazardly discover each restriction only by stumbling onto them one at a time. As a frequent Wikipedia editor I'm a little anal about finding quality sources to site, but I don't recall seeing even that instruction posted anywhere (not counting scorn from other members).
Heck, I didn't even know there was a place where we can discuss THIS stuff until today when I finally found a member kind enough to point me in the right direction (Thanks @ Narusan-in-coma!). [I had to put that space after that @ since I'm only allowed to talk about one-person-per-post, until reach some mysterious point-level.]
Ahhh, forgive me if that came across as a rant; it feels good to finally have found a place where I'm allowed to share my non-cited point of view, and hopefully everyone realizes that an opinion from a newbie can be just as valuable as a seasoned member's... And now i have to visit a couple other meta sites to finally ask my off-topic/site-related questions & maybe even share my feedback of a couple simple things that could make "newbie-integration" less painful for everyone involved!