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I've recently joined Arduino.SE but am a 7K+ reputation member of both SO and U&L.

Every community has its different mores, and I'm guessing that I've not yet grokked this one's.

My reputation page shows -12 reputation over the last 6 days on both questions and answers.

Can someone explain what I may be missing? Or have I just had a bad run of luck?

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Bad luck, mainly. Answers that don't quite pertain to the question, questions that you answer yourself where the question has been asked before, or questions that aren't on topic (note: we have questions on Arduino hardware and other systems that use the Arduino API. Generic microcontroller hardware questions, even if they are for a microcontroller that happens to be used on an Arduino, are not really our sphere).

We are a fairly narrow site. For more general questions on electronics and microcontrollers the Electrical Engineering SE is usually a better fit.

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    Hmm, the thing is that I never asked a "generic microcontroller question". All the questions / answers pertained to Leonardo's chip. – Tom Hale Feb 15 at 10:28
  • Could you elaborate on the answer(s) which don't quite pertain to the question? – Tom Hale Feb 15 at 10:35
  • There is one where the OP asks where on his hard drive some files are. You point him to Github. While the files are available there, that's not what the OP asked. Maybe he wants to modify the files on his hard drive or something. So people see that answer as wrong, since it's not answering the question asked. – Majenko Feb 15 at 10:42
  • As for the chip one, you're asking about the chip and the datasheet. That's more generic than about the Leonardo. That's microcontroller. That's EE, not Arduino. If the question had been about the Leonardo as a whole then that's fine. Personally I have nothing against that kind of question. – Majenko Feb 15 at 10:44
  • However, the simple answer to any question like that (which is probably why it got closed / downvoted) is "From the manufacturer of the chip". – Majenko Feb 15 at 10:45
  • The datasheet also describes registers which (correct me if I'm wrong) would fall under Arduino. I'm glad to learn the manufacturer is now Microchip, which was non-obvious given how generic the result is when googling ATmega. – Tom Hale Feb 16 at 7:37
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This site doesn't tend to up or down-vote much which therefore skews the votes you do get. As an example, I got 77 votes for an answer on Cooking Stack Exchange where I basically posted a photo of a kitchen strainer which took me a couple of minutes to take. On the other hand, I've spent hours on posts which only got a handful of votes. For example this one about interrupts which only got 11 upvotes (maybe I didn't spend hours on that particular one, but I still get a very low upvote rate).

I had down-votes when I initially joined this site, and now I am a moderator. I suggest you ignore the implied criticism and just do your best to post interesting questions, and also interesting answers and let your work speak for itself.

To a certain extent people will downvote a question if it looks like you haven't tried all that hard to research before posting, or if there is a similar question already with an answer. I'm not saying this applies in your case, but that tends to be what happens.

  • Thanks Nick. I purposefully risk some down votes out of laziness sometimes, eg answering with a GitHub link when someone asks for where they can find some code on their HDD, rather than writing a separate question and answer for X in what may be an XY problem. – Tom Hale Feb 16 at 7:30
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    @TomHale, add the link as comment, not an answer – Juraj Feb 16 at 11:13
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    @Juraj Yes, but you aren't supposed to "answer" in comments, even with a link. The correct approach is to make a proper answer that stands on its own. Links can go down, so putting a link in an answer, or a comment, doesn't really help if that happens. – Nick Gammon Feb 17 at 5:53
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    11 upvotes that's 15 now, does your meta post now qualify as click bait? – Ghanima May 13 at 20:42

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