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I was about to say "absolutely", and now I'm going to say "as far as I know". :-)

I believe that anybody can increase a new member's reputation by clicking on the "scales of justice" icon on their post. Definitely, any non-new member can reply. That's how it was designed to be.

Recently, we have had some issues with people not being released from "new" status immediately, and I'm not sure what causes that. That's the only reason that I'm uncertain.

Please do go ahead and welcome people if you have the opportunity. The restriction of new members to one forum was only meant to slow down potential spammers. {Remarkably, it works: most potential spammers are computer programs, and are blocked by this simple procedure.} If the post is obviously not spam, we want people to be allowed in as quickly as possible.

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Or you could just post six more times, then you'll be Senior. :-)

Nah, I'm sure Member and Senior Member are the same. The only uncertainty in my mind, at the moment, is whether the most junior members have enough effect on reputation to move a new member in, or not.

Thank you, Sherzade, for wanting to help greet new members.

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Sure, the numbers don't mean anything, but don't be too hard on yourself. They are symbolic of what those posts really represent: the desire to reach out to your fellow humans and help. That's something to celebrate, in my way of looking at it.

What we have done is to take a system that's embedded in the billboard software, that's called "reputation", and use it to confine people with less than a certain reputation to the New Members Forum. New accounts have a certain reputation level that's below the threshold, and so new accounts are confined to the New Members forum until someone increases the reputation. Anyone is allowed to increase the reputation, after which the person can post in other forums. That freedom is not an automatic result of posting once; it requires the intervention of a non-new member. Otherwise, a spam robot could just post more than once and be free. While this means that a spam robot can post as much spam as it wants in New Members, in practice it makes it harder for them, because they don't know which forum they can post in. {And, we're pretty quick to get rid of those that get lucky.}

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