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I haven't been able to earn any reputation on Area 51 even though some of my discussions on the Discussion Zone have received upvotes. Is this by design or is it a bug?
The Area 51 discuss zone is effectively the child-meta of Area 51 and like all other child-meta sites inherits the reputation of its parent site (Area 51).
The only Meta that doesn't follow this convention is meta.stackexchange.com, which is essentially the support site for the entire network.