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I find that there seems to be a misunderstanding among many users of this site about how voting posts up/down should work. In my mind a question should be upvoted if it is clear and fits within our scope. An answer should be upvoted if it is clear and makes an honest attempt at answering the question based on the information given. Though this is my opinion I have based it on this post on global meta. Please correct me if I have misinterpreted anything.

However I seem to get the feeling that many users, I think especially those coming from other forums, seem to think you upvote a post if you personally like the content or were helped by it. I believe this is what favoriting a question is for, upvoting is more broad.

What gives me this feeling is that when I periodically go through the unanswered questions list I often find a few of them have (often multiple) perfectly good answers with no upvotes, even though the question has had fair number of views. I have taken many questions off the unanswered list by just upvoting a good answer. Don't get me wrong, I don't upvote answers just to get questions off the list, I am talking about perfectly good answers which have little to no upvotes.

I also occasionally get slightly frustrated when one of my own answers goes without any votes even though it answers the question. I have noticed this happening more frequently in the past few months too.

Am I just imagining this or has anyone else noticed this? Is there anything we can do to educate users more about voting and encourage people to vote more frequently?


This seems to be becoming a bigger problem as our site grows. I seem to have been seeing a lot of good posts lately without any votes (until I add mine). I think with the the uptick in overall activity, posts are getting pushed quickly down the homepage with little to no views, let alone votes. (I also can't help but notice this on my own posts as well.)

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  • $\begingroup$ Similar question, solid answer in my opinion: meta.video.stackexchange.com/questions/1446/… $\endgroup$ – p2or Aug 4 '15 at 14:27
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    $\begingroup$ I also note that many visitors to this site probably don't have the reputation to vote. I don't think the vote count will ever match the view count. $\endgroup$ – GiantCowFilms Aug 4 '15 at 15:58
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We could use some API queries to get real numbers on those questions, rather than judging the state-of-affairs by how things appear to us. (prone to confirmation bias)

I can only speak for my own reasons to vote:

  • The topic interest me, and the post was informative
  • I know enough about a topic to feel my vote is a good indicator for other users.

Reasons not to vote:

  • I don't know enough about the specific area mentioned in the title, so I won't even read the Question / Answers.
  • "Wall of Text" answers, bug me :)

You can look at the top voters for week / month / quarter, to get a sense of who's doing what.

enter image description here

Possibly we could send reminders to people who log in, but don't show much voting activity

"Hey, our visitors rely on people like you to vote on good answers, please vote or leave a comment to help strengthen weak content" .


Who votes?

Some people it seems have time to answers questions, but don't care to vote much at all. So without doing a witchhunt here's the list of 15 top rep contributors and their total vote count. This is just a snapshot

User             |  Rep  |  Votes
-----------------+-------+-------
gandalf3         | 63.1k |  7155
iKlsR            | 20.2k |  3706
ideasman42       | 19.7k |  1300
stacker          | 18.5k |  5699
sambler          | 16.1k |  1092
David            | 15.1k |  1802
cegaton          | 14.7k |  1385
zeffii           | 14.5k |  1922
CoDEmanX         | 13.4k |  442
Leon Cheung      | 12.4k |  1175
Jerryno          | 12.2k |  78
Chebhou          | 11.4k |  893
Ray Mairlot      | 10.6k |  344
NoviceInDisguise |  8.5k |  2352
CharlesL         |  8.4k |  538

I think this shows that most of us who see a lot of posts also tend to vote on them, those who don't vote a lot are definitely in the minority -- I wouldn't worry about it.

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  • $\begingroup$ I like the reminder idea; but I think we should include a simple guideline on why one would vote up. I haven't voted much, though I read a lot of things; and I usually only vote up on questions that I thought were a question that would be something another or myself might want to know, and is clear what is being asked. Same for the answer, if I understand it and it appears to be the answer, or an answer. I think wall of texts occur because some are attempts at a tutorial to a complex question specific to the questioner's problem in design only. $\endgroup$ – Cyberchipz Aug 6 '15 at 15:41
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    $\begingroup$ @Cyberchipz yep, I think we can forgive new users from not being very good at abstracting out the problem from their current scenario/blend.. But a short tutorial on the elements that help us answer questions better, and help people make better, more generalized, questions is not a bad idea at all. Learning how to learn or how to ask question is arguably the most important skill... $\endgroup$ – zeffii Aug 6 '15 at 17:46
  • $\begingroup$ You can use some of my answers for good 'bad' examples. I'll take this advice personally. :-) But, in poor defence I'll say that we noobs gotta get points where we can find them. XD $\endgroup$ – Cyberchipz Aug 7 '15 at 19:38
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I wonder if adding something more opinion based could help, some sort of level of quality enabled only when you vote.
Level 1 : this answers the question
Level 2 : Good answer
Level 3 : Good, intersting, informative, sexy : I like it!
Level 4 : AWESOME!!!

The ability to easily give a bit of personal opinion could encourage voting.

It could also be some stars (or mini-blender logos) to click for visual quality, understandability (this word exists?),...

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