Some sites get lots of votes (upvotes, downvotes, close/reopen/delete votes) for question and answers. Others get very few votes. Should we be a high-voting site?

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    $\begingroup$ No site has enough votes! $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 8:28

1 Answer 1


I believe we should follow the advice of Scott Morrison: vote early, vote often. This is a way to express which questions are on- or off-topic, and the site needs high rep users.

It's worth explicitly stating why we should vote early and vote often - upvote the stuff with merit; downvote the bad stuff. Both questions and answers. Vote to close questions that are off-topic. During the private beta, vote to close questions that are not expert level.

As Scott Morrison wrote over on meta.Tex.SE:

Every Stack Exchange site will eventually end up with a different "base level" of voting --- that is, the expected number of upvotes for a question of a given level of excellence. (This effect occurs because people see a good question, but already with a certain number of votes, and think "oh, I would have upvoted this, but it already has enough".)

It's easy for us to affect this "base level" by encouraging high levels of upvoting now. We're setting the standards, and this really will have an effect.

(On MathOverflow, we were very active about this early on, specifically encouraging all the initial round of users to vote early and often. You can compare statistics, and see that the average vote total for a MathOverflow question is much higher than on any of the other SE 1.0 sites.)

In case it's not obvious: the rationale for wanting this base level to be high is that it provides better positive feedback to good contributors.

A good rule of thumb: if you can be bother answering the question (or are even thinking about it), it's good enough to upvote! Also, be kind, and upvote any good competing answers that exist when you give your answer.


Voting on answers is a guide for future readers, saying that you know the answer is good / right (upvote) or bad / wrong (downvote).

If I can't tell if an answer is a good, right answer or not, then I don't vote on that answer. I don't upvote an answer just because it sounds nice, or sounds right but I don't know, or because it sounds like something I already believe. (and similarly, but the opposites, for downvoting answers)

I find it much easier to upvote questions, because I know if I find it a useful interesting question.

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    $\begingroup$ Just to reiterate, because it can't be said enough: vote on answers and questions. $\endgroup$
    – Ubiquitous
    Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 9:55
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    $\begingroup$ @Ubiquitous Up to a point. The quality of answers is far more important than the quality of the questions; otherwise we penalise people for not being omniscient. This principle applies even in the implied fun-house mirror land of the private beta phase. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 11:50

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