I read a while ago the Maths SE has an explicit aim to vote a lot - to really encourage the voting up of answers AND questions to try to have the set point for the community as being a high voting one. The chap writing attributed some of Maths SE success to that approach (if I find the reference I'll post it in).

So should we do the same. Should we aim to be the place where votes are given out more freely. Still for worthy content but if it's got merit then give it a vote. Also if we did want to do this how could we encourage people - leading by example for instance.

Just a thought as always


I've found the reference. They even called the post the same as this one - pure coincidence (or is it the interconnectedness of all things :-)


  • Almost anything anyone can say is 'useful' so definitely vote more! I used to hold back because "I am not an expert" but look at other sites: wild participation! Let's have some opinions here (but know that they are only opinions). Variety is the spice of life.
    – user2341
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 14:37

3 Answers 3


I'm just going to go out there and say that we might inadvertently be a low voting site. Does that seem fair? I'm noticing that our predicted numbers of users with 200+ votes seems to be dropping and now we are on pace for 58. I'm also noticing that great questions and answers struggle to get above 3 or 4 votes. I think we are low on questions particularly - there are a number that 2 or more people have found worthwhile to answer but no-one has found good enought to vote up (OK - I admit some are my questions - I'm not scrabbling for rep (i think)).

Anyway I though i would post to see if anyone has any other opinion/stats to back this up or refute. I notice with sites as they wonder why they are still in beta - the advice often comes that people should vote more. A key metric apparently is number of users above 10,000 or even 20,000. Costs nothing to vote after all.

That said I think I go the other way. There are a number of posts that I regret upvoting as they are not that good and with an upvoted answer the question moves away from the unanswered list. So I will never get a good answer on those unless I'm motivated enough to offer a bounty.

Anyway I'll stop now.

  • 3
    Damned Buddhists and their ambivalence ;) seriously, though, I've taken to upvoting Qs and As just because they are cogent, unless I actually disagree with what they say. Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 14:31
  • 1
    @yuttadhammo I have to say I'm in the liberal voting camp. My rule of thumb is that if a question is interesting enough to answer then I vote it up. If it doesn't have merit as a question then I wouldn't be answering (in theory). I think that there is merit in this life and the next for up votes (maybe) :-) Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 14:34

I agree with the statement that we are a low voting site. I went to Area 51 and picked 2 sites which are also in Beta and compared some stats between those and here are some results:

(B)uddhism : 71 days in Beta
(C)raft CMS : 77 days in Beta
(P)uzzling : 105 days in Beta

Now let's look at various badges awarded on those sites:

Nice Question (Question score of 10 or more) : B: 18, C: 24, P: 31
Good Question (Question score of 25 or more) : B: 0, C: 1, P: 2

Nice Answer (Answer score of 10 or more) : B: 25, C: 51, P: 66
Good Answer (Answer score of 25 or more) : B: 0, C: 3, P: 10

Commentator (Left 10 comments) : B: 37, C: 69, P: 54

Tumbleweed (Asked a question with no votes, no answers, no comments, and low views for a week)
B: 2, C: 0, P: 0

Enthusiast (Visited the site each day for 30 consecutive days) : B: 14, C: 11, P: 18

Suffrage (Used 30 votes in a day) : B: 8, C: 12, P: 5

Total score of the top user: B: 5050, C: 7411, P: 3373

We are only 6 days behind Craft CMS, but they have 6 more Nice questions and twice as many Nice Answers as we have (25 vs 51 !). None of our questions and answers were good enough to receive the Good badge.

Possibly the posts aren't as good as expected, but one way of improving them is to comment and suggest some changes - here again we are rather behind with only 37 active commentators while other sites have at least 54. Tumbleweed badge was awarded twice, which means that some questions did not interest enough people in terms of answering, commenting or upvoting them. This hasn't happened so far even on Puzzling site which is 28 days longer in Beta than us. An interesting thing is that we have 14 enthusiasts who visited the site 30 days in a row (Crafts have 3 more and Puzzling 4 fewer than us). We have also 8 avid voters who voted 30 times on 1 day - Puzzling site has only 5 such heroes. Their top user has also much lower total score than ours. Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems that the core of our site comprises a handful of people who vote, answer and comment, whereas on Puzzling site the active community is much bigger in number and the points are more evenly spread between the users. It happened 10 times on the Puzzling site that 25 different people upvoted an answer - something we haven't achieved so far.

To change the stats we can either vote more generously (if recent questions don't seem good enough, try browsing the older ones) or we can post better (more interesting? of higher quality?) questions and answers (and comments).

I might try to revisit this analysis in 28 days to see if our 105 days in Beta will look any similar to Puzzling' 105 days in Beta.

  • 3
    Great analysis - thank you. I think one of our things (as you say) is that we are overweight in very active users and underweight in more causal visitors - so if the active users don't vote then we sink down. I think the content (answers) are good (IMHO) but i would personally like to see more and better questions perhaps digging into Buddhism a bit more than the casual users are able. It's hard to have great answers with less than good questions. Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 15:54
  • @CrabBucket hmmm since yesterday we have two more Suffrage badges... any idea who got them?;) And we have 3 more Nice Questions :)
    – Rabbit
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 15:10
  • Guilty as charged!!! Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 15:24

Judging by the views-to-votes ratio, we clearly have a lot more lurkers than voters. I know I don't vote a lot at all, but even with my sparse impulsion, I'm ranking as #5 top voter! Crab Bucket is definitely the most generous here, outvoting me by 150 percent.

I suppose the reason behind this, is most of the people being rather unsure if a given answer is really correct or not -- this must be the main problem. It's almost like questions are getting upvoted more liberally than answers.

  • Some users do not seem to use this feature at all. Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 18:00
  • How do we encourage people? Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 18:06
  • I narrowed down on some user who have been been very active but not voting. Do we leave a comment on their posts? Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 18:58
  • I don't know... I feel harassing users too much about this could be counterproductive. Like I mean we could edit all answers to add a line at the bottom: "Please remember to vote for the question and answers if you find them useful." -- but I think this may be too intrusive? Similarly, leaving comments, insisting that people vote is not very cool. What would be the best, is if we could put an announcement at the top of the page. I wonder if Stack Exchange allows that.
    – Andriy Volkov Mod
    Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 20:50
  • This is possible if you add the featured tag in meta. Only moderates can do it. Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 21:05
  • 1
    Added "featured" tag to this post, do you see any changes?
    – Andriy Volkov Mod
    Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 21:10
  • I don't see any changes Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 21:15
  • It seams to work now. Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 5:31

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