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In light of reading the latest Stack Overflow Blog Post it dawned on me that as a mod, I haven't been doing nearly enough voting. In fact, today is the first day I've ever used up all my 30 votes.

What can we do to encourage people to vote?

graduated past 3k today (congrats!) and

is not far behind (and should graduate today or tomorrow at their current rate). This will finally give us our first community users who can successfully close a question!

However, the next closest non-mod community user is currently

with a fair way to go before reaching 3k, so we really need to get voting patterns up.

Any suggestions?

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    +1 +1 +1: There Virtuosi Media is over 3000 :) – Ben Hoffman Oct 21 '10 at 13:25
  • +1. Thanks, Ben. – Virtuosi Media Oct 21 '10 at 17:30
  • Hey! What about me! :p – John Conde Oct 22 '10 at 18:30
  • @John - you're already way > closing threshold, so therefor you were counted in one of the users who can already vote to close ;) – Mark Henderson Oct 22 '10 at 20:02
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I personally up vote the heck out of just about everything. I think there should be silver and gold badges for up voting. It would obviously be easier to up vote your way to badges but I think something hard like 1000 up votes for a silver and 5000 up votes for a gold could be helpful.

Heck even giving gold badges for every 5k or 10k votes might be something to think about. The number is large enough that even someone dedicated to using all 30 up votes a day would only get 1-2 badges a year (max votes per year is 10,950 and 10,980 in a leap year).

If you look at Stack Overflow as an example there are not many people who have broken the 1000 or the 5000 up vote marks. I honestly can say that the lack of up votes on Stack Overflow has slowed the pace at which I hunt for questions to answer. If I see something and I know the answer I will surely answer it but I don't hunt stuff out as much.

This site does seem to be a bit better at voting but I do see a lack of votes from people over 1000 Rep in general. Reaching out to the top performers could help but that would only make a difference for a while. Until there are more or other motivations to up vote I think we will not see as many up votes.

The issue is to make sure that people don't get over rewarded for up votes and create rep inflation which will make rep less valuable. It is a very tough balancing act.

  • I see your point. On SF I've "only" voted 2200 times in 18 months, which actually makes me one of the top voters – Mark Henderson Oct 21 '10 at 19:28
  • @Farseeker: Yea with 2200 votes you are definitely in the top echelon. Good Job! To point out the issue you could have "technically" voted around 16,000 times in that period but it would have taken a great deal of time on your part to actively vote and for very little reward. Also, at this pace I should hit 2200 votes on WMP in about 6 months :) – Ben Hoffman Oct 21 '10 at 19:34
  • @Farseeker: Also, I wonder if the SO people have started to create user "Profiles" yet to break people into general groups, like those that vote, those that ask, those that answer, those that edit post, and those that mod. I could see some use in that, in order to see what motivates each group and optimizing the what aspect you can for each group. – Ben Hoffman Oct 21 '10 at 19:36
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Why don't we simply try making the voting arrows more of an obvious call to action? We could test a few different variations with outlines, colors, bigger sizes, and text and see which, if any, results in more voting.

  • I've also considered using the notification bar to give a small encouragement, but I think that's just too in-your-face, and people will start to ignore it. We had that scenario on Server Fault when they had an announcement bar for the new Chat. It just annoyed everyone who'd seen it 1000 times. – Mark Henderson Oct 21 '10 at 21:40
  • Back to the point - I'll send an email to the community mod (Robert Caratino) to see what kind of control we have over those buttons. – Mark Henderson Oct 21 '10 at 21:41
  • The upvoting arrows don't display in ie6 at all. (Not my choice of browser, at work) easy to forget when they aren't there! – MrG Oct 22 '10 at 12:18
  • This is a very good point. Compare Webmasters with Stack Overflow - the votes and arrows are nearly half the size! – DisgruntledGoat Oct 26 '10 at 17:01
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I see a lot of question askers do not realize that they can vote up answers to their questions. There are a lot of accepted answers with no up votes. You would think the asker would at least up vote an answer they accepted! Their votes are just as good as any other vote IMHO. We should encourage them to reward good answers even if they don't choose them. But we also want to make sure they don't up vote everyone who answers just because they answer. That would water down the purposes of voting.

After reading this question I don't think I vote enough. I think I'm just too picky. I'm going to try to ramp it up and see if it encourages people to vote as well.

  • The asker can only upvote answers on their questions if they themselves have > the voting threshold, so we need to encourage voting on questions, not just answers (which has always been a problem on the SOFU network) – Mark Henderson Oct 22 '10 at 20:03
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    (And I see quite a few questions by 1 rep users with good answers that don't deserve a question upvote because they're crappy questions, which is unfortunate, but I do upvote the answers) – Mark Henderson Oct 22 '10 at 20:04
  • One thing I do is always up vote any question I answer. My thinking is, if it is worth my time to answer it then it is worth an up vote. There are the rare occasions when I am answering a poor question and I don't up vote but those are rare. – Ben Hoffman Oct 25 '10 at 18:14
  • Also, congrats on taking first away from me! :) – Ben Hoffman Oct 25 '10 at 18:17
  • @Ben - I like your logic in up-voting questions. I hope you don't mind if I play copycat? And thanks. It's just a number but I guess it's fun nonetheless. At least until someone comes along ad passes me... ;) – John Conde Oct 25 '10 at 18:24

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