Note: This post is (nearly) identical to this one on Mythology Stack Exchange

I would like to echo a post that Scott Morrison made on Meta.Tex.SE:

I'm a moderator from MathOverflow, and this "question" is actually unsolicited advice, based on our experience from the initial launch of MathOverflow.

We should encourage everyone to vote positively as often as possible!

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."

Especially in the beginning, let us vote early, and vote often. More voting always helps. Downvotes, too, are good - we want to weed out the wheat from the chaff here, and get rid of poor questions and answers.

  • 4
    Very well, but I'd like to point out that "many votes" absolutely does not correlate very well with "good post": it correlates most strongly with "popular post". So a short, simple explanation of a commonly known joke is by far my most up-voted post on SE, but it is really not a very interesting answer, nor is the question very interesting. Some deep, complicated questions, on the other hand, often aren't very popular and don't get many votes, even though they're very good. And that is understandable, because we're not always in the mood for reading deep questions.
    – Cerberus Mod
    Feb 24, 2016 at 3:15
  • 1
    @Cerberus Indeed. Many of my questions/answers on Chem.SE are relatively low-voted, I suspect because they're extremely technical and thus not accessible to a very broad audience. By far my most up-voted Q&A there is a random point of nomenclature that I happened to stumble across.
    – hBy2Py
    Feb 24, 2016 at 20:14


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