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I'm curious as to what the criteria for upvoting are. For me if I feel a question/answer/comment is interesting or has potential I'll upvote it, and I usually max out my votes in any given day.

What do you do? Where is the bar set for other folks before they'll vote? I see lots of questions with large numbers of views but relatively few votes by percentage. For example I see the question When to choose fiber instead of twisted pair (copper) with 516 views and 21 votes.

I'm new to participating in something like this and am trying to determine what "normal" is...if there is such a thing. Thanks!

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My criteria for upvoting are

Questions:

  • is it ontopic
  • and is it of good quality (clear and understandable, a real question)
  • and wasn't already asked (here on the site!), or is it better as the duplicate

Spelling and grammer is not so important, because this can easily be corrected by us, in contrast to the content. Seeing research effort doesn't matter much for me too, as long as there's effort in making a well written and focused question: even if something might be found in big reference manuals or via google in some Internet forums: we could possibly do it better here.

It's easier to see if a question is good, than to see if an answer is correct. So I guess the upvoting questions barrier would be lower. Want to see more such questions? Upvote!

Answers:

  • it really answers the question (isn't like a comment or a guess)
  • and is written so that it's understable
  • and it seems to be correct for me
  • and it's contains an explanation, not only a solution

Again, spelling and grammar can be corrected and don't affect my voting.

I rarely downvote, only if I see that it's really wrong, bad, or intentionally off topic. In some cases it's better to flag it (off topic, too localized or duplicate question, meaningless answer).

Finally, I would say: vote often! Seeing votes ranging let's say from 0, 1 to 10, 12, 20 and more votes, tells me more about quality than seeing a hundred Qs and As with 0 or 1 upvote. And feedback by upvotes is a very good motivation for users to continue posting good quality.

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There isn't any formal guideline I know of but this is how I vote:

For questions, I usually go with:

  1. Is it answerable without requesting more information?
  2. Is it a question I have never seen or never thought of before?

If either of those are true, I'll upvote. Questions tend to get fewer upvotes than answers so my criteria are softer.

For answers, it must satisfy 1. and maybe also 2:

  1. Is it correct?
  2. Does it do more than just supply the correct answer? i.e Is there an explanation of why it's correct or the reasoning behind it or the exceptions that could cause it to be wrong?

For answers, my goal is to order them from best to worst, so I may not upvote an answer that is correct if there is another answer that is correct but is also better for some other reason but currently has a lower score.


Another way of approaching it is to keep in mind that you are rewarding the person who asked the question or provided the answer and in doing so you are encouraging them to post more of the same. By this standard, upvote anything you would like to see more of.


I very rarely downvote. I do so for spam and for answers that are not just wrong, but dangerously wrong. Also where an answer has an undeserved higher score than another better answer.

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