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I am now participating in my 8th private beta, and one thing that I notice consistently, I never have enough votes to survive the first two days. It almost gets to the point where I'm not as active as I could be if I was given more votes.

Is there a chance that for the first two days, an increase in the number of votes could be done? A typical first day for a private beta has 40–50 or more questions, and it would be really nice to help sort the wheat from the chaff a bit more during this critical period. It would help the site to define itself, so that it is ready for the public beta.

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My question might sound stupid, but isn't the goal of a beta to see how much the new site would be used? In this case, increasing the number of votes would not be representative of what normal usage would be like, no? –  Laf Jan 25 '12 at 14:35
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@Laf: Yes, but the first 2 days of any private beta aren't really typical. Many times people have questions they have been thinking about for some time, all coming at once. More typical use of the site is days 3-7, when people have had time to release their bottle up of questions, and thus the voting limits return to normal. –  PearsonArtPhoto Jan 25 '12 at 14:38
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@Laf It's also important to gauge the quality of content in new sites. If everyone is out of votes you don't get the feedback of knowing how many of the questions would get a positive or negative score from the community, or to what degree, since many of the active members will either be out of votes, or need to be extra stingy with their votes. –  Servy Oct 30 '12 at 19:44

2 Answers 2

On its surface, this sounds like a rather appealing idea. However, once I started thinking about it a little deeper and discussing with some of my esteemed colleagues, I quickly became rather opposed to it.

This daily vote limit was one of the very first measures we put in place to keep people from just blindly upvoting every post they saw. Voting is like a currency; the only way to prevent rampant inflation and to keep it meaning something is to limit your supply of it. If we start allowing that daily vote limit to creep up, we'll wind up with nearly all posts in a private beta being highly upvoted. (The reality of the matter is that people upvote FAR more often than they downvote.) Even in a private beta, we want people to think about why they're voting; one of the reasons for having a minimum number of people committed to the proposal before it goes into private beta is to ensure that there is a critical mass that can generate feedback on posts even with limitations we put in place like the daily vote limit.

As it is, most private betas have so few posts that many people never run into the daily vote limit. I know in your original post you said that you typically run into this problem in the first two days; if that's the extent to which this is a problem, you could simply favorite the posts you didn't have votes for and vote on another day. Again, our private betas don't get that many questions; there's no reason you have to vote within minutes of a new post going up.

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Maybe allow more down votes in private beta, similar to the 10 question votes that are in a separate category? Just a thought... –  PearsonArtPhoto Jan 16 at 23:24
up vote 6 down vote accepted

There are several positive things to say about this:

  1. It increases the likelihood of giving good feedback (Positive and negative) to the questions that are coming in during the first days of beta.
  2. It encourages people to remain active. I personally stop caring about a site much once I've hit the voting limit, and even more so if I hit the reputation cap.
  3. It increases the incentive to ask good questions.

Bottom line is, I think it would be quite helpful, during the turbulent time that is private beta, to increase the voting limit temporarily.

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