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I've been using I always used to wonder why they allowed everyone to vote. The first time I saw Stack Overflow, I liked its philosophy of letting only some users vote (just those who have good reputations).

Unfortunately, after using SO many times, I haven't been impressed, and in fact I've realized that the voting system has problems. First, it allows users to vote on questions that have not been resolved yet. Many people do not understand questions' value until they see the answers. People could also misunderstand unanswered questions. Second, SO users do not explain why they give bad or good scores, so it's hard to understand why questions end up with the scores they get.

As a result, whenever I've had new questions recently, I've hesitated to ask on SO. I simply do not see a fair way for posts to be evaluated here.

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closed as not constructive by Cody Gray, Mat, BinaryMisfit, Mark Trapp, Grant Thomas Mar 27 '12 at 16:49

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Maybe you're just asking bad questions. – Cody Gray Mar 27 '12 at 16:15
A preemptive comment for you - voting on meta is different from voting on Stack Overflow. – Lix Mar 27 '12 at 16:15
Wait, Experts-Exchange has voting now? Wow, it's been awhile. – Adam Rackis Mar 27 '12 at 16:16
Relax, take a breath. (Also when writing, please! That first 5 line sentence is far too long!) – Arjan Mar 27 '12 at 16:16
@Arjan - yeah, I too was totally shocked at the bad grammar / punctuation on this anti-SO rant :-P – Adam Rackis Mar 27 '12 at 16:17
More to the point, do you have any specific evidence of this "unfair voting" that you cite? Can you point to any particular question or answer that has a vote score you disagree with? Because I think the vote system works exceptionally well. – Cody Gray Mar 27 '12 at 16:21
Sorry to add even more confusion, but the term "closed" has a very specific meaning on Stack Exchange that is not the same as what it means on many other websites. See this FAQ for more info. – Pops Mar 27 '12 at 16:24
@The Establishment, I have 12 years of experience, and I'm pretty sure they are not bad. I saw the problem also in other questions(not mine). – Cassini Mar 27 '12 at 16:24
What does "12 years of experience" mean? You have 12 years of experience voting on questions? – Cody Gray Mar 27 '12 at 16:25
@Cassini - I've known developers with much more than 12 years experience who were terrible. You won't impress anyone here by stating that you've been coding for X years. – Adam Rackis Mar 27 '12 at 16:25
@AdamRackis Look who exceeded the rep cap for the day. You're going to have to do better if you want to stay ahead. Oh, and see this – casperOne Mar 27 '12 at 16:30
The fact is that if only high-rep users could vote, there wouldn't be any high-rep users. That point aside, its the higher rep users who are more likely to downvote the crap out of bad questions. – Won't Mar 27 '12 at 17:05
No, the question was "I was using which I always wonder how they allowed anyone to vote, when the first time I saw stackoverflow I liked its idea, not anyone can vote except for those who have a good reputation, but unfortunately after I used it many times I'm not impressed..." I'm sorry I got my edit wrong, but I did the best I could from context with a grammatically ambiguous run-on sentence. – Pops Mar 27 '12 at 20:10
@AdamRackis FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU, looking for bounty questions and unaccepted answers now. – casperOne Mar 27 '12 at 20:41
If the voting system is causing you to reconsider posting question, I say that's not a bad thing, considering the quality of the ones you have posted. I would encourage you to consider what you could do to fix the problem, instead of assuming the problem is with everyone else. – Andrew Barber Mar 28 '12 at 1:38

many will not conceive its value until they see the answer

Questions need to stand on their own merit. Bad questions attract poor answers, and lower the signal-to-noise ratio of the site, making it harder for everyone to use it.

they do not write why they give the bad or good score

Voting is a crowd-sourcing activity. When you take a political poll, you ask each person who they are voting for, because you want to calculate a percentage. You don't ask why; that information can't be shoehorned into a statistic.

Voting is anonymous, because the purpose of the site is not to argue or discuss the reasons why someone voted the way they did, but to get answers to your questions. The votes are there to provide some vetting for the answers, and to reward good answers.

share|improve this answer
The purpose of SO is to find the BEST answers, the user should know why that was the best answer, putting the reason of every vote will help too much specially the downvoting which will help the poster to understand why he got negative feedback and find his mistake(if there) – Cassini Mar 27 '12 at 20:24
The best answer is highlighted by the checkmark, indicating that the OP accepted it. The OP is always free to put an explanation in the comments stating why he accepted a particular answer. – Robert Harvey Mar 27 '12 at 20:30
The best answer that is highlighted by the checkmark is the best answer for who asked the question and it could not be the best answer for the others. – Cassini Mar 27 '12 at 20:54
The best answer for others is the one that has the highest score. – Robert Harvey Mar 27 '12 at 20:59
No, if that so then why do you think the other posts get scores too! Because who vote for them they think they are the best answers and not the one that got the highest score. – Cassini Mar 27 '12 at 21:18
As I stated in my answer, voting is a crowd-sourcing activity; it is not about any one individual's opinion. The answer with the highest score is the one the community deems the best answer. – Robert Harvey Mar 27 '12 at 21:20
Personally sometimes I find the answers in some posts that do not have the highest score. – Cassini Mar 27 '12 at 21:20
That's fine; that's the way it should be. You are free to upvote such answers. The bottom line is, the voting system captures the wisdom of the crowd; it doesn't depend on each participating individual writing a detailed critique of every answer. This should really come as no surprise; voting on other sites such as Amazon works exactly the same way. – Robert Harvey Mar 27 '12 at 21:21
Yes I know but I or anyone want to know why peopole select this post and not that one, why people downvote/upvote it... By this people will know better what to chose and the post's owner could elaborate his point of view if his post has been downvoted. – Cassini Mar 27 '12 at 21:30
Yes, and what I am saying is that your vote is confidential, and explaining your vote to others is optional. Just like it is in a real election. Just like it is on Amazon. You can't force people to explain their votes. – Robert Harvey Mar 27 '12 at 21:46

Ok I will attempt to contribute my $0.02 to your dilemma.

I was using

Glad it's in the past ;)

I saw stackoverflow I liked its idea

Now you are in the right direction!

...allows the users to vote on a question which has not yet been resolved.

This is actually a very important feature of the sites. It allows the users to spot interesting questions. Voting on an unresolved question will signal whether or not the asker has put effort into his post. Whether sufficient research has been done and whether the asker has actually attempted to solve the issue on his own before posting it. Sure you'll get some random up/down votes thrown in there but this is the nature of a community - many people and each one with their own view on life and the world.

With regard to your second statement :

...they do not write why they give the bad or good score...

This has been discussed again and again and again here on meta. Obviously if you feel that a post is not helpful then you should downvote and if you feel the need to explain your vote - go right ahead! However users are by no means obligated to explain themselves. It is their opinion and they are entitled to it.

Please do not hesitate to post questions because you fear negative feedback - rather take that "fear" as incentive to write great posts! Do you research, prettify your post by adding appropriate links and formatting, be polite and realize that the people who are offering you assistance are not being paid to do so - they are doing it out of their free time and good will.

I think you'll agree that the site (while not 100% perfect) is pretty awesome. There are many, many, many (at least 42 ;) active users and "good" questions are usually answered very quickly. The system is not perfect by any means as I have said - there are some downfalls - for example when it comes to non-english speakers (strict language requirements). However in this specific example other users can come along and improve the post so that it can received and understood more easily by other users.

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In my opinion, the OP was using "closed" in a non-Stack-Exchangey way. I left a comment saying so and edited the post. Sorry for invalidating the middle chunk of your answer. – Pops Mar 27 '12 at 16:33
@pop - no worries :) The question makes more sense now and I've updated my post to reflect your clarification. – Lix Mar 27 '12 at 16:44
"Voting on an unresolved question will signal whether or not the asker has put effort into his post" fair enough but in this case the voting score should be assigned to the question itself not the asker because unclear question does not mean a bad developer. – Cassini Mar 27 '12 at 20:12
@cas - very very true! The vote count IS assigned to the post (question) itself; The user receives the rep points - but the vote count is on the post. I did not suggest that a bad post suggests a bad developer - only that an unrefined question suggests a user who is not fluent in Stack Overflow etiquette. Luckily we can assist the user and help him to improve his post. – Lix Mar 27 '12 at 20:36
I know that you did not suggest that a bad post suggests a bad developer, what I'm trying to say that voting on questions(only question not posts) should not add or remove any points from the asker's reputation, the score will be only on the question itself beacuse the questions usually does not have a good or bad value that could affect on the asker reputation. – Cassini Mar 27 '12 at 21:07
I think the -2 that the asker gets is more an incentive to improve rather than a slap on the wrist. Its not like that rep is gone forever. If you improve your question, you might get a few upvotes - all you need is one upvote to nullify 2 downvotes, so the incentive is there. Perhaps you should look at this from a different angle - a positive one - one that encourages new users to improve the quality of their questions. Once they get the hang of it, it's very clear why it is an advantage not only for the user but for the community as a whole. – Lix Mar 27 '12 at 21:50

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