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Should rewards for asking good questions be improved?

I've noticed (particularly with the larger scale sites) that there are a number of good questions that receive many answers, and yet no one bothers to up-vote the question. It seems that honoring a question with an answer is an implicit endorsement, so why not give a point or two per answer, so that folks in the community who ask good questions are not 100% dependent on people up-voting?

Edit:

I suggest that answering is an endorsement simply because you have already determined that it is worth your time to respond, and I assume you place some value on your time. This obviously doesn't apply in Meta, but elsewhere.

Maybe it would make sense to award 2 points per answer, and then if someone answering actually up-votes the question, you could give an additional 3.

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marked as duplicate by Bryan Agee, Dennis, Cody Gray, Mark Trapp, Toon Krijthe May 1 '12 at 20:13

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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If the question was really any good, don't you think someone would have upvoted it? –  Cody Gray May 1 '12 at 19:04
    
Not necessarily. See the newly emphasized portion above. –  Bryan Agee May 1 '12 at 19:09
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What basis do you have for that claim? I very much disagree that answering a question is implicitly endorsing that question. It's not unusual that I will answer questions that I also downvote. –  Cody Gray May 1 '12 at 19:10
    
By answering the question, you took time out of your day to respond--that is a very personal investment. Even if you do not agree with the direction or content, you obviously care enough to voice an opinion on the matter, which suggests that there is value. –  Bryan Agee May 1 '12 at 19:11
    
Thinking that a question is poor has no relation to deciding to answer it. –  Oded May 1 '12 at 19:13
    
@oded - only if your time has no value. –  Bryan Agee May 1 '12 at 19:17
    
You believe that answering poor questions is a waste of time? One answers questions not only to help the OP, but for others who may have the same issue. We have extensive edit support in order to improve questions (and answers). –  Oded May 1 '12 at 19:19
    
Short answer: yes. If the question has faults, but is still merits an answer, there is value in that. I'm arguing that if the question is entirely poor and devoid of value, there would be no answers. –  Bryan Agee May 1 '12 at 19:27
    
Alrighty- I may not agree, but I have my answer. Anyone care to close this one? –  Bryan Agee May 1 '12 at 19:35
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I actually find that once a question gets past a certain number of answers, say 4 or 5, most of them do not deserve an up-vote let alone the questioner. I normally end up up-voting the one person that's got it right and down-voting everyone else. –  ben is uǝq backwards May 1 '12 at 19:38
    
@Ben- That is by far the most useful argument I've heard. Can you make an answer out of that? –  Bryan Agee May 1 '12 at 19:40
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@Ben, Not deserving an upvote isn't the same as deserving a downvote. –  RivieraKid May 1 '12 at 19:45
    
@RivieraKid, I implied that the other answerers were incorrect, sorry for not being clear. –  ben is uǝq backwards May 1 '12 at 19:49
    
Maybe it would make sense to award 2 points per answer If my experience, the worst questions end it with many more answers than the good ones. –  Dennis May 1 '12 at 20:11
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I discuss the reasons I sometimes don't vote for questions I answer on an older questions. –  dmckee May 1 '12 at 20:17
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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I actually find that once a question gets past a certain number of answers, say 4 or 5, most of them do not deserve an up-vote let alone the questioner.

I normally end up up-voting the one person that's got it right and down-voting everyone else, who answered incorrectly or left the OP open to SQL Injection etc...

Just so everyone knows that I'm not an insane down-voter if the other answerers are correct(ish) just not as good I won't down-vote them.

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Nothing wrong with being "an insane down-voter". Buck up, dear friend! –  Cody Gray May 1 '12 at 19:57
    
There's something wrong with being "insane". There's nothing wrong with down-voting :-). –  ben is uǝq backwards May 1 '12 at 19:59
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Accepting an answer awards the asker with +2 rep.

However, many questions are simply bad or trivial and though they get good answers are in themselves not good and do not deserve upvotes. Why reward such questions?

The value proposition of Stack Overflow (and the other SE sites) is not simply in the question - it is in the answers. Those are the valuables (if we had thousands of really, really great questions, but no answers, would anyone care?).

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How can a bad question have a good answer? The answer would not exist in absence of the question, so doesn't it stand to reason that the question has a small amount of merit? –  Bryan Agee May 1 '12 at 19:08
    
Just for fun: "There are no stupid questions--just stupid people" =) –  Bryan Agee May 1 '12 at 19:09
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There are lots of bad questions with good answers. We even award a badge for that. It's called Reversal. @bry –  Cody Gray May 1 '12 at 19:10
    
You are conflating good answers with good questions. I have seen bad questions get really good answers. The questions being vague, confusing and incomplete, and yet, someone took the time to untangle them, figure out all the angles and post a comprehensive and great answer. –  Oded May 1 '12 at 19:11
    
@Oded - so you're saying that the votes should only apply to the quality of the question, not the implied opinion? I thought this one was clear and constructive, yet it appears that the idea itself has resulted in down votes. –  Bryan Agee May 1 '12 at 19:14
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Maybe Meta is different in this way, and votes are entirely based off of agreement/dissent with the suggestion? –  Bryan Agee May 1 '12 at 19:16
    
@BryanAgee - Voting on Meta is different. meta.stackoverflow.com/faq#vote-differences –  Oded May 1 '12 at 19:17
    
Right--that makes sense. Thanks for the link –  Bryan Agee May 1 '12 at 19:18
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It seems that honoring a question with an answer is an implicit endorsement.

Not at all. In fact, sometimes I answer bad questions simply because it's already gotten quite a few poor answers. It's a genuine regard for the OP, but not an endorsement of the post itself or it's value is to the site. In some cases, I will even downvote and answer.

I'm arguing that if the question is entirely poor and devoid of value, there would be no answers

...so why not give a point or two per answer, so that folks in the community who ask good questions are not 100% dependent on people up-voting?

I'm not sure what SE site you're talking about, but on SO the easy, obvious questions get loads of answers within the first 5 minutes. The more difficult ones tend to get less.

There should definitely be no reward for asking easy questions that attract tons of one-liner answers, which happens all the time on Stack Overflow. Very frequently, there are 3-4 identical answers to the same post because of how fast they come flooding in. People would often rather post an answer for some quick rep than vote to close (if applicable), and people often would rather ask a question then do research or debugging. That's just the sad truth.

The bottom line is, if people think the question is useful they will upvote it. Answering a question does not necessarily merit an automatic upvote.

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