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I often see new users who are 15-20 days old in Stack Overflow with 15+ reputation and have asked 4-5 or more questions and accepted few of them but never cast a single vote. Is it okay to educate such new users about casting vote? If yes how to educate them? (any specific link?)

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A lot of new users may be inexperienced at programming in general and don't really know whether an answer is good or bad. In these cases, I would usually prefer that they do not vote at all as it can skew the perceived value of an answer. –  Wesley Murch Oct 15 '12 at 8:11

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Education is always a good idea. As long as you don't give them the idea that they are required to upvote or accept your post.

Example of good comment

Hello X, welcome to StackOverflow. Now that you have 15 reputation, you can upvote questions and answers you think are good. You can find more information in the FAQ.

Example of bad comment

You should upvote any answer you like, and accept the best (in this case mine).

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While I personally agree with you, many people consider such comments as noise and flag them instantly. Some moderators also share the opinion it's just noise so good chance such comments will be quickly removed. Without official "rules" it's all in the gray zone though. –  Shadow Wizard Oct 15 '12 at 8:04
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Luckily meta is a perfect birthground for official rules. –  Toon Krijthe Oct 15 '12 at 8:06
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@ShaWizDowArd Gamecat's example (the good one) doesn't even mention accepting an answer, and casperOne's answer is focused on comments about accepting answers. –  Yannis Oct 15 '12 at 8:07
    
@Yannis there's no difference: both are comments focusing on educating the user rather than focusing on the post itself. Gamecat - true, but after long debates and discussions about those things I can't see any rule emerging. Each moderator act on his/her own behalf. –  Shadow Wizard Oct 15 '12 at 8:09
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@ShaWizDowArd There is a difference, we've seen too many borderline or even outright harassing comments about accepting answers, to the point that if a comment even mentions "accept rate", "accept answers" and several other combinations of then it's deletable by a single user flag. Educating newer users is a good thing, harassing them to get some cheap rep is not. Both types of comments (about votes and accepting) are good, in theory, but comments about accepting have failed repeatedly in practice. –  Yannis Oct 15 '12 at 8:11
    
@Yannis I wish you are correct, like I said before I agree with such comments and used to leave them sometimes, until realizing people flagging them as noise. –  Shadow Wizard Oct 15 '12 at 8:14
    
For me, I try to follow most of the discussions on meta and apply the emerged wisdom on my own actions as much as possible. Of course this is an ongoing activity, but the site is still evolving. –  Toon Krijthe Oct 15 '12 at 8:14
    
Great. My main purpose is to educate new users. 1-2 times I commented on new user's question like this: Do you know you can also cast vote? (Not saying to cast for me. I am saying because you have 0 vote cast in your profile). But your suggestion is even better. –  hims056 Oct 15 '12 at 8:34

It is always best to teach new users about voting.

  1. Up-voting - User should cast this when any questions or answers are useful.
  2. Down-voting - User having more than 125 reputation can only down vote.
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