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From what I understand, we upvote feature requests if we want that new feature, and downvote if we disagree.

Since the site's developers, needless to say, can't work on everything due to constraints of time/money/(your joke here), should we as users and voters save our upvotes for truly desired feature requests? Or should we treat each request as "if it could be implemented tomorrow, would you like it, or not?"

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The developers choose the features that make sense to implement. Votes help reinforce that decision, but features are accepted and implemented on the merits of their usefulness and feasibility.

While sorting the tag by votes is a handy way to see what people would like next if time permits, feasibility and payoff combined with urgency have historically been the primary weights when it comes to scheduling what gets done 'next'.

While votes do matter, the clarity and outcome of the discussion around the feature request is what's most important, at least historically. However, the developers are known to move in mysterious ways. I made an off the cuff joke about how nice it would be if chat had a built in therapist, and we had one six hours later. Granted, that wasn't an official feature, but sometimes ideas spark quick action if a developer sees it, agrees with it and knows it could go in easy.

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Thanks! So it's somewhat like the electoral system? I live in new York, so while my vote can influence electoral voters, they will still do what they think is best ( and vote democrat regardless) –  d-_-b Dec 31 '12 at 2:11
    
Time for an upvoting spree! –  d-_-b Dec 31 '12 at 2:12
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@iight For the most part. They do a pretty good job when it comes to declining things that might be pretty and popular, but would ultimately add little value to the site. Just keep in mind that feature requests can linger for quite a while without much signal either way, that's just time / resource constraints at work. –  Tim Post Dec 31 '12 at 2:15
    
Good to know! And glad we don't have to quantify appreciation vs value. Leave that to the pros! –  d-_-b Dec 31 '12 at 2:33
    
Very true. Judging from what I saw, I believe however that each developer has his own small "window" for self decisions (quite like Google developers and their labs) and that's the reason for those spontaneous features. Might be wrong of course, but want to believe I'm right. :-) –  Shadow Wizard Dec 31 '12 at 9:19
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