Actual (for lack of better title)
I think what I'm trying to say is that the current game type system is geared up for people who want to play the game. The game works for Stack Overflow because it provides them with what they need to make this a encyclopedia of answers.
I feel that there is no personal touch left in this forum to actually get users positively contributing.
The symbols used by Stack Overflow such as
-, to me have a greater negative impact than what is intended to be perceived. I still can't help feeling aggrieved by the vast majority of negative downvotes for this post even if they're just people saying "I don't agree".
This brings me onto my second point, that the Stack Exchange seem to employing a one size fits all approach as well. Obviously you can't have a "this helped me out" checkbox in this forum because majority of the time it won't. Discussions aren't particularly going to lead to helping people out, it's not the inherent point. I'm specifically talking about StackOverflow, not meta (I thought meta is where you talked about the overflow forum).
I can see the point of using what Stack Overflow have done, but I feel they need to refine it further.
And all I have is a suggestion for that to be used along side the current system NOT in place of the current. And my suggestion has the following attributes:
- Personal (no automation, no generics)
Positive: it's an inherently positive statement. "Thanks mate you've helped me out", it also adds more to it, it makes the user feel that they want to keep providing more of these answers, more of these questions and overall make a better contribution.
Personal: It's a clear indication from another user that you've done well. No strings attached. No negativity, no b******t. It's from one user to another. This can be used to grade answers and questions as well as up voting. Making a more comprehensive system for Stack Overflow.
That is all my suggestion is, below are few points I addressed. In the interest of backing up my point.
As I understand it the upvote is used for a variety of things, such as to indicate that a questions was a well formed question, or that it's a really good question etc.
Shouldn't there be a dedicated "This Helped Me" vote that can only be up voted (down voting definitely shouldn't be allowed for this sort of thing).
My main reasoning for this is, when you're trawling Stack Overflow and you find some question and answer which literally saves your life (probably more figuratively) you should be able to say this "Helped Me", because it's a user based reward system rather than rewards issued by Stack Overflow (automation).
This system allows other users to recognise other peoples' hard work etc. Everyone likes to be recognised for some hard work and achievement, and answering questions is an achievement and it means more to some people and I feel this should be recognised. If other users could vote on this to say this "Helped Me" then that would mean so much more than a badge, because it is direct feedback from the community who we're trying to support. It also provides a "Your a valid member" thing as well. If someone said, "Mate your question and answer helped me out", you would feel good and this positive re-enforcement would keep people actively helping.
I would think that it wouldn't be subjected to the "upvote me and I'll upvote you". And it is more specific than upvoting. It wouldn't be able to be downvoted. And anyone can do it, it's more quantitative.
This isn't about answering questions or creating questions. It's about just random users trawling for an answer to their problem, finding it and just saying this helped me out. An upvote can mean many things: It helped, it's good, this is a good solution, it worked. Example:Careless upvotes
I'm talking about a very specific type of vote which is a clear recognition.
The key to this is you can't get downvoted. That induces a negative feel into it, which causes negative repercussions. This helped me out, is purely a positive thing. It is a true recognition of the point of Stack Overflow.
What about making it a comment?
You can't add comments like that because Stack Overflow is very specific about what you should comment on. They don't want it to be filled with fluff such as hundreds of people saying "this helped me". The current voting system is very non specific and could be for any aspect that was "GOOD". This option would allow people to say one very specific thing which is what this Q&A was designed for.
Because Stack Overflow wants to be an encyclopaedia of answers, they want you to be specific and cut the crap. But in order to encourage people to answer, they make it into a game by adding badges etc and up voting etc. But this "Helped me out", takes it away from the game, and focuses purely on rewarding the user with a real award.
THE NEGATIVE SYSTEM
Stack Overflow is a purely negative system. This "Helped me out" is a pure, non negative response. Its very specific and is far more rewarding than any game related thing. It's good for the soul.
The funniest thing is that I've reached a score of -3 when I last looked. How do people find this encouraging? I'm being active on this site and I get slated for it? That is the inherent fundamental problem with Stack Overflow and its game type system.
We cannot allow passer-by to do any voting that makes visible impacts on the scores, since the numbers can be modified way too easily
I agree, I meant only people with rep or whatever Stack Overflow allows.
BOUNTY SYSTEM DOESN'T FIT THE PURPOSE
The bounty system is designed for questions that can't be answered or people are refusing to answer. When they get answered you give away a large portion of your reputation to someone else to say thanks for the effort. However, it brings in more negativity. You are losing huge portions of your reputation because some can't answer your question. People don't want to do that if they don't have a lot of it to be used. And since it is your reputation on the line, then when you lose it on a question, you've lost you're rep, that makes you feel bad (or nothing at all if you're a robot). If you did this to the point where you had no reputation you are then cast out of Stack Overflow seeing as most things you need rep to do, like answer questions, comment on questions, up vote etc etc.
This is not good.
It is specifically one use ONLY.
"This helped me out" is not one use only. It doesn't introduce such negativity.