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Partly related to Why are questions getting fewer and fewer views, but imho a good question in itself:

Why does it seem that fewer and fewer people seem to care about upvoting a decent formed question or (in a minor way) a good answer? I've seen multiple questions asked by others which didn't get any upvotes despite they were asked clear and detailed.

As someone stated in another meta-question, I too see upvotes as an "pat-on-the-head" and motivation to ask well-written questions. Am I one of the few concerned about this decline?

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Maybe your answers were wrong but not worth the effort to downvote? –  random Dec 7 '09 at 9:10
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You're complaining about a general decline of upvotes for questions after just 2 posted questions? Without data I'm not going to believe that there's a decline in voting. –  Georg Schölly Dec 7 '09 at 9:13
    
Maybe I asked this question in an incorrect way. It's not (only)about my questions, but about all questions I've seen on SO the last month. Many questions were, in my opinion, well formulated, detailed and usefull, but received no votes nonetheless. When I started viewing SO a month ago, more people seemed to care about upvoting in general, but over the last weeks I see less and less votes. That's what I meant to point out. –  Webleeuw Dec 7 '09 at 9:18
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You've got a set of random observations over a month... hardly conclusive data. –  womble Dec 7 '09 at 9:22
    
Here's the data dump: blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/12/… You can also query it online: statoverflow.com/sandbox and the schema is listed here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2677/anatomy-of-a-data-dump/… –  Georg Schölly Dec 7 '09 at 9:27
    
This is completely subjective. I'm experiencing the opposite - it seems easier to get upvoted than it did when I started (though, given, I'm doing it better now). –  Kobi Dec 7 '09 at 9:35

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

You want trend data? Try here, that goes back to the beginning. This one seems relevant:

votes per question by day

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Thank you for this graph. Together with the rest of the data on your site, I can't help but notice that my question was correct, albeit in a small way and over a long time. –  Webleeuw Dec 7 '09 at 9:38
    
Without a horizontal scale, it's difficult to say what the periodicity is. Presumably, it starts from the beginning, but does it go all the way to the present day? –  pavium Dec 7 '09 at 9:47
    
Yes, that's from the start of SO to the end of the last data dump (end of November). The obvious spikes are weekly. Maybe someday I'll add a horizontal scale, and eventually aggregate the data weekly instead of daily too. –  Greg Hewgill Dec 7 '09 at 9:56
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You've got to love a graph with a vertical scale from 0 to 4.66071428571. –  Dominic Rodger Dec 7 '09 at 11:26
    
You're lucky it has a vertical scale at all! :) –  Greg Hewgill Dec 7 '09 at 18:36
    
actually if you look carefully at the graph it hardly go up or down, its just got alot less volatile over time.. This probably relates to both an increase in the number of questions and the number of potential viewers.. but who knows. –  Anonymous Type Oct 21 '10 at 2:17
    
What about the time tickmarks? –  SamB Nov 28 '10 at 22:34
    
Great set of charts. I hope the data refreshes past August 2011 at some point. An interesting spike of closed questions happened then and I'm curious about the trent –  makerofthings7 Nov 18 '11 at 19:23
    
@makerofthings7: I update the data whenever a new data dump is released. Also, the trend of closed questions tends upward at the end before those newly-closed questions are deleted (and then no longer counted in the stats). –  Greg Hewgill Nov 18 '11 at 20:02

Well, for one thing there's a lot more traffic and activity than there was, say, a year ago. And there are always more passive readers than active participants.

You can see this in Greg's graph (although he should have also shown the votes per answer -- people are less likely to vote on questions.)

That said, you haven't exactly provided a scientific observation, other than "I can't get people to vote on my stuff."

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If only the graph limit were pi. Then I would weep. –  gnostradamus Dec 7 '09 at 16:02
    
I'm curious what that sizable dip is following that big spike early on. Was that when the beta ended and a flood of unable-to-vote newbies started posting tons of answers? –  gnostradamus Dec 7 '09 at 17:43
    
@gnostradamus: that wouldn't explain the spike, would it? –  SamB Nov 28 '10 at 22:36

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