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Why are there two ways to "like" a question? Favorite and upvote. What's the difference? When should I do one and when the other?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 16 down vote accepted

Favorite is like bookmarking, usually for post which you find useful for future references. Could be something entertaining or something so bad that you want to remind yourself not to commit the same mistake. :P

Upvoting is a positive acknowledgement for a question.

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2  
+1; additionally, questions often get favorited for a particular answer to that question -- canonical example: stackoverflow.com/questions/1732348/… –  balpha Feb 24 '10 at 8:17

You upvote a question/answer because it's a good question/answer. This usually gives the author reputation.

You favorite a question because you want to be able to find it again (maybe you have the same question). You can find your favorite questions by going to http://meta.stackoverflow.com/users/131235?tab=favorites#tab-top

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For many users like me a favorite is mostly a private bookmark and badges based on favorites are a kind of nonsense.

That means my bookmarks are a mix of great links I really want to favor and some short time bookmarks I remove a few days later.

The true question is why are so many people using favorites as private bookmarks.

Lets take a look at Firefox which creates great bookmark entries with a lot information. But there are no simple sql like query tools who return a simple result like give me all bookmarks which are tagged with 'SO' and with 'MyQuestion'.

Search machines and Browsers just don't target at advanced users.

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Favoriting a question makes it show up in your list of favorites on your user page.

Upvoting a question simply gives the author rep/chance to earn a badge.

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Technically, favoriting gives the author the chance to earn a badge too (see meta.stackoverflow.com/badges/33/favorite-question and meta.stackoverflow.com/badges/34/stellar-question). –  Dominic Rodger Feb 24 '10 at 6:24

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