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I've been using SO for a few months now, answering questions whenever I can, and learning a lot from reading answers. I frequently upvote answers and questions I find "good".

However, sometimes an answer or question is "accurate" but not particularly "helpful" (or educational). Take for example, an answer that's simply a blob of code without much explanation. I think anyone can recognize that better questions are those crafted with clear explanation about why it works, with possible variations, etc. In other words, rich answers.

So, while I'd like to give an upvote to a technically accurate question, I'd like to give even more to rich answers--they really shouldn't both receive the same reward.

Therefore, it might be a good idea to break the points awarded from an upvote (and downvote) into categories, each worth x points toward a total vote points of y.

For example:

  • Clearness
  • Accuracy
  • Completeness
  • Explanation
  • Originality
share|improve this question
Sounds overly complicated. – Michael Petrotta Mar 22 '10 at 5:26
Simple good, complex bad. There's a reason I don't do product reviews on commerce websites - they're complicated. Too many things to think about. – Jared Harley Mar 22 '10 at 5:39
+1: while I take the point on simplicity, there's a big difference between "this answer is badly worded" and "this answer is factually wrong". I would love to see "2 people thought this is factually wrong" as opposed to simply "+10/-2" - which would require a split of the up/down into something more. – romkyns Aug 9 '10 at 23:29
up vote 8 down vote accepted

The existing system has the advantage of being simple. The more complex we make it to vote, the fewer votes (I guess) will be cast. And voting ties into the direct feedback loop that helps keep people hooked motivated.

I can't see it happening, even though the idea warrants consideration.

share|improve this answer
Perhaps 'granular' voting can be an option, so lazy people can just do full voting if they don't want to consider why it's a good or bad post. – Ben Mar 22 '10 at 5:30
Why not do it optional as Ben suggested? In case you don't want to spend resources on something that not enough users will use, make a poll before you start implementing it and see how many users would be eager to use such a feature. The benefits from a granular voting might be extremely useful. – Fermi paradox Jul 4 '15 at 11:56

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