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AFAIK, the request to have upvotes/rep gain for editing was rejected, though at the moment I can't find the references.

However, if/when someone edits my question or answer in a materially helpful way (at least in my opinion) I usually feel that I'd like to thank the editor in more than words.

As such, do you feel that it would it be appropriate to up-vote an editor's Q or A totally un-related to the one of yours the edited? (assume that the post to be upvoted is not so bad as to have the upvote be grossly distorting the balance of the content, yet not so good that you would have upvoted it in the routine scenario.

If you feel that's inappropriate, what about when you explicitly go hunting through their posts to find one you'd feel justified to be up-voted on the merits of its content?

Thanks!

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BTW, this particular Q was not prompted by any specific edit to my posts (on the contrary, by a recent MSO question about hurtful editors); but I was a recipient of some great edits in the past. –  DVK Apr 5 '10 at 0:40
    
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6 Answers

My first option is to find a single additional deserving post (note the emphasis is still on deserving) by that user that already has 9 or 24 votes, and then essentially give them a badge. The older the better, because then it's more likely that the post would otherwise take a much longer time to earn that badge.

If such a post is not available, I'll fall back to finding no more than 2 or 3 other deserving (there's that word again) posts, with a preference towards posts that might eventually be badge winners as well.

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+1 for badges - I actually did that a couple of times but forgot about that reasoning by now –  DVK Apr 5 '10 at 3:33
    
Pulling together the question about using SO as a tech-blog as well, it would seem that this is perfectly fine. As long as the upvote goes to a post that is deserving (a post that has +9 or +24 already is almost certainly deserving in any case) –  Mechko Apr 5 '10 at 15:33
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I think it's okay, but only as you say,

...when you explicitly go hunting through their posts to find one you'd feel justified to be up-voted on the merits of its content.

Bear in mind that if you do this too often for the same user you risk tripping the alarms and having your votes to that user being deleted as a "suspicious voting pattern."

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@Bill - understood, and I only would consider it as a one-time "thank you" jesture, not as a phanboyish cult serial upvoting –  DVK Apr 5 '10 at 0:54
    
@DVK We need more Cults on SO.... –  Tyler Carter Apr 5 '10 at 1:41
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I think it's generally inappropriate to reward answerers in that way. Questions and answers should stand on their own merit. If an unrelated Q or A genuinely has more merit than votes have credited it, then sure, but be careful - too much of that, and the nightly abuse scans might trigger and negate it.

(I should probably answer differently, since I tend to edit for clarity a lot on SO)

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I think you just thank them.

Although, if you think they have demonstrated wisdom, you could look at some of their other contributions, and upvote the worthy ones. That's normal behaviour whether you've discovered them via an edit, a comment, an answer, a blog post, Twitter, whatever.

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I mean when their edit materially improved my post - e.g. made it so much clearer that the Q shortly got a good answer that you feel your original version would not solicit. –  DVK Apr 5 '10 at 0:38
    
So it sounds like your votes are "no, yes", correct? –  DVK Apr 5 '10 at 0:39
    
I'm saying that people who edit your post well have probably written other vote-worthy stuff. So feel free to look around for some. I think that voting should be encouraged in general, and whenever I come across good content I will vote for it (assuming I have enough votes left that day). If someone edits my post and I think "This person saw something extra in my question", I'll often research other stuff they've written so I can learn more. And sure, their reputation score would benefit. But don't vote up a poor post because they put a good edit somewhere else. –  Rob Farley Apr 5 '10 at 0:48
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Perhaps editors should get a share of the upvotes, say the value of the upvote getting split 9/1 if the editor marks their edit as being significant. So an editor wouldn't mark a re-tag as a significant change, but changing large chunks of text or making code sections readable should be considered significant.

I think that we can trust editors to self-regulate in this area.

I don't think that a random upvote is appropriate, but hunting through a good editors Q/As for a good recent one to upvote seems reasonable.

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I think there might be certain issues with editors having the say in whether they get a split of the credit or not... :-p –  Mechko Apr 5 '10 at 15:31
    
@mechko bound to be some issues - but there should be some reward for people who are taking the time to edit. If you are allowed to edit you should be trusted to say how big an edit it was. This would not be a benefit for me as I don't have the rep to edit. –  amelvin Apr 5 '10 at 17:36
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I almost never edit someone else's post, I usually just leave a comment with a suggestion, or point out a typo.

When it gets to the point that something is so inaccurate that I feel an edit is justified, I'll do it, but not as a favor to the original poster. I'm doing it just for the sake of correcting incorrect information.

Posting that 1 + 1 == 3 is not going to trigger my edit reflex, I'll just politely point out "umm, I think you meant 2??"

Posting that malloc() will never fail and error checking is not needed will cause me to edit the post and likely check over your previous answers in the same tag, especially if your answer was voted up and / or accepted. That hasn't happened, I just said it to demonstrate the extreme.

The Strunk & White badge was cool to earn. While its not the rarest of the badges, it was nice to receive (only 581 have it at the time of this writing).

I really don't care about rep as far as edits are concerned, its just nice having something that says I put some time into maintaining the overall quality of the site.

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