Sometimes I read a question and look at all the answers and decide that there is already a good answer.
I usually don't up vote it because I gain nothing. (I only really up vote when the answer is great)
However if you want to encourage more up voting I propose the following:
For everyone who voted for an answer before it gets accepts earns 2 reps when it does get accepted.
This will help good answer float to the top more quickly and over the noise.
There is however room for abuse here. Somebody can just up vote all the answers in the question and guarantee 2 rep per question. Obviously we need to avoid this and it can be handled in many ways.
- don't award this rep if user voted for more than 1 answer per question
- don't award this rep if user doesn't have related guru badge (harder thus should gain more than 2 rep if this rule is used)
- don't award this rep if question only has one answer
- lose 2 rep if votes for answer go below 0 and doesn't get accepted
You guys have bought up a good point where you can also abuse the system by jumping on the bandwagon and earn an easy 2 rep. So we can add another rule:
- only award this to first 3 up votes (or only for the first up vote)