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As a “on topic” question needs something like 30 votes to become great, it seems that I am just delaying the setting up of a site, if I vote for any questions that don’t already have lots of votes.

I don’t like this sort of game play, so I think something is wrong in the way that voting works…

Given that only voting for questions with high votes help a group get formed, how can we get better questions into the system?

(On SA I am less likely to vote for an question or answers that already have lot of vote ales it is better than I would expect other questions/answers to be with that number of votes, it does not take much for me to give the first +1 to a reasonable questions/answer)


Personally at present I start from the top of the list of questions (shorted by votes) and then vote for the first 5 good “on topic” and “off topic” questions. But may change my vote for to a question that is lower down if it is a lot better.

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see also meta.stackexchange.com/questions/54988/… –  Ian Ringrose Jul 3 '10 at 14:10
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2 Answers 2

I guess morally, you should vote "on topic" or "off topic" according to whether you think the question is on topic or off topic.

However, to minimize the duration of the "definition" phase, it would be optimal to only vote for the question with the most votes, but under 20 votes in total (I think the lower bound is 20 votes for a question to count, not 30). If you have voted for a question with more than 20 votes, you can remove your vote from that, then vote for something else. This is perhaps not too morally questionable since you only have 5 votes and possibly 200+ questions and you can't vote for all of the ones that are on topic or off topic.

In fact, this is incentive to ask questions that are not too on topic or off topic (which could earn too many votes and hence be wasteful).

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"I guess morally, you should vote "on topic" or "off topic" according to whether you think the question is on topic or off topic.", yes, but the problem is the limit of only 5 votes –  Ian Ringrose Jul 3 '10 at 13:56

There's a pragmatic side of your vote in terms of how you apply your influence.

At first, I think you should vote your conscience. You vote for the questions you feel are best, regardless of how others are voting. That allows for late-arriving questions to be equally considered. You don't want the early-arriving, early-vote-getting questions to be selected on the basis of being first.

But later in the process, I think it is okay to be a bit more pragmatic. A group of questions will become the top contenders. When it's getting close, I think it is okay to shift your votes around to indicate your preference among the top contenders.

In terms of the lower-voted questions you "left behind," there's plenty of opportunities to bring them up during meta and discuss the merits of their on- and off- topicness.

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