As it relates to voting on questions. There are two main categories of reasons why I vote up:
- The question is interesting to me and I either don't know the answer or think this is a good question to ask.
- The question might be boring but is presented nicely. Could just be a common question, but the asker included all the important details.
There are two main categories of reasons why I vote down that are basically the inverse:
- The question is a duplicate, is not appropriate, etc. (More of a vote for this question to be closed/deleted).
- The question might be good, but is missing details, lacks formatting etc. (More of a vote for the asker or someone with power to edit the question).
I have seen several cases where a question gets multiple down votes, because it is poorly formatted and then someone edits the question and people comment "why was this down voted" and up vote the question. Also reading discussions like this: Should the weight of downvotes be increased? make me think a possible solution would be to have two separate categories for voting on questions.
- One category for interesting/appropriateness of a question. (This would have high reputation effects both good and bad).
- Another category for style/format of a question. (This would have low reputation effects, maybe 1 point up or down and would not cost voters rep for down votes).
The downsides I can think of would be the increase in complexity and the space that two vote counters would take up. Regardless I interested if others agree or if someone has a modification of this solution that would even work better.