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This suggestion is taken directly from my personal experience as a casual user for several years that has never taken the time to accumulate reputation but now desires to do so. I created an account once before, but was turned off due to the inability to upvote the many helpful solutions I found through Google.

Now that I am planning to obtain permission for voting (up and down eventually) it has occurred to me that it would have been great if I could have “buffered” or stored my votes for up/down on the many questions and answers I viewed. In other words, I am imagining the option to store votes even as a 0 reputation user (without actually affecting the current standings of myself or the target of the vote) for future use. It could work so that as soon as I obtain the permission to perform the voting, the votes appear in a history or some other location where I can go and actually apply them manually (or have them automatically apply) within the preexisting point amount/day or votes/day constraints etc.

This feature would have actually motivated me much more with respect to gaining reputation because as far as I know I would otherwise have to remember to visit 100 different pages that helped me. I could have confidently stored my votes at the time knowing that all of those people would eventually be rewarded for helping me later on even if I couldn't do it at that exact moment.

I also imagine this could be useful for very active users that have a backlog of questions to provide feedback on for a given day. As long as the buffer is still subject to the daily constraints, I don't see much potential for "gaming" this system.

In terms of overall appeal to new users, I really feel that this ability would be a huge draw for people to create an account. It would actually allow them to (with 0 reputation) have a list of their own personal feedbacks for reference as well as provide comfort that down the road they won't forget about somebody that really helped them.

The only drawback I can imagine is that you might claim new users' votes might have changed by the time they are an "experienced, higher reputation user" but I find that unconvincing for two reasons. One, I am clearly much more knowledgeable than I was 3 years ago but I certainly still knew whether something was helpful or not. And two, as already mentioned the buffer could require manual confirmation for each "batch" or individual vote.

Thanks for your feedback or any input!

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Could be like the edit queue: "Thanks for voting! Your vote will only be visible to you until you have gained enough reputation to vote. Click to dismiss this message." –  NickC Mar 24 '11 at 16:16
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3 Answers 3

I like the idea. Another solution that has been discussed is lowering the criteria for up voting.

Couple things you can do now even as a new user:

  1. Mark questions as favorites. Then later you could go back and upvote them. (This is not as simple as your suggestion, but does work today).
  2. Ask a question that you can't find an answer to, most well written questions will get an up vote or two and it won't take long for you to get the rep to start voting. Even just accepting an answer to your question gives you 2 rep.
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I agree insofar as both 1 and 2 are good alternatives today, and that I also still think my suggestion would be an improvement on them. –  SeventhPath Mar 24 '11 at 13:12
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I don't really understand this. You only need 15 reputation to vote something up. That's three votes on a question you asked, or a vote and a half on an answer you gave. Ask one reasonable question, or have a vaguely plausible stab at an answer, and you're there. That's a pretty low bar.

If you care enough about the site to want to vote, it seems to me you ought to be motivated enough to reach 15 reputation.

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Allow me to give you a scenario based on my own experience and many other people I know (I don't claim to represent anyone else). If I am at work, I google a problem, and I find the solution here I might think "I should really thumb that up". I feel so strongly, I even register a new account. Then I find out that I can't do it immediately so I put it off. Every few months I find a solution here but I never bother further investigating how to earn rep until it reaches a critical mass of say 10 problems the site has helped me with. After this time, I don't want to go back and search. –  SeventhPath Mar 24 '11 at 16:11
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To further clarify my position, your claim that earning 15 reputation is a low bar is really not true for brand new users. Registering on any given website is a standard, common procedure. Taking the time to read rules, reputation point system details, and devise a simple strategy to obtain the necessary points for your goal requires far more time than you are implying. –  SeventhPath Mar 24 '11 at 16:18
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I think ire_and_curses' answer holds for new users. The bar is pretty low for being able to vote.

However, I'm interested in the idea of queuing up votes though. More often than not I burn through my daily votes only to find another question or answer that I'd really like to vote up. I could rescind one of my other votes, but it'd be kind of cool to be able to "use up" one of tomorrow's votes. Flag it as "vote later" and somehow when tomorrow comes, either I'm able to go back and find those questions/answers or the system automagically votes for me.

I suppose this could be accomplished through the favourite system, but that seems to me to be a bit of an overload of favouriting.

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