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Today I worked hard to reach the vote cap on meta.

You see, I happen to know that at 30 votes I get a new wonderful message. I was totally amped-up to get it, and set out on the adventure.

So I started voting.

A lot.

But ..... I did not feel like I was making any progress. I kept on voting and, no unicorns, no animations, no nothing. Just a fat highlighted triangle. Hardly an incentive.

When I analysed voting patterns, I noticed the vast majority just vote once. Not a big surprise. A very rare few will reach the holy grail of 30 daily votes.

Should we display your daily and perhaps monthly voting progress somewhere? If so where?

At least then I could easily figure out how well I am doing, I have trouble in the counting-in-my-head department.

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4  
Isn't that the Voters tab on the Users page? –  random May 3 '11 at 13:52
4  
Duh! You need more tiger blood! –  random May 3 '11 at 13:52
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@random ... doh ... I wrote that page ... and two things happened. 1) I forgot about it - so no one will ever find it. 2) it has no "today" filter –  waffles May 3 '11 at 13:56
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I reached my vote cap today on Meta, apparently exhausting all question and answer votes. But I didn't see any "wonderful" message. There were no waffles, no unicorns, no freehand circles. Nothing wonderful at all. –  Cody Gray May 3 '11 at 14:09
    
@Cody, have you been voting exclusively on questions? If not try voting on an answer now. –  waffles May 3 '11 at 14:10
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Not exclusively, no. I've been sharing the love. Is that the problem? –  Cody Gray May 3 '11 at 14:11
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@Cody try voting on an answer, you get 40 votes a day now. –  waffles May 3 '11 at 14:11
    
@Waffles when the hell did that change? –  jcolebrand May 3 '11 at 16:20
    
stackapps.com/questions/2318/… does address this very issue. Albeit I miss the variation in the unicorn animations. –  mario May 3 '11 at 16:42
3  
Exact duplicate of Stack Overflow's voting system is not entertaining enough –  XMLbog May 3 '11 at 17:45
    
@drchenstern ... yesterday –  waffles May 3 '11 at 22:57
    
@drachenstern courtesy notification for the comment above this one, if you hadn't seen it. –  Pops May 5 '11 at 16:59
    
@PopularDemand ~ Quit doing that! (aka get out of my head) (aka how did you know I hadn't seen it?) (aka thanks!!!) –  jcolebrand May 5 '11 at 22:45
    
@drachenstern, I guessed you hadn't seen it because waffles misspelled your name when he attempted to reply to you. –  Pops May 5 '11 at 23:40
    
@PopularDemand ~ Oh that makes sense. Thanks again. –  jcolebrand May 5 '11 at 23:49

4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Well, we do show voting habits in much more detail on your user profile now, with breakdowns:

  • all time votes
  • votes by type (q/a)
  • votes this month
  • votes this week
  • votes today

enter image description here

In addition there is also the voters tab on the /users/ page which will show you the "voting leaderboard".

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Yes, you should display it somewhere, preferably in a graph so people can see their progress over time. If flag weight has taught me anything, it's that if you show people a number, they will try to make it go up. (Myself included. You should all see how much time I've spent on here since they started showing us how many moderator flags we've processed. Jeff is a digital crack dealer.)

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3  
DAMN I can not upvote you ... I need to come back in 9 hours ... better find a question to upvote then –  waffles May 3 '11 at 13:59
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I couldn't resist making that 0 go down. –  Grant Thomas May 3 '11 at 13:59
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...OK, OK, I'm joking ...and reverting it. –  Grant Thomas May 3 '11 at 13:59
    
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+1 again for "Jeff is a digital crack dealer" –  jcolebrand May 3 '11 at 16:21

I'm not sure whether another metric with feature requests and leagues and "why did my number go down" and "why did my number not go up" questions on Meta is a good idea.

Also, differently from all other contributions to the site, voting activity is also impossible to control for quality - there is no penalty for a crap vote, like there is for a crap flag or answer. You could stupidly and indiscriminately click the vote button five thousand times, and become a top user. Creating a too direct incentive in the form of a visible number may, in the end, do more harm than good. I don't know.

How about badges instead?

(insert good badge name here) - hit vote limit on 30 days - Silver

(insert good badge name here) - hit vote limit on 100 days - Gold

(See also Additional badges for hitting the voting cap?)

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I agree with Bill about displaying a number but this is a good idea too. Combine the two so we can see progress towards each of these milestones. –  ChrisF May 3 '11 at 14:15
    
@ChrisF I added a paragraph with a stronger argument against introducing a metric than the first one. –  Pëkka May 3 '11 at 14:17
    
@Pekka, isn't that ... show me my progress towards badges question ... voted pretty high ? –  waffles May 3 '11 at 14:17
    
I do like the badge ideas ... 30 days of work for a bronze though is unprecedented. –  waffles May 3 '11 at 14:18
    
@waffles yeah, I forgot that "Enthusiast" is a silver badge, not a bronze one. Changed –  Pëkka May 3 '11 at 14:21
    
@waffles Considering it'll now take 15 days for badgers to gun for Electorate (barring changes to it, which I imagine are likely once we settle on the vote count change), 30 is indeed a bit much. –  Grace Note May 3 '11 at 14:23
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My concern with the badge only and no metric is that it is an incentive with an expiry date, healthy sites have healthy voting as a universal constant. –  waffles May 3 '11 at 14:24
    
@waffles that is true, I see the point. But voting is so easy to game - you could almost use Homer Simpson's drinking bird to reach a high number... –  Pëkka May 3 '11 at 14:26
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@Pekka ... I guess, but you could also use a userscript to trick up your user profile :) I did not say I want to make this information necessarily public, just provide some sort of progress feedback like rpgs do. –  waffles May 3 '11 at 14:29
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For the badge for hitting the vote limit, see meta.stackexchange.com/q/85691/155668 –  PearsonArtPhoto May 3 '11 at 16:01

If voting to hit that cap feels like a grind (and god knows it does to me on SF) then maybe it isn't something we should be treating as something we need to increase directly but rather treat it as something that will increase "naturally" if the quality of questions improve. Or something we should stop worrying about at all.

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