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So now we get 10 extra question votes. But the way this is implemented is… bizarre. After casting 30 votes, we may cast 10 more votes on questions, regardless of what we voted on before.

I generally vote on a question and any answer it already has (if they deserve votes, of course) when I first view a page, and vote on new answers if I visit the page again later. So I tend to vote on questions a little before answers. After 30 votes, I can no longer maintain my voting habits, and the extra votes don't do me any good. (I frequently reach the cap on Unix.SE, where I'm very active.)

Please don't make a difference between voting on 10 questions first and then 30 other posts, and voting on 30 posts first and then 10 questions. (Yes, this means the figures may need to be adjusted.)

Or, maybe I'm voting on questions too much? I don't think I can see my voting statistics, but I have the Electorate badge on SO with 1961 votes, which is probably about 30–35% on questions.

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I think you might misunderstand how this works. You have 30 "all-purpose votes." These votes can be used on either questions or answers. The 10 extra votes are question-only votes. You can cast your votes any way you like, but if you use them all up on answers, votes 30 thru 40 must be on questions (erm, I think this is how it works anyway). See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/89534/… –  Robert Harvey May 6 '11 at 23:23
@Robert: I don't see any semantic difference between what I wrote and what you wrote. –  Gilles May 6 '11 at 23:33
@Robert Right. Gilles' point is that he's already voting primarily on questions, so if he spends those first 30 votes on questions, he can no longer vote on answers until the votes reset. –  Anna Lear May 7 '11 at 0:04
I didn't realize those were different; I figured if you started the day by voting on 10 questions you would still have 30 generic votes available, and then voting on an 11th question would use a generic vote since you don't have any question votes left –  Michael Mrozek May 7 '11 at 0:58

4 Answers 4

up vote 39 down vote accepted


New behavior:

  1. Everyone gets a total of 30 votes.
  2. You may get up to 10 extra question votes.
  3. Warnings remain simple... (5 votes remaining, 4 votes remaining...)
  4. Question votes may be cast at any time during the day. However, once you reach the N votes remaining warnings, stuff is set in stone. A question voting spree at the end will still count down.
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Agreed. More balanced voting throughout the day would be much better than question-only voting at the end of the day. –  Bill the Lizard May 7 '11 at 13:30
Yes please, this sounds like a good adjustment. –  Pëkka May 7 '11 at 18:37
to be deployed today –  waffles May 9 '11 at 4:18
What was actually implemented then? –  ChrisF May 9 '11 at 20:19
@ChrisF ... simplified my answer :) –  waffles May 9 '11 at 21:55
I don't really understand the 4th point. –  Justin Morgan May 11 '11 at 13:40
@Justin, we are constantly calculating (question votes/total votes) that ratio determines how many total votes you will get. However we do not allow a state where we say "5 votes left" you vote on a question and get another "5 votes left" –  waffles May 11 '11 at 21:34
Ah, I get it. Thanks. –  Justin Morgan May 11 '11 at 21:47
@waffles, what ratio do you mean? Is it like 1 question per 2 answer or something like that? –  Pacerier Dec 1 '13 at 0:06
@waffles: What is the purpose of making the logic so unintelligible? A user would have to be keeping careful notes of his activity to get the maximum "extra" question votes. Since the purpose of adding those was to increase votes on questions why convolute it this way instead of simply allowing 10 question votes after the 30-vote limit is reached? –  feetwet Aug 26 at 22:30

Do you guys reach the cap every single day? Why does every vote have to be cast instantly and then forgotten...you could easily grant votes the next day...or the next day...unless you were already reaching the limit every single day...

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No, not every day, maybe once a week. Sometimes I leave a few tabs open to vote on them the next morning, but that's highly cumbersome. And I sometimes get in a pattern where I would like 35 votes one day, then 30 votes the next day, then 30 again, and so on until I reach a 25-vote day and can stop overflowing. –  Gilles May 7 '11 at 12:52
@Gilles I understand that it can be painful to track questions...other than favouriting...it's like you need a "short-list" of questions for quick reference...sort of like an inbox...so i take your point...but it does seem like a good idea to at least vote for things after reaching the limit in the next available time...(or the weekend or sometime where usage might be lower or unused up) –  davidsleeps May 7 '11 at 13:02

I think this is editorializing masquerading as a .

The intent is not to give you 10 more votes for answers. Quite the opposite in fact. The intent is to advertise and promote voting for even more questions ... specifically for those rare users that hit the daily vote cap.

Bear in mind that even on Stack Overflow, which is enormous these days, all of maybe 30-50 users will hit the 30 vote cap on any given day. So it is a tiny, tiny subset of users that are even affected by this change.

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I like to keep the last five votes in my pocket in case I come across some especially bad contributions. Under the new system, I can't do that for answer votes any more. There should at least be a notification if I'm about to spend the last five answer votes –  Pëkka May 7 '11 at 8:06
And looking at the more prolific voters in the last quarter on Stack Overflow both myself and Pekka are in the top 5 and are likely to be in this tiny minority affected and have expressed at least some reservations about the implementation. –  Martin Smith May 7 '11 at 9:07
@pekka I think flagging should your "reserve" for that. And you get more flags the higher your flag weight.. plus your flags are weighted more heavily in the queue. So I think you can see where this is going. –  Jeff Atwood May 7 '11 at 9:52
Fair enough. Plus I just saw that the new vote stats show how many votes you've cast so there is a way to keep track if one wants to. –  Pëkka May 7 '11 at 9:56
And what about those wanting to keep at least a couple of answer votes in pocket for warmer and fuzzier reasons? Nothing? –  Martin Smith May 7 '11 at 10:09
@Jeff I actually agree with this critique ... I just got bitten by it –  waffles May 7 '11 at 12:08
@Jeff: Isn't a feature request editorializing by definition (I'm arguing for a change)? I take your and Mark's answer as “this change is for SO only, ignore it on smaller sites” (there just aren't more questions I could vote on on Unix). Which is fine by me, I wasn't lobbying for >30 votes, I just wanted to take advantage of them if they were there. –  Gilles May 7 '11 at 12:17
@Jeff Could you track question votes per person? Tacking on 10 more votes at the end right now effectively forces people to vote on a minimum of 10 questions. Could you count their question votes from start of the day and when they hit 10, put a metaphorical checkmark beside that requirement? This way the spirit of the change is maintained - either they will votes on 10 questions during the day or at the end, once they run out of the 30 "normal" votes, or they'll vote on 10 questions first or throughout the day, mixed with answer votes, and have the rest left over to do whatever with. –  Anna Lear May 7 '11 at 15:44
@Anna It sounds like the original purpose of this feature was to get total question votes be a minimum of (Avg question vote ratio * 30) + 10 –  NickC May 7 '11 at 16:21
@Renesis Right, so for someone who doesn't vote on questions at all (but wants to run out of votes :)), it's a minimum of 10, and for the rest of us it'd be business as usual + 10? –  Anna Lear May 7 '11 at 16:30
After another day of testing, my position is that this is not a good change. The limitation feels patronizing (I'm sure more than 50% of my votes are on questions anyway), and not being warned about running out of answer votes disrupts the normal flow. @waffles's suggestion (requiring a certain percentage of question votes overall) sounds much better to me. –  Pëkka May 7 '11 at 18:36
@Jeff: Why do we implement point solutions that "only affect a tiny proportion of users?" If the changes don't matter, then why do them at all? Does this tiny proportion of users cause damage to the website out of all proportion to other users, simply because they don't vote on enough questions? I don't get it. –  Robert Harvey May 7 '11 at 18:46
@Robert: Now this is a really good point, +1. If this new feature anyway only affects about 100 users on the whole of SOFU and SE (is this true?), then it should be designed specifically having those users in mind. –  Hendrik Vogt May 8 '11 at 12:26
@robert it's a long story, but when we came up with this we didn't realize how few people hit the vote cap. –  Jeff Atwood May 8 '11 at 21:45
I think that it is misleading to say "only 50 users are concerned by this daily". After hitting the daily vote cap the first time, people will adjust their voting behaviour, because it is just not good to run out on votes and then interacting with someone who notes that you do not vote up their contribution. –  Phira May 20 '11 at 9:31

Forget the extra 10 votes for a moment: nothing's changed. You still have 30 votes to do with whatever you please. If you want to use some of those votes for questions and some for answers, or all for answers, or all for questions, that's fine.

The 10 extra question votes are the equivalent of saying, "Okay, you've used up all your votes for the day, but we're going to give you an extra 10 as a bonus just in case you find a few questions to vote on later."

That is, the daily vote limit is still 30 with a 10 question vote buffer when you exceed that limit, not 40 with a requirement that 10 of those be for questions.

It's a subtle difference, but I believe the idea is that people need to vote on questions above and beyond their normal voting patterns. If you're currently voting on 20 questions and 10 answers, the intent is for you to now vote on 30 questions and 10 answers (not 20 questions and 20 answers).

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Yes, I know. My feature request is to actually have more than ~31 votes (which is what I get with the current system), since this is now permitted, without having to artificially change the order of my votes. –  Gilles May 7 '11 at 0:23
@Gilles I got that: I'm saying such a request isn't really in line with how I interpret the change: they want you to vote on more questions, not maintain the same number of question votes. That is, if you're currently voting on 20 questions and 10 answers, they want you to vote on 30 questions and 10 answers, not 20 questions and 20 answers. –  user149432 May 7 '11 at 0:28
Gilles could vote on 20 answers and then 20 questions and it would work fine, but if he tries to vote on 20 questions and then 20 answers he'll run out halfway through the answers. The point is the order you vote shouldn't matter –  Michael Mrozek May 7 '11 at 1:14
@Michael Again, if he's voting on 20 questions and 10 questions now (without the change), nothing's changed. He's just being asked to vote on another 10 questions. Using the extra 10 votes to vote on 10 more answers (i.e. changing one's voting patterns to use the first 30 votes to vote on 10 questions and 20 answers so the total question vote count remains the same as before) is the exact opposite of the intent of this change. –  user149432 May 7 '11 at 2:53

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