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We all seem to agree that it would be good if more people voted on questions.

  • A user with a high rep is seen as someone who has given a lot to the site.
  • A lot of people will make the effort to get rep.

Therefore, why don't we do something like the following:

Your max rep you can gain each month is no more than 50 times the number of questions you have voted on in the month.


You can only get rep on as many "posts" as the number of times you have voted


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NO WAY, This will not happen

Voting is important, but we are not delusional, content is the most important thing. We can prod and build incentives for people to vote better using badges and stats. But we will not force people to be great voters.

Also I am strongly against tying the rep system in any way to voting behavior.

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I'd say the rep system is already closely tied to voting behaviour ;-) (just not to your own voting behaviour ...) – Hendrik Vogt May 10 '11 at 10:03

The problem I have with actively rewarding voting is that it's the one action on the site that it's impossible to do any quality control on.

You could just blindly upvote or downvote a hundred random contributions to reach whatever goal the system has set. This would be impossible to reliably tell apart from legitimate, meaningful voting. After all, users are free to vote whichever way they please.

If you tie voting to rep gain, I fear this would happen regularly, further watering down the quality of the voting system.

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Most people will not vote randomly, but will at least put some thought in. Random vote will cancel each other out anyway if we can enough votes. – Ian Ringrose May 8 '11 at 20:49
@Ian that applies to most people interested in making the sites a better place, yes. But people interested only in building a rep count no matter what won't give a damn, and 30 random votes a day from them would be harmful in my eyes. And you have to expect more of these people washing ashore the bigger the sites get – Pëkka May 8 '11 at 20:51
This is assuming people don't care about the system at all. But rep is meaningless if people don't care about the system. – Wes May 8 '11 at 21:56
@Wes there are people who couldn't care less about the system, but are very interested in gaining reputation. Look at this guy for example - exhibit 1 exhibit 2 – Pëkka May 8 '11 at 22:04
Okay @Pekka point taken. – Wes May 8 '11 at 22:11

So you are suggesting that we should reject answers posted by Eric Lippert from now on, or saying that he doesn't deserve rep for his latest answers?

I strongly disagree.

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We should never rejected good answers, as to capping rep maybe... – Ian Ringrose May 9 '11 at 8:27
I don't think anyone is suggesting that answers be rejected, just that they don't accrue meaningless points. And if someone doesn't want to give meaningless points to me for whatever reason I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. – Eric Lippert May 10 '11 at 21:48
@Eric I understand you don't care about points, but they are, nevertheless, a big part of the game aspect of Stack Overflow. I "randomly" picked you as an example of someone with a lot of awesome posts and very few votes cast. I totally agree with waffles on this: reputation system should not be tied to votes cast at all. – xmm0 May 11 '11 at 0:02

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