Yes, I started with “reduce the reputation”, so I'm going to be downvoted into oblivion.
Ever since the early days, it was apparent that many questions got answers but no upvotes, and the general response was that answerers should upvote the questions they answer most of the time.
I can think of only a few reasons not to upvote a question I've answered:
- I've run out of votes.
- A new user lacking the 15 rep to upvote.
- The question is a good one, but so badly asked it doesn't deserve upvoting as is.
- The question is technically valid, but so trite it doesn't deserve upvoting.
Well, looks like the team is prepared to help with #1, by providing more votes for questions.
For #2, let's just say that new users (<15rep) get a dispensation.
For #3, now everyone has access to the
edit button to improve the question.
For #4, well, if the question is so trite, the answer can't be that difficult.
So: if you answer a question and don't upvote it, I propose that you earn less reputation from answer votes. Perhaps only +5 rather than +10.
I'm aware that this discloses whether you've voted on a question if you've answered it. I don't think this is a problem. Remember that you can vote up or down.
Before proposing this, I wanted to see how many people would be affected. The answer is, a lot. (Hoping these queries mean what I think they mean since this is my first foray in the data explorer.)
- Zero-score questions: On SO, 5.5% of questions have a score of 0 and no answer. 19.4% have a score of 0 and one answer. 11.6% have a score of 0 and two answers.
- Question score distribution: On SO, 46% of all questions have a score of 0. About 1% have a negative score (all these queries look at score, not upvotes, but this 1% figure shows that downvotes are second-order).
- Question upvote excedent: Only 13.2% of questions have more upvotes than they have answers. 15.7% have as many. 32.3% have one less. 37.9% have at least two more answers than upvotes. More breakdown.
- I thought people might be refraining from upvoting questions because they were afraid of running out of votes. So here's a question vote deficit breakdown by question time. So, yes, time has an effect, but it's small: if you ask between 0:00 and 1:00 UTC, and get at least one answer, you have a 31.8% chance of getting more upvotes than answers. Between 6:00 and 7:00, the chance drops to 26.8%. That's barely statistically significant.