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There has been a lot of discussion about the lack of voting, especially on questions. Personally, I can admit that I don't upvote questions very much. The main reason for that seems to be the general workflow that I handle questions by:

  • I read the question and quickly proceed to read the answers
  • If there are no good answers or none at all, I start writing my own
  • When I'm finished, I edit my answer a few times to make it more accurate if needed
  • When I am satisfied with the answer, I quickly move to answering other questions

The problem is that I don't really have time to upvote the question giving the nature of the system where speed is rewarded. By the time I have read it, I'm busy coming up with the answer, and after I've answered, I'm busy editing, and I just forget the upvote even though the question deserved one.

To counteract this behaviour, I suggest placing another possibility for voting at a more convenient location, right next to the Post Your Answer button:

Automatic upvoting of a question

This checkbox would encourage people to upvote, as there is a slight pause before you post the answer when you check that everything's all right. This would force the poster to consider the suitability of a upvote for a second and supply a device to do so.

The checkbox would be off by default, so the poster must take conscious action to enable it, meaning that the upvote would not be completely arbitrary. There is the risk that someone will check the box every time, but would that really be a bad thing?

Note that I intentionally did not offer the possibility for downvoting, as personally I will downvote the question right after I read it if I deem it as being of low quality.

Personally I would use a feature like this and questions that deserve an upvote would be more likely to get one from me. What do you think of this? Are there some flaws that I have not considered, would this allow gaming the system somehow, etc.? Please share your opinions.

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+1 for the answer in the screen :) –  BalusC May 9 '11 at 18:24
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If someone who puts time into answering the question can't be bothered to spend a single click on an upvote, I don't see how this will help much. And it's another option that will likely be ignored. –  Michael Petrotta May 9 '11 at 18:32
    
Have it checked by default? –  jjnguy May 9 '11 at 18:44
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@Michael, in my case the problem isn't that I can't be bothered, I just plain forget the whole thing when I'm done with the answer. Sometimes I do remember, most often not. I'm sure there are a lot like me in this regard. –  Tatu Ulmanen May 9 '11 at 18:46
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It was an old FGITW strategy, upvote the question you answer, it pushes the question up the front page so more users will see your answer. More votes. Does that help remind you to scroll back? Then again, now that you know maybe you don't want to anymore. –  Uphill Luge May 9 '11 at 23:32
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2 Answers

I don't like this renewed push to increase votes on questions, I feel it's a lot of hand wringing over something that really isn't a problem.

But even if it is a problem, I think drawing too much attention to it will backfire, either by now getting too many votes for questions that really aren't all that interesting or perhaps the other direction, getting a bunch of downvotes on questions that aren't necessarily bad, but it's a gripe because the system is starting to ram question voting down our throats.

No no no! Stop doing this! If I want to vote on a question, I will. In fact, I do. If the question is interesting and unique, I'll vote it up. If it's terrible, I'll vote it down. If it's just another ho hum "why isn't this working" or a duplicate of a duplicate of a duplicate, I'll vote to close (if appropriate) or answer (if necessary) and otherwise leave it alone. I don't think the mere act of answering a question necessarily endorses the question as worthy of having a vote or even worthy of having in the database at all.

But it's back to the basic point, if I want to vote on a question, I will. Stop harrassing me, don't try to trick me, don't coerce me into an action I don't want to take on my own.

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Good point of view. Personally I wouldn't find this feature obstrusive but I can understand how some do. I thought this more as an convenience factor, not as a method to trick people into voting. –  Tatu Ulmanen May 9 '11 at 19:07
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@Tatu, I just think there are less obtrusive, less frequent ways to draw attention to voting on questions. I, for one, would not be opposed to something that might happen, say, once per week if I haven't voted on questions in that timespan but had been otherwise active and voting on answers. A banner on the homepage would be sufficient. But don't harrass me while I'm voting on an answer (not the topic of your question, but it's annoying nonetheless) and don't imply that answering a question means it's worthy of a vote. Remind me another way. Infrequently. –  Anthony Pegram May 9 '11 at 19:55
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~ But by the very nature of your being here, you are already more active than most of our SO users. The trick is to get them to vote in the first place on questions and answers. –  jcolebrand May 9 '11 at 20:34
    
I'd like to see an explanation of why the lack of question votes isn't a problem. 46% of SO questions have a score of 0. Question votes are supposed to do some kind of quality control. Either SO has nearly half bad questions or it has nearly half undifferentiated questions. Either way, that's not a good sign. –  Gilles May 9 '11 at 22:20
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Once you post an answer your remain on the same question and can vote at the point. So I think this change is not needed. Even if you were to put something in place like this, I don't like the interface for two reasons:

  • You can't also vote down (it is just setup to vote up)
  • This is an extra mouse-click
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