Often while looking back over an old question, I am unsure of exactly when the up- and down-votes summarized were given. It would be great to have a graphical summary, in the line of Tufte's Sparklines, right there on the page.

Sparklines could coexist with the numeric summary or could stand on their own when the vote was clicked for a second time.

Without sparklines

With sparklines

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    I don't get why you'd need/want that. Why does this matter to you?
    – Mat
    Commented Oct 16, 2011 at 12:07
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    Actually such a timeline would make most sense if it also shows when revisions (and possibly comments) were made - usually an extensive revision is what will turn a question from being down- to being upvoted. Commented Oct 16, 2011 at 12:26
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    You can use the question timeline for that I think.
    – Mat
    Commented Oct 16, 2011 at 20:18
  • This would be a great idea for a UserScript. Commented Oct 16, 2011 at 23:49
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    possible duplicate of Show the voting on specific posts over time Commented Oct 17, 2011 at 1:55
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    @Chris, thanks for pointing out the other Q. I definitely think it's related, but my question is specifically about Sparklines and therefore distinct. Commented Oct 17, 2011 at 2:06

1 Answer 1


This is a good suggestion. This distinguishes between questions or answers that were upvoted long ago, those that are upvoted on a continuing basis, and those that are most significant after some event (e.g. the posting of a better answer). Other distinctions may arise, but these 3 are interesting enough.

I think that this is more relevant for answers than questions. Suppose a question was posed in July 2010, 3 answers were given at that time, and then in July 2011 another answer was provided. The first three answers may have accumulated a lot more votes due to their longevity, but the answer from 7/11 may be upvoted a lot more among the three during the time after its post. This could well be due to a much better, cleaner answer.

Although SO doesn't seem to sort based on current "voting intensity", I believe the proposal is a graphical representation of this idea.

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