13

I understand that if I feel satisfied with an answer, I can (and should) accept it.

But should I upvote the accepted (or other) answers to my own question as well?

  • 27
    Yup. ---------------- – Pëkka Jun 13 '13 at 13:21
  • If you like the answer and it was helpful then go ahead. Sometimes there are more than one really good answer and combined they help you solve your problem. Why give only one the thanks? – Josh Mein Jun 13 '13 at 13:21
22

It's really up to you. I'd only not upvote an answer that I accepted if I were out of votes for the day. Even then, I'd circle back and upvote it the next day. If it was helpful enough that it solved my problem, I certainly think it's deserving of an additional upvote.

For other (not accepted) answers it's not as certain, but if someone added to my understanding of a problem I was having, I'll give them an upvote.

The bottom line, though, is that how you spend your votes is totally up to you. You aren't forced to vote at all, but it is the most immediate way to give feedback, so it is encouraged.

  • 1
    "if I were out of votes for the day" - wow! – qben Jun 13 '13 at 13:39
  • Can diamond mods even run out of votes? – Wooble Jun 13 '13 at 14:27
  • 1
    @Wooble Yes, that's one of the few things where diamond moderators have the same limit as regular users. (There is an exploit to get around it though.) – Bill the Lizard Jun 13 '13 at 15:18
  • @BilltheLizard: Even if one is non-mod, it is also "somewhat" possible to do so, with downvote + flag bad post. – nhahtdh Jun 13 '13 at 16:58
  • 3
    I accepted, and upvoted that :-) – Amit Tomar Jun 24 '13 at 13:57
14

Accepting and voting are separate and mean different things.

Accepting an answer means "this answer solved my problem". Don't feel pressure to accept an answer just because someone asked you too, unless you feel it actually did solve your problem.

Upvoting means this answer was helpful. Something can be helpful without solving your problem and likewise, it could have solved your problem (or answered your question) without being very helpful. Obviously if it solved your problem, it was at least somewhat helpful, but there are answers that you get that just don't offer much more than a couple of lines of code with no explanation or a one-word or one-sentence answer and in those cases you could chose not to upvote simply because the OP was not being very helpful. Again, that is based on your personal voting criteria, but this is how I would tend to evaluate it.

You should always upvote an answer that you found helpful. How you define helpful is up to you, but I generally upvote answers that provide a good solution to the problem (that works) or taught me something I didn't know, or pointed out a flaw in my design or logic.

So you have three choices when it comes to upvoting and accepting:

  1. You can upvote without accepting (highly encouraged if the answer was helpful).
  2. You can upvote and accept (highly encouraged if the answer was helpful and solves your problem).
  3. You can accept and not upvote - in my opinion it is uncommon, but if you get an answer that solves your problem but wasn't very helpful, then you don't have to upvote. Personally, I would use this in cases where you get short one-sentence answers that really don't provide much detail, but do answer the question best. Short code-only answers and don't offer any explanation also fit this category in my opinion.
  • I'm not sure that case 3 should exist. If the answer fixed your problem yet wasn't helpful, then you should now know enough about the problem to write a helpful answer. And then accept your own answer (though you can't upvote yourself). – Nicol Bolas Jun 13 '13 at 17:08
8

My rule of thumb is to accept the answer that best answered your question, and upvote the answers that are helpful and informative. (The two may not be the same.) Upvote exactly as you would if you were just browsing another question.

2

You can think about it this way: "Should the identity of the question asker influence whether I up-vote answers to that question?". Of course not.

You up-vote an answer based on its merit. Why should you act differently when it comes to your question?

  • 3
    What? This is too zen for me to follow. – djechlin Jun 13 '13 at 15:25
  • @djechlin it didn't come out right – Old Checkmark Jun 13 '13 at 15:27
  • In case you were not aware voting is a little different on meta, a downvote here means "I don't agree" as opposed to "your answer is dumb" on regular SO. I think for these downvotes though its mostly people doing what @djechlin did going "what da????" feel free to edit your own answer to make it come out the way you wanted it to. – Ryan Jun 13 '13 at 15:32
  • Okay, it's still not really an answer. Just a... point of view suggestion. Better added as comment or turned to an answer. – djechlin Jun 13 '13 at 15:34

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