I wrote a question today that, thus far, has received five answers (plus one from me) and zero upvotes. That's fine, it happens. But, this irks me a little, someone actually bookmarked it and (unless someone downvoted me) didn't upvote the question. I realize the criteria for upvoting is "clear and useful" not "interesting enough to bookmark", but I don't think I've ever bookmarked a question without upvoting it. You obviously like the question enough that you'd like to be able to return to it later, so I think in most cases, an upvote is in order. I wonder if SO could provide one of those little pop-up reminders suggesting you upvote a question if you bookmark it.


I am thinking something along the lines of:

If you think this question is clear and useful, please consider upvoting it.

So, just a little encouragement to act nicely if it's deserved.


You have brought up a valid question that has come up before.

There is a disjoint between the usage of 'favorite' and the title.

People use 'favorite' when they want to keep tabs on a question. It is used when people are interested in knowing an answer, or in the case of edit wars, when they are interested in following what happens to the question. It is an indication of interest and not an indication of support.

For this reason, your idea (to encourage upvotes on clicking 'favorite') makes sense when you consider the title of the feature, but not the actual way it is used.

As a final note, as was already mentioned, they are separate features for a reason. Even if favorite was used as it was meant to be used, there is still no reason to force or nudge users to upvote a question if they chose not to.


How do you know somebody bookmarked it? Or are you meaning "Favorited"? A user may favorite a question that they don't particularly want to upvote for many reasons. Not least of them, they may like the answers being given, but not the question being asked. They may like your question, but wish to reserve voting until they have more time to think about it. I wouldn't take it personal. Just keep asking questions, and you will gain rep slowly but surely as long as your content is equal to your quality.

  • 4
    This pretty much covers it, plus I know I'm not the only one who likes to favorite trainwreck questions just to see what happens. I don't see why I would be encouraged to upvote it in that case.
    – Brandon
    Sep 3 '09 at 18:02
  • Everything you said is correct, but they might also not upvote it simply because they forgot or didn't care enough to bother. A little encouragement would help people act nicely. That's all I'm thinking.
    – devuxer
    Sep 3 '09 at 18:16
  • 1
    @Dan: People upvote questions all the time. Your question is not something that people want to upvote. You will have to accept that.
    Sep 3 '09 at 18:17
  • 2
    @Rich: As I said: "That's fine, it happens."
    – devuxer
    Sep 3 '09 at 18:18
  • @Dan: I don't think users "forget" to up-vote. I had ADD growing up, and I don't even suspect that as a good possibility :) I think we should just trust that if they don't upvote, they don't necessarily want to. It's frustrating, I understand. But that's one of the prices we pay when dealing with the broad community SO has. Just keep asking questions, and giving good answers. Most of us up-vote when we like the material.
    – Sampson
    Sep 3 '09 at 18:18
  • @Dan: So then you understand why people don't need another reminded to upvote when the system is working well?
    Sep 3 '09 at 18:19

No. Favoriting a question has nothing at all to do with the question's worth. In fact, many people use the favorite flag to remember to go back and down vote, edit, or close a question.

These two things are in no way related.

  • Really, if a question deserves no attention at all, then why would someone take the time to down vote it, edit it or close it? I would say that you actually support this idea, but favor a suggestion for either some kind of vote, be it up or down.
    – Eric
    Sep 3 '09 at 18:09
  • @Rich, I'm thinking something along the lines of, "If you think this question is clear and useful, consider upvoting it.", not "YOU SHOULD UPVOTE THIS!"
    – devuxer
    Sep 3 '09 at 18:12
  • @Dan: And I am telling you, the favorite flag has nothing to do with it, and the voting controls are independent.
    Sep 3 '09 at 18:14
  • @Eric: You made no sense. I have no response.
    Sep 3 '09 at 18:15
  • @Dan, but it's only a portion of the users who 'favorite' when questions are clear and useful. On the other hand, everybody who down-votes a question has a problem (or should for consistency sake) with that question. For this reason, they are encouraged to explain their actions.
    – Sampson
    Sep 3 '09 at 18:15
  • @Jonathan, I see your point...maybe my assumption is wrong that "favoriting" something means you actually think it's good. But then maybe it shouldn't be called "marking something as a favorite."
    – devuxer
    Sep 3 '09 at 18:24
  • @Dan: Favorites and bookmarks have been the same thing since IE started calling them favorites. It is not hard for the internet community to understand IMO.
    Sep 3 '09 at 18:30
  • @Dan: I agree. The word "favorite" implies you actually like the item. However, users don't always use tools according to their intended purpose, and that can cause some confusion between groups. One thing you can be sure of though, votes are almost completely unequivocal :) If somebody upvotes, they love you. If they downvote, they found your post to be insufficient for whatever reason (sometimes dumb reasons). We just have to let it go, and keep truckin' along. Keep up the good work though, and bank up some rep :)
    – Sampson
    Sep 3 '09 at 18:36
  • @Jonathan, It's okay, I'm really fine :) You've done a very good job of explaining why things are the way they are.
    – devuxer
    Sep 3 '09 at 18:50
  • @Dan: Thanks, man. Hope to see you around more.
    – Sampson
    Sep 3 '09 at 18:51
  • @Rich B: Your stated position is: there is no correlation between question worth and whether or not people mark it as a favorite. However, the examples you use to illustrate this do not support your position. Your examples all highlight situations where the user actually feels the question has negative value. These are usually the kinds of questions that people down vote. So, it seems you are actually saying that marking a question as a favorite is only done with the user either feels the question has positive or negative value but not when it's a neutral question.
    – Eric
    Sep 4 '09 at 13:00
  • actually, the favorite and bookmark meanings have practical differences, like how they properly treated it at safari; Also the definition for favorite means something to come before all other bookmarks, its generalized misuses doesnt removes the unnecessary confusion it causes. "Favorites" should be renamed to bookmarks everywhere, and we should have real favorites or preferably Kudos as I argue in my question. Nov 22 '15 at 4:30


I've seen lots of awful questions draw excellent answers. Lots of questions include great examples of how not to solve a problem. Maybe the question is misleading, and you want to remember it so you don't make the same dumb mistake the asker did. Maybe the topic is important and interesting, but the question itself is too badly written to deserve an upvote. Could be anything. Favoriting can be for any number of reasons.

If a question deserves an upvote, I'll upvote it.


I encountered this just today when I "favorited" a question...which led me to consider whether to upvote it. I decided against it, because while the answers were useful and interesting, the question had an unhelpful title, and was of too narrow a scope to be generally useful. I'm still considering this, however.

I don't think that a reminder would be amiss, in a similar vein to the reminders that pop up to ask people to consider adding comments to explain downvotes.

  • Not affecting the rep isn't as serious as affecting the rep. I think for this reason, when you downvote you are encouraged to explain why. When you favorite, you've not really affected the OP and for this I don't think you should be encouraged to do anything else.
    – Sampson
    Sep 3 '09 at 18:13
  • @Jonathan: Good point. I was thinking of it more in terms of for new users, who may not understand the ramifications (or lack thereof) of favoriting and upvoting/downvoting.
    – beska
    Sep 3 '09 at 18:15

I bookmark lots of websites that I have to refer back to. It doesn't necessarily mean that I find them to be "good" websites. Just ones that I have to visit often or refer back to at some point.

The same applies to the favorites system. Not everything I "favorite" is going to be something I actually think is a good question and I may only be using it as a temporary method of bookmarking something.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .