What does it mean to vote up?
The documentation, IMO, is not clear. This results in questions like:
- Why should I upvote a question?
- What is upvoting questions supposed to be for?
- Why don't people upvote questions they answer?
If you notice, those questions are full of things like "Well, what I do is XYZ..." And there's disagreement! Jon Skeet has even blogged about it.
Here's the documentation on when to vote up. From the privileges page:
What is voting up?
Voting up is how the community indicates which questions and answers are most useful and appropriate.
When should I vote up?
Whenever you encounter a question, answer or comment that you feel is especially useful, vote it up!
Also, when you hover over a question, it says:
This question shows research effort; it is useful and clear
And an answer:
This answer is useful
What does useful even mean? Does it mean correct? Does it mean high quality? Does it mean valuable? Does it mean it's wanted on this site? All of the above? Only some?
durron597, why are you even talking about this? Because off topic or duplicate questions get upvoted all the time. Because people upvote answers that don't really answer the question, or only answer one small piece of it. Simply, the result has been that people upvote whatever they like, and don't upvote what they don't.
I can think of two possibilities:
- This is status-bydesign, with the idea being that most people don't read the documentation anyway, people will keep voting the way they want to vote even if we clarify it further and I'm just bikeshedding.
- There actually is a more well defined sense, among the SE staff, about what voting up should be rewarding, but it hasn't really been communicated to the community.