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This is the current FAQ for voting on Stack Exchange (long-windily mentioning what votes do and their importance, having little to say about how to conduct one's own voting habits. Plenty of questions broach the subject of voting without leaving a comment, when you should vote, how you should vote, why you aren't voting, ect. The FAQ merely states: yea, votes do stuff):

Help Center > Reputation & Moderation Why is voting important?

Voting is central to our model of providing quality questions and answers; it is how …

...good content rises to the top

...incorrect content falls to the bottom

...users who consistently provide useful content accrue reputation and are granted more privileges on the site

It’s only through voting that a class of editors, closers, and moderators can emerge to help run and govern the site. Voting is how site leadership forms. That’s why the reputation leagues show a breakdown of top users by reputation for the week, month, quarter, year, or all time.

Our sites are all intended to be a sort of representative democracy. Moderator elections are an important part of that plan, but voting on questions and answers is the primary mechanism through which the community governs the site on a day to day basis. Every user with sufficient reputation can exercise their right to vote, every day that they visit the site.

Voting is so important that there is a variety of badges associated with different aspects of voting – like casting your first up- or down vote, using up all of your allotted votes in a day, or casting upvotes on other people's answers to a question that you have answered yourself.

Voting up a question or answer signals to the rest of the community that a post is interesting, well-researched, and useful, while voting down a post signals the opposite: that the post contains wrong information, is poorly researched, or fails to communicate information. The more that people vote on a post, the more certain future visitors can be of the quality of information contained within that post – not to mention that upvotes are a great way to thank the author of a good post for the time and effort put into writing it!

You, [gasps for air] got all that?


Proposed:

Help Center > Reputation & Moderation Why is [my vote] important?

Up Voting a question or answer signals to the rest of the community that a post is interesting, well-researched, and useful.

Down Voting a post signals the opposite: that the post contains wrong information, is poorly researched, or fails to communicate information.

All our sites are intended to be a sort of representative democracy. Moderator elections are an important part of that plan, but voting on questions and answers is the primary mechanism through which the community governs the site on a day to day basis. The more that people vote on a post, the more future visitors can be certain of the quality of information contained within that post.

{Everything that was edited out (that wasn't repeating itself) belongs in What is reputation? How do I earn (and lose) it?, or some other (non-existent?) page that goes into specific detail about how S.E. operates.}


Additional Proposed Page: (or merge them; it'd still be shorter than the original)

Help Center > Reputation & Moderation How should I vote? [Constructive Voting Guidelines]

Be consistent with your scoring. Everyone votes a little (or a lot!) differently; however, to make this process work, everyone must be judicious in their OWN voting consistency - don't worry about matching other peoples' votes, or be coddled - this is your say.

Give the poster something to improve, if applicable. Comments are a “life line” to know how to improve their post. Acquired knowledge will become evident in the poster's subsequent responses, thanks to you. Be (nice) constructive and encouraging, but efficient.

Focus on awarding for things done; not penalizing for NOT doing something.

Be genuine. You are an evaluator, a counselor and a motivator - don't be the one whose disingenuous behavior or comment turns a poster off of Stack Exchange forever!

These ideas stem from my experience judging science fairs, paraphrasing:

http://www.tcrsf.org/FormsAndRules/SCIENCEFAIRNOTESFORJUDGES.pdf


In light of the recently proposed improvements to the Code of Conduct, I find the lack of suggested direction for voting, in this free-for-all, disturbing.

  • 1
    The quotation you posted includes the sentence "Voting up a question or answer signals to the rest of the community that a post is interesting, well-researched, and useful, while voting down a post signals the opposite: that the post contains wrong information, is poorly researched, or fails to communicate information." What do you find lacking about that suggested direction for voting? – murgatroid99 Oct 13 '14 at 21:59
  • "Purposed", or "Proposed"? – Shadow Oct 13 '14 at 22:00
  • 3
    It's lost in the last paragraph and belongs at the top, bulleted or in bold. I learned this by hovering long enough over a vote arrow. @murgatroid99 – Mazura Oct 13 '14 at 22:08
  • @ShadowWizard I've been pronouncing it wrong my whole life (and probably still will), thanks. – Mazura Oct 13 '14 at 23:52

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