I would like to share my point of view about allowing
up-voting for very new users. I'm basically talking about the reputation points needed to up-vote any question/answer.
It is currently set to
15 and I'm wondering if changing it to
1 wouldn't be better for the community. I may be wrong, but I'd like to explain why I -and other developpers I worked with for years- think this way.
When I was a beginner in SO, I spent several months to get a 100 points, maybe half a year. It takes time, depending on your programming skills level and your ability to express yourself in the SO way, whether to ask or answer questions. While some people just answer once and get like 20 up-vote on their answer and get to 100+ reputation quite fast and earn a lot of privileges, sometimes just because of one good answer. Others may spend months to get to 50 or even 30 points and earn enough privilege to help the community back. It is not always fair.
My point is that while some people answer to the right question at the right time, others may spend months, even years to get enough reputation to be able to up-vote other questions or answers. (Yes, it happens)
I have talked with a few developpers about it and some of them told me that they were using SO to read questions/answers for more than a year without being able to up-vote anyone. Why? Because they never got up-voted enough, even asking some questions because most of the time they didn't need to ask, since SO cover so much areas, they usually found their question already answered and just read the answer but they couldn't up-vote anyone even if they wanted to, even if that answer helped them to solve a big problem and saved several hours of their time.
They were stuck at reading questions/answers without being able to up-vote right answers (and that was quite frustrating apparently). When someone helps you, you want to reward him, on SO we usually up-vote the answer to do so. But it is not possible if you haven't earned
15 reputation points.
So, since I don't see really any good reason to require
15 points I'm wondering if decreasing the reputation points required to up-vote an answer or a question wouldn't be better.
I thought about
- I don't think
1is a good solution because it would be too easy for bots to make a mess.
- I think
5is a good compromise, mostly because with that reputation you can create new topics, so why not being able to up-vote people answering to you as well? Furthermore, an up-vote from a user with
15reputation isn't really more accurate than a user with only
5reputation. So why not allow them to up-vote Q&A that have been helpful to them?
I don't think that change would decrease the quality of the community, I believe that even people with a few reputation points can help us to up-vote good Q&A (and by so get rid of bad answers by up-voting the right ones).
The only cons I see with this change is that more users would be able to up-vote, including bots and people who don't yet understand how the community works. But since the difference between 5 and 15 is quite small (and can be easily done if you really want to), I don't think it would affect badly SO.