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I'm a member of many sites, most of whose fields I am not an expert in. Even as a beginner, I find it very easy to determine what is a good question.

The implicit criteria I use is:

  • Is it concise?
  • Does it give all the required information?
  • Is it generalizable?

And often, as a non-expert, I land on the page because I had the same question, so I feel even more comfortable saying that it's a useful question.

As for answers, I tend to avoid voting on them because it takes an expert's knowledge to determine the merits of different answers.

For example, in this question, someone who was more expert than the average voter had to take the drastic step of making a comment telling everyone to ignore the first few (most highly voted) answers.

Would it help Stack Exchange if this behavior was enforced by setting higher threshold on the privilege to vote on an answer? Perhaps even above the 101 free reputation a reputable SE user gets when joining a new site.

  • 2
    Downvoters, are you downvoting as a way of saying "no, that's not a good idea" (in which case, please add an answer) or because it's not a good question (in which case, please add a comment)? – Garrett Apr 4 '15 at 6:31
  • 3
    This is a feature request. On meta, a down vote indicated disagreement, and it isn't a requirement to leave a comment. – Tim Apr 4 '15 at 11:21
  • @Tim is it only applied to feature request? I think if someone disagrees with the question, they can simply upvote the disagree answer rather than downvote the question – Ooker May 30 '15 at 10:33
  • @Ooker well at first there is no answer. And it's just how it's always been done. – Tim May 30 '15 at 10:48
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No. Reputation is a measure of trust, not expertise. Having low rep doesn't necessarily mean you don't have the expertise to judge answers.

1

Why do you even think about this really? Rep as @user4098326 said is:

a measure of trust, not expertise

You might expect Jon Skeet be better than this other user in SO, but that might not be the case. People just trust him a lot that he can answer their C# questions quickly and with detail.

Questions and answers are posts that can be voted on by quality. If you find this post and it looks like it's really good and it deserves an upvote, upvote it! If you see an answer that is really good and deserves an upvote, upvote it!

As for answers, I tend to avoid voting on them because it takes an expert's knowledge to determine the merits of different answers.

What expert knowledge? In sites like Super User or Stack Overflow, it's about quality. If it looks like it needs a upvote, vote it up. I upvoted a lot of answers that I don't quite understand, but I assume it is a good quality post that answers the question so I gave it an upvote. I don't care if the guy has 1 rep or 1 million rep, it's always about the quality. Of course it has to at least answer the question first.

Anyways, if you don't feel comfortable about voting on answers, don't vote! Let others who think they can vote, vote.

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