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Positive feedback is an overall good thing for all communities in Stack Exchange.

What if we were to reward voting with +1 rep for up to 10 votes per day? This would encourage everyone, regardless of their ability to fully answer questions, participate in the Stack Exchange communities by giving feedback, voting, on questions that interest them, and feel rewarded for doing so. This wouldn't be huge, but the effect of that small +1 rep at the top can be an effective way to say "we appreciate your feedback", offering numerous improvements:

Votes (or lack thereof) are a great way for quality content to be rewarded and stand out on Stack Exchange.

More feedback =

  • happier members (rewarded for their content being voted)
  • the best content stands out better
  • people get more involved in the community

Reward for feedback =

  • more feedback

It seems like an idea worth considering to me. Members taking the time to cast a few votes every day could really give a more involved feeling to the communities of Stack Exchange, both in appearance to newcomers looking for good content, those who offer new quality content being voted, and also for those rewarded for casting their 10 votes each day.

Just my opinion :)


In response to the possibility of users abusing this feature, well, some will. But user input always has pros and cons, here I think abuse of this input will be minimal. Why? Because rep means nothing outside of the community, so: Why would most users vote for a mere 10 rep who don't care about their community?

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  • 8
    Have you considered that those incentivized by reputation to vote may not actually vote based on merit, but only click the first 10 up-arrows they see?
    – user642796
    Sep 15, 2015 at 6:53
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    I would consider at least a cap on this, similar to how suggested edits award +2 only up to 1K.
    – Werner
    Sep 15, 2015 at 6:56
  • Makes spamming comments much easier. All I need to do is get enough points to vote (instead of enough to comment). And then my spambot can just vote for a while before it starts writing spam comments. Sep 15, 2015 at 6:56
  • @ArthurFischer I believe down votes should be considered for reward as well, however perhaps only for 3-5 down votes, what do you think? Afterall, feedback is feedback.
    – J.Todd
    Sep 15, 2015 at 6:56
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    @JonathanTodd Why should downvotes be treated differently in degree if feedback is feedback? Sep 15, 2015 at 6:57
  • 1
    @RobertLongson How about enabling the feature only for users above a rep threshold? Not too high, but just high enough to avoid such conflicts
    – J.Todd
    Sep 15, 2015 at 6:57
  • @RobertLongson in response to your second question, it's simple :) Because if negative feedback is abused, it has a direct negative effect on users, while if positive feedback is abused, (by those select few) it doesn't hurt anyone directly. All wrong feedback can hurt in quantity, but remember, no one has to vote, and rep doesnt mean anything outside of the community. So why would most users vote for a mere 10 rep who don't care about their community.
    – J.Todd
    Sep 15, 2015 at 6:59
  • @JonathanTodd Then first 10 arrows. (Although I imagine these people won't be eating the 1-rep cost to downvote answers.) In any case, if reputation is the incentive, how likely is it that the feedback is good feedback, and not noise?
    – user642796
    Sep 15, 2015 at 6:59
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    @JonathanTodd I completely disagree. If positive feedback is abused it misleads people into thinking an answer is useful when it isn't. Sep 15, 2015 at 7:01
  • @ArthurFischer see my previous comment which I edited to elaborate. Last sentence. why would most users vote for a mere 10 rep who don't care about their community?
    – J.Todd
    Sep 15, 2015 at 7:01
  • @RobertLongson My answer to these kinds of questions is the question I pose above: Why would most users vote for a mere 10 rep who don't care about their community?
    – J.Todd
    Sep 15, 2015 at 7:02
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    I have appended a paragraph to my question to clarify my opinion on the issue of this feature being abused, to avoid too many comments.
    – J.Todd
    Sep 15, 2015 at 7:05
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    Are you saying 1 rep point total for 1-10 votes per day, or 1 rep point for each vote up to 10 votes per day. I think the latter is far too generous for something likely to be abused. The most I could possibly support is 1 point for 10 votes per day, and I'm certainly not even sure about that.
    – PolyGeo
    Sep 15, 2015 at 7:11
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    I'm not enthused enough to suggest an answer on this one. I was just asking for clarification on what you are proposing so that I could decide whether to vote up or down. "reward voting with +1 rep for up to 10 votes per day" seems ambiguous while "vote for a mere 10 rep" suggests up to 10 votes are on offer per day just for voting. When beginners see 50 rep points to comment anywhere as Mt Everest I think 1 point for a day's voting would be sufficient incentive.
    – PolyGeo
    Sep 15, 2015 at 7:36
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    For the record, I find your idea very innovative and creative. If there was +1 for that, I would give it. But as a simple user with years of experience in Stack Exchange, I simply disagree with the core idea you suggest here. Call me nay-sayer, call me pessimistic, but that is my humble opinion. With all of that, the team might still find this useful and ignore all the downvotes here. :) Sep 15, 2015 at 8:58

3 Answers 3

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No.

This would encourage random voting more than anything else, and random voting is the worst thing that can happen in Stack Exchange sites.

There are already many badges for voting, this is more than enough.

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  • would encourage random voting more than anything else - More than anything else? You assume the great majority would randomly vote? I strongly disagree. Furthermore, I'm an avid stack exchange user and I like rep, a small reward for being involved in a community I appreciate. I've never cared at all about badges. Badges are so.. Meta.
    – J.Todd
    Sep 15, 2015 at 7:16
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    Yes I assume that. Sep 15, 2015 at 7:18
  • The useful votes will more than cancel out the non-useful ones. With everyone voting more actively, any upvote on a poor question will be more than cancelled out. You aren't being realistic. I think this is an overly pessimistic opinion, and one that fails to consider the result of the useful votes cast as a result of this.
    – J.Todd
    Sep 15, 2015 at 7:24
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    @JonathanTodd guess we will have to agree to disagree on this. Sep 15, 2015 at 7:52
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    @JonathanTodd I confidently agree with Shadow Wizard's "assumption" as it's based on unquestionably accurate knowledge from experience - i.e. Simply observing how "people" can and do act when there is something free to be had (lie, steal, spam, con, fake, etc)! Also, you call this out to be an "assumption" yet in your response you made one of your own, by stating "The useful votes will more than cancel out the non-useful ones" This statement is entirely heresay, and cannot even have knowledge from experience. There is no "downvote" incentive to counter the influx of upvotes.
    – James
    Sep 24, 2015 at 0:06
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No. Badges are worse enough as an incentive to vote. People already up-vote the entire front page in order to get a badge.

So why would people cast votes for a mere 10 rep who don't care about their community?

Because people are greedy. How many users rage-quit for just receiving a down-vote or two? Down-votes don't hurt we say, but people find their reputation very important, how worthless it might seem.

Giving an incentive for voting doesn't help. If you care about the community, you will vote regardless of a badge or reputation. If you don't care, the badges will guide you the right way, but only once. The effect of greedy users wanting that badge is minimized this way. If we keep giving reputation, the effect might be disastrous.

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Positive feedback is an overall good thing for all communities in Stack Exchange.

Negative feedback is far better, because it provides incentives to not post bad content.

Downvotes costing 1 rep (for answers at least) prevents rampant downvoting sprees.

Upvoting everything for the sake of free rep means that more low quality or mediocre content would be upvoted. That is a horrible thing.

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