Problem: A lot of the time I downvote something that clearly shows lack of research or effort on OP's part, and when they edit to improve it, I usually find out pretty late, because there are no notifications to help with that.

Proposition: add a Get notified when this post is edited button/checkbox under a post which you have downvoted (per post, not just all posts ever), so that if there is a significant improvement, you could remove your downvote or even change it to an upvote to show you recognize the improvement.

I believe this would improve public thinking about votes, and make people (who choose to participate like this on the SE sites more often) vote more freely and more often, and everybody else would not think of a <0 post score as a death sentence for their contribution.

I'm not asking to enable this on SO (for a number of obvious reasons), and that's why I propose an opt-in subscription. This would be most useful on lower activity sites like the SE, in my opinion, but who knows.

I want to know if someone has improved their post after a downvote to reinforce the positive behavior and I get -4 on my good intentions? What kind of culture are you trying to cultivate? Please, explain why you disagree without silently downvoting. If you think there's a better way, yes, I want to know your thoughts.

  • The second one is very biased towards the StackOverflow experience. I myself use a much less active site, which doesn't share the same voting approach and problems as described there, so I wouldn't compare them without due consideration. I realize a lot of SO people would come by here and say that's not what they want, but I'm not thinking about them primarily. Oct 7 '16 at 19:58
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    From own experience, such posts often get minor edits to fix grammar, not really improving the contents. This will just create lots of noise, and after enough "false alarms", most people will just ignore those notifications or opt out. Oct 7 '16 at 21:40
  • These should be per-post, so that the users could judge whether it would be worthwhile to follow the edits. I forgot to mention that, I'll edit that in. Oct 7 '16 at 22:36
  • Related: Allow an edit to notify downvoters: “I think I've fixed the issue now - please check” and I know there's a dupe somewhere before I remember discussing this in the past.
    – Jason C
    Jun 2 '17 at 23:20

It is good when someone pays attention to comments, reinforced by downvotes, and improves their post. However, if the original post did not require downvotes that would be even better.

I think any unwithdrawn downvotes on what may now be a good post is a reminder to everyone that we want as many good posts at the outset as possible so that our volunteers can get on with answering and upvoting in preference to having to spend time and effort fixing them first, and then getting notifications of their belated improvement possibly multiple times.

  • I'm not talking only about questions, but answers too. And I think unwithdrawn downvotes on good posts make us look like an angry mob that don't follow their own rules (upvote the good, downvote the bad). We're not here in business of giving people life lessons without care for people's thoughts (and driving them away like that), but gathering quality knowledge posts, and that means we have to think of ways to make people more likely to keep doing it, and for the quality to be high. Disregarding improvements like that and letting downvotes stay, in my opinion, is against that goal. Oct 7 '16 at 20:44
  • It's like teachers not acknowledging the improvements of their students. Plain backwards and wrong. Oct 7 '16 at 20:46
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    What you're saying is you follow the "You only get one chance" approach to voting. I don't think that is healthy for a knowledge sharing community. This is why I'm proposing to make it more convenient to give people second chances and re-evaluate their contributions, and vote appropriately, as we should. Oct 7 '16 at 20:58
  • What I am valuing the most is our volunteer answerers' time. How I think we maximize the value of the time they spend is by having askers come up to speed on how to ask focussed questions as quickly as possible. I'm not saying that they should only get one chance but I am saying that they should not expect unlimited tuition in how to ask. The way I vote on any post is based on how it presents itself when I visit, and sometimes revisit, it.
    – PolyGeo
    Oct 7 '16 at 21:25
  • That's why it's opt-in. If you don't want to spend your time, fine. Others might though, and I'd like you and others to consider that. I know some posts are not likely to improve, but when they are, it would be a waste not to be able to reward people for their effort (because you didn't know they put in effort due to lack of notification). We may have a different approach to our users' posts, but we should have the best tools to work with for any approach we choose. Oct 7 '16 at 21:33
  • The opt-in aspect is why I have not yet voted on your question. I guess I have seen too many good answerers burned out through their best rather than sustainable intentions.
    – PolyGeo
    Oct 7 '16 at 21:44
  • Try participating on less active sites. It sure cured my depression from a year of StackOverflow. Oct 7 '16 at 21:49
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    Less active sites is where I spend almost all my time.
    – PolyGeo
    Oct 7 '16 at 21:51

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