As question and answer site, I was wondering why the most common and basic questions get more answers and attention then a real question?

I saw questions that could be answered on the first ten pages of the docs that have unexpected votes like:

I am not a professional coder, but I know I will find answers for these questions just by reading the docs.

People here help me a lot; honestly, I owe 50% of my coding knowledge to this site's users. As an active learner I want to track new ideas outside of the box (docs, tutorials) and give my votes to people who are really helping the community.

As far as I can see, 80% of votes are going to questions that should not be asked here and most useful questions are never asked or just ignored.

  • 1
    Getting badges and helping people shouldn't be mutually exclusive. The point of badges (and rep) is to incentivise the behaviours that lead to the site's goals: high quality questions and answers. You can already vote for the Qs and As that you think are most helpful, it's not clear what additional feature you're requesting.
    – jonrsharpe
    Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 10:37
  • The question doesn't appear to be about badges at all? Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 1:08

5 Answers 5


Badges? We don't need no stinking badges.

More seriously - reputation's the more obvious gamification, with badges serving the same role as achievements.

That said, what's "ok" on a site - what's too simple and what's not has evolved over time. I occasionally cringe at how bad older posts are (especially when they're my own)

In many cases you can find good answers that reference more than the basic/bare minimum docs about how and why to do something. Sometimes a seeming simple question might have a great answer which goes above and beyond what the docs would say. You can find examples of this linked in your question. The value's not in the question - its in the answers its generated, and over time, enough people have found it helpful

While SO isn't my home site, and I am currently trying to get my 10k here, 100k on SU (and working towards a legendary badge!) - the real game isn't in reputation. To me, its finding interesting problems, and sharing what I know (and learning from others!).


The posts you, pointed are very old and most of them are asked by early users, now most of the old sites are matured and do not allow these type of questions and the upvotes on that Q&A is so high because they have very high view count and you cannot stop users to vote.

Also if you have issue with some specific site you should ask them on there relative meta site.


Those questions are very useful to beginners and therefore help introduce more users to the SE platform.

For example, How to close view windows?

This question is about how to close windows... Seems like a simple task, yet it is fairly difficult without reading the blender manual. The question is useful for beginning users on the site and it introduces random google searchers with the same problem to the Blender SE.


There are a lot of new users joining every day, many of them being new to programming. To them, they see nothing in the very complex questions because the code in them makes no sense to them. Hence, they tend to like, or upvote, the questions that more simpler to understand and relate to them.

Thats why you will notice now that easy questions on StackOverflow, since you are asking about programming, are nowdays downvoted and closed (the difference is obvious when you open your feed of questions on stackoverflow, so no specific examples needed here)

Now for the badges and reputation. Had these features not been implemented, StackExchange as a whole would have just been like another rowdy site with no degree of peofessionalism like there is today. The badges bring you to understand how the site should be treated, and the reputation serves as an incentive to bring the users to write high quality answers and ask questions properly (no more of poorly formatted questions like on the other forums).


Many go for the easy reward. I guess it's a price we pay for a distributed system: a certain amount of freeloaders, some trolls, some verbal diarrhists, and only a few heavyweight professionals who answer every aspect of what you ask. The rest can be considered average.

What the site basically does is not affected by 15% of improper use.

Now HR experts who rely on your stackoverflow reputation - well. They are the ones feeding the beast. They can rarely tell the real pros from those who hunt for easy targets.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .