Not just ones that they answer, but the entire function in general. People simply don't up-vote. There should probably be a way to distinguish between reasons for upvoting questions, like an upvote count for "this needs an answer" and another for "I like this question" because who cares if anyone LIKES the question (the answer apparently is no one) but if an upvote to the question bumped it or something, it might be useful.

  • Duplicate - meta.stackexchange.com/questions/509/…
    – ChrisF Mod
    Nov 9, 2009 at 18:47
  • Close to a duplicate anyway, this one is slightly more general. Nov 9, 2009 at 18:48
  • 1
    @Chet: I don't really like that edit. The bump suggestions seems incidental to the questions which was much more like ChrisF's link. Nov 9, 2009 at 18:51
  • 2
    This question is kind of a two-parter: 1) Why come no one upvotes questions? 2) A suggestion to make upvoting "bump" a question up. The latter appears to be unique, so IMO this is not a dupe.
    – user27414
    Nov 9, 2009 at 18:55
  • See also: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/16943/… and meta.stackexchange.com/questions/139/… (tagging fail on both)
    – Shog9
    Nov 9, 2009 at 19:06
  • 2
    @dmckee - if the question is about upvoting questions, then it should be closed as a dupe. If people want to talk about upvoting questions, they should take it to the other question. Rich B saved this questions from its ignominious fate (ie, closing as dupe) by emphasizing the difference between it and that other question. What do you suggest should have been done instead?
    – Pollyanna
    Nov 9, 2009 at 20:41
  • Duplicate of the "bumping" part: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6792/…
    – sth
    Nov 9, 2009 at 22:57

5 Answers 5


I don't want to see a question re-appear on the front page unless something substantial has changed in either the question itself or the answers.

Right now a question only 'lasts' on the front page of Stackoverflow for a mere 2 minutes with no new activity during the busy times of the day.

If we make it easy to anonymously bump it, we encourage bumping, and the 2 minutes of 'face time' the question gets on the front page would reduce significantly. This would have the circular effect of requiring more bumping just to get the same amount of exposure one had without the quick and easy bump, which would crowd the front page more, etc.

However, the current system already works well - if people are actively contributing to the question with answers or significant edits, then the front page shows ACTIVE conversations going on in a very, very crowded room. It's a very useful window into what people are talking about on Stackoverflow right now.

I'm not convinced there are any real benefits, but what benefits there may be certainly do not warrant the cost.


I disagree. Plenty of people upvote questions. Especially if they have been down voted. Sympathy upvotes are very powerful (unfortunately).

If people didn't upvote questions there would be entire hoardes of question pumps on SO that wouldn't have any rep at all. Instead they often have > 5k rep.

If your questions are not getting upvotes, perhaps your question is just not very good.

  • 6
    +1 to sympathy votes. Well, not yet. As soon as someone downvotes your answer, though.
    – user27414
    Nov 9, 2009 at 18:49
  • 1
    I've always wondered what's behind the sympathy vote mindset. If I need a hug I'll get one from my spouse or cat; I come to SO to learn something. If I don't get upvoted, well boo-f*ing-hoo (queue yesterday's controversial "suck it up princess" line, which got a *lot of votes in either direction) :D
    – Ether
    Nov 9, 2009 at 18:59
  • 6
    Wait. What do you do to your cat?
    Nov 9, 2009 at 19:00
  • 1
    lol. you know, hugs, those lovey-dovey things we get from people in the real world when we can tear ourselves away from the console.
    – Ether
    Nov 10, 2009 at 21:22

People do upvote questions sometimes (including some that they shouldn't, but that is another story). But:

  • there is some feeling that a good answer is its own reward
  • some of your questions could have been easily answered by consulting google or the docs, so people may feel that they are not special in any way
  • many of your questions have fairly few view, and you can't get votes unless and until people look at what you have written: if you questions don't attract viewers from the list pages, you just aren't going to get any votes
  • it doesn't seem to apply to you, but we do have a number of pests on these sites who ask endless questions without any need or any apparent interest in the answers, and these people have turned me off voting for questions unless they show some special insight or turn out to be much harder than they seem.

Good luck, YMMV, and all that.

  • "(including some that they shouldn't, but that is another story)" -- what would be an example of a "shouldn't have upvoted" type question?
    – artlung
    Nov 9, 2009 at 18:58
  • Continuing to upvote after a duplicate has been identified, upvoting off-topic posts, sympathy upvotes (defined as those where the voter doesn't care about the quality of the questions, just that someone was "mean" to the poster), etc. Note that these are social problems and mostly not easy to fix by technical means. We just have to live with them and try to educate people. Nov 9, 2009 at 19:01
  • I hear what you're saying, but I don't think restricting the use of the upvote is going to be effective.
    – artlung
    Nov 10, 2009 at 2:21
  • Who's suggesting restricting upvotes? Nov 10, 2009 at 2:30

On upvoting:

Your question will not get upvoted if you:

  • Ask a question easily answered through Google or MSDN, etc.
  • Ask a question that's too specific and not likely to be useful to anyone else.
  • Use poor English
  • Have a bad attitude

Getting upvoted is more difficult. You need to ask a widely appealing question that's not easily Googled. For better or for worse, it appears that "best practices" questions do particularly well. And programmer jokes - but let's not get started on that.

As for bumping:

The bounty system already handles this in a way. If an obscure question is getting ignored, the OP has the option to "pay" rep to promote the question.

  • -1? Ouch! I need a sympathy vote!
    – user27414
    Nov 9, 2009 at 19:12
  • Here you go (+1 sympathy). I find that the sympathy is often reversed on MSO, though - a single +1 vote tends to trigger many -1s. We shall see :-)
    – ChssPly76
    Nov 9, 2009 at 19:34
  • The first bullet point is incorrect. "How do I move the turtle in logo?" was deliberately googleable, but has 131 net votes. stackoverflow.com/questions/1003841/… Nov 10, 2009 at 2:48
  • @Andrew - there are always exceptions to the rules.
    – user27414
    Nov 10, 2009 at 5:11

The problem for me is that there is no way to bump someone else's question to say "Hey, I have this problem too but this question didn't get any attention!" The only thing you can do now is add a non-answer answer and suck up the down votes, or post a duplicate question. Adding comments is about as worthless as up voting the question.

  • 1
    Why don't you just edit that question with more relevant information?
    Nov 9, 2009 at 21:52
  • 2
    First, most new people to the site can't edit questions. Second, saying "I see the same error" is not adding relevant information.
    – dlux
    Nov 9, 2009 at 21:58
  • Agree with this answer although usually it is rare that the question is not aldready answered. I can't see why this answer was rated -1 though. Care to explain?
    – n1ckp
    Nov 10, 2009 at 3:10
  • @n1ckp the suggestion to add a non-answer is the reason for my downvote
    – tshepang
    Jan 5, 2013 at 10:12

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