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For a long time, each vote for a question gave you only 5 rep because if you have a question, do no research on it, then put it on a Stack Exchange site (especially Stack Overflow) and it's a popularly asked question, it will get hundreds of upvotes. Look at the top voted questions on Stack Exchange, they have no research and very little content – most of them are one or two sentences – but the hundreds of people who look up the same question see the answer, think "Oh, that's useful", then upvote it.

And if you have a question about a somewhat obscure topic, put a lot of research and time into it, it will get very few upvotes. Why? Because it's not a popular question. All of the popular questions are taken, so there's nothing you can do. Users can get a lot of non-deserved reputation that way.

The very text of the upvote button says, "This question shows research effort; it is useful and clear", but that's not the reason why people upvote the top questions.

The question is, what can be done about it? For a time there was awarding of only half-reputation for question upvotes but that's not fair to those who actually have good questions. And forcing people to put a lot of text into the question body will just be a frustrating annoyance.

Are there any solutions to this?

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  • 2
    Possible cross-site duplicate How much research effort is expected of Stack Overflow users?
    – bad_coder
    Feb 21 at 23:39
  • 1
    @bad_coder That question is similar to this one, but with one key difference: the other one is about requiring effort, versus getting less reputation for little research. Some questions simply can't or don't need to have research. PS thanks for not downvoting :)
    – Anonymous
    Feb 21 at 23:44
  • 3
    Suggest you put your solution in an answer instead of your question post. Also it would help for you to be clearer about your assumptions & goals--which others might not share. PS It's not clear what you mean by "moderators". It is not the role of elected/diamond moderators to evaluate technical content, other moderation ie curation is done by anyone with enough rep; gold badge holders also have special privileges. help center PS "All of the popular questions are taken" contradicts "it will get hundreds of upvotes".
    – philipxy
    Feb 21 at 23:53
  • @philipxy I self-answered this question to put my suggestion (thanks for pointing this out, it hadn't occurred to me). I feel that to cause such a major action requires a vote from moderators (this could cause hundreds of a reputation increase). Allow me to rephrase "all of the popular questions are taken" to "most of the popular questions are taken", although I don't see how it contradicts "it will get hundreds of upvotes".
    – Anonymous
    Feb 22 at 0:12
  • 1
    Maybe people are interpreting it as "This question shows research effort OR it is useful and clear." Feb 22 at 1:32
  • 5
    Look at the dates of the most upvoted questions on SO. You might discover that the majority were posted sometime between 2008 and 20012. You conveniently ignore the thousands upon thousands upon thousands of questions which are either closed or have been deleted since 2009. Tens of thousands were closed for lack of effort and research too.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 22 at 7:00
  • @Mari-LouA I'm not talking about closing questions. There are many, many questions that don't require research; those shouldn't be and aren't going to be closed. But they aren't worth the thousands of reputation they generate, either.
    – Anonymous
    Feb 22 at 18:08
  • A question that was popular ten years ago and is not closed will continue to accumulate upvotes by new users. Those new users who then feel the pain and frustration that a low rep and a lucklustre response to their contributions imply. But the formula for attracting upvotes is relatively simple. Make the question as interesting as possible. People love solving riddles, it's gratifying and highly satisfying to know that you were smart enough to figure out the answer.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 22 at 19:18
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  • 1
  • @gnat (1) It's a duplicate question (2) No, this is a proposed change.
    – Anonymous
    Mar 26 at 16:09
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For a long time, each vote for a question gives you only 5 rep.

You can find the reasoning for it here

Why? Because if you have a question, do no research on it, then put it on a Stack Exchange site (especially Stack Overflow) and it's a popularly asked question, it will get hundreds of upvotes.

Uhm, you seem to be confused - the reasoning initially for questions having less rep is the desire to give more extrinsic motivation for answering. SO was a smaller place then, shocking as it is to hear.

I feel like this isn't one of those cases.

Look at the top voted questions on Stack Exchange, they have no research and very little content – most of them are one or two sentences – but the hundreds of people who look up the same question see the answer, think "Oh, that's useful", then upvote it.

Or people find they have the same issue, and a significant number of people with enough reputation to vote felt that the question was of use.

And if you have a question about a somewhat obscure topic, put a lot of research and time into it, it will get very few upvotes. Why? Because it's not a popular question.

As a 100K user on two sites - who tends to answer significantly more than I ask, obscure stuff is fun!. I've literally had someone complain about something that seemed implausible, realise that I KNEW THE ANSWER, and worked that into a question and answer pair. Weirdly enough, you can totally get high amounts of rep without focusing on it.

All of the popular questions are taken, so there's nothing you can do. Users can get a lot of non-deserved reputation that way.

Many popular/common issues have answers (and that you can't or there is no answer is useful too) and people found value in that the question was asked. Maybe you're just annoyed you never thought of asking the question first.

That the answers for these older questions can be obsolete is a concern, but if you have a new/novel solution to an old question - nothing wrong with posting it.

The question is, what can be done about it? For a time that was awarding only half-reputation for question upvotes but that's not fair to those who actually have good questions. And forcing people to put a lot of text into the question body will just be a frustrating annoyance.

Reputation is just a number. And my questions are neither too long nor too short, just as long as they have to be. You don't put a lot of text - you put in information that someone else might find useful in solving your problem.

The weight of rep is nice, but at the end of the day, the real goal is someone finding your post, and through that the answers to their problem.

0

For a long time, each vote for a question gives you only 5 rep. Why? Because if you have a question, do no research on it, then put it on a Stack Exchange site (especially Stack Overflow) and it's a popularly asked question, it will get hundreds of upvotes.

It certainly isn’t true for myself. I only upvote questions that are truly spectacular. I lot of other users have a problem my lack of upvotes, however, most of those users are not aware of the questions that are deleted. Why do I mention the questions that are deleted, because the questions you are complaining are probably not that bad in comparison.

Look at the top voted questions on Stack Exchange, they have no research and very little content – most of them are one or two sentences – but the hundreds of people who look up the same question see the answer, think "Oh, that's useful", then upvote it.

There is this old saying about throwing rocks at a glass house, I forget what the saying is, but you might want to move out of that glass house you live in since this very question doesn’t show research effort on your part. Pointing that fact out, will probably be unpopular, but sometimes the unpopular viewpoint has at least some merit.

And if you have a question about a somewhat obscure topic, put a lot of research and time into it, it will get very few upvotes. Why? Because it's not a popular question. All of the popular questions are taken, so there's nothing you can do. Users can get a lot of non-deserved reputation that way.

You are aware that there isn’t a finite limit of questions in the world? If a question about a topic isn’t getting views or votes, then there is probably a problem with the question, or there isn’t and that one user with the answer hasn’t seen it yet.

The question is, what can be done about it?

You can issue more downvotes. If a question doesn’t show research effort, then issue a downvote, and if you know there is a duplicate flag it as such. If it’s caused by a typo, then flag it as such, so it can be closed. Review the contributions of new users through the review queue, choose the appropriate action, for each of those contributions you review. Downvotes and reviewing contributions is an important community action.

For a time that was awarding only half-reputation for question upvotes but that's not fair to those who actually have good questions. And forcing people to put a lot of text into the question body will just be a frustrating annoyance.

What exactly does requiring an adequate amount of information to answer a question have to do with the amount of reputation earned from an upvote?

I self-answered this question to put my suggestion (thanks for pointing this out, it hadn't occurred to me). I feel that to cause such a major action requires a vote from moderators (this could cause hundreds of a reputation increase). Allow me to rephrase "all of the popular questions are taken" to "most of the popular questions are taken", although I don't see how it contradicts "it will get hundreds of upvotes".

Moderators are community users first, based on your answer, you believe their upvote should be worth more than mine. If their upvote is worth more, I assume their downvote will be worth more, since downvoting is equally as important as upvoting? I am guessing you won’t agree with that statement. I can write a well researched question, provide only a small subset of my code, and it would fail a proposed filter on the length check. Doesn’t mean the question wasn’t researched. Additionally, as a programming community website, a question should be mostly code on Stack Overflow.

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  • I hide all my other communities years ago, so you won’t find my primary community, so you won’t be able to confirm my thousands of answers I have submitted. I like it that way.
    – Ramhound
    Feb 22 at 3:59

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