For a proposal to move into the commitment phase, it needs a certain number of on and off topic questions, as decided by the number of on/off topic votes. However, some questions are such great examples that they continue to draw a large number of votes well past what is needed.

The problem is that we each have a limited number of votes. If we all use up our votes on the same questions, a proposal will never move on.

What can we do to encourage people to not continue to vote for questions that don't need any more votes?


The problem is that we each have a limited number of votes.

Indeed, that is the problem. People voting for questions they think are on- or off-topic is perfectly appropriate, regardless of what the current "score" is. If you have 200 people following a proposal and the majority votes a single question on- or off-topic, then you should probably be more confident in its on-/off-topicness than if only 10% of them vote for it - I think that's fairly obvious, but the system needs to stop fighting it.

As the jjnguy notes, screwing with folks' ability to vote on stuff is just as likely to skew the results as it is to accomplish anything useful. Also, it could make somewhat-controversial questions appear to be more controversial - one with 20 who think it's on-topic and 90 who think it's off-topic would appear to be deadlocked if votes are capped at 20.

Solve the root problem, solve the symptom...

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    Hmm, I've never been addressed as the jjnguy before. I kinda like it... – jjnguy Jul 27 '10 at 16:59
  • There's even a badge for a good question (50 on-topic or off-topic votes) and a great question (100 on-topic or off-topic votes). Sounds like they're trying to encourage this in some places and discourage it in others. – mmyers Jul 27 '10 at 17:03
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    +1000 for eliminating the 5-vote restriction! – user27414 Jul 27 '10 at 17:19
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    And what's more irritating, to me, is that you have to keep reviewing questions to see if anything new came up that's better, then locate the "worst" question you voted for, move the vote... it seems so clunky to me. – Jared Harley Jul 27 '10 at 23:51

I disagree to some extent.

If people are discouraged to vote on questions that have already met the criteria, then they will be forced to vote on worse examples of each. This will cause possibly bad examples to become 'model' examples of good/bad questions.

What we really need people to do is add great examples of on/off topic questions.

Or, make it hard to sort by most votes.

As the Shog9 points out, giving people more votes might also mitigate this problem.

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    Fair point. After awhile, however, most of us are out of votes. Maybe we should encourage people to not vote for decided questions and hold out for new great examples. – user27414 Jul 27 '10 at 16:51

Isn't this just a corollary to strategic voting? Shift your votes around.

At first, I think you should vote your conscience. [...]

But later in the process, I think it is okay to be a bit more pragmatic. A group of questions will become the top contenders. When it's getting close, I think it is okay to shift your votes around to indicate your preference among the top contenders. The ultimate goal is create the best possible Proposal.

As to how to convince others to vote? Well... the means to unduly influence others' votes isn't going to become a feature. But, like anything else in Area 51, there nothing keeping someone from going out to the Internet to bring in support and influence however they see fit.

  • "We're not gonna change the system to let you influence voters, but what you do outside the system is your own business... nudge nudge, wink wink " – Shog9 Jul 27 '10 at 23:31
  • Although I agree more with Shog9's answer, this is what I did to help move a proposal along - once my choices were high enough, I shifted votes around to help push it along. – Jared Harley Jul 27 '10 at 23:50

I think what you are experiencing is the frustration of watching the progress of a site creep up slowly to 0 on and off topics questions to go.

The solution isn't more votes per person. The solution is getting more people to vote and as Robert says 'Shift your votes around'.

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