If my understanding is correct, votes cast represent how useful/good a particular question or answer is.

Why is it then that the total sum of votes on all answers to a question don't contribute to the question's total score/vote?


As the answers suggest, the real problem here is that while some people look for good questions to answer, other look for good questions to read.

The first group of people, I believe, use the "Active" and "Hot" site sections, while second use "Week" and "Month". I myself subscribed by RSS to most of StackExcange's sites "Month" sections, and what I expected there, are good questions and good answers in them, not just good questions.

So, why not change said sections that way? Or even design with both groups in mind and split the tools for finding questions accordingly.

  • @random. Thanks, I guess. Why did you delete "feature-proposal" and "discussion" tags? That's not a support question. And... isn't the "questions" tags for questions stupid?
    – kolobos
    Commented Oct 21, 2010 at 4:47
  • You're asking why the [votes] on [questions] work the way they do. Where in the original did you request a change of how the votes work? Or did you want to chew the cud on votes in general?
    – random
    Commented Oct 21, 2010 at 4:53
  • @random I'm asking why the [votes] on [questions] work the way they do, and why don't they work another (seemingly better) way. So it's a change request too. And since it's all doubtful, we need a discussion first. How do I make it clear? :)
    – kolobos
    Commented Oct 21, 2010 at 5:05
  • If you want to change the way it is, say so straight up instead of going over to Sal's and ordering a cobb salad. And mention why the change is good for all/the system.
    – random
    Commented Oct 21, 2010 at 5:07

3 Answers 3


Votes on a question means "this is a good question", not "this question has good answers". The immediate result of this is that when you browse for questions to answer, the good ones are calling out for you ("22 votes and no answers? Lemme take a whack at it!").

Your question implies, however, that you don't browse questions to answer them, but to read the existing answers. Of course there's nothing wrong with that, but the site is primarily designed to get answers to questions.

  • While it is true for "Active" and "Hot" sections, aren't top monthly/weekly question sections are where people actually look for good questions AND good answers in them?
    – kolobos
    Commented Oct 21, 2010 at 5:31

Sum of votes is a factor in the hotness calculation.

What formula should be used to determine "hot" questions?


What I hate is you get a question with zero up votes but 4 or five people thought your question was good enough to answer. Like this one 4 answers and not one 'upvote'. They can spend the time to answer but can't seem to click your 'upvote' on the question. I would suggest that when more than one person answers a question the person asking the question should get some credit.

  • Just because someone is nice enough to provide an answer doesn't at all mean that they found the question particularly good or interesting.
    – cdeszaq
    Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 17:06
  • Blanket statement, thanks...did you even read the link or look at some other questions with high answers but low votes?
    – JPM
    Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 20:23
  • Yes, I did follow the link to your question, and I've also answered questions but that I did not up-vote because I could provide a useful answer, but I didn't find the question particularly useful (to me, at least). Usefulness, along with research effort and clarity, are part of the suggested reasons to vote a question up or down, bet even still, the most important result of asking a question should be getting a useful answer, not simply getting votes. Otherwise, why bother asking questions?
    – cdeszaq
    Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 21:00
  • True, true but still the person asking the question should get some bones for asking something no one has thought of or encountered.
    – JPM
    Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 21:07

You must log in to answer this question.

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