Since voting is very important to stack-overflow users and a lot of users put up answers as fast as possible (just to be first and get the majority of the votes)...

How about if a "null" vote is mandatory?
[edit] mandatory only if you vote on something.

You click on the up triangle for up, the down for down, and the number in between can be used as a null vote (meaning... I looked at this and my vote still goes to the one I up-voted).

[edit] The null vote is only a personal marker (or reference for yourself) not visible to others. Same as "this has been marked as read"

Then if a new answer comes in on a question you up-voted. You will be notified there is a new answer that needs your attention... to be nulled or switch your up-vote to.

If you vote on something... you have to null everything else.

[edit] having all other answers be marked as read (null) if you vote something up is a good idea (it would save time). note: you would still be able to vote on multiple answers for the same question up or down. Like so... You vote something up, everything else is marked as read (null, zero , doesn't matter what you call it) then you can go to another answer (if you want) and also vote it up.

A possible scenario is three answers on a page, the first in gets 10 ups the others 2 or 3, then later a new answer comes in and everyone that voted is notified, so the votes are put on temporary hold until at least half of the voters go back to the page and take a look to verify if the new answer is of better value (it wouldn't be necessary for all to go back, just at least half, majority rules). The notification of new answer wouldn't have to be immediate either, I go back to the questions and answers I am involved with just to check if anything else was said. I'm sure a lot of other do this also? You would just have to visibly see if there is a new question that you didn't null yet (highlighted number?).

I think this is a good idea, it would insure more accurate voting and it would also take care of all the other problems everyone brought up in this other question...

Can regex answers include more detail in the explanation?

[edit] Also... if there is a late answer it gets ignored by all. This way it wouldn't... So if an unknown finds SO website through google there is a greater chance that using the answers that was voted up is the best choice because it is the best answer.

[edit] Duplicate questions... they are attacked and immediately closed. Late answers are ignored. This solves both problems. A late answer would have the same priority (from people that viewed it and voted on it) as the original answers.

[edit] Programming languages are constantly being updated, do you want stack overflow answers to be set in stone? (and you can't ask another question about it because it would be a duplicate)

[edit] also... this has no affect on people that get together in groups and vote eachother up, they can still do that.

  • 10
    I null voted the question, I'm waiting on more answers before I vote fully.
    – jcolebrand
    Commented Jan 2, 2011 at 5:22
  • I knew some people wouldn't like this because it make everything fair.
    – gravityboy
    Commented Jan 2, 2011 at 5:34
  • 11
    That sounds like it would keep a lot of people from voting, just because of the annoyance factor. I for one would vote a lot less if this rule were in place.
    – mmyers
    Commented Jan 2, 2011 at 6:31
  • @Michael Myers when you go to a page do you read all the answers before you vote... or just read one and vote it up? If you are scrolling around reading everything how hard is it to click a number? The only annoyance I see would be having to come back and check the new answer, the "only 50% come back" thing would eliminate it. A lot come back anyway and that completes the process. The "return anyway" visitors take care of the come back problem for all.
    – gravityboy
    Commented Jan 2, 2011 at 6:42
  • p.s. how do you know you would vote less...? All of the answers might be better and you might actually vote more. People would be able to put more time into any answer and get the just reward.
    – gravityboy
    Commented Jan 2, 2011 at 6:47

1 Answer 1


Not such a great idea. Not everyone has time to "null" things.

Also, once you null, you can't undo it after a period of time. That would severely cripple the voting system.

I vote no.

  • @Moshe if you don't have time to vote accurately, why are you voting? What do you mean once you vote null, you can't undo it? This isn't in affect yet. p.s. If you vote null it would mean you already looked at it and voted something else up. If a new answer comes in it is fair game for any vote.
    – gravityboy
    Commented Jan 2, 2011 at 5:28
  • So perhaps everything else should automatically be null voted for you? But then you can't upvote multiple things.
    – Moshe
    Commented Jan 2, 2011 at 5:29
  • No... you can upvote multiple, but if you vote, you have to vote on everything, up, down, null
    – gravityboy
    Commented Jan 2, 2011 at 5:32
  • 1
    @gravityboy Again, why would I want to vote null on things as opposed to leaving them the way they are?
    – Moshe
    Commented Jan 2, 2011 at 14:21
  • @Moshe it is only for questions where this is an answer you voted on... so you are actually not leaving that question the way it was, you have involved yourself with it. p.s. I'm going to upade the question
    – gravityboy
    Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 2:08
  • 1
    @gravityboy - I still disagree. You are making question involvement an all or nothing proposition, which is not a great idea.
    – Moshe
    Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 2:28
  • @Moshe so if you vote on something you don't care if you gave your vote to the best answer?
    – gravityboy
    Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 2:39
  • 1
    @gravityboy - Correct me if I'm wrong, but votes aren't just for the best answer. I could appreciate multiple answers.
    – Moshe
    Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 2:48
  • @Moshe yes... multiple vote-up allowed. It says that right in the comment above. Why are you doing this?
    – gravityboy
    Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 3:01
  • @gravityboy - I know, but your usage of the word "best" your second-to-last comment implies otherwise. Why am I doing what?
    – Moshe
    Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 3:03
  • @Moshe so if you vote on something you don't care if you gave your votes to the best answers? <-- plural
    – gravityboy
    Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 3:12
  • @gravityboy - I'm sorry that we disagree, I feel that I've made my points clearly. I'm sorry that I'm not able to express myself, I really don't know what else to say.
    – Moshe
    Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 3:13
  • @Moshe You can answers this with a yes or no... if you vote on something... do you care if you gave your votes to the best answers? <-- plural
    – gravityboy
    Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 3:16
  • you win... There are a bunch of people voting everything up for each other chat.meta.stackoverflow.com/transcript/message/423533#423533 it's like high school or mySpace stuff. You are here just for votes... I have a completely different reason (for being here). I'm not involved in this anymore.
    – gravityboy
    Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 8:27

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