Hi, I'm not clear on correct SO etiquette--especially WRT when to vote-up. Here is a scenario: I asked a question. Two people responded with answers, and there was plenty of comments/discussion. Their answers were helpful, but not completely satisfying. I did more research, then wrote my own answer. See here. Now I do appreciate their answers, but I think my own answer is the best one. Should I vote-up their answers to show my appreciation, and to reflect that they were helpful? Or should I only ever vote-up the best answer? Is there a guide on this stuff somewhere?

I now see that, hovering over the up arrow by a question shows "This answer is useful", so I guess that answers that.

3 Answers 3


I vote up all helpful answers as a reward for taking the time to try and help me, even if I post a better answer.

Your vote is yours to do with as you please, but in general users are encouraged to up vote good answers.

  • Yeah, thats what I was thinking. Can you clarify the implications/effects of voting however? Cute icon BTW. Jan 25, 2011 at 4:44
  • @iPad check out the stack overflow.com/faq for more details on the effect of voting, number of votes, cost of voting, etc. Generally, if your question is successfully answered, you should consider accepting an answer after a day or two, and you can simply choose the best answer. If you feel none of the answers really fulfill your needs, you can accept no answer, but if you do that too often others may choose not to answer your questions, thinking you may be hard to please. Consider posting comments with follow up questions to elicit a great answer.
    – Pollyanna
    Jan 25, 2011 at 4:54
  • Nevermind--I'll ask another question Jan 25, 2011 at 4:54
  • Thanks. No one was answering, so I had just decided to move the following to another question: Jan 25, 2011 at 4:56
  • However I'd still like to be clearer about the implications of up-voting etc. How does "up-voting", "down-voting" effect the users voted for, and myself? How is reputation gained? How do I get "votes" (which I can use to up-vote/down vote users)? Jan 25, 2011 at 4:56
  • OK. One more thing. I'm wondering when I should "accept" the answer to a question (Even though I don't normally continually change my questions), I often get answers that are not completely satisfying. However I'm thinking that if I don't "accept" an answer, my "accept %" score will go down and people won't want to answer my questions. Should I accept questions that are merely pretty good? Or should I hold-out for a complete answer? Jan 25, 2011 at 4:57
  • OK, thanks heaps, the stackoverflow.com/faq page is what I was after. Jan 25, 2011 at 5:02
  • BTW-I don't yet have enough reputation to vote-up your answer in this meta SO. Sorry. Jan 25, 2011 at 5:06

Upvotes are free. Spread them liberally on anything that deserves one, and the universe will ensure that you get some back.

  • Mmmmm, peanut butter sandwiches with a thick layer of crunchy peanut butter.....
    – Pollyanna
    Jan 25, 2011 at 4:37
  • Please see expanded question. Are they really free? Don't I have a limited supply? Jan 25, 2011 at 4:42

All the info is in here. Thanks Pollyanna for pointing that out in the comments.

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