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Do you feel dirty if you nudge new users to accept your answer when they indicate you've answered their question?

Possible similar question: Do you feel dirty if you nudge new users to accept your answer when they indicate you've answered their question?

In any event, like I commented on in one of my questions, if someone felt it was worthwhile to answer a question, you'd think, wouldn't you, that they'd vote up the question. You'd think.

Anyone who answers one of my questions gets an automatic vote up unless the answer is just flat-out wrong, and even then I don't down-vote, I leave all that to the rest of the SO community. Likewise, every question I've answered, I've upvoted unless I just plum forgot.

  • 4
    FWIW, I make a habit of down-voting any post that asks for an up-vote, on the principle that if you have to ask, you don't deserve it. – Shog9 Feb 16 '11 at 21:22
  • That's an interesting principle. Utterly non-sequitorial, but interesting. – MrBoJangles Feb 16 '11 at 21:34
  • Ok, not utterly, forgive the hyperbole. – MrBoJangles Feb 16 '11 at 21:34
  • I've got to say, and maybe this calls for a separate question, but sometimes SO really brings out traits in me that I don't like. It's like the old adage that sports don't build character, they reveal it. – MrBoJangles Feb 16 '11 at 21:44
  • It's about sharing knowledge, which is often a thankless task. I think the reason why SO is so popular is all of us, at one point in time say "Screw this, I just want to teach!" and SO gives us that opportunity. Judge your contributions by the satisfaction that you get out of sharing what you know, not by what the OP up votes or accepts. The asker is not at all exclusive to benefiting from your time. – Tim Post Feb 16 '11 at 21:48
  • @Tim, you make sense, well put. I've been all about the rep, like I'm playing a video game. But if I forget the rep and just contribute to the knowledge base, it'll be much more rewarding. This is a zen moment for me, thanks. – MrBoJangles Feb 16 '11 at 21:53
  • Just curious, why did this question get so many negative votes? – jmort253 Feb 17 '11 at 5:04
  • @jmort read All Caps's answer – Pekka Feb 17 '11 at 9:56
  • @Pekka - Yeh, I read that, but I don't get what's wrong with the question? I understand downvoting an answer you disagree with, or downvoting a poorly written question, but this question represents an effort to understand what is acceptable here and isn't poorly written. Why is asking what is acceptable a bad thing? – jmort253 Feb 18 '11 at 8:35
  • @jmort253 Perhaps you and I do not understand the meaning of meta. Or perhaps downvoters jumped to the laughable conclusion that in this question I was actually appealing for some upvotes. Or maybe it's some third thing. I was taught that there are no dumb questions, only dumb people. Heh. – MrBoJangles Dec 6 '11 at 23:26

How does SO feel about a gentle, friendly reminder in the comments to upvote a question?

It's not common practice on SO. I wouldn't do it. Upvoting a question is not mandatory, and people have different criteria when deciding whether to do it:

  • Some will upvote only extraordinarily good or tough ones, out of a feeling that the OP is being rewarded enough by getting an answer.

  • Others (I'm in that camp mostly) tend to look at the previous effort put into the issue before asking the question (proper debugging, read the manual, Illustrations, etc).

  • Again others will upvote anything that contains half-way readable english.

All these practices are okay, and it's no good trying to interfere with them. Just let nature take its course (or not).

  • Indeed, there is a Darwinian element at play here. – MrBoJangles Feb 16 '11 at 21:33

The number of votes on your question is your answer; however, I will elaborate.

In actuality there are two main reasons why you're getting downvoted. The first is easy: you reward effort rather than good answers. Stack Overflow is about answers, not effort. You're free to upvote your way, but that way is not the general Stack Overflow way.

The second is the deeper and more important reason, which is that just because you take the time to answer a question doesn't mean that question is good. You can answer bad questions. Maybe you personally don't, but other people do, myself included.

As a matter of fact, I've downvoted more questions I've answered than upvoted. For example: this very question.

Needless to say, while you might answer only good questions, others do not necessarily do the same. A comment asking people who have answered to upvote is not a welcome comment, especially if those who answered considered your question bad.


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