Most users seem to vote mostly on answers. How can users be encouraged to vote on the questions as well? (This was discussed in podcast 62.)
I think we might need a badge specifically for voting on questions. That might be a good start.
I was thinking a badge for 600+ question (not answer) votes -- make it a gold badge?
some quick metrics:
# of answer votes: 1,990,598
# of question votes: 516,783
# of users with > 600 question votes: 34
# of users with > 800 question votes: 9
# of users with > 1000 question votes: 6
# of users with > 600 answer votes: 504
# of users with > 800 answer votes: 294
# of users with > 1000 answer votes: 175
But I'd like to hear other suggestions as well..
marking as complete with new gold badge now implemented:
Voted on 600 questions and more than 25% of votes are for questions
Could the metrics be a little misleading?
By definition only one question per question can be upvoted.
More than one answer per question can be upvoted. Whilst this applies especially perhaps to the questions that ask for many answers (often Community Wiki, e.g. What are some of your oldest programming books that you still use?) it can apply to many other questions. I have only asked one question on SO but upvoted several of the answers as they were helpful to me. If the upvote criterion was changed to 'single most helpful' or 'best' or 'most correct' answer then the question votes and answer votes would be more comparable.
Could one option be some kind of banner after you've answered a question that says (something like) "Have you considered up voting this question?" if you haven't voted at all -- After all, I'm only going to answer well written questions; and it is well written questions that we should be encouraging to be upvoted (rather than "What’s your favorite “programmer” cartoon?" or "Is Mono ready for prime time?")
Questions that need clarifications tend to get comments asking for them, not that there is any way to find out if they are updated in the future, but that's another rant altogether ;)
That's how I tend to behave, anyway...
I'm compiling my remarks into an answer. Just to make clear: I am in favor of a separate badge for voting on questions, I just do not see a case for it just looking at the number. As I wrote:
It seems to me that 2 million votes on answers and 500,000 votes on questions do not support the argument of less upvotes on questions. There have to be 4 times as many answers than questions easily.
Jeff Atwood then added some numbers about users extensively voting. My answer: So less than 0.4% of the users vote extensively (>800 answer votes). This is statistically not an interesting group. (I would expect more people to vote on answers extensively as there are more answers in the first place.)
What would be interesting to prove the case is the vote/answer and vote/question ratio. My last answer had the id 1170939. Taking away the questions (shared id), using Jeff Atwood's number of 1990598 votes on answers, that gives 2.12 votes per answer. Stack Overflow shows 232022 questions at the moment, with 516783 votes. That is 2.23 votes per question.
When we look at certain posts about when to downvote, what a downvote is to mean, asking for a certain ratio of upvotes and downvotes: what would the criteria be to up/downvote a question?
- useful for me +
- useful for the community, beginners +
- well put +, poorly formulated -
- earn me a badge +/-
- prevent from being closed +
- signal that this should be closed, and I do not have the reputation points to do it -
Again, I would see some badges (gold, silver, bronce). Are there some significant threshholds, points people tend to camp out? Then maybe these points rounded up some are good guesses for badge achievement.
Question votes and Answer votes could have a separate, independent voting limit, so that voting on questions would become essentially "free", answer-wise.
Note that the current voting limit is rather low, and on active days using the site without being able to upvote the obviously better answers is a bit frustrating.
There is already a badge at 300 votes, the (silver) Civic Duty badge. I personally think people are quite free with the up votes, and too stingy with the down votes.