Possible Suggested Duplicate: (not actually)
Why don't people vote up questions that they answer?

After "Why don't people vote up questions that they answer?" comes the question (to me) why so many people do that. One thing is what each person do another completely different thing is what a crowd do.

I have no links to support my claim, but I think it's pretty evident most answered questions go with 0. I find it weird when it's an experienced user answering it. I find it even weirder considering there is at least one badge being offered! (Maybe my theory that most people don't care shows some evidence here.)

Yes, sure, the tooltip says we should vote up on "useful and clear questions", but who does that? We vote on what we think is good and I understand that is highly subjective. But, again, all that changes when analyzing the community as a whole rather than individual users.

So, what's your theory on why so many questions remain on the limbo of zero? And is there an ultimate reason for thinking the question you're spending your time answering is not a good question?

  • 4
    Because I don't think about it. You should remind me every time I post, like I just did.
    – ughoavgfhw
    Apr 14 '11 at 22:26
  • 1
    @ughoavgfhw how about a greasemonkey script for reminding you whenever you answer? :P
    – cregox
    Apr 14 '11 at 22:30
  • @Brandon it's exactly the same theme, but I'm focusing on the "so many" aspect of it, not on specific cases.
    – cregox
    Apr 14 '11 at 22:32
  • @Cawas Do you have one? And does it also make sure it was actually a good question before notifying me, and not a bad question that I did the best I could to interpret?
    – ughoavgfhw
    Apr 14 '11 at 22:32
  • @ughoavgfhw nope and nein. the second "no" is in german because those are who have to bring up with such a script. and you should change your nick to something spell-able! :P
    – cregox
    Apr 14 '11 at 22:34
  • @Cawas Wow, you're the third person in the last week or two to comment on my name. No one had ever said anything before that. I guess I will have to go visit Germany sometime.
    – ughoavgfhw
    Apr 14 '11 at 22:36
  • @ughoavgfhw just be sure to leave before you start spelling your name like Eigentumsrecht!
    – cregox
    Apr 14 '11 at 22:41
  • 5 mods voting for closing questions some times seems like to many, and other times it looks like too little. I wonder if more than one of you actually payed enough attention to realize that, while on the same theme, this is a completely different question. And it's not like I have never agreed with such duplicate closing before. For a while, I won't ask for a reopen and just see what happens.
    – cregox
    Apr 15 '11 at 9:05
  • 3
    I answer a lot of questions that I don't think are very good. I'm hardly compelled to upvote them, but I'm also not moved enough to downvote. 0 is a good score, so I leave it there.
    – Cody Gray
    Apr 15 '11 at 9:06
  • @Cody, take a look at the suggested duplicate! ;)
    – cregox
    Apr 15 '11 at 9:09
  • 1
    @Cawas, I've not even read your post, as 5 peers thought it was a duplicate. Taking the block that we are used to out of the closed post is just very confusing; we see [closed] but cannot see what duplicate the peers closed this for. So, while things are closed, leave it in place please. Removing the automatically inserted block is NOT appreciated.
    – Arjan
    Apr 15 '11 at 9:27
  • 1
    How do you reopen a closed question? As an aside: your question was not closed by moderators but by other users.
    – Arjan
    Apr 15 '11 at 9:33
  • 1
    @Cawas: No amount of rep confers the ♦, which comes with even more goodies than the 10k tools. You only get it from the team, either because you're on the team, on a pro tem basis on beta sites, or after election by your peers. The term "moderator tools" for the 10k powers is a historical artifact: at the time they were the most powerful tools available to users. So now we have users that have access to the "moderator tools" and a separate group known as the "moderators". Go figure. Apr 15 '11 at 14:01
  • 1
    BTW-- I stand by the duplicate vote. Each person either does or does not vote. They don't have a crowd hovering over them at the time. On the other hand, I think there might be a distinct [feature-request] here, if you have a good suggestion. For myself, when I fail to vote it is usually a considered act. Indeed, I'm beginning to resent the electorate badge because I'm getting reluctant to vote for good answers to mediocre questions on account of it messing with my ratio. Grrr! Apr 15 '11 at 14:08
  • 1
    @Cawas: I understand what you say the difference is. I simply don't agree that it is a difference. It is possible that there is something about the mechanics of browsing Stack Overflow that contributes to non-voting on questions, but if so it is a perfectly valid answer to meta.stackexchange.com/questions/16896/…, from which I conclude that this question is a duplicate. Apr 15 '11 at 14:22

Most likely because the user thinks

  • it is not a good question
  • it is not clear but the user knows that the OP is talking about so one answers anyway
  • it is not useful ( these are all right there in the triangle clicky thingie)
  • daily vote limit reached

... plus many many more reasons.

If your question was not a good Q to me, but I have the knowledge to answer it, I will answer it but that is about it. I prefer to upvote questions that are well written and helpful to me and I think they can easily be helpful to others as well.

Careful what you ask for though, I could right the system by down-voting questions. I am giving you the benefit of the doubt by not voting at all. My meh vote.

See How To Ask Questions The Smart Way

  • 3
    I think we need an actual meh vote button now.
    – ughoavgfhw
    Apr 15 '11 at 4:59
  • @phwd, good try. But I think this is an answer to go on the other question. Your focus here is the individual. I think I was not, and maybe I'm still not being, clear enough on the question. Maybe one day I'll learn and acquire better communication skills... By the way - far from being new or my first time trying to read that catb article - but good link nevertheless! Now, if you could only be kind enough to move this answer to the other question, I could thank you and move on with my crappy life, or something. :P
    – cregox
    Apr 15 '11 at 9:13
  • @Cawas This answer addresses your question (the way it was stated) perfectly, so no reason to delete it. Nobody likes mediocre questions, sad truth. Plus, as noted, the connection between answering the question and voting on the question is nonexistent. Apr 15 '11 at 10:27
  • @Nikita (1) what you mean by "the way it was stated"? If you mean the title, I disagree - it's not answering why people do it, it is giving a theory on why a single person (himself) do it. I've also particularly asked for a single reason, not many. (2) Questions we don't like may be mediocre for us but not for others. As they become worse and worse more people will agree upon its mediocracy but it will still be too harsh to say that nobody likes it. (3) If there is a connection between answering the question and voting on it at least to me then there is at least 1 connection.
    – cregox
    Apr 15 '11 at 10:40
  • @Nikita and sorry for being an ass. I get frustrated when people don't get me and I can only truly blame myself for being a blunt incompetent at expressing what I mean.
    – cregox
    Apr 15 '11 at 10:42
  • @Cawas Not to flame, but to show how I see it (and vote myself). Because people have no reason to vote for those questions (neither do you suggest one). When voting for an answer, you (often) express your agreement. You confirm that this solution is a good one. So, when somebody answers a question 'how do I do X in Y' and gets 5 upvotes in 5 minutes, it means 5 people agree (and often knew the answer themselves). Now, what about the question? In 3 out of 4 cases, it's an indication that person can't google. Why would I vote for that? Apr 15 '11 at 11:30
  • @Nikita because you think it's a good enough question to provide an answer to it! If it's an exact duplicate, it doesn't deserve any votes or answer but a flag and a link. That's a bad question. If it's something that you can easily google or find, doesn't mean it's a bad question even if it can mean you're a better googler. Look, there are two points here: Firstly the question isn't about single cases. I don't know how to stress this enough or in another way. I wanted to discuss and to understand why there's such a big mass of people behaving that way and avoid individual self guesses.
    – cregox
    Apr 15 '11 at 11:45
  • Secondly, I'm not saying to vote on any question, I'm not even saying to vote on all questions you answer. To what is my opinion as an individual, just look at the first link on the question. I think I've suggested many reasons to vote on them elsewhere. I don't think those belong too much in here, specially after the other (suggested duplicate) question being pointed out. And @Nikitia, please go ahead and keep it incoming if you will. I didn't see it as flaming at all! ;)
    – cregox
    Apr 15 '11 at 11:50
  • For flag-link argument: that's a theory :) In 99% cases, it's easier to answer the question than to find a duplicate. Also, most often 'duplicate' is outside SO. It's amazing, how many questions can be answered by simply reading documentation for the API you're using. Apr 15 '11 at 11:52
  • @Nikita I tend to only link duplicates I can easily find... Usually pointed somewhere in the page itself (look for the Linked and Related sidebar), in my history or some quick google search due to a feeling that's a dupe or if I remember I've seen it before. Then, sure, I will only flag it after having a truly exact duplicate. Going that far and flagging has not happened more than 10 times in my case, so I'm no parameter. But, in theory, I agree there must be a vast majority of cases in which it's easier to reply than it is to link. But I only say that based on my attempts to source answers.
    – cregox
    Apr 15 '11 at 12:09
  • @Cawas Even after reading your other post, I still couldn't draw the connection between answering and voting. Myself, I don't divide questions on good and bad. Mostly, they're ok. They don't cause any particular emotions in me. I'd love to see what feeling drives you to vote on every question you answer :) Apr 15 '11 at 12:09
  • @Nikita it's the other way around. I try to only answer the questions that I consider good. Thus, the upvote comes first to me. Though it's also truth that I do have a low parameter at what consists a good question - I'm very conceiving (if that's a proper use of the word). For instance, I do find many duplicates to be "useful and clear" because it's, at worst, a way to link and connect spread data points on the web, if you know what I mean.
    – cregox
    Apr 15 '11 at 12:13
  • @Cawas And about big-picture issue: well, that's about as big as I can answer. I don't know why people tend to group their votes together and not distribute them evenly between 'middle' 80% of questions, but apparently that happens. Apr 15 '11 at 12:13
  • @Rybak (for a change) now we're talking on topic! But I don't get what you meant at all! :P What you mean "middle 80% of questions"?
    – cregox
    Apr 15 '11 at 12:16
  • @Cawas I see. Then, I guess, it comes to why are we on this site. Personally, I just had too much free time last year. This lead me to answer lots of 'average' questions (simple because they are the majority). Questions not evoking any particular response or interest in me, but which I can answer and thus help somebody. So, no, I don't need question to be 'great' to answer it. Apr 15 '11 at 12:24

I believe that, like our friend ughoavgfhw, most people just forget or simply never think about it. While there are those who reason about it and those who prefer downvoting rather than upvoting, I'm just guessing the majority simply couldn't care less.

Which is just fine.

You're the one who's caring too much about it and you should get a life!

But right now I didn't upvote it just because I can't upvote on my own posts (which makes a lot of sense)! :D

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