Vote, vote, vote

2012-03-09 by . 7 comments

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Last Tuesday was Super Tuesday in the United States, an odd part of the even odder ritual whereby Americans rather indirectly select who will be their President. How much a particular person’s preferences count toward the final results depends a lot on their party affiliation and the specifics of the timing and structure their state party’s primary or caucus.

But here on Ask Different, your vote always counts. You can vote up to 40 times every day. And the more people vote, the better the site works.
 You don’t need to be an expert in all things Apple to make the site a better place by voting.

It’s about the questions

Upvoted question

If you find a question useful and clear, and think it shows enough research effort to be not completely obvious, you can vote that question up. See a question you’ve wondered about? Vote it up. See a question whose answer could help someone you know, or someone you can imagine? Vote it up. See a question you think explains someone’s problem clearly? Vote it up.

You don’t have to know the answer to vote for a question. Anyone with 15 reputation points and a sense of what questions you find interesting or helpful can vote for questions. If you think

  • “I’d be interested in seeing an answer to that question,” or

  • “I can answer that question,” or

  • “That could be helpful to someone I know,” or

  • “Someone put a lot of thought into that question,”

you should click the little up arrow next to the question. Reward the asker, promote the question, and help the community improve.

Voting for questions helps us identify the most useful questions, and it also rewards users who ask useful questions. It also helps the site, because the more users have lots of reputation points, the more smoothly the site can operate, and the more the community can run itself without moderator intervention. Ask Different has more visitors but less voting than many Stack Exchange sites, and we’d like to change that.

And the answers, too

Upvote accepted answer

Now answers are a bit more complicated. You just need curiosity, not knowledge about content to usefully vote on questions. But there is a little bit of a bar to vote well on answers: you need to be able to judge whether an answer is a good one. It doesn’t help the site if wrong answers get voted up.

If an answer looks like it would actually help you, or someone you know, or someone you can imagine, go ahead and give it a vote.

If you voted for a question, and the original poster accepted an answer, signifying that the answer solved the OP’s problem, please consider voting for the answer; you thought it was a good question, reward the person who put work into answering it.

Any time you have the expertise to know an answer is right, vote it up to help correct answers stand out.

Just vote

All in all, the site works best when we go out and vote, vote, vote. There’s even badges for using all up all your votes. So go out there, find what you think is interesting or helpful, and give it an upvote.

And come back later for my next blog installment on Advanced topics in voting: downvotes. But don’t wait for that to start voting for whatever you find interesting or helpful.

Filed under Op-Ed


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  • Kyle Cronin says:

    I wish I could upvote this blog post 🙂

  • Daniel says:

    Kyle, I came to see the blog post, and saw the graphics I put in it, and was so excited to see I had up votes for the post. Then I realized they were just embedded graphics that I put there, and that there isn’t any voting on blog posts anyways.

  • jaberg says:

    One more reminder–you can vote for more than one answer to any question, not just your favorite, or the answer you consider to be the best. Even if you disagree with a proposed solution at least consider a vote if the answer is well considered and fundementally sound. The community is well served when multiple high quality answers rise to the top of the stack because the needs and preferences of future readers may differ slightly from those of the original seeker.

    As we say in Chicago (where I grew up) “Get out an vote early and often.” On Ask Different it’s legal and arguably “best practice” for the community good.

  • daviesgeek says:

    Thanks so much Daniel! Great blog post! +1

  • Stuffe says:

    Nice post, be good to see some additional material on how negative voting can be good, and how you should not take a downvote as criticism of you, just constructive criticism of the answer for the purpose of improvement.

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