On an average day, the questions-list on e.g. the frontpage, has (almost) only questions with 0 points.

How can we encourage people to vote up on good questions, and vote down on badly asked (vague, duplicate) questions?

Would a simple checklist help?
If someone passes 6/10 items from the checklist we can cast up-votes, if 5/10 or less, we can cast down-votes, and mention in the comments why someone got an up-vote or down-vote.

  • 1
    I think it would be more relevant to ask, "how can we get more votes?". SE doesn't work well without votes and we aren't getting that many.
    – googletorp
    Sep 8, 2011 at 19:16
  • 2
    I upvoted this question ... I think I just fell into your trap.
    – Jukebox
    Sep 8, 2011 at 19:28
  • @googletorp: yes, exactly. I am going to perform a small experiment: I will up-and downvote several questions each day and leave a comment why I did so.
    – berkes
    Sep 9, 2011 at 8:59
  • 1
    You can actually upvote duplicates if they are good questions, they serve a good purpose too. Vague or badly asked questions (duplicate or not) of course should be downvoted.
    – Caleb
    Sep 1, 2012 at 8:00

3 Answers 3


How can we encourage people to vote up on good questions, and vote down on badly asked (vague, duplicate) questions?

Remember it takes 15 reputation to upvote, and 125 reputation to downvote -- for very low rep users all they can really do is accept an answer (though this does give them +2).

Beyond that, I think voting starts with you -- and by that I mean everyone reading this. Visiting ...


regularly is a FANTASTIC way to spend all 40 of your votes every day. Yep, 40!



I'm going to throw this answer out there at my own peril: We don't have very many votes due to pure and unabashed Laziness.

There are plenty of good (and bad) questions here on D.A. It's not that hard to determine whether or not a question is helpful, needs a solution or is relevant to the Drupal community. If the question is beneficial to the reader or even made them think differently about a topic, then the reader should upvote it. Likewise, it's also not that hard to see that a question is poorly formatted, is unclear, or is a duplicate of another. If it falls into one of those categories, then hopefully an edit can help, otherwise downvote the question. That being said, I'm not sure if a checklist would help. I think we simply need to encourage users to vote.

Perhaps there needs to be some sort of initiative to raise awareness on voting as a core SE concept. Maybe there should be a sitewide announcement about how important it is to vote, and/or draw attention to the badges that reward voters.


Would a simple checklist help?

I don't think there is the need of a check list, which basically would not work because down-voting is also subjective.
The only guide for voting are the tooltips which are the following ones (the first is the tooltip for up-voting):

  • Answers

    • This answer is useful (click again to undo)
    • This answer is not useful (click again to undo)
  • Questions

    • This question shows research effort; it is useful and clear (click again to undo)
    • This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful (click again to undo)

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