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I currently think of questions and answers as having three 'states'.

Good

This question is on topic, well thought out, properly articulated and is not a poll or trying to incite discussion

This answer focuses on key points and weighs both the pro's and con's of a choice. Perhaps with references to external sources as required.

Bad

This question is a poll, is attempting to incite discussion, is off-topic, poorly researched, poorly articulated or will provide little to the site.

This answer doesn't weigh the pros and cons, or doesn't source references, or seems like a guess and maybe doesn't even answer the question.

Needs Improvement

These types of questions and answers may have some aspects of the bad points and some aspects of the good points. With a little guidance and effort these posts could be brought into the realm of good

So? What of it?

What i currently see with questions and answers is the ones in the ticker for hot questions getting lots of up-votes from people outside of our usual community. Or maybe a really poor question being down-voted to -6 or -7 before being deleted.

But currently we have hundreds of questions and answers sitting at around -1, 0 or 1 votes despite having hundreds of views.

So this is a community outreach, Vote up those good questions! Vote down those bad ones, suggest improvements to the ones that need improvement!

I'm confident that every question and answer here will fall into one of these three groups, and every group requires action of some kind.

Why would we bother?

I'm so glad you asked me this, imaginary viewer!

The benefits of voting more liberally and suggesting improvements will give us a more active community. This also gives us a larger pool of view points to determine the exemplary answers from the mediocre.

With our seeming influx of new members visiting having many votes around makes it very easy to see which answers are good, which are bad, which are fantastic and which are terrible. If everything ranges from -1 to 1 on average its very hard to spot what's a bad question, and what's just vendetta voting. But it is VERY easy to spot the good and bad when the range varies from -10 to 10!

This also helps us discover your views and take them into consideration. If you think something is bad, vote it down, this shows us its bad and means its more likely going to be easily spotted for deletion or improvement by the community!

all in all, the votes are there to separate the exemplary from the terrible, don't be afraid to vote!

  • 1
    With a high percentage of questions being put On Hold, I wonder if that is a disincentive to vote? I'd want to hold off in my voting until I see the question "stabilize" so I know what I'm actually voting for. – Joe Strazzere Sep 3 '13 at 16:07
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    I think you missed the ~meh~ state - That is an answer that is not good or bad and really no good way to improve it without completely changing the answer. Those I think deserve no vote – IDrinkandIKnowThings Sep 3 '13 at 20:22
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    @JoeStrazzere - Once a post has been edited, you can always change your vote. If there are people who don't know that, then you may be right, that could be a disincentive to vote... – jmort253 Sep 9 '13 at 1:23
  • I doubt that most members are changing votes. I suspect the vast majority of folks are far more casual readers and voters. When they visit the site to read and see most of the top questions On Hold, I think that sends a message. – Joe Strazzere Sep 9 '13 at 11:54
  • It's a huge pain to find posts you downvote which get edited and improved (or vice versa). Generally I only am able to do this if I post a reason (which I do often) and then someone responds with a comment which notifies me. – enderland Sep 11 '13 at 15:28
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Here are all the questions from -2 to 2 in score, with over 500 views:

8 of these questions are closed. They should almost certainly be downvoted (or have a reopen vote cast, if that is your cuppa). These questions are getting a reasonable amount of attention and are in the 'meh' zone as Chad puts it. 'meh' or not, don't you all want to get a bit closer to your electorate badge?

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