I am curious about voting or maybe the lack there of. I am an enthusiast, no expert, but I love computers and love seeing the problems and solutions in the Stack Exchange. I learn something new everyday I come here. But when I look at some of the questions and there are 39 views, 44 views, 21 views and so on with no vote on the questions I wonder why? Do I assume correctly that each view is from a different Ip? I must admit, that I poke around and don't vote as I should and I am going to be a bit more active in my daily vote.

Maybe a suggestion would be that a small incremental rep may be gained on view count. It is hard for any new visitor to gain reputation if the votes are not there.

Just my two cents.

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    See also: Why don't people upvote when browsing the site?
    – slhck
    Sep 15, 2012 at 6:26
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    @slhck - helpful and that stats are understood. But as one answer decribes with 2 parts, part 2 "They are already capable of voting, but not sure on the topic matter and do not want to cast a vote in an area they're not confident in or they're not able to test the validity of an answer". I understand not upvoting an answer if uncertain, but the question?
    – Carl B
    Sep 16, 2012 at 20:42
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    I often find myself in situations where it's not always easy to evaluate whether a question really shows enough research effort, or is particularly useful. It's for those reasons some questions are also being downvoted too, of course. If you lack specific expertise in an area, you might not want to vote. At least that's my most plausible explanation.
    – slhck
    Sep 16, 2012 at 20:55
  • +1 and +1 for your insite and follow up.
    – Carl B
    Sep 16, 2012 at 21:42

2 Answers 2


Why aren't posts getting votes?

While the views are from different IPs, most of them aren't even by registered users or users with the privilege to vote. If—quoting Jeff Atwood—90% of all visitors can't vote on the stuff they see, then this would explain the lack of votes quite easily. And I agree: It's sad to see good questions stick around with 0 votes.

Also note that even though new users can participate, you need at least 15 reputation to vote up posts (and consequently 125 for voting down). This is primarily to allow users to get to know the system's currency first before spamming everyone with their votes, bringing down the value of votes and reputation to zero.

Why don't we have to have a lot of votes?

We use voting as a primary means of selecting between good and bad posts, and if a question turns out to be neither (i.e. not particularly interesting or well-asked), then it might just get no votes at all. And if it only manages to get a few views, then I don't see why the poster should gain reputation for that — there's not much of an achievement there. Maybe the question just had a bad title that prevented people from viewing it at all? Or maybe it really was not useful and much too localized.

While this sounds a bit harsh, think about the fact that there are pop ups and reminders everywhere which ask users to vote more on questions if they haven't done so in a while. Voting on questions is even more encouraged by the fact that downvotes don't cost you 1 rep as the voter. And you can vote for 10 more questions than answers per day. So, if a new user happens to ask a good question, they'll get votes quite easily.

Popular ≠ Good

Another aspect you should take into account is the fact that there's an inequality between easy and popular questions and those that are not as easy to find for others but still excellent questions.

Bike shed questions would get an additional boost of reputation for views just because of their popularity, without the need to be a particularly good question in the first place ("Good" in the sense of the criteria we ask, not in the sense of "Good question! I always asked this myself but never bothered to do principal research").

While we try to shut these questions down pretty early, that's still something you might want to think about when suggesting such a feature. How would popularity play a role in this?

That all being said, I think your suggestion has merit, but you will have to take all these factors into account. Also, why not actively encourage voting more on the voter's side and let reputation gain for others be a result of this, rather than having the system automatically award reputation without even knowing what for, exactly?

  • Great points and I appreciate the reply.
    – Carl B
    Sep 15, 2012 at 13:10
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    reviewing your points and then going back an looking around on SU, I guess I am still wondering why people don't vote. There was a question with some 13K views (as noted in a question here in meta about "what is kviews"), no votes on the question. Are votes that exclusive and valuble that users don't want to "waste" them? If the question is not technicly written than it shall receive no vote? For all users here I am sure a up rep do to a vote feels pretty good.
    – Carl B
    Sep 16, 2012 at 20:35
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    It depends on how people see voting on questions. It's definitely not "wasting" — otherwise more people would use up their 40 votes. Questions could be voted on just for being popular (and thus useful, +1), but many popular questions are rather mediocre, since they probably don't show much research effort, and attract mostly visitors with the same problem, who can't vote. Often enough, I see questions that surely don't deserve a downvote, but aren't particularly good either. I simply won't vote on them. I believe this is what many others think too, but I could be wrong.
    – slhck
    Sep 16, 2012 at 21:00
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    I mean, the whole voting thing is highly personal. For example, I'd feel "guilty" for upvoting a wrong answer for lack of better knowledge on my side when voting. Of course Stack Exchange is trying to get people to vote more, but I believe there are enough cases where posts don't warrant a vote at all — this is also an indicator of quality, right? So, there will always be a limit to that.
    – slhck
    Sep 16, 2012 at 21:04
  • I feel you are correct that the voting is highly personal. After reading some of the stuff here on Meta, 13000+ unansweres question and such that encourage votes on the QUESTIONs to bring them forward a bit and so on. I can truly appreciate not voting on Answers if one is not sure, or can't confirm, but the questions cetrainly wouldn't put a voter in personal bad graces if they weren't sure of all the details, right? So you could upvote a Umbantu question even if your comfort was Windows.
    – Carl B
    Sep 16, 2012 at 21:23
  • In that case, yes, you could vote on Ubuntu questions even if you know Windows much better – but I'm sure a lot of people don't because they have no clue about that topic. Even though they're encouraged to vote. I agree with you that people should vote more, but of course not excessively, because that would undermine the value of votes altogether.
    – slhck
    Sep 17, 2012 at 5:30

From the faq. It would seem the purpose was to move the content up or down (for both questions and answers) and if the questions was useful. The question is useful to at least the OP, but I can't see where how it's written falls into the vote requirement or research from the OP. And the editors do a pretty good job of retooling many questions from grammer to content.

My hope in this was that people would utilize there votes more.

Vote up questions and answers

What is voting up?

Voting up is how the community indicates which questions and answers are most useful and appropriate.

When should I vote up?

Whenever you encounter a question or answer that you feel is especially useful, vote it up!

You have a limited number of votes per day, so use them wisely.

How do I vote up?

Click the large up arrows to the left of each post.

You can undo your votes by clicking the same vote button, but only within a strict time limit, so be careful with those clicks. To change a vote from up to down, click the down arrow without undoing the upvote, and vice versa.

What happens when I vote up?

When you vote up, you are moving that content "up" so it will be seen by more people. •By default, answers are sorted by number of votes.1 •Upvotes on a question give the asker +5 reputation. •Upvotes on an answer give the answerer +10 reputation. •You can vote 30 times per UTC day, plus 10 more times on questions only. 1Except for the accepted answer, which appears first unless it was written by the asker.

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