It is well known that downvotes can be used to improve overall site quality, by discouraging low quality questions and answers and users who post them.

But upvotes can also be used to improve quality, by upvoting questions you think to be of high quality, which both sets an example of a high quality question and encourages the users who post them to continue to do so.

So I therefore propose that we try and find question we really like, and upvote them generously, to encourage the high quality users on this site. We might have about 20 upvotes or so (not sure exactly) per day, so we shouldn't let them go to waste, so make sure you spend them, and spend them on great questions - even if they are questions from a while ago.

Let the up voting spree begin!

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    $\begingroup$ 40 votes per day, and it's super easy to use them all! And while this is true, please bear in mind that upvoting produces many times more reputation than downvoting. They don't carry the same weight, so please try not to upvote lower-quality content! $\endgroup$ – Aza Nov 19 '14 at 1:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Emrakul, can we change the points value allocated to each upvote and each downvote? E.g. could we make them carry the same weight? $\endgroup$ – A E Nov 19 '14 at 10:21
  • $\begingroup$ @AE Nope! That one's tried and true. We can ask, but the answer will be 'no.' $\endgroup$ – Aza Nov 19 '14 at 17:05

Voting (up/down and to-close) are the way we are going to win this battle against the quality concerns (and issues).

I agree with up-voting good content. But I would add that we begin aggressively down-voting (and to close) low quality (joke) questions and answers - as I have begun doing.

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    $\begingroup$ That is great d'alar'cop with such commitment we could only become better, with about 5-6 people aggressively downvoting we will instil that essential fear in the minds of people who post such low quality content $\endgroup$ – skv Nov 19 '14 at 3:09
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    $\begingroup$ Indeed, just a handful of people keeping an eye out (a mod or 2 is not enough) could keep things in shape. $\endgroup$ – d'alar'cop Nov 19 '14 at 3:47

It's possible I am biased since I can't even down-vote yet, but I think people do so too aggressively, as it is. I would certainly be loath to down-vote as liberally as some others. If the rationalization (and that's mostly what it is from my vantage point) is to encourage overall quality, I believe it's useful to note here that, in the fields of psychology and ethology (study of animal behavior), it's accepted as fact that positive conditioning tends to be significantly more effective than negative conditioning in producing a desired outcome. Now, I'm no expert in either domain, but just about any pet owner of a well-trained companion could tell you the same thing from experience. In other words, do you scream at your dog when she pees on the rug, or give a tasty treat when she goes outside? The latter option consistently works far better and is more pleasant both pup and person. "We're not dogs!" you might say. Well, we're close enough, I'll tell ya that much.

More than anything else, I suspect the instinct of selfishness whenever I see a down-vote. But I'm reminded of what is still one of the wisest things I was ever taught from a neatly bundled proverb: "Blowing out my candle will not make yours shine brighter." If more people understood that, we'd be a heck of a lot better off in society as a whole. But what am I thinking? I'm posting a fruitless rant on an eleven day-old posting on a web site about another web site. Such is life in the modern age, I guess.

  • $\begingroup$ I agree. The issue we have is that the definition of quality and even what's on topic are not even decided... so how one should vote is unclear in general $\endgroup$ – d'alar'cop Dec 1 '14 at 3:51
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    $\begingroup$ The community is build upon rep. I have a particular policy to only downvote when I see some question or answer that really makes me angry or that is surely one of the worst-between-the-worst. I rarely downvote anything, but distributes upvotes to things that I really like. If I don't like something in particular, I just don't vote it neither up nor down. But sometimes I see people who agressively and massively downvotes, and already saw people that downvoted more than upvoted, and I don't think that behaving like that will bring anything good for this site. $\endgroup$ – Victor Stafusa Dec 1 '14 at 5:02
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    $\begingroup$ BTW, I really liked that proverb. $\endgroup$ – Victor Stafusa Dec 1 '14 at 5:03

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