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Let's give the 15 top voters of the quarter a round of applause! See the Top Voters for the Quarter to learn who these users are.

Now, let's see if we can expand this page. In August, so far, we have only 5 voters. Put yourself up on the board. Vote today! ;)

Reasons to Vote:

  • It highlights the great content and separates it from the poor content. Poor quality answers are pushed to the bottom of the page while the best are moved to the top. Low quality questions are removed from the main page, replaced with the content we're most proud of. Voting is perhaps the most powerful quality control filter that you have at your fingertips.
  • It gives power to the community to help moderate the site; specifically, it grants these powers to the people who have a track record of producing great content and who lead by example.
  • It encourages avid users to continue to participate and get more involved. We have some new community members who are quite active and who write great answers. Let's help give them the power to participate in running our site as well! :)

Remember, you have 30 votes per day that you can use anywhere, and you have an extra 10 votes that you can use only on questions. There are also badges for voting related activities! See the Badges page for more details. The more people who hold these badges, the healthier our community will be!

How Can I Become a Top Voter?

If you're a recent newcomer, and you have the 15 reputation required to vote up, spend some time on the site. Look at previous questions and answers before your time. If you see something great, upvote it.

You could use this opportunity to suggest some edits to help improve the content on the site. If you don't yet have full editing permissions, you'll earn some extra rep while also helping out. While you're sifting through the archives, if you see anything that requires moderator attention, flag it.

For more seasoned users, I'd say the same guidelines apply, except you can also downvote low quality content, vote to close on old questions that are outside our scope, vote to delete closed questions or answers with a score of -1, and make edits to questions and answers.

Lastly, it's quite possible that, during this adventure, you may find a question that doesn't yet have a great answer. Use this as an opportunity to provide your own answer. Answered and edited posts, even if old, will get bumped back to the top of the "active" page, so that others will see it and vote on it.

So, make it a goal to use all of your votes at least once a week, once a month, or however often you can commit to. This will help improve the site and also encourage others to vote. Good luck! :)

UPDATE:

For the first week of September, we only have 5 people who are casting votes on questions and answers. To get our site to the point where it launches, we need to form a healthy community of Q&A voters. See Top Voters for September to see the current, up to date group of voters for the month.

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    Yes, I came to meta.PM to start a topic about the lack of voting… This SE community seems to have its members incredibly focused on each having their own answer, even if it is only to reformulate or summarize other answers. See for example the “badges” question. 9 answers, how crazy is that? Read some of them, and many comment on other answers. This is closely related to lack of voting. We have to do something! – MattiSG Sep 11 '12 at 9:35
  • Hi @MattiSG, you may be interested in this discussion on Using downvotes on PMSE. Feel free to weigh in if you have more to add. – jmort253 Sep 15 '12 at 1:31
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Recently, we've seen some highly upvoted questions on PMSE. This is awesome! I give credit to MattiSG's comment on the "What is a 'battery'?" post.

@CaffGeek If you're curious too, then perhaps could you consider upvoting the question? :) This is absolutely not greed, but simply giving more chances to the question to be in the “top questions”, get more views and more possible answers.

These types of constructive comments are exactly the types of comments we should leave to remind people visiting the question to upvote great, useful content!

As an aside, we shouldn't forget that downvoting is an option as well, and those votes should be used on questions that don't show research effort and on answers that are either wrong or don't answer the question.

Also, MattiSG makes a great point! Our top voted questions page is a little iffy, IMHO, as there are quite a few not constructive or list-style questions that we haven't yet got around to cleaning up yet. One way to push these questions down is to upvote other great questions that we want to see on the top page! Great suggestion, and great comment!

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    Well, thanks ;) I was indeed very surprised by both how effective this single comment was, and how much some users must have not understood how SE works, since the poster I was answering to had taken the time to write “+1” and a nice comment, yet did not upvote! – MattiSG Sep 11 '12 at 9:37
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A solution that could be effective (based on the example of my comment cited by @jmort25) could perhaps be to comment on answers that summarize or complete other answers, asking for its author to rather consider voting and commenting on other answers. This would provide them with a notification, and be read by all other posters.

The downsides are quite obvious, though:

  1. This is invasive.
  2. Some authors could feel attacked, as they could feel the time they devoted to writing an answer is disregarded (although, from an external point of view, the answers that would be targeted are usually the ones that are more along the lines of forum replies rather than thoughtful answers).
  3. This could become repetitive for readers.

I guess, if we decide to go with this solution, we should have the following guidelines:

  • Find a phrasing that sounds constructive and encouraging.
  • Limit ourselves to one such comment in n series of answers.
  • Perhaps make sure the same author is not targeted too often? At the same time, if it is the case, it might be deserved…

Any other idea? And of course, if so, please add it in the comments or edit this answer, rather than creating another answer that says you agree but would add this tiny detail… ;)

  • Hi MattiSG, I think you're on to something here. My thought is that we'd first focus on answers that repeat but that don't add any real value. Second, comments can always be deleted when they've outlived their usefulness. Some comments should remain if they help guide other viewers and visitors, but if they don't make sense on something that's been fixed, maybe delete them. For example, since we're a small community, my comments appear in a lot of places, so I sometimes clean them up so they're not seen at every single corner. +1 on constructive phrasing and not overdoing it. – jmort253 Sep 11 '12 at 21:49

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