This is a reproduction of Scott Morrison's post on meta.tex.SE; I believe it is very much applicable to this community as well:

I'm a moderator from MathOverflow, and this "question" is actually unsolicited advice, based on our experience from the initial launch of MathOverflow.

We should encourage everyone to vote positively as often as possible!

Every Stack Exchange site will eventually end up with a different "base level" of voting --- that is, the expected number of upvotes for a question of a given level of excellence. (This effect occurs because people see a good question, but already with a certain number of votes, and think "oh, I would have upvoted this, but it already has enough".)

It's easy for us to affect this "base level" by encouraging high levels of upvoting now. We're setting the standards, and this really will have an effect.

(On MathOverflow, we were very active about this early on, specifically encouraging all the initial round of users to vote early and often. You can compare statistics, and see that the average vote total for a MathOverflow question is much higher than on any of the other SE 1.0 sites.)

In case it's not obvious: the rationale for wanting this base level to be high is that it provides better positive feedback to good contributors.


1 Answer 1


I strongly agree with the original post by @J.M. While the community uses the website to learn new things, get answers to their questions, and find solutions to interesting problems – the positive feedback from an upvote should not be underestimated.

As compared to other SE communities, on Computational Science SE the upvotes (and, subsequently, the reputation) are really hard to get. While I do not propose in any way to upvote unclear, bad-formatted, and "debug-my-code" questions, Vote early, vote often principle is a pretty good one.

Let's try to encourage our community members (especially newer ones) by upvotes for good questions and answers (even if you are not an expert in this sub-topic to judge, but the post possesses general good qualities characterizing a good answer or partial answer).


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