I have questions.

Good questions. Hot questions. Quite a few of them. They get many views. They get many answer-upvotes. But. I don't get credited for asking a question worthy of an answer of quality. If you like an answer to a question, unless it's poetic or comedic, then it only makes sense that you like the question, or at least to some degree.

But everybody's favorite beef here is why their apparently worthy question doesn't get voted for.

So I'll ask: How do we get people to upvote good questions, and possibly, how could we make a bit of software on WB tailored to make people want to in that way?


3 Answers 3


While we should get people to upvote the good questions, your logic is somewhat flawed. A question could be badly written, yet be answered in a very admirable way. So it is possible to have a low-voted question with very high-voted answers.

And generally, I think on Worldbuilding, we don't have much problem of not enough upvotes, we do however, of not enough downvotes. We are a friendly bunch.

The most voted questions have more than 100 upvotes, which considering the size of the community is quite reasonable.

But the best way to promote it, is to upvote other people's question yourself.

Note that once the scope of the site has been clarified, people may be more clear about what constitutes a good question on worldbuilding. And hence get more upvotes.

  • $\begingroup$ it doesn't... let you upvote yourself? $\endgroup$
    – user14789
    Feb 22, 2016 at 20:50
  • $\begingroup$ sorry, clarified. You vote others, they'll vote for you. But if your questions in particular did not get many upvotes, there may be another reason (did not check). $\endgroup$ Feb 22, 2016 at 20:51
  • $\begingroup$ I believe that your logic is flawed in that people will vote for people they can't know voted unless told. $\endgroup$
    – user14789
    Feb 22, 2016 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with the majority of this, @bilbo_pingouin, but it's like Caleb says - since voting is anonymous your logic is flawed. $\endgroup$
    – Aify
    Feb 23, 2016 at 2:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ No, I'm with bilbo_pingouin on this one. There's no real way to proscribe others' voting patterns, and I don't think he's proposing an explicit reciprocity of upvotes. Just a generalized mutual admiration society. Be the change you want to see in the world, @CalebWoodman. $\endgroup$
    – nitsua60
    Feb 23, 2016 at 4:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Aify, I suggested to continue that discussion on chat, but the OP never answered there. Of course, people should not vote for given users, but for questions and answers deserving it. However, the more users upvotes questions, the more the others will do the same. And eventually the first ones will get back what they started. It is about setting a pattern as nitsua writes. $\endgroup$ Feb 23, 2016 at 6:21
  • $\begingroup$ You'll also note that I wrote "promote" and not "get". I started with the assumptions that the OP wasn't just asking that their questions to be upvoted specifically... $\endgroup$ Feb 23, 2016 at 6:28

So, first of all, don't ask questions just for the rep. That's a bad idea, and it'll hurt the site. I see way too many posts that are blatant attempts to make it to the HNQ list, and more often than not it works. That's just going to attract lower-quality questions, lower-quality answers, and lower-quality users. If you're asking a question, it should be because you want to know the answer, so if you have a bunch of highly voted answers to your question, that should be a good thing.

Second of all, most of the time the answerer will do more work than the asker. If someone told Da Vinci to paint the Mona Lisa, and then he did, who do you think got all the credit? Answers already get 2x the rep per upvote, so you know SE values answers at least twice as much as questions. Keep in mind that users can provide answers to their own questions; if you can't provide a good answer to a question that exists, then maybe you have a good answer to a question that doesn't exist, and you can ask that.

But again, it shouldn't be about the rep. I know it is about the rep, it's always about the rep (unless it's about the badges), but it really shouldn't be. Stack Exchange is about helping people, not about earning Internet points.


Ask better questions

Have you considered simply asking better questions? I went and looked through your questions, and even your two highest voted ones are low quality to me - to me, your questions show little to no research effort, are too broad, and are idea generation + opinion based, all of which are valid reasons for me to VTC. Also, I'd like to clarify to you that 2k views does not really qualify as "many views". The only legitimate method to boost upvotes on questions is to ask better questions.


"If you like an answer to a question, unless it's poetic or comedic, then it only makes sense that you like the question, or at least to some degree."

is a misconception. Each person's view on a question is different - what one may consider an off topic question could seem to be an astoundingly good question to another. Personally, I don't upvote questions unless they're amazing, peak my interest, and show research and effort. I apply the same criteria to answers, and since most answers require doing research and effort to answer the question, often times I'll upvote a good answer and choose to leave the question alone. This is not uncommon - evidently, the community pretty much already does what I described (proof being high vote answers on low vote questions).

As Bilbo noted in his answer, our community is already an upvote-trigger happy one. We don't have enough downvotes. At the time of this answer, the site overall has essentially a 1500% upvote:downvote ratio (According to a rough estimate by looking at the site analytics - there were about 200 downvotes in the week of Feb 14, and over 3200 upvotes).

In fact, I ran a query to see why this seems to be the case. I only listed 10 users in the query, but if you increase the number of users shown, after going about 5 entries down the list, there are a bunch of people with 200+ upvotes and very few downvotes.

Note that the query is written to sort by users closest to a 1:1 upvote:downvote ratio. That means that as we list more users, you see a higher gap between the # of upvotes and the # of downvotes.


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