In a perfect AU (and SE in general) world, I believe, you would want the most number of users to participate in the most number of question. This means taking the most of knowledge from the most of users, leading to an almost perfect Q&A voting system (a kind of knowledge democracy).

Thus, you want most of users to go through as much questions as possible and cast their votes with respect to:

  • quality of question (up/down)
  • best answer (up/down)

However, this is not a perfect world since we are contained by time. Thus, the actual system is rather imperfect although still very useful in most of the cases.

The point of this question is therefore aiming at the theoretical, perfect-world level. I rephrase it: would it be ideal for the optimal state of AU that all users, in accordance to their capabilities (expected to be reflected by reputation points), participate in all existing and future threads?

PS: the question is rhetorical. Not that I have the experience to do so.

2 Answers 2


I think there is another, much more important limitation than time. To up- or downvote, you have to be able to recognize the quality of a question or an answer.

In the ideal situation, people would only vote on questions / answers if they understood the content. Too many "happy" upvotes already exist on answers that do not work whatsoever or actually do not answer the question, or on questions that make no sense.

The consequence is that very specific questions or answers in general (would) generate less "voting activity" than common questions, but that is a minor downside, compared to a misplaced up- or downvote.

So my opinion is: no, it would be a horrible situation when (almost) everyone was voting on all questions. Only vote if you know what you are doing.

  • If you are right then it means that the actual voting system is not the optimal one unless people have perfect self-control and vote only when pertinent, as for example in the situations Oli suggest in the other answer.
    – user308164
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 20:58
  • @luchonacho I defintively think people should vote the way Oli describes. Whether the system is ideal or not, even if that is the case, depends on what you expect the voting system to be. It is not a tool to compare things in an absolute sense, and you shouldn't want it to be like that. Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 21:18

I completely agree with Jacob. The quality of voting is very important. We'd love experts adjudicating over every question and answer but that's a far cry from people just casting votes on everything they see, especially if they don't understand the problem or answer. That would devalue the site and votes as a whole.

If you want to help with votes, you need to limit yourself to your own experience:

  • Vote for the things that help you (or against those that don't)
  • Vote on posts in your areas of expertise.
  • Follow the tags that interest you so you find yourself looking at the right posts(for you) more of the time.
  • askubuntu.com/unanswered/tagged?tab=mytags is a nice place to start.
    – Braiam
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 15:34
  • @Braiam: yes but this shows a lot of very old questions (a year or more) mixed with more recent. Is it really useful to reply ?
    – Pyrophorus
    Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 15:43
  • @Pyrophorus well, I answered this question that was from 2012 recently and got feedback. I think there are many questions, old questions that are answerable and interesting that deserve an answer, instead of all the new crap that can make you cry.
    – Braiam
    Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 23:16

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