I am quite an old guy here on askubuntu.com, and I think that most of us have a problem with upvoting questions. If you see other communities, like tex.sx or photography.sx, you can see a quite different pattern there: questions have on average much more upvotes, and a highly voted question is often a question worth reading --- independently on the fact that it could be a question representing a common problem or a rare, complex one.

That can be because we have an awful lot of silly question --- or because people that answer questions is getting lazy. So I suggested the following:

If a question is worth the time to be answered or commented on, it should be upvoted.

If a question is worth the time to fully read it, and you understand the question but don't know how to solve it, you should upvote it.

On a "main page" shot today, there are lots of question with answers and with a total zero upvotes. This is simply illogical.

Moreover, when browsing the site, we should normally upvote interesting question and (if available) what we think are good answers. That will help visibility, lower duplicates, and it will be good for everyone. In that aspect, https://tex.stackexchange.com/ is quite exemplary --- duplicates are so low because the people there have a very nice, effective voting policy --- and the right answer pops up alone.


  • 5
    IMO, compared to Unix & Linux, we're stingy with votes on everything.
    – muru
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 4:47

2 Answers 2


Obviously we are not very generous voters, but in my opinion that is not so much a problem.

Voting on questions

To decide to vote up a question or not, you need to know more than just the content of the question; the way OP takes care of it afterwards is part of the quality of a question. If someone asks a potentially good question, but it takes three days to answer a simple request for additional information and even then the information is incomplete, a good question/answer combination is obstructed.
The other way around: if someone asks a question in a bit clumsy way, but is doing everything to make a good and fit answer possible, the question actually becomes a good question, maybe with the help of a little editing. That is why most of the questions I upvoted are questions I answered myself, or when I noticed a constructive attitude in the history of the question.

Voting on answers

I do not fully agree with the line that says we should up vote answers that what we think are good answers.
I believe we should only up vote if we know the answers are good (so we have to try), or we can be pretty sure the poster knows what he or she is doing. I must admit that with some posters, I am more suspicious than with others.
I think that is the right way. In many cases that I actually tried an answer, that seemed a good answer to me, the answer didn't work at all, or had a major downside (either functional or a risk), not mentioned by the poster.

Altogether, I believe the current "average" voting behaviour is what it is: an indication on the quality of a question or answer. Since most people only vote on posts of their own interest(s), it is a given fact that popular subjects will generate more (up) vote activity. That makes the voting quantity on different subjects incomparible.

That is however a minor downside, compared to misplaced upvotes on what we think are good answers or questions.


I think only those questions should be upvoted which have several characteristics like :

  1. It should not be a duplicate.
  2. It should be clear, it should not have any sort of unambiguity - if it has ambiguity and on request of members the questioner adds more details to the OP , then it is also a clear question.
  3. It should be written in proper language (English) with no (or a very few) grammatical and spelling mistakes.
  4. It should be completely related to the subject like only questions related to Ubuntu.
  5. It should not matter whether question is easy or difficult.

You may add more characteristics if you like.

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