The title says it all. I am wondering why people do not review. Feel free to post an answer with your reason or to upvote someone else's answer. You can upvote multiple answers (as always), but that give less weight to your top reason.
I do review, but it feels a bit like a job, and I only do four or five in a row. Only doing it if there is no nice question to work on, and then mostly on my favorite subject: unclear what you are asking.
Most important reason to stop reviewing is if there are too many questions of which I cannot decide what do vote; after two times skipping, I quit.
If you take reviewing seriously, it takes a lot of energy and application. And one of the most difficult things to do is to take a stance, and decide what is right/wrong in the context (and as always in life, judging is a supremely subjective activity).
People are simply not that good when pushed to make decisions, and easiest is to just procrastinate (i.e.
Once you get to a high enough reputation (>10k) you see this:
Even though there's a large number of questions in the close review queue (~900), they are not counted in this number. The bulk of this number is from moderation tools (at least, it should be, since the jump happens when you get access to those). Earlier, I'd see smallish numbers in there, knowing quickly enough if something changed - so I'd be on hand to review low-quality, suggested-edits, etc. Now, I don't know when the number changes. 1007 and 1010 are the same to me, since all I notice is the two MSBs. UI Fail.
Every now and then, I do decide to check regularly.
I review until it tells me to stop. "Come back in 6 hours" Then I get busy with other things and don't always make it back.
Edit: It occurs to me that some may stop reviewing when there is no longer a perceived benefit to them! I think that we all understand the benefit to the site as a whole and that's the reason I do it, but there's no rep to be had and no more badges once you've done 1000. Because of these facts I can understand why many would feel there time is better spent answering questions than "pushing the mop" ;-) . Perhaps an incentive of some kind would help. That may be a new related question. Should there be more incentive for working the close vote queue?
I pick things of interest I find in my feed reader. Sometimes I find old stuff, touched by UID -1.
Goals I set for myself when participating:
- be as efficient as possible in spending time (I admit, I fail)
- avoid repetitiveness
- correct popular but non-ideal workarounds with proper solutions (kind of contrary to 1+2)
What (ideal) results are expected from different review queues?
While the review queues in their current form and granularity have a learning effect for a reviewer to gather knowledge across the board, jumping from topic to topic is not very efficient for consolidating questions and answers.
Trying to improve what currently exists by filtering new information out of poorly worded questions, understanding different points of view that seem to be related to the same root cause and providing the asker with straight solutions without being repetitive can be very frustrating on some topics.
My previous experience was that searching error messages and trying to link possible duplicates together felt more fulfilling to me. Knowing that they all went to the close queue, where they get mixed with other items instead of putting them somewhere else for another user or myself to refine the context I tried to construct later… well it felt like something was missing.
Skipping items feels like nobody will ever do them to me, so looking a bit closer at an item and then skipping it feels like wasted effort, while researching those items even more can be very time consuming and frustrating.
Too many users follow unverified or unrelated gossip instructions on Youtube or elsewhere without backups. Only when it's too late they come here and expect quality support, though they didn't spend any effort in the first place.
Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt that asking naive questions and answering them is beneficial to the site or the community, it's the mixture of several different unrelated issues into one, low effort and lack of efficient tools to turn this into something useful for everyone that is so frustrating.
Or may be I got something wrong here.
Three main reasons for me:
Answering some questions is like doing a challenging puzzle, and I often learn something new.
We all have limited time to volunteer and monkey around, and I prefer spending it answering questions instead of reviewing. My answers are in a specific field, so I will visit several other sites in my daily rounds. There are always more questions.
Most importantly...reviewing is boring.
I get discouraged by seeing all of the low quality questions there. It is a little like seeing the Wikianswers side of Ask Ubuntu.
I am a Floating Supervisor on Wikianswers, and I gave up (and turned to SE) simply because of the massive amount of overwhelming junk. I don't like to see that here, so I avoid it.
My pronouns are He / Him
I do review but I mostly deal with Low Quality Posts since it's mostly a matter of 'Recommend deletion' --> 'No comment needed' :-)
The first posts are challenging for me since I'm a basic user - you know, just the basic stuff: some design, a little web programming, movies, music, internet. So if the question is about stuff I don't know, I press skip - which happens ALOT.
All the same, I try to help where I can and when I'm not too busy with my own stuff.
In Meta Stack Exchange and Meta Stack Overflow, a lot of people state that they end up not reviewing anymore once they fail one too many review audits. And they fail not because they're robo-reviewing, which is what the audits are designed to catch, but because they happen to think a post needs some action other than what the majority thought it needed.
See these questions for example:
- "I can't review for two days after failing one audit" on Meta Stack Exchange and other questions in the "Related" section to the right
- Everything in
disputed-review-auditson Meta Stack Overflow and
disputed-review-auditson Meta Stack Exchange
As you can see I do not have enough reputation for reviewing. However, I'd still like to leave my two cents for what it's worth.
I do not know the current stats but my guess is the user population is growing. This means more work but it also means that, hopefully, there will be more people with reviewer powers. According to this post, 8 months ago there were 281 users with the privilege to do reviews and there were already talks about the active reviewers having troubles maintaining the house in order.
First of all, I'm totally against flogging¹ posts incorrectly for the sake of speeding up the review process. For what I've read, it seems that for instance reviewing a duplicate takes more time—if done properly—than let's say a close request. However, if you go down the easier—and very wrong—road—you Ś͖̩͇̗̪̏̈́cumbaͨg, there goes another ϏϊττῪ!—you'll start loosing good users. When a neophyte asks something and there's a Ɲ̴azi twerp in a closing-spree killing everything that moves this can actually be very damaging. My view is that when in doubt just leave it out. Think of it like prisoners in a death row. Would you risk sending a guy to his death without being completely sure it was that guy that committed the crime? Some people would certainly go down that road, but SE is not in Texas.
Some questions may be plain stupid and those should be closed², but for all the others does it really matter that much if the question is not up to some high-quality pearl not sand type-of-question standard? God invented search engines for a reason and a good search engine is going to find that microscopic hair that has been stuck under your nose for the past 20 years and that you didn't even realized you had. People should be able to do what they came here to do—ask questions— and what they enjoy doing—provide answers—and not having to worry about vacuuming the place. Let search engines and the SE engine handle the boring shit. Questions with little views, no answers, low upvotes, etc can be given less weight when searching through the pile leaving the better half more visible. This probably happens already. Letting users refine their searches by allowing to set a minimum number of views or upvotes for the search results would also help in limiting this; if you can't find what you're looking for then you can be less strict in your search. There could even be a we couldn't find anything using your search requirements but if you're willing to look through the pile of crap maybe you'll find the pearl you're looking for link on the search results screen to show all the entries without the aforementioned refinement.
By the way, did you notice the good adjective buried in a sentence two paragraphs ago? A good user is one that may be willing to put some effort into building the community; even if not much is contributed, the little that is done is of decent quality. In addition, just because someone has 50 reputation it doesn't mean that user is less knowledgeable than someone with 5k. Human beings enjoy doing different things. Some like to be here all night answering questions, others like to spend their evenings sewing socks. Even though the sock-nerd spends an hour per week on the site maybe that's a quality one hour. You'll always have tons of users, but can you keep the good ones?
Next time you're about to close a question think whether it is a must-close one. A human being created that question. Humans are not perfect, some are better than others. Some enjoy spending the entire day on
AskUbuntu. Others prefer spending 10 hours per day playing with their socks. People have feelings. When you 𐍃𐌾𐌲𐌴𐌸 with those feelings they get ἇħgrᴪ³. And when they get angry they might just give you the 𐍆i𐌽g𐌴r and never contribute again. They'll still come back; SE keeps popping up on search engines. But it's going to be hit-n-run⁴: they get what they need and leave without adding their bit of knowledge.
The final take on this is that you should let the underlying engine sort through the trash. If the SE engine can't handle it then get a B҃IGGER one! And remember, you can always Google it, Bing it, Duck it! (Uh, wait, what?)
¹ Wait, was that flagging?
² People have different abilities depending on age, health, and whether they went through shit when growing up or were born in a golden cradle. There is every likelihood that on the other end of the cable sits an old grandpa or granny with suicidal instincts. Before deciding that a question is stupid think about the depressed grandpa or granny. I know it's hard but try throttling down your brain a little closer to the OP's level before hitting the dumb question button.
³ Any resemblance between that last y and a ριτchfork is pure coincidence.
⁴ Hit-n-run is not necessarily eⷤvil. Sometimes you need in-depth reading to internalize things. More often than not you just want the darn thing to work and get on with your life. In those cases, your technical resources are not meant to be read but pillaged and ransacked for essential content. So telling someone to RTFM when all they are interested in is the 30-second summary is kinda of, you know, meh. (Ꙭ`)
YOU go and RTFM and then tell them what they want to know. Haven't you heard, having the ability to process difficult stuff and presenting it to your plebeian, pardon me, to your non-tech-savvy colleagues in a way they can understand is actually a great skill to have.
There you go, I just spent a large amount of time writing about something that is going to be d𐌴𐍃p𐌹𐍃𐌴d and kicked into 𐍈𐌱ɭ𐌹v𐌹𐍈𐌽. But you know what? Ȋ DƠ NǑT CǍRE. Today I was in the mood for writing—most of the time I am not. So, little 𐍃c𐍈𐍁𐌽d𐍂𐌴ɭ, before you condemn my soul into everlasting 𐍆𐌹𐍂𐌴 and hit that d𐍈ẘ𐌽-pǒᶖᶇṫ𐌹𐌽ᵹ-ȧrrȫ𐌸, answer me this one question. Do you feel worthy, ṗ𐍁𐌽𐌺?
TL;DR: Then scroll up and read it! Whaaat? No feel like 𐍂𐍄𐍆𐌼!? ☹