Well, see title.

It seems that upvotes are really few and far in between on Ask Ubuntu. I see some really amazingly good answers that have been there for hours and sometimes have zero or one upvotes. The sort of answer where if I could upvote 5 times I would, because a lot of effort has clearly been put in.

The structure of sites like this is wasted if the good answers aren't upvoted to separate the wheat from the chaff.

So, why aren't people upvoting? What can we do about it?

  • Does Ask Ubuntu not make it clear enough how important this is to new users?
  • Are there simply too many new users who can't upvote, and not enough established ones bothering to upvote?
  • Am I making this problem up, and do you think the situation is ok as-is?
  • I agree, this is a problem on the site. Perhaps the moderators could change the banner from "Please participate in the Ask Ubuntu 2012 community moderator election" to some informational message about upvoting? Or post a banner at the top for users who are not logged in? Jan 31, 2012 at 4:50
  • It is discouraging to put in a lot of time answering questions, and not receive upvotes or even accepted answers, especially (mainly?) for newer, rising members. But you may be right in your second point that a lot of questions are from brand-new users who can't upvote yet. Jun 19, 2012 at 0:38

2 Answers 2


Indeed it's a problem, we were doing so-so it seems before 11.10 was released but we've had a huge influx of new users and it's taken us a while to get things back to "normal".

It can be difficult to understand why people vote the way they do. There are some awesome questions that get little voting but supposed-to-be offtopic poll questions and shopping recommendations get an overrepresentative amount of votes.

I personally just give people a bounty if I feel their answer is excellent and not getting enough attention and take the time to max out my votes every day.

  • By "normal", are you referring to the ratio of "less than 15-rep"/inactive users to established users who vote during an influx?
    – nanofarad
    Oct 20, 2012 at 0:20

Actually, that proplem doesn't seem to be a big as it appears. As moderators, we get a small glimpse into some of the analytic data for the site. And it sort of shows this:

  • The number of upvotes has risen proportionally quicker than the number of total page views

    enter image description here

    This graph is totally inaccurate, because I've drawn it by hand. But that's the effect I'm talking about. It would be better to look at "upvotes / question"*, but at least from a quick look at this, it seems like we're not doing so badly.

The mass of new users that came with 11.10 should be able to vote during the coming weeks, when it'll be even better.

Of course, you can never have enough voting. Anything we can do to encourage it would be great.

* which is doable using the api or the data dump.

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