Why is the number of upvotes on any question on GD SE so disproportionately low to the number of users and views?

What is making it so hard for people to say 'that's a little helpful, +1'?

I find it insulting when an answer that's 3 paragraphs long, and certainly containing at least one useful piece of information, receives less votes than a one line font-id answer with a link.

Start encouraging half decent answers to good questions by up voting, even if they aren't perfect. Otherwise we risk turning into a crap forum where only easy font ID questions get answered.

It's not just new users but some veterans as well. I personally trawl through old posts up voting anything useful.

Much like a smile, an upvote costs nothing. It's OK to forget now and then, but don't be stoosh.

To conclude, would it kill y'all to vote a bit more?

What's your criteria for an upvote? Personally, I'll upvote anything that adds value to question, even if I fully understand it, because upvotes are necessary to differentiate the good from the bad.

  • I love humor but adding the "bug" tag I think pings some that there are issues with the site which is not the case. So I have removed the tag ;)
    – user9447
    May 29, 2014 at 13:11
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    Here is actually one of my pet peeves: some answers gets downvotes and flags because they are short. Sometimes an answer can or should be short. To be able to formulate a clear, two-sentence answer that is actually spot on I think should be applauded, rather than discouraged. A lot of babble is sometimes not helpful.
    – benteh
    May 29, 2014 at 14:35
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    A well formulated answer with examples is never babble ;)
    – user9447
    May 29, 2014 at 14:49
  • @user yes, of course, if a longer answer actually contains good points and reasonable clarity, it should get an upvote. But if a short answer contains the answer, it should not be downvoted simply for being short. This is of course mainly if the Q is concrete, for example "how can I make rounded corners on my InDesign box?" the answer would be "Select your box, and go to objects -> corner options. Then you can edit the radius and shape of the corners". I have seen answers like this downvoted or flagged. Idiotic, in my view. By the way; I fully support your request for more use of votes.
    – benteh
    May 29, 2014 at 15:41
  • @RandomO'Reilly The SE system flags "too short" posts. I find the autoflagging idiotic. I agree that sometimes the right answer can fit in a tweet and doesn't need to be 15 paragraphs long. Jun 5, 2014 at 18:50
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    @LaurenIpsum aaaah! I was not aware of that - that is idiotic indeed. I knew the system autoflags some stuff; but I guess I have not read about all the tiny things of how this site works :)
    – benteh
    Jun 6, 2014 at 10:26
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    @user I think we actually agree. I prefer comment first, downvotes later. Give the poor sod a chance to make his answer/question up-votable.
    – benteh
    Jun 6, 2014 at 10:29
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    Since this keeps popping up, why not encourage people to upvote with a badge or something? I know there are those of us who upvote the whole time but that is a minority and perhaps a reward would be endearing to new users and get them in a good habit of acknowledging solid answers :)
    – Jenna
    Jun 12, 2014 at 9:40

2 Answers 2


A good rule of thumb that I generally abide by is that if I think a question is worth answering, it's also worth an upvote. That seems reasonable to me.

  • 1
    This sounds about how I do it. Maybe adding (which you could do) that I also upvote questions I'd like to know the Answer to but do not.
    – Ryan
    Jun 17, 2014 at 11:18
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    Good practice. I try to practice "if it is worth answering, or if the answer would be interesting" I upvote. I do not upvote on questions I have no background in knowing the difference between a good Q and a bad. I might upvote after the Q has been answered, if it explains something I did not know I wanted to know :)
    – benteh
    Jun 23, 2014 at 10:36

Why is the number of upvotes on any question on GD SE so disproportionate to the number of users and views?

More than likely a lot of our questions are probably in fact people that have come to the site from a Google search and they are unaware of how to vote or are registered. Also, some questions, to an experienced Adobe user aren't helpful at all so they possibly don't merit a vote because they are not against or for a question or answer or it can be viewed as the member doesnt find the question helpful. The count could even be bot hits, and I only say that after spending some time using phpBB.

What is making it so hard for people to say 'that's a little helpful, +1'?

While I respect your view but I think you should also consider the amount of Adobe questions we tend to get. While I once was at the stage of a new user I was not fortunate enough to have a site like this where I could theoretically search for how to do something in Illustrator. That said Adobe questions to users that generally have a large rep serve little purpose because they do not find the question helpful. BUT that doesn't mean I wont vote on a question that I was unaware of that could be done in an Adobe software or any software.

Another issue I have, I tend to not vote a lot on Gimp or Inkscape questions/answers. Why? Because Im not an expert in it nor practice in said questions. So if I see a question I will always edit the question to its best but typically I do know we may have a similar question already made that could be referenced. If there is an answer for either software I may not upvote because I do not know the accuracy of the answer.

Same rule applies for font ID questions. I like the questions only because I can practice identifing aspects of the font but honestly some effort put into the question with a few Google searches and the OP could find that font.

What's your criteria for an upvote?


  • Does the question show effort.
  • Does the question show an example.
  • Does the question show a search had been completed.
  • Is the question understandable.
  • Is the question somewhat similar to what could be done with prior questions.
  • Is the question interesting to me.
  • Did the question raise an issue I was unaware of.
  • Is the question something that I think is a good fit for the site.


  • Is the answer clear/understandable.
  • Is the answer a link only answer.
  • Does the answer show examples/images.
  • Does the answer in fact answer the OP's question.

To conclude, would it kill y'all to vote a bit more?

Same rule could apply for downvoting. We see a lot of issues flagged and a lot of disagrees or debates going on with answers that they should clearly be downvoted but aren't. It would appear a majority of members dislike link only answers but the ratio of downvotes to the answer aren't there.

After said all this. I think we should keep in mind:

  • Amount of views we get a day.
  • If a member understands the question/answer.
  • If a member or someone finds the question/answer helpful.
  • Could the question be answered with a little practice.
  • 5
    I am careful with my downvotes. I tend to save those for "really wrong answers" and "person answering is being an idiot." Of almost 2800 votes I've cast on this board, 11 have been DVs. I've probably only DVed a question once or twice in the three years I've been on SE. Jun 5, 2014 at 18:54

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