After about two months of MATLAB Answers, there are about 270 questions that have one or more votes. That's out of 4100 questions. For comparison, more than 1050 questions have no answers. The same is true of answers - most get no votes. The questions and answers that attract a lot of votes are mostly "meta" questions about MATLAB or MATLAB Answers, or "fun" questions (challenges). Are there really so few good technical questions and answers out there? Can we do anything to encourage more voting?
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I'll vote for a question based on its:
It doesn't matter how advanced or not advanced it is. As far as answers, I'll vote for an answer that provides a good reference or working example/explanation, e.g:
No, we do not vote enough, neither questions nor answers.
A reason for this might be, that there is still no common agreement about the meaning of a vote:
Should we vote the question "How can I use EVAL to ..."?
Should we vote the corresponding answer "Read the FAQ"?
And the answer "don't do this"?
I'll start a new thread about voting policies.
I'm surprised that some people think that voting for questions is time consuming. It's just a button click! It is not necessary to read any questions or answers that you weren't going to read anyway, but if you think it's good - why not vote for it? Either most people aren't doing this or very few people are reading any given question.
As for valuing votes - I have often put a lot of effort into answering a question and then got no reaction of any kind. Then I wonder whether my effort has benefited anyone or my time would have been better spent elsewhere.
In some environments, such as iTunes, some people review a product and then others rate the review useful or not. This seems to work well, but there are far more votes than we see in MATLAB Answers. Perhaps the biggest problem with this voting system is that there are not many of us.
I too have been thinking about this lately. Mostly because I noticed some really good answers, some might call them 'classics' for their particular questions, which had no votes and had been bounced up to the top of the list several times that day. I went ahead and voted on them because I do think it shows people how the community feels, especially on certain perennial topics.
I do think votes convey information, and so are important. How important, I am still trying to determine... I do hope more people chime in on this one...
I have decided that I haven't been voting enough. Basically I haven't been voting at all. I have now decided that if I read a question and it is about MATLAB and provides enough detail to be answered, then I will vote for it (baring doit4me type questions). If an answer is similar to the one I would have provided, I will vote for the answer. If the answer is very different, but in my eyes not incorrect, I will vote for it.
I am anticipating voting a lot.
Encourage voting?! really?! I fail to understand why people give such importance to votes, we are here mainly to learn with each others, share the knowledge and ask questions, the votes are merely a tool to classify what people think it's important for them, no big deal.
The thing we should encourage is more participation and reducing those 1050 unanswered questions, maybe turning those questions in simple contests.