Actually... I downvote almost nothing, and never will. And I have not the time to carry a grudge, much less a vendetta, thank you much. Yet, I encourage all of you not to suppose, either that I seek “self-aggrandizement,” or that I raise this issue (yet again ...) merely to “counter negative-XP.” Believe it or not, I have a Rhett Butler attitude about that.
If I raise a question, I mean it quite seriously. Even though you might see me post here frequently, the vast majority of my use of this site is Super Search. I am not a god and therefore have (and seek) no access to the relevant statistics, but I do suspect that most non-newbie uses of this site are exactly the same. Therefore, it is all about the quality of the content, which is obvious-enough, but also about the information quality of . . . the content-peer-rating system! (Affectionately known as, “XP.”)
Think outside the box. To status-conscious frequenters, ratings are a way to rise to the Papacy. But, to those who search, they are a way to sift the wheat from the chaff.
When I very-badly need to know something, I search here. Don’t go anywhere else WRT Perl. When I perform a search on any topic, I don’t merely want to see what “hits” on this-or-that keyword. (Google alone tells me that much... and Google knows nothing-at-all about Perl or anything else that it presumes to index.) No, I want to know what posts the peers on this site considered, at that time, to be the “best ones.” Those are the ones that, by far, are most likely to quickly give me the answers that I seek. However, I am somewhat stymied in this, because I can only see the sum of the votes. A really-good but unpopular-to-some post could attract 5 upvotes and 5 downvotes and wind up ... zero. “Off my radar,” even though the upvotes are really what I want to zero-in on as an indicator of the thread’s actual information-value to me.
Need other examples? They’re very easy to find. On Facebook, you can “like” something, but you can’t snub it. But, why? I suggest that the answer just might boil down to this:
In reply to Re^2: (Toward a better PerlMonks) Who do we serve, and why, and how can we do it better?