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Voting etiquette

by dd-b (Monk)
on Jan 16, 2004 at 23:34 UTC ( #321947=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I'm not finding much on voting etiquette, as opposed to how the system technically works. What's the general practice on voting on nodes that are direct replies to me? I've been recusing myself on them; I'm too close to the issue to objectively evaluate them. I can see being slightly looser -- if it's accepted practice, I'd consider ++ them if they're good, but I still think it'd be a mistake for me to -- direct replies to me. But, as I say -- what's the general practice?

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Re: Voting etiquette
by davido (Cardinal) on Jan 17, 2004 at 06:34 UTC
    Vote your conscience. That's the best you can do.

    I will give ++'s to nodes that:

    • Make me think.
    • Teach me something.
    • Discuss something I haven't considered before.
    • Bring clarity to a subject I didn't thoroughly understand.
    • Help me out in some way.
    • Nodes that show the person writing it has been thinking for him/herself, even if conclusions are not completely refined, and even if it's something I already knew. ...I like to see people learning, it inspires me to keep learning too.
    • Make me laugh or smile.
    • Are accurate.
    • Iterate (or reiterate) something I find myself in agreement with.
    • Followups to my nodes with constructive comments, or thank-you comments. I like to know how my ideas can be improved upon, and also like to hear if something I proposed worked.

    And on occasion, I'll -- a node that:

    • Is a followup by the same person who asked the original question, where the followup shows that (s)he didn't listen to the responses (s)he got.
    • Is abusive or inflamatory with no redeeming value.
    • Is pure troll-bait or complete electronic-grafiti rubbish (ie, posts to Q&A with nothing but a bunch of garbled meaningless text).
    • Sometimes a completely inaccurate response to a question, but only in rare-extreme cases.

    I try to get inaccuracies in posts resolved via discussion, and/or Chatterbox /msgs, rather than through voting. I've been making an effort to be increasingly consciensious about handling such things in the least inflamatory way possible, and usually let people know via /msg when I see a minor inaccuracy that they could easily fix in their post.

    There are a thousand other cases that could warrant ++'s, and a few others that might warrant a --. I try to refrain from --'s altogether unless something is pretty extremely awful. And I like to give out ++'s as freely as possible. People come back to this site because it provides a positive reinforcement to learning. Kudos (and ++'s) to all those people.


Re: Voting etiquette
by jweed (Chaplain) on Jan 16, 2004 at 23:40 UTC
    It is very rarely that I downvote a reply, rather my standard practice is to neglect to ++ it if it is a repeat or slightly incorrect. When I began to vote, I found How should I spend my votes? -- General Voting Guidelines very helpful, and I tend to find that most replies to my questions deserve a ++. Only those that are really cruel to me do I downvote.

    Of course, I agree that it does seem slightly awkward downvoting those who tried to help you, so I really don't. Nodes that are way OT, trollish, or rude tend to be the only ones I do it to.

    Code is (almost) always untested.

      Thanks for the cite to the voting guidelines. I made the mistake of stopping looking after I found a FAQ entry on the topic that wasn't nearly as complete.

      Sounds like to some extent people consider ++ normal, and consider not doing so a minor censure. Well, at my level I can't do that to every node I read :-), but I'll keep it in mind.

Re: Voting etiquette
by Zaxo (Archbishop) on Jan 16, 2004 at 23:51 UTC

    Voting practice is entirely up to you. I upvote most all replies to my nodes, as an inadequate sort of "Thanks!", but that's just me.

    After Compline,

      I upvote stuff I agree with. ;)

      But seriously, I do exactly the same thing. And like in other places, I always downvote rudeness and gross incorrectness, but leave slightly incorrect stuff alone. This last type of node often produces the most interesting discussions. Anyway, I'm not really that good at Perl, so I don't always know whether it's correct or not.


        I upvote replies to me whether or not I agree with them, as long as they show some sign of thought.

        I also upvote "thanks, that worked" replies (to anyone, not just to me).

Re: Voting etiquette
by theorbtwo (Prior) on Jan 17, 2004 at 05:53 UTC

    I normaly try to vote on replies to me on the same basis as other nodes, but I don't pay all that much attention to my voting habits, on the theory that they'll average out on the long term. OTOH, I very rarely downvote nodes, period. I almost always upvote a node that replies with a viewpoint or information that I hadn't considered -- including on replies that bombast me for not thinking of that viewpoint.

    Really, it's not all that important how you vote, so long as you have good reasons at the time, for voting that way on that purticular node. (I'll sometimes "personality vote" for, or even against, a purticular person. But when I do, I look through their history, looking for nodes that are worthy of the vote I give them.)

    As Jess, sitting next to me, just said "the general practice is, do what you think is right". I couldn't have said it better myself.

    Warning: Unless otherwise stated, code is untested. Do not use without understanding. Code is posted in the hopes it is useful, but without warranty. All copyrights are relinquished into the public domain unless otherwise stated. I am not an angel. I am capable of error, and err on a fairly regular basis. If I made a mistake, please let me know (such as by replying to this node).

Re: Voting etiquette
by CountZero (Bishop) on Jan 17, 2004 at 23:39 UTC
    As I think (assume? hope??) that the XP-value of the node has something to do with the quality of it, I tend not to ++ nodes which have some technical errors in them (such as suggesting code which doesn't do what it says it does, which means the poster did not try it). Such nodes might even warrant a --, esp. if they are an answer to a question from a newbee.


    "If you have four groups working on a compiler, you'll get a 4-pass compiler." - Conway's Law

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