# Vote early, vote often

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I would like to echo a post that Scott Morrison posted on Tex.SE. A link to the post here, and below is the text of the post:

"I'm a moderator from MathOverflow, and this "question" is actually unsolicited advice, based on our experience from the initial launch of MathOverflow.

We should encourage everyone to vote positively as often as possible!

Every Stack Exchange site will eventually end up with a different "base level" of voting --- that is, the expected number of upvotes for a question of a given level of excellence. (This effect occurs because people see a good question, but already with a certain number of votes, and think "oh, I would have upvoted this, but it already has enough".)

It's easy for us to affect this "base level" by encouraging high levels of upvoting now. We're setting the standards, and this really will have an effect.

(On MathOverflow, we were very active about this early on, specifically encouraging all the initial round of users to vote early and often. You can compare statistics, and see that the average vote total for a MathOverflow question is much higher than on any of the other SE 1.0 sites.)

In case it's not obvious: the rationale for wanting this base level to be high is that it provides better positive feedback to good contributors."

Note that the number of high reputation users will be one of the measures that SE will consider in deciding to move the site from beta to a full site, a higher average vote will make it easier. Also it encourages people to post and answer questions because they see the positive feedback for their effort. So when you see a good question or answer upvote it.

Based on our experience on cstheory, I would also add the following recommendation:

when voting, don't consider the total number of votes a post already has, try to vote independently from other users' votes and the total number of votes, if you think a question/answer is good/interesting/useful/helpful and is the kind of question that you want to see on the site upvote it.

The reason for this is that I have seen users trying to fix the total number of votes and therefore don't upvote posts even when they like it because they think it does not deserve that many votes, which keeps the average number of votes quite low.

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asked Sep 15, 2011
I'd like to upvote a second time just for *try to vote independently from other users' votes and the total number of votes*

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On the other hand, I can't help but notice that the average vote total of the 8 questions posted so far is about +10, which is somewhat ridiculous :-P

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@David, I think it seems ridiculous to you because you are used to low number of total votes on other sites. Different sites have different levels of a normal question and the point here is to have a higher level on this site. On Math.SE 10 votes might be quite high and indicate a very interesting question, here the very interesting question might end up being +25 vote questions. :)

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@Kaveh: it seems ridiculous because _no other SE site_ that I've seen has such high average votes. That's why +10 gets you a badge; a question voted up to 10 should be exceptionally good, and while I'm certainly not saying the questions posted are _bad_, they don't strike me as _exceptional_. Of course 8 is a really small sample size, and several of those were taken straight from the proposal, so they've been slightly pre-screened for quality; I wasn't being _entirely_ serious with that comment. But as the site grows I would find it rather strange if the mean vote doesn't drop to 5 or less.

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@David, *that is whole point*, we *want* to have a different scale, we want to have a higher average. You should forget the scale on other sites, don't compare with them. Eventually an exceptional question here might be those with 25 votes or 50 votes, it is a different scale. :)

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@David, as to getting a badge for 10 votes, that is the lowest of three badge levels: 10, 25, 100 (nice, good, and great, respectively). So, I don't think 10 votes is exceptional, just above average, maybe 1 $\sigma$. :)

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+1 because how could I not?

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