What can be done about persistent sloppy writing here at Spanish Language Beta?


While editing questions, and suggesting edits to posted answers go a long way in rising the quality of the site's content, I believe these are secondary to the main tool provided by the developers:


It is the life and blood of any stack exchange community, and it's hard to ignore all the hints peppered over the interface and functionality of the site: you Upvote questions, Upvote answer. Hell you can Upvote comments!

And that gets you Rep. Enough rep, and you get to see vote counts, you get close and reopen votes etc.. I mean how hard can it be to realise that the developers, put all these features around voting probably based on the wisdom that votes effectively measure quality of both questions or answers.

It's also arguable that "Good questions beget Great answers " so I think what we need to do to incentivize high quality answers is

A) Upvote good and interesting questions

B) Upvote great answers to those good questions

Which is to say: we should do nothing special at all. That's the way the site is supposed to work.

Now, I've recently seen great questions that hardly get 4 Upvotes. Ive observed on some of this questions there are 5 or 6 users actually debating the merits of an answer, or there could be 4 answers by 4 different members, and get the question whiters away unsurfaced at a measly 2 up votes answers to such questions may have even 8 up votes!

(Not comparable due to traffic volume but I was pleasantly surprised to see a question I posted in "English Language" soar to dizzying Up-vote heights within minutes of being posted: reached +30 within the hour, and currently sits at +50. And the answers I got were almost pure gold!

I wish this was true of our home as Spanish speakers. Surely we can achieve something similar if we put our mind to it! Wasn't Charles V the emperor upon whose domains the sun never set? Spanish speakers forged that empire (with some curt innuendos, but that's beside the point ) and we can without a doubt achieve this if we put our mjdb to it.

I'd argue that a question should have at least as many upvotes as it has answers, plus votes by those not participating but find the question interesting or the answers amusing.

Also I'd argue, that the question should get as many upvotes as the sum of all upvotes on all answers, because if I find an answer intriguing or insightful, I'd like it to be found out by others, thus it makes no sense to Upvote an answer but not it's question.

Except that it does makes sense in the case of so-so questions with great answers. We have the privilege to reward answers but not their questions, thus giving nuance to the content and creating an incentive to write Better questions in the future

We just need to jump-start the virtuous circle of participation whose engine is the vote-reputation duality and be more generous with our votes

We've got plenty of votes to go around in a day, so upvotes are not a scarce commodity nor Up-voting has a cost in reputation, on the contrary, sustained voting triggers a set of secondary incentives such as certain class of badges and privileges which can only be achieved by a combination of rep and sustained voting.

So I implore thee, depositors of the cybernetic franchise that has the power to raise both participation and quality: Upvote the questions and answers you deem worthy of your vote even if you're not actively participating in the process of answering. Use your vote as "I also have this question" or "this could be interesting"... And surely the proven algorithms that make larger sites hum along without giving a second thought to affluence, will start humming for us too.

  • 1
    Great answer -- and I was lucky to be the one to give it its first upvote! // Congrats on the ELU question -- outstanding, and you got a bunch of great answers. I particularly liked Captain Obvious. Apr 17 '18 at 3:13
  • Surprising as it may be that there is no equivalent idiom, what really caught me completely off guard was the generous and casual participation in such a short timestam, I suspect a bunch of "passersby" upvoted on interestingness alone. And that 2/5 of the votes were cast after the question had a selected answer! Why? Voter's decided to cast their vote on an useful or interesting discussion and the result was a possitive feedback loop when the question surfaced on SE's Twitter and main page.
    – hlecuanda
    Apr 17 '18 at 5:58
  • It's quite unusual to get such a high score on a question at ELU. Questions only get large numbers of upvotes at ELU if they are truly interesting. Te felicito! Apr 18 '18 at 2:25

In general, I'm a big believer in editing posts to lift the general quality of the material published on our site.

But I think a major exception to this lies in the area of participants who consistently neglect to spell-check or proofread their posts.

In such a situation, I think at some point the helpful editing angels among us would do best to back off and let the sloppy writing lie (but only in the case of persistent sloppy writers).

I think an occasional friendly reminder to the sloppy writers of this world would not be amiss.

I've noticed that sometimes more direct action from moderators has been taken personally by a sloppy writer, and tensions have been exacerbated. Thus, I think a less confrontational approach can work better in the long term.

In this answer, I've described what I see as the best solution to a difficult problem, but I would be interested to know what others think.

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