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I've noticed on this beta there seems to be a slightly greater lack of voting for questions than for answers.

Of course I might be a bit biased by looking at my own questions too much - maybe they're not very good ones (-:

But it does seem that some of our users with pretty high rep here are not voting very often.

Just how important is it to vote as well as ask and answer? Is it particularly important during the early beta?

Perhaps it's confusion of whether to only vote up "great" posts or all well written or thought provoking posts or just questions we also wonder about or just answers we can verify or answers that seem well thought out and well written even if we can't verify what they claim.

What should we tell each other are the benefits of voting for the voters and the site as a whole? We obviously know what the benefits are for those on the receiving end of the votes.

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    Personally, I think we're doing pretty good on voting. It's much better than DBA.SE or Hermeneutics.SE. It's not quite as good as Christianity.SE, but that was crazy chaotic. – Richard Nov 17 '11 at 16:35
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    Linguistics.SE was one site where votes were really scarce. But on this site I ran out of votes about half way through my first session due to what I regarded as so many good questions and good answers. But then I see quite a few of them only have a couple of votes and on user pages some users have only voted a handful of times. I thought people might not know they should vote. – hippietrail Nov 17 '11 at 16:47
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If you want to encourage people to vote, I recommend two steps:

  1. Create a "Vote Early, Vote Often" post. Here are some examples:

    However you decide to write the post, make sure to include a link to Jeff Atwood's blog post Vote Early, Vote Often somewhere in the text.

  2. If you find questions or answers that you like, add a comment encouraging others to vote them up. I usually say something like:

    If you like this post, please vote it up. It's important for the community!

    Obviously, you will want to change the link in the comment to go to the meta post that you created in step 1.

However, the first step is the "Vote Early, Vote Often" post.

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  • Ah yes I thought there was a Jeff/Joel reference for it. Thanks! – hippietrail Nov 17 '11 at 16:48
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For the more mercenary among us, it's worth noting that there are several badges in place to encourage voting too:

In particular, the gold Electorate badge is a great incentive for question voting:

Voted on 600 questions and 25% or more of total votes are on questions

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