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I've noticed something annoying. To move on from the definition phase, a site needs a certain number of questions with a +10 score. That makes sense, but it leads to a weird voting behavior:

  • If a question is already at 10, no one votes for it anymore. (In fact, if someone does, they're wasting their precious vote, and should get a warning from the system!)
  • I'm really encouraged to vote on questions with +8 and +9, even if I don't think they are so good.
  • I'm hesitant to vote on questions with a low score.
  • There are sometimes questions that I believe are very good, but have been misunderstood. Part of this is that you can only give a title, no description, and that clarifying comments seem to disappear (or are ignored). I'm certainly not going to waste my vote on questions that have a negative score, no matter how good I believe they are!

This is bad. The current rules encourage a kind of "herdthink" - one of the things we are trying to avoid when we prohibit "list questions" on stackexchange sites. But this is even worse. People are encouraged to only vote for what is popular, and primarily propose questions that will get quick upvotes, rather than what is really interesting for them.

I don't know how to fix this. Short-term I'd be happy if other users, and SE staff would acknowledge the problem. Hopefully this will be addressed in the new Area51.

Long-term one should think about fixing the staging rules. Crazy thoughts (none of which I'm propsing right now):

  • Demand less questions with +10 score. Instead, a site would also need X questions with 10 upvotes (downvotes don't matter) and Y questions with 20 votes total (score doesn't matter).
  • One could also think about hiding scores temporarily.
  • Give users more votes
  • Find a way to fork a question... "No, you've misunderstood. Yes, the question you thought you saw is a bad fit. But here is what OP actually meant. Let's vote on this new one again."
  • I suppose you knew about this? I know it wouldn't help you now, but those with more rep can edit an example question and make it more clear. – BenjiWiebe Apr 23 '13 at 12:45
  • Thanks, but I don't think I have enough rep. Also it's often a social problem as well as a technical problem, when people don't read questions properly etc. – jdm Apr 23 '13 at 13:12
  • You've noticed the problem but you're trying to make it deeper by suggesting that voting on good questions is a waste of vote. – Donaudampfschifffreizeitfahrt Jun 10 '13 at 17:00
  • Very similar question: discuss.area51.stackexchange.com/questions/9554/… – Andrew Grimm Jan 17 '17 at 7:58

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