This proposal would reach the Commit Phase a lot quicker if people evened their votes out so that each question only received 10 votes.

If you've voted on a question with 20 or so votes, you can still move your vote elsewhere.

Proposal: Raspberry-Pi Hardware and Software

  • Not really a question, but rather a call for votes. That means it is a "request", not a "question".
    – e-sushi
    Aug 1, 2013 at 6:58

2 Answers 2


The point of the voting system is to say what are good questions and what aren't. Telling people to only vote for questions that have lower votes works against that.

You should instead be soliciting questions that will accrue more votes.

  • 1
    My emphasis should have been more against "over voting" on good questions that had already reached 10+ votes.
    – winwaed
    Apr 9, 2012 at 12:33
  • 4
    IMHO this whole area51 site is less of a "proposal incubator" than a "proposal festerer". Answers to the example questions aren't allowed, so you miss the discussion / feedback found in real sites; and you can only upvote/downvote on 5 questions. It's like telling a group of people they can drive a car if they manage to push it up a hill using their noses while their hands are tied behind their backs. There's very little engagement process until a proposal reaches "beta" stage, so why bother when there are so many other things competing for your time in life.
    – Jason S
    Apr 10, 2012 at 16:31
  • 3
    @JasonS: The point of the sample questions is to decide what is and is not on-topic, not to provide actual information yet. Until you have questions that delineate the topic of the site, you don't really have a site yet. And quite frankly, if you can't spend the few minutes a month with a pre-beta site, why should we expect you to spend time on the site when it is in beta? Apr 10, 2012 at 21:23
  • 1
    Minutes? Try hours, trying to advertise and cajole users into supporting it. As for plain old users who aren't proposal initiators, why should a user have to spend a few minutes a month, when there is no apparent mechanism to move a site forward? Yes, you can ask a few questions and vote up or down, but even that is confusing to beginner users. Meanwhile on reddit things are off and running. What's frustrating to me is that SO has a much better focus and user interface than reddit -- but while SO has the bar so high, why should I bother when I can just ask questions on reddit?
    – Jason S
    Apr 10, 2012 at 23:03
  • @JasonS: Beginning users aren't why a site takes off. If you don't have the dedication to actually make a proposal work, then you're not going to have any real dedication to making the site work once its up. Failure to set the bar high is why Reddit is often looked on as a joke, a disorganized cluster of nonsense with a few kernels of real information. Whereas Stack Exchange sites that pass beta are vibrant, lively, focused, and work. You can take the path of least resistance if you want, but these controls for SE exist for a very good reason: to optimize for pearls, not sand. Apr 10, 2012 at 23:09
  • 5
    You misunderstand my use of "beginner". The people that I deal with outside of StackExchange in the botanical world are experts. We have lively conversations, both in person and via email. Most of them are not, however, computer experts. They are beginner users on StackExchange. They are also very busy, and the concept of having to take the time to play this weird game where you make up fake questions or vote or whatever is unclear to them. They want to hit the ground running. I get the point of making sure there are educated people in each topic, but with all due respect, the bar is too high.
    – Jason S
    Apr 10, 2012 at 23:39
  • and FWIW, reddit.com/r/whatsthisplant is a functional subreddit that's vibrant, lively, focused, and works. I think of how much better it could be if something existed on StackExchange.
    – Jason S
    Apr 10, 2012 at 23:43
  • @NicolBolas -1. A lot of proposals have plenty of good example questions (80+) (sure they could always do with more). But these are sitting on 0, 1 or 2 votes. The problem isn't that they're not good questions. The problem is that people have already used their votes on other good questions.
    – dwjohnston
    Jun 10, 2014 at 22:31

The point of the definition phase on Area 51 is to provide a corpus of questions which accurately represent the site being proposed. We rush this at our peril.

Having said that, you are right to say that once a question is accepted as being representative of the site, adding further up votes does little to help the proposal. In many ways, it is better to look at questions on the cusp of being accepted as being representative and add up (or down votes) as appropriate, to maximise the impact of your limited number of votes.

  • Quite - that is a good summary of what I was trying to say :-)
    – winwaed
    Apr 12, 2012 at 11:45

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