A common problem with proposals is people use many of their votes on great example questions, then lose the votes they need

See examples in This proposal will reach Commit more quickly if people only put 10 votes on a question, https://area51.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5667/is-moving-up-votes-off-a-question-to-put-on-others-frowned-upon, https://area51.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4236/should-everyone-use-their-upvotes-only-for-questions-that-have-less-than-10-vote

I disagree with the answer to the second question:

Artificially speeding up the definition process will backfire when you're in commitment/beta. Upvote good questions, even if it's more tempting to upvote a question with score 9.

If a question has 5 awesome questions at the top of the list and everyone keeps upvoting just those questions...it really doesn't help define the site at all. "upvote stuff to speed up the process" is not what's wanted, but upvoting the same questions repeatedly, vastly beyond 10 upvotes doesn't help define the site at all either. It just helps the site stagnate by letting interested parties essentially waste their votes; once a question has reached 20, voting (unless it gets 10 or more downvotes) is really no longer helping define the site; it's making it harder to define the site as up votes grow thin.

Instead I propose either not sorting by votes (it's far too tempting to waste your upvotes on those already highly voted posts) or showing a tooltip when you upvote a question with a score significantly higher than 10 suggesting you review lower recommended questions.

1 Answer 1


Since I'm the one who initially posted that quote (although the question seems to have been removed by now), allow me to restate the point I was trying to make.

In most proposals you encounter people commenting on questions with score 11+ with something along the lines of "don't upvote questions with score 10 or more". Usually they even misuse the announcements to inform everybody about their insight.

I'm merely advocating that this is not how this system works. At least not how it works best. area51 is about gaining critical mass and enough users that are interested in a topic. The definition phase is exactly that: an effort to define the site. If you go around upvoting questions just because they're close to 10 and you want the proposal to move faster, you are hurting the proposal. So, the rule of thumb should be "ignore the current score when deciding whether or not to vote on a question".

As with all rules of thumb there might be exceptions; Still, a question with score 20 or 30 would certainly be a bit exaggerated, but it would be even worse if you voted on a poor question "just to reach the threshold". If you see a poor question with score 9 and an awesome question with score 30 and only one upvote left, vote on the latter, not the former (or on neither and try to find another great question that needs votes).

I certainly support your suggestion to randomise the proposed questions to even the odds, but I would strongly discourage any insinuation (e.g. via tooltips) that upvoting high-scoring questions is bad.

  • 2
    I'm not saying "vote on stuff close to 10" I'm saying "focus on stuff that hasn't already been throughly approved by the community". There's no point in adding support to a clearly on-topic question, and it's actually actively harmful since there are only so many votes per person per proposal. At +19 the post has already shown it has very strong community approval.
    – Ben Brocka
    Nov 17, 2012 at 18:30

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