I am having a disagreement^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^ side-discussion with @lguinn and @aljohnson_splunk (and others?) here:
My contention is that we should do as dead people do in Chicago: vote early and often! However I am in the minority of the thread so I thought I would bring the question to a wider audience.
What do you think?
I slightly disagree with your first point.
The way I feel this board works is that there are three types of answers/comments (and questions): those which are concise, matter to many and are generally "very good" (alternatively: humorous), a type of answer/question which receives some amount of upvotes. Then there is the majority of answers/questions which receive neither up- nor downvotes (or one single upvote from the one asking the question). Lastly, I rarely see the type of answers/questions which are actually downvoted (for a reason).
In contrast, take a look at stackoverflow.com, where up- and downvotes are cast much more regularly by a much higher number of users, which gives each individual vote less of an impact and where there are thus more than these three categories. A vote here on the other hand is much stronger. This makes me feel that downvoting is only for actually bad answers/questions which may be harmful/belligerent/"very bad". The way I see it, an answer which doesn't solve the problem but which is both in good faith and well reasoned/researched does not need downvoting - those easily fit in the larger category with neither up- nor downvotes.
In other words, I feel a downvote here on answers.splunk.com should remain what it is, i.e. a rarely used method to actually state your disapproval/warn others of malicious advice. In the case you cite above, the answer is not "very bad", it simply didn't solve the problem and was a guess - but it was an educated guess and had more information to it, so even if it didn't solve the problem, it helped create knowledge, which is why we are here.
I agree with you JEFFLAND. It is a good thing to downvote a misleadind answer, but no need to do it when an answer do not just solve the problem. It is discouraging to be downvote simply because your answer do not solve the problem. If we all see things like woodcok ,It simply mean that answers.splunk.com will become a plateform for those who knows an not for those who want to learn.
I think upvotes are equivalent to (and preferable to) "I agree" or "+1" comments and should be done early and often. Waiting until an answer is accepted before upvoting it is like waiting until after the Super Bowl to decide which team to root for.
I don't like to downvote, however. Besides taking away karma, it just doesn't do enough. Better to write a corrective comment, IMO.
We should not be trying to discourage people from posting answers. Even a wrong answer may give the OP enough to solve his problem.
I totally agree. If you down-vote, I think you should tell the community why you disagree with the answer (politely).
The next person to read the thread may have a slightly different problem. When they look at the comment(s), they may be able to tell if the answer might work for them, doesn't work at all, violates the laws of physics, etc.
To address the points you brought up @richgalloway and @lguinn, I've requested a feature to be added where users must provide a reason for a downvote upon clicking the down arrow. This reason would be publicly posted as a comment under the downvoted post (question, answer, or comment). I figured this would make users more accountable for providing actual constructive feedback for everyone in the community to learn.
If/when this feature is added, I'll update here 🙂
I think up-voting early and often is a good thing. I think this holds true for both good questions (or interesting ones, even if not well-stated) and good answers (again, or interesting ones, even if not well-stated) that provide valid results. Also, I think we all should encourage the acceptance of the most correct answer for a question.
If we don't vote things up, they won't get noticed. If we do vote things up, they will get noticed. Also, people asking good or interesting questions or providing good or interesting answers will usually do so more often if they get upvotes. This is due to a complex human response and motivation mechanism similar to why social media "like" hits and similar positive flagging works. These actions key into things wired into us humans for feeling good.
The real result of more people voting is not to dilute each vote but to empower each questioner and answerer. If more people do it, we all get more feedback about it and do it more.
As for down voting, I think it should be reserved for straight up poor advice or false answers , yet used far more often in general. A down vote will stand out, and it should do so as an example of something that will not provide a functional solution.
I agree about upvoting. I would also like to see a stronger practice of accepting answers, and agree that the community can do more to advocate for people to accept answers.
Downvoting: I think jtrucks is right here, too. I have seen too much downvoting when people don't like an answer, even if it is correct and the truth. Bad advice or inaccurate answers should get downvotes. But I think it is not okay for people to use downvotes to express their frustration that the product doesn't work the way they want it to.