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Each one of us may have our own criterion, as to when to up/downvote. I'm trying to see if some cases should be a common factor for all of us.

Imagine there's a question and some existing answers. You add another answer that is correct, and that it adds some key point, not yet mentioned in any pre-existing answer. That point is key in the sense that it even invalidates a big part of what the other answers were saying, at that time. Now, one of the other users sees your answer, agrees with your point, acknowledges with a comment, and corrects his answer. The correction is important both in number of edits, and in the concept behind it. My question is: taking into account that, if you hover over one answer's upvote arrow, it says "This answer is useful", shouldn't it be a common factor of all of our individual voting criteria that, in cases like this one, (at least) the person that used that important point should upvote that other answer? I think he should.

This happened to me yesterday, with this answer, which provided a key point, which was used to correct another answer, and it indeed was acknowledged with a comment, but I got no upvotes. Not that I care too much. I'm just curious to see how many people would also think we should acknowledge with a +1, in cases like this one.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The hover text may say "this answer is useful", but that's not my personal criterion. I guess my threshold is more "this answer is good", and "this answer is better than mine" if I have also answered the question. Likewise for downvotes I think the stated criterion is too lax. Mine is more like "this answer is outright wrong, contains significantly wrong material, is significantly misleading even if technically correct, written very poorly or sloppily, or is largely gibberish". When it's my vote then it's my thresholds. Sorry, but that's how it is. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Jun 2 '12 at 13:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop, If you have written a higher quality answer that answers the question more completely or accurately then saying the other answer is useful is hard because there is nothing it adds, it really is not useful in that case. If the answer is one of the things you listed as a downvote reason then not useful applies. We have very similar criterion although I am probably more liberal in upvoting competing answers. If you answered everything clearly and they post explaining something you already did then it really was not useful. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jun 2 '12 at 16:21
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You should give a +1 if it meets the criterion set by hovering over the arrow.

Was the answer useful?

Can we force someone to vote on that criterion, no. They get to pick themselves.

The issue you are having seems to relate heavily to our discussion of people being stingy with votes. Although the person you are complaining about is not a serious offender on that front, he is actually quite active at voting.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I just noticed a very minor bug in the system. Your answer made me curious so I hovered over the up and down arrows here. It says the same thing: "This answer is useful" for the up arrow. However, this is meta and the criterion is really "I agree with this answer". Again not worth fixing, but votes here have different meanings than on the main site. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Jun 2 '12 at 13:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop, it is worth fixing, there is a large amount of discussion about that on the general meta site. I discussed this with steven a few days ago. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jun 2 '12 at 14:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't mind the different meaning, but it should be made more clear. \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jun 2 '12 at 14:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @stevenvh, that is most everyone's point. I think we recently lost a user to this distinction not being clear. It should be more clear but that is a feature request that takes dev time. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jun 2 '12 at 14:23
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Too much attention is paid to the reputation numbers here. Remember, it's just a number on a webpage. Please don't harm the site to increase your own rep number.

If you want to improve the site, vote up every answer that is useful. Many engineering questions involve judgement and more than one answer is correct. Apply an upvote for answers which are well-explained and correct technically, even if they "compete" with yours. We're all here to help others, right?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hey, it was not me. I did not -1 this. \$\endgroup\$ – Telaclavo Jun 1 '12 at 16:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree, and I have upvoted many answers which stood next to mine. Heck, I invited Jeanne to post her answer to this question, well knowing it's sexier than mine. But in my answer here I explain why I didn't on this occasion. \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jun 2 '12 at 9:58
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'Ola. I was the one who used information from your answer to improve mine. Two things.

I regularly edit existing answers of mine (sometimes of others) when I think the edits improve the answer's quality and may be helpful for others. (Only yesterday I added a link to an older answer, which leads you to a long piece of additional information. Upon which someone replied "Man steve, you sure have to taste your own medicine." Which irritated me.)

Then the upvote, or lack thereof. You spent some time scrutinizing the details of current in the datasheet. I appreciate that. I also try to do that, though I must admit that sometimes I still miss some detail. The reason I didn't upvote is that I don't think it's a very good solution. It's original, but it's 5 times more expensive than the classic solution, my boss wouldn't appreciate it. Also if your LEDs would require more current you would need a push-pull driver instead of the more common and cheap open drain/collector drivers.
To be clear, it's not a bad answer, I wouldn't dream of downvoting it!

But I don't think you can extort votes.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You do not need to upvote if you do not feel the answer answers the question and is useful to the original poster. Your habit of improving your answers does great things for the quality of the site. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jun 2 '12 at 14:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ OK, but you saw what was happening :-/. About the answer I referred to, do you see anything wrong in the edit? Just wanna be sure. \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jun 2 '12 at 14:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ you can duplicate information in that post. Having only a little information and a link is not nearly as effective at keeping someone whom just got googled in as coming to a page and seeing a great answer right there. I would prefer some duplication and a reference to your other answer. Feel free to reference between answers all you want as long as they actually are a useful reference, it is also your right to reference your own answers or others. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jun 2 '12 at 14:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've edited it a bit, I just didn't want to copy the whole thing; it's probably my longest answer so far. (Thanks, pal, you're doing great!) \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jun 2 '12 at 15:17

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