Daily a lot of users visit ELL, see the posts, post questions, take help- and just that they are gone. This is not what StackExchange is meant for. The StackExchange model aims for creating a knowledge base of quality questions and quality answers to them so that visitors find them helpful in their daily life. The StackExchange model has become very popular on the Internet because of its structure. And one important aspect of its structure is using the voting system.

Two most important roles of voting are:

1) It helps a user determine whether his question was of quality or not / within the scope of the site or not. Also it motivates them to ask quality questions and research a bit before asking here.

2) It helps the asker to determine among many answers which one is the best suited for his question along with making the answerer motivated to put his thought into work by gaining reps.

If we want our site to be graduated soon, we must upvote and downvote regularly and continuously. There are 40 votes allocated for each of you daily. Use them wisely. Upvote the useful contents and downvote the unnecessary contents.

The users who use the site most, should bear the maximum responsibility. It is your call of duty; respond to it!(1)


(1): This is just a personal thought. No user is aimed directly or indirectly.

  • 1
    There are currently about 50 questions with no upvoted answers. Dec 2, 2013 at 15:32
  • 2
    @TylerJamesYoung More than a year and a half later, there are now 520.
    – user230
    Sep 13, 2015 at 0:45
  • I guess whenever I question is upvoted or downvoted, the person that vote it should add a comment, because many people just downvote users question just because of their anger
    – Muhammad
    Nov 5, 2020 at 16:08

3 Answers 3


I've voted about 1400 times so far on ELL, of which 92% were upvotes and 8% downvotes.

So I do vote, but I have trouble voting on questions. Why? Because I'm hesitant to downvote. If I were really honest, I'd probably downvote a lot more questions than I do now; while we have some really good questions, we also have a lot which really need improvement. But it's hard for me to click the down arrow, because I know how hard it is to ask questions in a language you're learning, and I know how harsh it can feel when your question drops to -1 or below. So I hold back, waiting to vote until I see the question's been improved. And in many cases, that means I end up not voting at all.

I do have 8% downvotes, which to me feels like a fairly high percentage. But again, if I were voting totally honestly, that percentage would be higher. And that's why I have fewer total votes on questions than answers; we have a lot more good answers than good questions.

I'm not sure downvoting more often is the solution. Perhaps it is--but right now, I'm going to focus on leaving more comments, and on improving questions myself where possible.

  • How do you know how hard it is to ask questions in a language you're learning, and I know how harsh it can feel when your question drops to -1 or below.? May 21, 2014 at 11:52
  • @AwalGarg I'm learning languages other than English.
    – user230
    May 21, 2014 at 11:55
  • Great, have a nice time.. Btw, are you and snailboat related? I had almost thought you were her, and I had almost barked a thankyou comment... May 21, 2014 at 11:57

I like the spirit of your answer, but, I must admit, I am very wary when you say:

There are 40 votes allocated for each of you daily. Use them wisely.

I think I'm a pretty active member of this site. I've been here for about 8 months, and I've cast just over 650 votes. That's only about three per day.

I think part of using votes “wisely” is to recognize truly outstanding questions and answers. Too much indiscriminate voting cheapens the value of an upvote, which makes it harder to recognize truly superior work.

In my opinion, if the ultimate goal is graduation, the way to garner more upvotes is by exhorting regular users to ask more upvote-worthy questions.

Too many users who don't exercise their right to vote may be a problem. Too many users voting just for the sake of voting is an even bigger problem.

We agree on this: ELL users ought to use their votes wisely.

  • Good point. It's also worth noting that we don't always get 40 new posts per day. Assuming every post was worthy of an up or downvote, that's still not always enough. I also agree that the spirit of the question is great, though :)
    – WendiKidd
    Oct 5, 2013 at 23:02
  • Yes, very good point you raised here. I just want users to make sure when they come across a good post, they don't forget to vote on it. Reps are a big reason behind motivation of the users. So who ever is putting the effort, we should encourage him by voting. Again, vote down the unuseful contents.
    – Mistu4u
    Oct 6, 2013 at 8:28
  • 1
    @WendiKidd, I know 40 questions do not post here everyday, but see I never implied voting must be done on new questions only, you can find out a old post later worthy of a vote that you might have missed. In that case, a vote should be required.
    – Mistu4u
    Oct 6, 2013 at 12:30
  • @Mistu4u - encouraged, not required.
    – J.R. Mod
    Oct 7, 2013 at 8:06
  • 2
    A high number of votes means you attract visitors' attention and curiosity. To see page after page of questions with fewer than 3 upvotes on ELL suggests, rightly or wrongly, that the questions are: easy, dull, or duplicates. Maybe a badge is needed for every 6 upvotes an answer or question gains. That might encourage new and old users to upvote and ACCEPT answers.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 12, 2013 at 13:08
  • Moreover, the number of brilliant answers on ELL can be counted on two hands, and maybe a toe or two. I think that's partly because ELL is at times, deadly serious. If the more experienced users feed learners' timidness by downvoting or never upvoting their attempts, then you won't be encouraging more participation. Obviously you don't want to be upvoting misleading answers but a decent answer, one which is more or less right, should be encouraged and helped to be improved. Helpful suggestions are better incentives than a cool detached silence.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 12, 2013 at 13:17

Indeed ELL does seem to have a dearth of votes. Here are the average number of votes per post as of a few days ago, excluding deleted posts, for the language sites on Stack Exchange (plus the top, bottom and median sites in terms of average votes per post):

                2014-05-18    2015-09-16
                 up   down     up   down
top            11.83  1.65   13.54  1.74
french          5.44  0.25    4.87  0.26
german          4.95  0.21    4.83  0.28
italian         4.46  0.23    4.73  0.24
japanese        5.09  0.29    4.68  0.28
english         3.83  0.52    3.68  0.57
russian         3.99  0.37    3.67  0.33
median          4.04  0.23    3.48  0.44
arabic           N/A   N/A    3.21  0.55
linguistics     4.04  0.23    3.39  0.30
spanish         3.73  0.18    3.40  0.22
chinese         3.13  0.24    3.02  0.28
ell             2.78  0.20    2.60  0.23
bottom          1.13  0.05    1.10  0.06

It's somewhat difficult to compare downvotes because different sites have different patterns of deleting bad content (deleting closed questions and low quality answers reduces the “down” column because it only takes non-deleted posts into account). But when it comes to upvotes, ELL is clearly behind, and this hasn't changed since last year.

The numbers don't tell it all. Maybe ELL users don't vote enough. Maybe ELL has a lot of middling content. But either way, it's something that the community should address — lack of voting by voting more, middling content by producing better content and encouraging others do so!

  • I'm honestly surprised that Skeptics has such a low downvote average, even accounting for aggressive deletions. As to downvotes on ELL, I'll freely admit that it's difficult to use them. On a site like Skeptics or one of the IT exchanges, it's fairly simple (relatively, anyway) to determine whether a question/answer is worthy. Either people have done their research or they haven't. On ELL, it feels easier to make excuses for people due to the nature of English as a second language. I'm not really sure what the best way of overcoming this aversion is. May 20, 2014 at 17:14
  • @Gilles I'm really curious. Are those stats count the votes for both questions and answers or they're answers-only. If we computed the stats only for the last, say, 3 or 6 months, would the whole picture be different? May 21, 2014 at 12:03
  • @DamkerngT. Questions and answers. The stats may have changed over time — try looking on Stack Exchange Data Explorer if there's another query that provides data in this form (if there is, it would be about a specific site, not like the query I used which collects data on all sites (which is why I kept the amount of data per site small)). May 21, 2014 at 18:30
  • @Gilles Thank you! Now I think I should learn how to use SEDE properly to make a query for such information myself. :-) May 21, 2014 at 18:46
  • Skeptics and Sharepoint are language sites? Feb 20, 2015 at 14:41
  • @EsotericScreenName No, they are the top and bottom sites. Feb 20, 2015 at 14:43
  • @Gilles I gathered, just a bit confused by the language. Feb 20, 2015 at 14:47
  • Gilles can you tell me which query you used? Thanks.
    – M.A.R.
    Sep 12, 2015 at 19:09
  • @inɒzɘmɒЯ.A.M Edited Sep 12, 2015 at 19:10
  • This is interesting, but I think it needs to take into consideration the posts per day. I wonder if this a problem with not enough overlap in posts that are being read and voted on because of a high volume of questions.
    – ColleenV
    Sep 12, 2015 at 21:10
  • @ColleenV Why should posts per day matter? More posts goes with more users to vote. The number of votes per posts doesn't exhibit any visible correlation with the site volume. For example Stack Overflow isn't an outlier despite its massive traffic. Sep 12, 2015 at 21:21
  • My feeling is that we have a lot more askers than answerers, and that askers are less likely to vote. So, more posts spread across fewer voters could be an explanation for these results. I don't think avg votes per post tells the whole story, but work is keeping me from having the time to dig into it.
    – ColleenV
    Sep 12, 2015 at 22:08
  • After thinking about it more, the comparison of views to number of votes on both types of posts would be a better metric in my opinion. That still doesn't say a lot about the impact of the quality of the posts. I think we're very biased toward UVs.
    – ColleenV
    Sep 16, 2015 at 16:19

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