[Below is Scott Morrison's post from tex.se, reproduced here because it's good advice we need to see early.]

I'm a moderator from MathOverflow, and this "question" is actually unsolicited advice, based on our experience from the initial launch of MathOverflow.

We should encourage everyone to vote positively as often as possible!

Every Stack Exchange site will eventually end up with a different "base level" of voting --- that is, the expected number of upvotes for a question of a given level of excellence. (This effect occurs because people see a good question, but already with a certain number of votes, and think "oh, I would have upvoted this, but it already has enough".)

It's easy for us to affect this "base level" by encouraging high levels of upvoting now. We're setting the standards, and this really will have an effect.

(On MathOverflow, we were very active about this early on, specifically encouraging all the initial round of users to vote early and often. You can compare statistics, and see that the average vote total for a MathOverflow question is much higher than on any of the other SE 1.0 sites.)

In case it's not obvious: the rationale for wanting this base level to be high is that it provides better positive feedback to good contributors.

— By Scott Morrison

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ For what it's worth: I think we're doing a pretty good job on this front so far (compared to other sites I've seen). $\endgroup$
    – Shane
    Aug 25, 2010 at 23:57

2 Answers 2


Just posting a friendly reminder to all new people here as well: please vote, often. You have a budget of 30 votes per day, and it seems that very few people are using more than a tiny fraction of their daily quota.

  • $\begingroup$ I am as guilty as the others, but I think Jukka is right : we don't vote enough and thus the site looks deadly static. $\endgroup$ Sep 2, 2010 at 15:53

This needs to be combined with site settings that make sense given the number of contributors. For instance, the levels for badges on SE and the levels set for TeX and MO are incomparable. It may also make sense to let comments garner reputation points.

  • $\begingroup$ I've been on the tex SE site (like you have, I imagine) and I think the scores work ok if not perfectly. The levels for all the new sites are fairly gentle, and over time we'll have enough people who drift up $\endgroup$ Aug 16, 2010 at 22:37

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