5

This site lacks questions. And as with all sites on SO, questions have generally less votes than answers. While I am not a great fan of the whole reputation system, I think that in this particular case the reputation gain for questions should be more significant.

| |
8

"More questions" is really only part of the issue.

Don't pay too much attention to the Area 51 statistics.

More important is the user base:

There’s more to the health of a Stack Exchange site than having a lot of questions and answers. There’s an economy to the site with reputation as its currency, and voting drives that economy. A site absolutely needs on-going, sustained voting to build a class of leaders that help run and govern the site. Without leadership, there can be no community.

So from this point forward, the graduation date of a site will depend heavily on having enough users with sufficient reputation to properly lead and govern the site. It’s much more important to graduate a site when it has become self-sustaining, and has established a healthy community of avid users, closers, and editors

Granted, increasing the reputation on questions would help get more people with higher reputation levels...

... or would it?

In my (completely unscientific and admittedly poorly researched) opinion, most people who obtain any level of participation in this site answer questions at least as often as they post questions of their own. That's my assessment of participation, rather than reputation.

Just in clicking around on some of out top questions, I found that most of the users who posted highly rated questions either also posted a bunch of answers, or posted one question, and only one question, and never participated any further.

I did find one person who had built all of their reputation by posting multiple questions, but that seems to be the exception, rather than the rule.

So I'm not certain just how much of an impact increasing the reputation for questions would have on our user base. Some, certainly, but would it really encourage more questions?

At one point, upvotes on questions and answers both earned the same amount. After reviewing the community, SE decided to cut the reputation for questions.

The reasons given for this were:

  • While we value good questions (and asking a great question is absolutely an art), we want to explicitly encourage people to provide the best possible answers. Without people interested in providing good answers, the questions are moot. We know that answers have more intrinsic value than questions, and the reputation balance should reflect that.

  • The question asker already enjoys a substantial benefit beyond reputation gain from upvotes on their question — namely, they get great answers to their question! Thus, the asker shouldn’t need as much reputation gain.

  • There are a few users who ask hundreds, sometimes even thousands of questions. Over time, these users generate a fairly sizable reputation entirely through the tiny trickle of upvotes gained by these questions. In a sense, we want to discourage question asking a little bit, and make sure that people who ask questions are doing it for the right reasons and not to generate reputation.

I don't think the third point really applies to us at all, and if it didn't, I wouldn't see a problem with people earning reputation by asking a ton of questions (after all, as you mentioned, we do need more questions!). However, I think the first two points are valid, and do apply to us to some extent.

I'm not opposed to the idea of changing questions to get more reputation than they currently garner, but historically, requests to change how the underlying SE engine works for specific sites don't get approved very often; less so when the site in question is still in beta.

Generally, my experience has been that people are more likely to upvote answers than questions. Of course, part of this is that we tend to have multiple answers for each question, but still, I believe that questions are less likely to receive upvotes than answers, as a general rule.

It might be easier for us, as users, to make a concerted effort to simply be more vigilant in rewarding good questions with upvotes.

| |
  • Wow, you really win this question. I agree and my answer would've been just three lines :-) – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Jan 14 '14 at 7:50
  • 3
    It might be worth the effort to do a little campaign to get people to vote more. This is really another meta topic - I might post one. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Jan 14 '14 at 7:52
  • You know me... why answer with 50 words when I can use 500? :) – user420 Jan 14 '14 at 13:30

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .