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A big shout out to all of us for a successful graduation into private beta. Let's make it a success now, and make sure we graduate into a full-fledged site. So, this is one post which every user of a private beta site should read and act accordingly.

This is a reproduction of a moderator's (Richard) post on meta.hermeneutics.SE; I believe it is very much applicable to this community as well. Richard wrote a post encouraging voting. I think this is a big issue because rep is the basis of our "economy", encourages (good) user activity, sorts out our content and makes the site look active. In particular Question Votes make the site look more active.

I cannot state this strongly enough. Voting is absolutely critical to the formation of a healthy SE site. And this is never more true than in Private and early Public beta.

Vote on Questions

Voting allows the community to determine what topics are allowed and what are not. Voting shows what constitutes a well-formed question and what is unacceptable for this community.

If you need help formulating better questions, the blog post Asking Better Questions might help you out. (Admittedly, it's geared towards the Stackoverflow crowd, but the philosophies there will help). Also, How to Ask directly from StackOverflow is an excellent resource.

Finally, I want to reiterate that Voting on questions is free! It doesn't cost you any reputation to to vote a question down. (Compared to answers:)

Vote on Answers

Voting on answers allows a dramatic increase in reputation. Like questions, it shows that you believe and support the answer provided. Also, vote answers up that you think are well worded and support the answer given.

You don't have to agree with an answer to vote it up!

To show that this is true, they've even created a badge for voting up competing answers (called "Sportsmanship").

If you think an answer is useful, vote it up. If you think an answer is not useful, vote it down. Either way, vote!

If you need help on writing answers, the meta post How do I write a good answer to a question? will help you out.

Final thoughts

If people do not vote, there won't be enough reputation on this site for it to be promoted. Reputation is very important to a StackExchange site as it creates the groups of people capable of maintaining the site.

To show how critical it is, Jeff Atwood posted a blog article regarding this topic: Vote Early, Vote Often

Encourage others to vote!

Quoting RobertCartaino from chat:

Vote, vote, vote. Encourage others to vote, vote, vote. On good content, leave signposts ("If you like this, please vote it up. It's important for the community!")-- in both meta and the main site. Maybe a few meta posts informing the users of the important of that type of participation. You are empowered a lot more than you know.

Don't upvote bad content (edit/suggest how to fix it instead) but make sure you remember to vote, especially for questions; if you learned something from an answer on a question, the question's probably worth an upvote too so others can find the good information.

             [https://blog.stackexchange.com/images/wordpress/vote-here.jpg]

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Yes!

Absolutely. We need to reward good answers, and raise rep levels so suers can get moderation privileges when they rise to the normal public beta levels.

However, I think we should also downvote poor questions and answers. I haven't yet done so, partly because I've focused on rewarding the good posts. But downvoting is important, too.

What happened to me yesterday:

  1. I posted an answer (my first) to a question.
  2. It was downvoted.
  3. A user who may/may not have been the downvoter pointed out something I was wrong about.
  4. There was a discussion in comments.
  5. I deleted my answer.
  6. I edited it.
  7. There was continued dialogue with the user and another. I improved my answer even further.
  8. Downvote was removed.

I'm grateful to the downvoter, and to the comments. We need to establish what posts are good and bad in the site, and my original answer was not good. It was wrong in several points - and since the question was about , it was even more important for it to be correct. The feedback helped me to fix my answer, but if I had not done so, the downvote would have ensured that better answers went to the top.

We should definitely upvote. But downvoting is good, too. Downvoters don't have to comment - that's never the case - but comments certainly help. They helped me.

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For graduation, voting is the key to get a growing community that wants to come back to post questions and answers!

According to SE.3D Printing user stats at Area 51 we need more questions and a solid group of users to assist in moderating the site.

The amount of questions are hard to control, but could be increased by the avid users by posting questions and answer those themselves (e.g. about problems you encountered while gaining experience in 3D printing, this is perfectly legal and documents the gained experience to be shared with others). Another aspect is the solid group of users. According to the stats page:

We recommend:

  • 150 users with 200+ rep (currently 130 users with 200+ rep)
  • 10 users with 2,000+ rep (currently 10 users with 2,000+ rep)
  • 5 users with 3,000+ rep (currently 7 users with 3,000+ rep)

Quote taken at July 31, 2018

This implies we are short on 200+ rep users (20 people). This can be influenced by voting! There are so many questions unaccepted and a few do not have an answer, so there is a lot of reputation points to be awarded.

Please vote, not only answers, but also on questions. Please do also downvote to keep the quality high, but leave a comment why you downvote, when this answer/question is then modified to address your concerns please revisit to review your vote again.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 Don't forget to mention that on fully graduated sites, we need users with >10k who can access the moderation tools and users >3K who can vote fully (close votes for example). See this answer to the question “Graduation” of this Community $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Jul 31 '18 at 15:08
  • $\begingroup$ The sub 200 rep users are the hardest to retain on the site. Often they come along with poorly written questions, get a quick answer and don't come back. Encouraging them to engage a bit more with the site is really hard. $\endgroup$ – Sean Houlihane Aug 4 '18 at 16:57
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There are other considerations, as have already been noted on What does it take to get out of Beta stage?

On fully graduated sites, we need:

  • users with > 10k who can access the moderation tools and;
  • users > 3k who can vote fully (close votes for example).

For a full list of reputation against privileges on a fully graduated site, take a look at the Raspberry Pi privileges page:

Graduated privileges

As can be seen, the reputation differs greatly from the reputation required when the site is in beta, see our privileges.

Beta Privileges


See this answer to the question “Graduation” of this Community for SE.Robotics.Meta, in particular this very poignant paragraph:

Also, consider this, we don't have a single 10k user right now. If we were to graduate today, the only people who would have access to moderator tools would be ♦ moderators. The problems are even worse further down the reputation scale, we only have 6 users with 3k or more reputation, who aren't already ♦ moderators, so only these 6 people would be able to cast ordinary close votes.

Our case is very similar. We have (click here):

  • One user who is near 10k, and that is, without wishing to name and shame (;-D) Tom
  • 6 users over 3k
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    $\begingroup$ We all get the ability to vote up to 40 Q/A's per day ... that's a potential of 400 points of reputation value. It's free to us, so we should be using them. Currently I've been on the site for 30 days and I have the 16th highest voting total out of everybody! That's kinda sad, isn't it? As the title of this Meta post reads, Vote Early; Vote Often! $\endgroup$ – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Aug 1 '18 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I had noticed how well you were doing. Keep it up! :-) $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Aug 1 '18 at 13:53

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