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Update: U-R-G-E-N-T! Stop upvoting crap please! This is a serious issue now. Best example of vote-brigading: Monero technology information (10 upvotes and counting)

This thread is now until we get back to normal. Original post below. Situation is better now.


Dear Monero Stack Exchange community. I wish to raise a small concern with the private beta. First of all I would like to congratulate for launching so fast and it currently feels like Monero Stack Exchange will be a very active community maintained resource. I'm 5chdn, member on the network for more than four years and most recently moderator pro tempore on Ethereum Stack Exchange beta.

A lot of Stack Exchange beta sites have the issue of people not voting on posts, which results in multiple issues ranging from users not receiving enough reputation and therefore not obtaining new privileges to users losing thrust to further contribute to the site because they are not rewarded at all.

For the Monero network site, I noticed quite the opposite! You guys are voting like insane, and that's a good sign! But please, don't vote up everything! It's important to separate the wheat from the chaff. From the docs:

Voting up a question or answer signals to the rest of the community that a post is interesting, well-researched, and useful, while voting down a post signals the opposite: that the post contains wrong information, is poorly researched, or fails to communicate information. The more that people vote on a post, the more certain future visitors can be of the quality of information contained within that post – not to mention that upvotes are a great way to thank the author of a good post for the time and effort put into writing it!

I'm only partial agreeing with that, because there are more use cases for voting down or withholding to vote and considering other actions (like closing, flagging, removing). I would like to list a few questions and explain by example why I think they are not good content on a Stack Exchange Q&A network site. (Please, understand, I don't want to point fingers at any point, but I feel it's best explained by showing examples.)

  1. If Poloniex was hacked or shutdown, what effects would that have on Monero? (12 upvotes)

    This is a question purely based on speculation and will probably lead to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. It should be closed as primarily opinion-based, however, the review queue decided to keep this thread open.

  2. Minimum system requirements for Monero? (10 upvotes)

    I have mixed feelings about this question. Maybe it's valid in this case to combine four questions underneath one headline, but in general, it's preferred if you post separate questions instead of combining questions into one. That way, it helps the people answering the question and also others hunting for at least one of the questions. Questions I would upvote probably start with 'Monero wont run on my VM, how much RAM do I need?' or similar. Each question on it's own has a good potential and this post could be closed as too broad.

  3. Are criticisms of Monero's blockchain bloat substantiated? (9 upvotes)

    This is clearly starting a discussion and should be closed as primarily opinion-based. You can clearly see how three answers were triggered which were opinions or comments rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. It's always handy to compare Stack Exchange to a documentation rather than a forum board to understand what's on or off topic.

  4. Minimum recommended user knowledge requirements (9 upvotes)

    I clearly understand the intention by the author of this question, but how do you measure user knowledge? What could a good answer to this question contain? I think it should be closed as unclear what you're asking in this case to highlight the lack of a specific problem. The review queue also decided to leave this question open.

There might be more questions, but you will get the idea. Monero Stack Exchange is built and run by you. Use your tools wisely.

From what I can tell so far, it seems this beta introduced a lot of new members to Stack Exchange which is clearly a good thing. But at this point I want to highlight that the private beta is the most crucial 'definition' phase of a Stack Exchange site as all the content will remain for the future on the site after graduating to public beta and, eventually, to a full site.

I would like to conclude my post with a quote from the Area 51 FAQ:

Beta. Perhaps the most important phase. This is the actual, live site set up on a "probationary" basis to see if people will use it. It is very important to participate early. The earliest questions will set the tone and topic of the site for a long time. This is also the time to spread the word via Twitter, blogs, and email far and wide. If the site does not get used, it will be deleted.

Further reading from the help center on do's and dont's:

TL;DR vote wisely; don't forget to vote down; and if content is not appropriate, use close votes or flag them for moderator attention.

  • Great feedback. Thank you. I have noticed multiple questions that I thought were important but were also too expansive/broad. – John Adamson Aug 8 '16 at 10:24
  • Any advice on when specific edits to "cure" a question should be used instead of voting to close? – John Adamson Aug 8 '16 at 10:33
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    @JohnAdamson, no there are no generic recipies on how to fix questions. I always use comment templates to educate new users, there is also a browser plugin available to simplify that task, maybe check out this thread on ethereum meta. Edit: What I want to say, it's important that the users learn to fix their questions themselves and the community just helps them by highlighting the issues with the post by using votes and comments. – Afri Aug 9 '16 at 9:58
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    So are Monero SE users supposed to flag posts that are more about speculation versus opinions substantiated with evidence? – Patrick Alexander Aug 18 '16 at 16:34
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    If you have low reputation: flag > should be closed > pick a reason. If you have higher reputation, you can directly cast close votes. If a question is inappropriate or spam, you can directly flag it. In each of these cases a downvote is also recommended. Downvotes on questions are free and you can upvote later if the author edits her question. – Afri Aug 19 '16 at 8:31
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    Is it bad if I upvoted this post? :P – Quentin Skousen Oct 13 '16 at 12:12
  • I voted over 250 times so far but not in the threads you cited, I think its a case of overly excited community which as you stated is a good sign. – lethos3 Oct 16 '16 at 16:21

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