This question by me was supposedly "updated" by me according to another user, that rendered the users answer useless. Another question that were supposedly updated in a similar fashion is this one.

In addition to this, my use of the site to ask questions rather than vote up answers has also been brought up. What qualifies under proper use of the site? Should a person have to vote up more times than they ask/answer?

Note: I will not edit this question just in case.

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    $\begingroup$ You misread what I wrote. Again, you edited the other question and responded to my helpful answer by asking me to go read and summarize a paper for you, without even voting my answer up. I do not appreciate your behavior. $\endgroup$ – Douglas Zare Apr 11 '11 at 0:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Douglas, if it is upvotes that you want, I can give you those, I would actually rather have my question answered. $\endgroup$ – picakhu Apr 11 '11 at 0:58
  • $\begingroup$ Reference to the question that I updates which rendered Mr Zare's answer useless, math.stackexchange.com/posts/31233/revisions. $\endgroup$ – picakhu Apr 11 '11 at 1:20
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    $\begingroup$ @picakhu It is not that @Douglas Zare 'wants' upvotes, it is that he deserves upvotes. I mean, if you went to a colleague, and asked them for help, and they gave you a good answer or even a good discussion, would you just leave the room without saying thank you? $\endgroup$ – Glen Wheeler Apr 11 '11 at 9:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Glen: He deserves it from people he helped, in my case, I did not gain from his answer (which was a summary of the question). In one of the cases, I did, but I did not upvote(I was waiting for other better answers too) and he decided to delete his answer as he felt it was inadequate. $\endgroup$ – picakhu Apr 11 '11 at 15:46
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    $\begingroup$ @picakhu Let us picture this situation: you come to a Professor's office and ask him a question. He thinks about it for a while and gives you his thoughts. They don't provide the answer to your question, only some partial ideas that you don't find very helpful. You say "Well, you didn't help me at all there. Bye", turn around and go. If I were this professor,... $\endgroup$ – Alex B. Apr 13 '11 at 2:23
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    $\begingroup$ then next time you would come to me I would say I'm busy and not even listen to you. You may or may not agree with my reaction but in any case, you would lose one potential helper (as you may have done already, just by this dispute being there). If you strongly believe in your principle (whatever that may be) and you are happy with the consequences just outlined, then that's fine and you can keep up your attitude. Also as an aside: if you think that there is a significant difference between a "real life situation" and this site, then please bear in mind that some people might not think so. $\endgroup$ – Alex B. Apr 13 '11 at 2:25
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    $\begingroup$ @Alex: I did not criticize in the manner you have posted, what I told the user was that, his post was dismissing the difficulty as being the easy part. In real life, I would still tell my professor that that was the difficult part. You are welcome to try the question to see what I mean here. My mistake in dealing with this case was that I did not thank the replier for his answer, which I will be more careful about, going forward. $\endgroup$ – picakhu Apr 13 '11 at 4:10

@picakhu: Voting up answers to your questions is in general a good thing, and I encourage you to do it. There are several reasons why a person should vote:

  • Express gratitude. Voting up an answer is a way of saying: "thank you, I've learned something useful". This does not just apply to answers to your questions! If you read a different thread and learned something you didn't know, voting up the question and/or answer is a way of showing appreciation for the questioner and/or answerer from bringing up an interesting bit of knowledge.
  • Help the site function. By voting up or down questions and answers you help the website in presenting the material. The StackExchange platform is community driven, and a user's reputation, which is usually earned through such up/down votes (though occasionally through bounties) is often used as a proxy indicator of how much useful content the user has contributed (whether this interpretation of the reputation score is appropriate is up for debate, but you can't deny this is how many people read it). By voting on things you can use it to encourage and discourage certain content (things that are very suitable/completely unsuitable for this website) or presentation (nicely written exposition/rudely asked question) and make the site better.
  • Developing rapport and attracting answers to your future questions. By voting up answers you are saying that you've read through the answer and have found it useful. Most of us participate in this website out of a sense of goodwill. The simple action of a mouse click serves to let people know that when they answer your question, someone will benefit. On the flipside, if you consistently not perform any voting, some users (such as Douglas in the current situation) will naturally start wondering whether the time he has spent was of use to anyone at all!

With that said, how you choose to use the site is up to you. But note that Douglas is most likely not alone in his opinion. (And if you really care about how other people use the site, click through the profiles of the top 30 users of this website. There are people who vote way more than they ask/answer, and there are people who vote way less. They are all well-respected members of the community, so there isn't any hard rules on this matter.)

  • $\begingroup$ @Willie Wong: Thanks, for that, the issue is that Douglas expected an upvote for an answer that was basically "This is not an answer" and later proceeded to recapture the question. My issue is that he thinks I have not done the question or even tried it, whereas in reality, I have submitted my (thesis) paper in which this was a question. (which I did indicate in the question just to avoid that ambiguity) $\endgroup$ – picakhu Apr 11 '11 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ @picakhu: I am not going to comment on the specifics of the incident, since that is for you and Douglas to sort out yourselves. But let me say this: personally (as in, not in my capacity as a moderator) I find your policy of upvotes overly stringent. The fact that another user has taken the time to read your question and put in some thoughts about it ought to count for something. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Apr 12 '11 at 10:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Willie Wong: It sounds like you think I should upvote more often, which I am willing to oblige with. I am however unwilling to upvote for "solutions" that summarize the question. $\endgroup$ – picakhu Apr 12 '11 at 15:29
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    $\begingroup$ @picakhu: if you are doing it because you think the three reasons I promoted above have some kernel of truth to them, then thanks. But please don't do it just to "oblige" me! $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Apr 12 '11 at 16:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Willie: Disagree with "The fact that another user has taken the time to read your question and put in some thoughts about it ought to count for something". Please don't encourage blind voting. $\endgroup$ – Aryabhata Apr 12 '11 at 18:03
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    $\begingroup$ @Moron: you are reading way more into what I wrote. I didn't say "vote people up just because they answered." Hypothetical scenario: user A asks a very hard question. User B was only able to answer some less interesting subcases after much work. I would vote user B up because much work plus some progress, even if the solution to those subcases were known to user A, a fact that user B has no way of knowing unless user A had mentioned it in the question. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Apr 12 '11 at 18:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Willie: Sorry I misunderstood. Thanks for clarifying! $\endgroup$ – Aryabhata Apr 12 '11 at 18:58

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