Recently, I have posted many thourough answers (ex. Differential equations and Fourier and Laplace transforms) on math.stackexchange but felt many were ignored or weren't noticed by users. Conversely, some answers produced in other questions by high rep users, that however good, weren't as complete as the user probably needed, received +20 upvotes.

What I'm wondering is if there is a system where a low rep user's answer can be in a way sponsored by a high rep. user to get noted by other users. Obviously there shouldn't be a repercusion in the sponsor's rep but rather help the low rep user get to be known.

This is in a way highly beneficial in two cases:

  1. A low rep user is posting very good answers which are unnoticed.
  2. A low rep user is posting incorrect aswers which are unnoticed.

Thus, it would both highlight the good and the bad from the incoming users in the page.

Thank you in advance.

EDIT: Please let me know why you think this question is not good or whatever. I want to hear your opinion on the matter.

Here you have an example of an informal "sponsor". What I suggest is something like this: https://math.stackexchange.com/users/21436/kannappan-sampath

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    $\begingroup$ There are lots and lots of great, very thorough answer written by high rep users that get very few votes, too. In the case of the answer you linked to: the subject is PDEs, which is not a very popular subject on the site, so it is not surprising it did not get many views, let alone upvotes on its answers! Answers on questions which are much more advanced than the average, or so specific that very few people even know what they are about, reasonably get less views and less votes. $\endgroup$ – Mariano Suárez-Álvarez Feb 6 '12 at 3:09
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    $\begingroup$ Apart from that detail, I think that the way to get noticed is to, well, get noticed :D Answer questions, answer them helpfully (lots of times, this does not mean in complete detail: a good mind-reading machine is very helpful to gauge what the asker really wants...; a good example is my answer here math.stackexchange.com/a/105841/274 :) ), and become part of the community. All high rep users started as low rep users! $\endgroup$ – Mariano Suárez-Álvarez Feb 6 '12 at 3:13
  • $\begingroup$ (Hola, by the way :P ) $\endgroup$ – Mariano Suárez-Álvarez Feb 6 '12 at 3:17
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    $\begingroup$ Downvotes in meta simply express that the voters do not think this would be a good idea, or something along those lines. $\endgroup$ – Mariano Suárez-Álvarez Feb 6 '12 at 4:19

I think you worry too much about "reputation", which is mostly not good for anything.

If you still insist: consider that even for the great Arturo about a quarter of all the answers he has ever written received fewer than 2 upvotes. (That's by the way, more answers than I have ever written, period.) You are a much newer user, so by definition your answers will have been seen by much fewer pairs of eyes.

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    $\begingroup$ Shouldn't that be "The Great Arturo"? ;) More seriously: one should not be too concerned by the views. If it's any good, it will get votes, but not necessarily a high amount of them. Also, one should consider the bikeshed phenomenon. $\endgroup$ – J. M. isn't a mathematician Feb 6 '12 at 14:05
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    $\begingroup$ @J.M.: The problem with "The Great Arturo" is that it seems like it should be immediately followed by "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!" $\endgroup$ – Arturo Magidin Feb 6 '12 at 16:15
  • $\begingroup$ @ArturoMagidin: What if we promise to pay attention to the man behind the curtain? $\endgroup$ – Isaac Feb 6 '12 at 16:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Isaac: You haven't seen The Wizard of Oz, have you? $\endgroup$ – Arturo Magidin Feb 6 '12 at 17:15
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    $\begingroup$ @ArturoMagidin: I have; I just couldn't decide whether we should be ignoring the man behind the curtain or paying attention to him in this particular instance. Promising to pay attention seemed more amusing. $\endgroup$ – Isaac Feb 6 '12 at 18:48

The reason why your answer in the question didn't receive many votes has nothing to do with your reputation. The question received very little views, and there were already 2 answers before yours, both of which had $0$ upvotes.

In contrast, my most upvoted answer is a perfectly fine answer, but not even close to my favorite. All I did was basically reword what the OP had done, so why did it receive so many upvotes? Well I was the first to post, and the question made it to the top of the hot list on Stack Exchange, getting viewed 3000 times. Sometimes there is some randomness involved.

Edit: I am not saying that the username doesn't have an impact, it is hard to say how much it does, but timing, content and wording certainly come before this. (Especially timing)

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    $\begingroup$ I mostly agree. But I will confess that I occasionally upvote an answer without checking every detail, based on the trust I have developed in the poster. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Feb 5 '12 at 22:57
  • $\begingroup$ @EricNaslund I also agree with you. What I'm arguing is that the randomness should have a counterpart, i.e, the sponsoring. $\endgroup$ – Pedro Tamaroff Feb 5 '12 at 23:15
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    $\begingroup$ @Peter: The point I am trying to make is that the randomness has little to do with the reputation of the user, and that sponsoring would not change much. There are a whole host of things which affect upvoting, and you are dwelling on what is likely the least important. $\endgroup$ – Eric Naslund Feb 6 '12 at 12:37
  • $\begingroup$ I believe that for most of the guys in the first page of users sorted by rep, a lot of their highly-voted answers aren't necessarily the answers they enjoyed writing the most... $\endgroup$ – J. M. isn't a mathematician Feb 6 '12 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ @J.M.: I hope I am not the odd one out. The only one of my highly-voted answers I didn't really enjoy writing was the one to the Batman equation. Why write an answer when one doesn't enjoy doing the writing? $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Feb 6 '12 at 15:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Willie: In my case, the stuff I really want people to be reading (and hopefully upvoting) are in fact those answers with not that many votes. I've gotten the impression from talking with other people that this "inverse proportion" isn't just unique to me, but yeah, that is an unscientific sampling... $\endgroup$ – J. M. isn't a mathematician Feb 6 '12 at 15:09
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    $\begingroup$ @J.M. I have personally noticed that very short answers with a nice clever (and understandable) trick which completely solves the OP's question get the most upvotes. If a problem has a very complex solution, that required a lot of thought and knowledge, often people won't read it as it is too much effort. Just a feeling I have felt when looking at of my favorite answers.... $\endgroup$ – Eric Naslund Feb 6 '12 at 16:02
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    $\begingroup$ @JM and Eric: ah, the famous tl;dr effect... $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Feb 6 '12 at 16:43
  • $\begingroup$ Indeed, one of the fastest high-voting answers I remember consisted of a single character (I can't find it now, though, since I can't remember who wrote it...) $\endgroup$ – Arturo Magidin Feb 6 '12 at 17:01
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    $\begingroup$ The answer @Arturo refers to is math.stackexchange.com/questions/74347/…. $\endgroup$ – Jonas Meyer Feb 6 '12 at 18:03
  • $\begingroup$ @JonasMeyer: Indeed; thanks! $\endgroup$ – Arturo Magidin Feb 6 '12 at 18:04
  • $\begingroup$ Hahaha that is amazing. I first thought of Weierstrass. $\endgroup$ – Pedro Tamaroff Feb 6 '12 at 19:29
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    $\begingroup$ Hmmmm the last line of my comment above didn't turn out, and almost says the opposite of what I wanted. I meant to say that of my own answers, and other peoples, my favorites have been long detailed ones, but the short ones get the most upvotes. $\endgroup$ – Eric Naslund Feb 6 '12 at 19:56
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    $\begingroup$ @Jonas: that is the one answer that I wish I've written. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Feb 7 '12 at 11:57

Yes, there is already such a system where high-rep users can sponsor low-rep users. Namely, the upvote and "add comment" buttons attached to every question on the Math StackExchange site.

One can see a commenter's reputation score by hovering their cursor over the individual's name.

  • $\begingroup$ I would have upvoted this question if you didn't write it in that manner. $\endgroup$ – Pedro Tamaroff Feb 6 '12 at 19:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Peter: That's perfectly fair. I actually have seen and in the past been the beneficiary of high-rep users promoting questions or answers from low-reps, and done it a handful of times myself. But you're completely right in my opinion - it would benefit the community if it was a more normal and visible practice. I just don't think any system beyond upvotes/comments is necessary. $\endgroup$ – anon Feb 6 '12 at 19:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Peter: In what manner? I'm curious. To me, this answer appears to have a perfectly neutral tone to it. (And, this is particularly true for a math.SE post and, even more so, for a meta.math.SE one.) Cheers. (+1 to the answer.) :) $\endgroup$ – cardinal Feb 7 '12 at 14:29
  • $\begingroup$ "Namely, the upvote and "add comment" buttons attached to every question on the Math StackExchange site." This is rather sarcastical IMO. But that's just me. $\endgroup$ – Pedro Tamaroff Feb 7 '12 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Peter, perhaps I am wrong, but I do not think this was intended as sarcasm. Anon gives you the short answer (yes) first and then provides a detailed explanation in the second sentence. This is a common technique in technical communication, in particular. $\endgroup$ – cardinal Feb 7 '12 at 17:35
  • $\begingroup$ @cardinal, Peter: I was in fact aware it has a zing, though I was not being sarcastic ("use of irony to mock or convey contempt"). $\endgroup$ – anon Feb 7 '12 at 20:53

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