After several months of more or less active quant-SE participation I am quite confused by the voting behaviour.

Activity is present - this is more or less reflected in the number of views. Still even very good answers aren't or questions are not upvoted !!!

My guess is that this behaviour is morally quite correct - I can only judge from my own experience - but often I don't have the time to critically review an answer. If I don't know whether what I am voting on is correct I just won't vote at all ...

Still the above only pertains to answers - why not at least up-vote useful questions ?

The voting system is perhaps the most crucial aspect of the Stack Exchange platform. If hardly use it than we can just as well found a fourm somewhere else.

I suggest that every question that has some merit gets at least one upvote !!

  • $\begingroup$ Agree! ...and upvoted ;-) $\endgroup$
    – vonjd
    May 23, 2014 at 19:09
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    $\begingroup$ @vonjd it is quite nice to know that at least one person read it :) $\endgroup$ May 24, 2014 at 7:05
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    $\begingroup$ I up vote and down vote as I feel is appropriate, and there is a large middle ground where I am ambivalent. I appreciate that quant.SE is a little more discerning in what sort of questions receive any attention at all, and for me I use it as a place to research and share, not just farm 'rep'. I couldn't care less about my status WRT points or coins or whatever they are, and I don't think the voting system is the most crucial - the most crucial thing is not to scare off those with knowledge and experience by an over-eagerness to game-ify this industry knowledge sharing platform (further). $\endgroup$ May 25, 2014 at 1:11
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    $\begingroup$ I think another problem is that many OPs just won't accept answers (even if they perfectly answer the question)... :-( $\endgroup$
    – vonjd
    Jun 2, 2014 at 15:52
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    $\begingroup$ @vonjd jep I have witnessed this a couple of times. Many fear that accepting an answer will make it unintersting to others - thus they wait hoping to get as many answers as possible ... $\endgroup$ Jun 3, 2014 at 9:18
  • $\begingroup$ ...or even worse: People downvoting out of the blue and giving no reason or hint how to improve the language (just happened to me again here: quant.stackexchange.com/questions/8452/…) :-((( $\endgroup$
    – vonjd
    Jun 8, 2014 at 5:10
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    $\begingroup$ @vonjd the nr of daily questions does not look good - we are seriously in decline :'( $\endgroup$ Jun 8, 2014 at 12:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Probilitator: I post every answer and question on G+ to make the forum more known... everybody should do the same (facebook, twitter...). Another thing is that homework is looked down upon here, in other stackexchanges (e.g. math) it is a common category! Where can I get a timeseries how the questions developed? $\endgroup$
    – vonjd
    Jun 8, 2014 at 13:13
  • $\begingroup$ @vonjd you should write to someone from the SE staff. $\endgroup$ Jun 8, 2014 at 16:01

1 Answer 1


(Please ignore my answer if this is about voting behavior on Meta, I understand your question as pertaining to the main Quantitative Finance SE site)

I like the idea to be more mindful about "rewarding" content of value. But I disagree that questions or answers should be upvoted just for "merit". If I were a teacher I would not give a student a passing grade just for ink usage if he/she otherwise completely lacked knowledge.

And I disagree that the biggest value of this site lies in the voting mechanism. (which I understood you tried to infer). For me the biggest value is a gathering place that is recognized and regarded to contain value. So, generally I do not have an issue to downvote and ignore content that does not, according to my own impression, belong on this site. When I look for input to a problem and search on this site I do not care how many upvotes a question or answer has, I look at whether the question or answer addresses my particular problem.

There are tons of new questions in the past 1 year that I would not characterize as quantitative in nature and hence should not belong here. Examples are all mentioned in the Q&A but more specifically about basic data gathering, technical (layman) indicators, asking to solve homework/assignments, asking for strategy ideas. All the above have merit, at least to the asker and maybe a handful of others and yet I would actually strongly argue to downvote, not upvote such content because it otherwise suggests this to be a site to discuss grandma's backtests and how to download bar data from Yahoo.

My own motivation in participating here originates from the desire to keep my mind sharp by keeping current and up-to-date on various topics that I may otherwise not get in touch with. I also use it as a repository of ideas that may pop up again in the future. Lastly, I think way too little knowledge is passed on to others in this field because of the highly commercial and competitive nature of this industry. I wish to participate in passing on the limited knowledge I gathered in my career so far and show my appreciation to some excellent mentors I was blessed to have worked for.

It is just my own take but I also see your point and appreciate your reminder to upvote valuable, targeted content.

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    $\begingroup$ Matt thank you for taking the time to present a nicely critical view. Most of what you state is correct and this is also what I partially meant by "morally correct voting behaviour". At the same time I often feel sad when users take the time to write good answers (even to bad questions) and not even the "asker" up-votes them. $\endgroup$ May 24, 2014 at 9:17
  • $\begingroup$ "Lastly, I think way too little knowledge is passed on to others in this field because of the highly commercial and competitive nature of this industry." - this is so true !!! Also in my opinion one of the reasons why we are struggling a bit as a budding community. $\endgroup$ May 24, 2014 at 9:19
  • $\begingroup$ I would really love if this place could become a hub for new ideas where quant professionals could exhange their more radical thoughts. Quant finance is actually so dynamic and so challenging - I envy your move to "self-employment". Now you can model whatever you want whichever way you want. Perhaps one day I will also be able to that :) $\endgroup$ May 24, 2014 at 9:22
  • $\begingroup$ +1 for mentioning my grandma's backtest! $\endgroup$
    – vanguard2k
    May 28, 2014 at 11:42
  • $\begingroup$ Honestl,y I don't see the competition part so drastic but I understand the point. To me, competition is more about marketing than knowledge (which is sad). The whole quant industry (buy-side and sell-side) has somany topics covered that this site acts in a highly specialized field which is also widespread as far as mathematical methods are concerned. I like this site for the one excellent answer I read out of, say, 10. I upvote this answer. As far as the other 9 answers are concerned: Well, lets say its not only the upvote button that should be used more often. Real specialists are rare... $\endgroup$
    – vanguard2k
    May 28, 2014 at 11:51
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    $\begingroup$ or they rarely have time ^^ $\endgroup$ May 28, 2014 at 11:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Probilitator, please do not edit and add content to my answer that is not my own. You can add other content to the comment section here. Thanks $\endgroup$
    – Matt Wolf
    May 29, 2014 at 9:27
  • $\begingroup$ @MattWolf sorry this was a mistake on my part - I was actually trying to modify my question to contain some of the comments from the main side. (but was in a rush an ended up modifying yours) Apologies !!!!!! $\endgroup$ May 29, 2014 at 9:46
  • $\begingroup$ +1 good points. Agree on non-quant questions. $\endgroup$
    – user12348
    Jun 3, 2014 at 23:08

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