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I was on site hiatus for couple years, and came back recently. One thing I've noticed is, there are a lot of new people, which is great.

But I've also noticed that participants don't vote or accept answers at the same rate I remember two years ago.

Is this because the site has grown too big due to number of people who come here for one-off questions?

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    Drawbacks of popularity...more people and activity but less (compared to total) engaged users. Pick Stack Overflow and compare with UX, I'd bet you have the same trend. – Adriano Repetti Oct 16 '15 at 7:46
  • I've noticed people answering a question without voting up that question. Maybe a bit of redesign to encourage voting might help. After a user posts an answer, the system could ask: "Do you want to vote up this question you just answered?" Similarly, after someone adds a comment, the system could ask: "If you were replying to another comment, do you want to vote up that comment?" – JeromeR Oct 19 '15 at 5:20
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I've gone and had a look back over the analytics for the past few years to see if there are any patterns, and while we can't share the specifics here what I can say is that there hasn't really been a big increase / decrease in voting or accepts in the past 3 years really. There have been peaks (March / April seems to be busy months here for some reason) and troughs (November / December, somewhat unsurprisingly) but in general things have been bubbling along reasonably well really.

What has been increasing over that period is the number of visits that we're having. That is especially true for this year as we've been seeing more and more visits here each month compared to the month before (or the previous years too).

So while the number of votes and accepts is reasonably static, there are more visits, and more questions each month (although interestingly, the number of answers hasn't dramatically risen).

So that might explain things really. More people are coming here and we're seeing more questions, but still a similar number of answers being left and votes being cast.

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    Which boils down to… less upvotes and accepted answers per question. – Zoe K Oct 15 '15 at 12:28
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    Let me add one more point here. I've been using StackOverflow for long but didn't know that there is a sister site for UX until a month back. I've been searching for UX forums for couple of years now. So more than worrying for upvotes and acceptance, You should be worried on popularity of this site. – codetiger Oct 16 '15 at 12:06
  • I see a lot more Google search results that pop stackexchange sites towards the top of the relevance list. I think as Google has evolved it's algorithms it has more heavily weighted reference sites like Wikipedia and SE, so I'd bet we're getting a lot of new traffic through search. – tohster Jan 9 '16 at 16:46
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I have noticed that too, without looking in the data though.

For me as a user it is quite frustrating, because when I invest some time into answering, my previous experience on this site and with gamified services tells me I will get some positive reinforcement for my efforts. When it's not happening, the absence of positive reinforcement is not neutral, it turns into a negative reinforcement instead.

One of the strategies to fix this would be for moderators to remind OPs that they are to choose their preferred answer, and not just use the information that was shared with them.

Another one: upvoting all people who answered your question (unless you profoundly disagree with the answer or find it irrelevant) to me sounds as a good form. I think it should be propagated as one. Since these people have invested their time into answering, thus resolving your issue and helping you, it is only fair that you upvote them as a thanks for their attempt.

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    You say this on meta.stackexchange and they will crucify you with downvotes galaroe! I agree with you but it won't happen. – JonH Oct 20 '15 at 15:35
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    I have a bit of issue with the thought of upvoting every single answer to the question. Isn't the point of votes to surface the most relevant answers? If everything is upvoted, then we haven't identified the good answers. – nightning Oct 20 '15 at 17:06
  • @JonH hahah yeah probably, I hear SE is really brutal. – Zoe K Oct 20 '15 at 18:08
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    @nightning: I totally see your point, but at the same time I think upvoting just from the OP won't corrupt the stats too much. There is no big difference if all answers have 0 or all of them got upvoted to 1 by the OP — they still are equal and none stands out. – Zoe K Oct 20 '15 at 18:11
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I think one issue might along the lines of people coming for one off questions like your described.

The problem is where Stack overflow might easily be able to see that these questions are similar (due to similar snippets in the code) to other questions and link them and close them, with the amount of images posted here its harder to see a link between questions that might have fundamentally similar UX principles involved in the answer.

How to combat this or if it even should be combated is another question that I am not entirely sure of.

one strategy I like is to always link to prior good topics if the answer shares similar principles. But how to encourage users to accept or upvote at a greater rate is something I do not have great insight into. I do like the Stack overflow culture that seems to be to ignore users who have 10s of unanswered questions with a very low acceptance rate and dropping subtle hints in the comments saying "your acceptance rate is very low if you accept more answers you may get more replies". But this doesnt address the one off new user.

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    One of the issues with Accepted answers is that Accepted ≠ Correct. It just means 'as the asker of this question I think this was the useful answer' but that is only one persons view. The Score value is probably more important as it is based on multiple people's opinions, not just one. – JonW Oct 16 '15 at 9:42
  • How do we link a new question to an existing one? Does it require a reputation level that's beyond me? – JeromeR Oct 19 '15 at 5:24

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