When should I vote a question or answer?

I like the idea of voting questions and answers to express my opinion about them. But I want to make sure that I use this feature in an adequate way. When exactly should I vote (up or down) a question or answer?

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The voting system is one of the most important mechanisms to increase the content's relevancy in knowledge bases. The number of votes a content receives has an influence on its ranking among the other contents.

A question that's highly rated appears on the top of the list displayed in the “Popular” tab, and will be included in the periodic newsletters sent to the users, therefore maximizing its exposure.

An answer's number of votes decides on its position in the answers list from the question's page. The answers in a question's page are ordered as follows:

  • If there's a validated answer, it appears in the first position, regardless of its votes count
  • The rest of the answers are ordered by votes counts, decreasingly
  • If two answers have the same number of votes, the more recent goes first.

So, voting up a question or answer helps it increase its visibility among the organization. (And the other way around, voting down does the opposite). The purpose of the knowledge base being to build relevant knowledge, you should vote up a content if you find that content to be valuable to you in the context of the KB's theme and goals.

For instance, in a sales & marketing oriented KB, you probably want to vote up a question about customer use cases accordingly with a scenario you often encounter. Or in a technical KB, you may appreciate and vote people sharing specific customer stories, or products tips & tricks. Regardless of the KB's specifics, an answer highlighting a possible mistake that you feel you might have done may be vote worthy as well.

If you are unsure about your KB's goals and rules, check with your KB administrator.

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