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Voting is a very important part of a healthy community, and I think people should be encouraged to vote as much as possible. This point was raised on Math Stack Exchange, and much of what was said there may also apply to chess.SE:

Every Stack Exchange site will eventually end up with a different "base level" of voting --- that is, the expected number of upvotes for a question of a given level of excellence. (This effect occurs because people see a good question, but already with a certain number of votes, and think "oh, I would have upvoted this, but it already has enough".)

It's easy for us to affect this "base level" by encouraging high levels of upvoting now. We're setting the standards, and this really will have an effect.

In case it's not obvious: the rationale for wanting this base level to be high is that it provides better positive feedback to good contributors."

So, Vote!

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    +1 Yes, please! Better safe than sorry - it would be better to err on the side of a high base level than a low one. – Daniel May 4 '12 at 19:34
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    Can't… upvote… this… more ! – Nikana Reklawyks Nov 27 '12 at 4:48
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Beyond the reason for more voting mentioned in Eric's original post, there are other reasons for doing so which are important to the future of the site. As mentioned in an old blog post of Jeff Atwood's (also titled Vote Early, Vote Often), he emphasizes a crucial point about voting:

It’s only through voting that a class of editors, closers, and moderators can emerge to help run and govern the site. Voting is how site leadership forms.

Something that many of our users might not be aware of is that having certain numbers of highly reputable users is one of the metrics by which Chess Beta is directly judged (as can be seen at our site's Area 51 page) in terms of when/whether the site will come out of public beta and be a full-fledged site, precisely because a large number of users with editing and moderating privileges helps a site hum along smoothly. (See too Robert Cartaino's blog post When Will My Site Graduate?, which also touches on the importance of more voting.)

Chess Beta is sorely lacking in three respects at the moment: (1) not nearly enough traffic, (2) not nearly enough questions, (3) not enough users of high repute. Now (1) and (2) are real problem spots at the moment, and improving them would naturally lead to an improvement in (3). But it's also the case that (3) can be improved upon with our current user base.

So if you don't already have your Suffrage and Vox Populi and Civic Duty badges, go ahead and grab them. Not only will you be helping your fellow users' quality posts stand out (not to mention your own, since a rising tide lifts all boats), but you'll also be doing a service to the overall health of the site.

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