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So what occurred to me is that I have sometimes upvoted answers to questions that, while correct, may not necessarily be more articulate, or advanced I should say, for lack of a better word, than an answer you'd expect someone to give you while chatting. The answers themselves were perfectly fine. They were correct, to the point and with proper grammar and spelling. So the question that arose from a few of those answers is

Should we upvote any correct answers, or correct answers that also show a deal of research greater than the usual/expertise on a specific subject/more than just the necessary amount of effort?

Sure, the latter should always be upvoted, but does that then mean upvotes are limited to answers like that? Do all the other correct answers, that might be more laconic, not get upvotes? Should we use upvotes as a meter of question quality, or correctness? Where is the silver lining?

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I upvote answers I think are useful to me, and maybe the OP. I treat them as something for the community. If I gained information whilst reading them, then it's useful to me. I also upvote if I agree with the information and I would have posted a similar answer.

I upvote questions that I think are worthwhile asking, or useful to me, such as questions I wanted to ask, or hadn't thought of asking. In the later case, I may never have needed to ask, but I can imagine being in a situation where it's a worthwhile question to ask.

So if you found this answer useful, or thought it's what you would have said, upvote!

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The privileges page for Vote-Up has the guidance that we have been given.

There is no standard for defining Useful, each user is encouraged to develop their own sense of what is useful and vote appropriately.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I will note any attempt to define it further is basically still just people voting how they want, but with extra jerking off involved. So vote up the useful, as you define it. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Jan 25 '12 at 21:32
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While I've not been overly active on the site recently, I try to be liberal with my up-votes.

I figure that if people get positive feedback for adding to our collective knowledge, then "playing the game" will be rewarding, and cause them to engage more.

I'm quite happy to up-vote all answers to a question that I agree with (although I may not if there are multiple similar answers, and the bunch of them are all pretty quick and off the cuff, rather than reasoned and researched).

I'll also up vote answers that look like someone put significant effort into even if I am unsure of the "correctness" of the answer, as I would like to acknowledge the effort.

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