# Two suggestions to improve the quality of this fantastic site

There is a couple of (probable) improvements I would like to suggest for this fantastic site.

1. Moving closed questions with a high number of up votes (for example $>10$) to a dedicated StackExchange site, where they would receive a single tag indicating the site where they come from (in this case, the tag would be Physics). There, the question would be alive and could receive new answers, points, etc, together with (highly voted) closed questions from the other StackExchange sites. That would be a solution for certain questions that very clearly interest us (this nobody can deny, and that's what upvotes are saying) like this one (incidentally, I have read one of the recommended papers in the first answer, and it has nearly changed my life for good, both as researcher and as physics student -which you never stop being- as well).
2. Downvoters should be forced to leave an anonymous comment, otherwise the vote should only have a value of 0.2 points or similar. Only downvotes with an anonymous comment should have full consideration. That would improve the quality of bad answers, sure.

When a question/answer is really crap, it receives anyway a rainfall of downvotes (well, not always) whereas sometimes somebody drops a -1 with no explanations like a passing bird leaving an excrement, and the OP has no clue of what he/she could improve.

I received for example a downvote here. I don't give a damn as long as my reputation stays above a dozen of points so that I am able to post images, and also I am using an anonymous profile. But what I find annoying is not having the less clue of what could be wrong with the question...

• – Qmechanic Mod
Apr 21 '13 at 19:27
• Mmm... I see this question of the unexplained downvotes has been posted many times. But this time what I propose is (i) forcing to anonymously comment together with the downvote, for the vote to have full 1.0 point value, (ii) possibility of keep on downvoting without comment but with less value. The goal is favouring comments together with the downvotes. Apr 21 '13 at 19:29
• There is too the other suggestion, of having a dedicated place for highly-valued closed questions from all StackExchange sites. It is clear that, although out of the scope, some closed questions are very interesting for us physicists that visit the site. Apr 21 '13 at 19:32
• Apr 21 '13 at 20:07
• @mephisto, every hour you should log the reputation of all users. You will then be able to deduce who is doing the down-voting, since down-voting decreases reputation. May 9 '13 at 7:04

2 has been proposed in many different forms, many times. (See the "linked" sidebar here, Is there anyway we can require a person to write something to explain a downvote?, and https://meta.stackoverflow.com/search?q=require+downvote+comment&submit=search)

Downvoters are urged to leave a comment. We cannot force them to. Votes are supposed to be private, so forcing a comment uncloaks this. And downvoting is integral to how the system works, so putting barriers will significantly reduce it's use (not what we want). Besides, sometimes others have left a comment that says what I want to say.

Reducing the penalty makes some sense, but in the end it's just 2 rep. Not a big deal -- you can earn a week's worth of downvotes back with a couple of answer votes. And reducing it from it's already-low value will mean that folks won't have any motivation to fix their posts.

About making it anonymous: This has been proposed before, and the answer does make a lot of sense

First, I don't think I should be required to justify my decisions to the world. Second, you can't force someone to type a meaninful comment, even if you force them to type a comment.

If I'm required to enter an anonymous comment I'll just type "this is an anonymous comment" or something.

Thing is, drive by downvotes aren't a large problem. You get them once or twice, and that's it. Making the system complicated to fix them creates issues. The 0.2

Now, regarding point 1: Interesting idea, but I doubt it would happen (it would be better if you asked on the mother meta, but again, I don't think it will gain any traction). As a platform, SE is ill suited for such questions, places like Quora are much better for such questions.

However, these questions can be salvaged: For example, the one you linked to could be modified to one with a community wiki answer containing a list. The fact that it's closed just prevents further answers, it doesn't prevent edits. Not entirely sure if this is allowed, but it's an idea. Other recommendation questions can be similarly fixed.

• I would note that wikifying a question isn't a solution to whatever problem caused it to be closed. Apr 21 '13 at 20:01
• @DavidZaslavsky: No, it isn't. However, certain old, closed questions would benefit from being collected into a single answer wiki. Apr 21 '13 at 20:06
• Hmmm, perhaps we need dedicated migration paths to math.SE, academia.SE, scicomp.SE and Quora :P
– user10851
Apr 22 '13 at 0:20
• @ChrisWhite We don't do user-driven migrations to or from beta sites (and Quora ;)), but my 30-second look at the migration stats here tells me that a Physics->Math path isn't a terrible idea. You might want to kick off a separate meta discussion to see if other folks here agree.
Apr 22 '13 at 21:41
• @AnnaLear: Explain the Writers path on EL&U ;-). Yeah, our closing/flagging community usually knows when something belongs on Math. No harm adding it, though I personally don't see a big need either. (most closes here are mod-completed with a third or fourth vote as we don't have enough active CVers) Apr 23 '13 at 2:47
• @Manishearth To be clear, I'm not lobbying for a migration path there. That's up to you folks. I'm just saying that if you guys did actually want it, we'd likely add it without any fuss.