I think an increased number of votes would be valuable for MATLAB Answers and a more or less common strategy for voting would be helpful.
When should we vote questions and answers to improve the use and usability of this forum?
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I think there is no need for a common approach to this, although there might be some good in sharing our views. If we all voted the same way, all answers would have either no votes or a lot of them! But if we think votes are useful, we should vote whenever we read a question or answer and think it is useful. If Paulo wants to boycott the process, that's fine too.
I have not seen anything indicating that the intention was to get a list of the 500 most "important" questions and solutions. On the contrary: the impression I have is that the intention is that this act as a long-term knowledgebase, with the votes acting as guidance towards "best practices". The idea of it being the 500 "most important" is in contradiction to portions of a Mathworks document I was sent.
I myself do not vote very often. With over 4000 Questions and over 6000 Answers and over 9000 Comments, with the rate of new Questions or Answers (or comments) now exceeding 50 overnight (UTC-6 timezone), I don't have time to vote up answers and perhaps even remove my vote from answers as better ones became available. Perhaps if I were concentrating my efforts on particular topics of expertise, but I read (skim) over 90% of everything and think about or actively work on a wide variety of questions. Voting regularly on as much as practical becomes too much overhead for me.
When I do vote, I usually vote for Answers (or Questions) that involve techniques or faculties that would be likely to stretch the knowledge of a "competent" user. "Advanced MATLAB". For example, the perfect Answer to a Question about removing zeros from a vector is still likely to be uninteresting to anyone who knows logical indexing or "nonzeros".
Forums such as this one are bound to attract a large number of beginner questions, and, Yes, a large number of "doit4me" questions. Any consideration of voting strategies needs to take these factors in to account. The "best" structure for those who have not even read Getting Started is going to be different than the best structure for those in search of more complex information, which is going to be different yet from the best structure to guide students through homework assignments.