Referencing kce's Is ServerFault doomed? Not if we all vote more! where it was upvoted 77 times, with plenty of positive discussion, it is apparent that at least in concept the ServerFault community thinks voting is a valid activity worth our attention and time.
OK, great...but reality vs. concept is quite different.
Looking at the main page is enough to prove the point, but in honor of dragging this out with research and "facts"...Based on SF's unofficial super-voter Ward's steps of:
In the search box, enter: votes:0 answers:0
Click the "Newest" tab and scroll down until you're looking at questions that are at least a day old
Click on one that looks bad (based on the excerpt), read it.
If it really is bad, vote it down.
I went ahead and did a search and found more than 150 questions in the past 24 hours with 0 votes.
Looking at the first 2 pages on the main site I see VERY FEW votes on questions and just as few votes on answers. Some of the answers don't deserve votes, some do. But it would be presumed that ALL QUESTIONS would deserve at least 1 vote up or down by now.
Facts/figures aside, I'm just as guilty of neglecting to Rock the Vote. I even admitted in that other thread in meta:
Even though I know we are supposed to upvote for questions that are formatted well and thoughtfully laid out, I tend to only upvote questions based on "This question appeals to my interests". I also don't normally open a lot of questions just to vote...the questions I open to even look at (or possibly) answer again fall into "interesting" to me. Hopefully there's enough varying interests here on SF that people don't have to read over questions that have no appeal to them simply to make an informed vote. - TheCleaner
Now, we are actually pretty good about downvoting someone into a bloody pulp when they post horrible off-topic questions, pouring salt on the wound multiple times over.
So, is voting:
- simply a nice concept these days with no real active participation?
- something that's done only when one has time or actually feels a sense of duty to the site?
- worthless except for downvoting questions to get them deleted?
- an outdated concept of SE that was useful years ago with the idea that people will do anything for fake internet points.
(NOTE: If you've read this whole thing, congrats! I feel like saying "Sign your name on the test sheet and turn it into your teacher without answers.")