Questions sorted by votes: https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions?sort=votes

I'm not spending much time here, so maybe I'm missing something. But looking at the top questions - the best adjective I can come up with to describe them in my poor English is - "populistic". I guess the only reason they get so many upvotes is because everyone understands them. Otherwise I feel that there is not much difference between questions that get lot's of upvotes and those that are downvoted and closed immediately. It's a random process for me. (I have a theory though that it's partially a crowd psychology effect - the initial voting determines whether the question will be going seriously up or seriously down.)

The questions/answers that require some research effort and expertise aren't upvoted that much, perhaps for the very reason that very few can understand/answer them.

EDIT: Looking at those top-voted questions one gets confused about what questions are welcomed here. I know that I was and still am.

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    Looking at those top-voted questions one gets confused about what questions are welcomed here. I know that I was and still am. Most of them are closed. And most of them are from the early days, when as Anna described, the guidelines weren't established. Don't ask similar questions. :) – yannis Dec 31 '11 at 9:34
  • I agree with @user467799 I had the same reasoning myself – xsace Jan 5 '12 at 20:29

Looking at the top-voted questions on this site, the problem with some of them isn't how many votes they got. It's that they got posted in the first place. Mind you, a lot of them were posted over a year ago, in the early days of the site before the current rules were established.

Popularity doesn't determine the quality of the question in part for the reasons you mention. A question can be popular, interesting, easy (or hard) to answer and entirely off-topic. We need to find a way to deal with the extremely highly voted questions we have that have been closed. Some of them have to remain on the site for historical reasons and it's always difficult to determine which ones.

But I'm starting to digress. The point is, if a question is on-topic and otherwise fits our Q&A format, there's nothing wrong with it getting upvoted. It's unfortunate that some other questions might not receive as many votes, but that's the nature of voluntary voting. Placing a cap on the number of upvotes on the popular questions will not fix the fact that some questions that should get upvotes don't receive them.

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