Admittedly, Objective-C isn't very popular on Code Review. There certainly aren't a whole lot of answerers. I am basically the only regular Objective-C answerer.

I'd like to think that my answers to Objective-C questions are good answers that the asker and the small Objective-C community can benefit from.

Despite this, my answers don't yield a lot of upvotes compared to answers for other language tags on the site. I never had a problem with this, because I always just assumed it was because most of the upvoters are regulars, most of the regulars don't know the first thing about Objective-C, and therefore most of the regulars wouldn't browse the questions I've answered to see my potentially upvote-worthy answers.

I was fine with this until today.

Before today, I had 3 answers with 10 or more votes, and only one of them was an Objective-C answer. That one was my very first post here, and we all know we're going overboard on the upvoting of a user's first post to try encouraging retention.

Now, I have a second Objective-C answer with 10+ upvotes, and I'm going to argue that this is only because I started making this stink in chat.

This question was posted last night. It's not a very good question compared to most of the other Objective-C questions on CodeReview. The (currently) accepted answer had, when I first saw the question, 11 upvotes. It garnered 11 upvotes within 8 hours of it being posted.

At the time, it was the highest upvoted Objective-C answer on all of Code Review. As of this posting, it's tied for highest upvoted Objective-C answer on Code Review with my answer to the same question. Again, after I made a stink about the question and got my answer plenty of views.

The answer is arguably incomplete, but I'm not going to argue that it doesn't warrant upvotes.

Instead, I'm merely going to ask the community to view the other Objective-C answers I've posted. Can someone explain to me what I can do better to earn more Objective-C answers?

Should I just post two-paragraph "RTFM" drive-by answers? Is that how to get upvotes? Am I wasting my time posting long, complete, well-thought-out answers?

Why did this answer get 11 upvotes in 8 hours, yet 2/3rds of my answers have fewer than 5 upvotes? Why was there a sudden surge in people upvoting an Objective-C answer that will surely disappear almost as soon it arrived?

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ IMO that question should have been closed as off-topic / not asking for a review. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 18:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mat'sMug It's asking if the code is useless or not, that's on topic IMO. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 18:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's still in the "hot questions" list! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 23:49

4 Answers 4


Why did this answer get 11 upvotes in 8 hours, yet 2/3rds of my answers have fewer than 5 upvotes?

That question somehow went "hot" (made it onto the Hot Network Questions sidebar and got blasted out all over SE). It's had over 1000 views in one day; most CR questions have less than 100 in a day. It has nothing to do with whose answer it is, it's just a matter of how many people saw the answer.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure this is the only reason, but I believe this is the biggest reason. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 18:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think the key observation here is that most of the upvotes came not from people in the Code Review community but from the larger stack exchange community. So the people upvoting were the ones least likely to have favorites among the posters here. \$\endgroup\$
    – mdfst13
    Commented Aug 29, 2021 at 7:38

Votes are almost entirely related to "eyes on". People only vote what they see. I confess that almost all my rep was gained when it was common to post responses in chat. Other high scoring answers are on hot questions.

I have also noticed a recent decline in the votes my answers get. It is not just you.

The trick, if you are able, is to get more people to see your answers. There are a number of Java people, so java questions/answers will get more eyes, and thus more votes. You should get more obj-c folk on CR

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    \$\begingroup\$ You should get more obj-c folk on CR - I agree. Although we don't get very many Objective-C questions, it's still good to have more reviewers to offer more guidance to the OP and each other. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jamal
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 19:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ I totally agree about the each other part @Jamal stated above. Boy have I learned a lot from the other Java folks here! And I believe the other Java folks have learned something from me too. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 22:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Rolfl you answer so many questions, that it is hard to keep up on your answers and everyone else's too! \$\endgroup\$
    – Malachi Mod
    Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 14:08

I was surprised by the audience reaction to that question too. Sadly, the correlation between scores and quality is weaker than you would think.

Out of curiosity, I once wrote this Data Explorer query: Instant success: Users with highest-scored first answer. I think you'll see what I mean.

The problem with voting is not unique to Code Review either. I've been on the receiving end of some unexpected success on User Experience that probably wasn't entirely deserved, for example.

I doubt that people are upvoting my answers based on my reputation. I've written some good answers that have lain in obscurity. I won't cite any examples here, as doing so would likely destroy the evidence of that assertion.

Ultimately, crowd behaviour, quick irrational judgement, and unexpected success are questions for Malcolm Gladwell to explain.

Malcolm Gladwell trilogy: The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers


From my end, when I am in a voting mood, I do check answers of active voters first.

Which means that I visit this:


And start perusing voter answers that look good to me, if you were in that list and I would have read your answer, I would have up-voted it.

(It bothers me that I am not in that list, I definitely voted this week.)


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