I'm gonna be honest, there is a lot in this essay I take issue with.

The state of our site critique is virtually non-existent outside lending helping hands to coldposts.

I have no clue where this idea comes from. Yes, there are certainly more people who like critting coldposts than other articles; not only is it easier, but they're also the people who need that help more. But to say that site crit is "virtually non-existent" otherwise is dismissive, and frankly insulting to the people who work their hardest on providing quality site crit. It generates a fairly bleak view of the wiki at large as well, especially considering that this claim is completely exaggerated.

Theoretically, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to no-vote on pages. Feeling torn between the good and the bad is understandable. It's counter-intuitive to downvote when there are redeemable aspects to a piece.

Then why are you discouraging novotes? Votes are not crit, and they aren't feedback. When I vote on a piece, my reasoning is not "what do I want the author to gather from my vote?" I upvote if I think a piece should be on the site, I downvote if I think it shouldn't, and I novote if I don't care1. If I want to provide feedback of any kind, I'll leave a comment. Crit is an entirely different thing from a vote, which is even acknowledged in this essay:

Downvotes are not criticism.

Which is why I feel the argument to "abolish the novote" is a faulty one. If your intent is to provide feedback on an article, then write a comment. The fact that novotes are invisible when you click the link at the bottom of the page should be irrelevant, simply because votes alone are not adequate feedback.

I do 100% agree with the "call to action," even if I feel that it's founded on a wildly exaggerated base2. The more people providing quality feedback, the better, and I'd love to see more people aspiring to become critters.

The invisible no-vote, leaving no vote and no comment on an article you've read, doesn't help anybody or make the site better.

All votes are functionally invisible, and honestly don't provide much data for the author. Yes, you can see who upvoted or downvoted, but that honestly doesn't help much aside from maybe getting a proportion of who liked your article. Again, the idea of abolishing novotes is irrelevant in this case, simply because the only difference between them and the up/downvote is their visibility when you click that link at the bottom, which, as was stated previously, is not the same thing as feedback.

If you went through the effort to become a site member why aren't you taking full advantage of the privileges that membership affords you?

Because crit takes time and effort to properly give, and some people would prefer not to do it.

When you no-vote, nobody knows or cares about your opinion. If you downvote, you matter immensely and people would probably kill to hear your opinion. Isn’t it nice to be wanted?

These three sentences are so ridiculously bizarre, and they honestly feel mildly insulting. It's also not very true. Maybe it's just me personally, but when I see someone downvote everything of mine they've read, I stop caring what they think of me. I'm totally fine with their standards, and respect that. But I'm not here to write for that person. I'm here to write what I enjoy, and what people at large enjoy. Yes, I want to better myself as an author. But a downvote certainly doesn't help me, and if I see someone downvote my pieces, my only regard to them is the feedback they give. If they don't give feedback, then I accept that I'm unlikely to meet whatever standards they have. But I'm not gonna go out of my way to get their upvote, because I'm not here to write things that they like. I certainly don't care about their opinion more than the person who novotes, unless that novoter leaves a comment. Same with downvoters.

This statement is also just somewhat insulting. It's effectively saying, "if you don't vote the way I want you to, your vote matters less." Maybe that's not your intention, but that's certainly what it sounds like. Novotes matter just as much as upvotes or downvotes, because they could have been upvotes or downvotes, but they weren't. The fact that they're "technically invisible" changes very little. If you'd prefer not to novote on articles, then that's fine. But if someone tells me that they novoted on my article, I'm certainly not gonna tell them that I don't think their vote matters.

Finally, I have an issue with the premise of abolishing novotes in general. Even if your claims were completely correct and made perfect sense, I'm still bothered by an essay telling people how they should vote. As long as it's based on the content of an article, there shouldn't be restrictions how people may vote, or even any pressure to get people to vote a certain way. I am fundamentally bothered with the premise of getting people to not novote as I would be with the idea of getting people to not downvote, or to not upvote. Telling others how they should vote, beyond outlining what constitutes biased voting, is not anyone's place.

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