Beign a good answerer on askme November 12, 2006 8:53 PM   Subscribe

Two related questions:
1) Is there a ratio of answers posted to questions asked on AskMeFi that makes one a good citizen? Does only asking questions and never offering answers make one selfish?
AND
2) If one's answer to a question has already been posted, should the same answer be posted again? Is reposting an answer a way to "vote" for that answer and show that multiple people think it's the best, or does a repeat answer that doesn't include any new information just get in the way of answers that have something new to them?
posted by andoatnp to Etiquette/Policy at 8:53 PM (30 comments total)

1 - No

2 - You can always link to the previous answer.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:02 PM on November 12, 2006


1) No. Leave the drama in high school.

2) A simple "vote" for an answer is meaningless. If you have reason to think that an answer is correct, post that reason.
posted by smackfu at 9:03 PM on November 12, 2006


2) It depends on the question. If it's a technical question with only one right answer, then there's usually not much point in repeating it (unless there are other responses that confuse the issue). On the other hand, for a "Should I or shouldn't I" (ask her out / accept this job / etc.) question, you can have many useful responses on each side (yes and no).
posted by winston at 9:21 PM on November 12, 2006


1. Not a defined one, not one that can be defined, but probably yes.

2. It depends on the nature of the question. In computer help questions, reiterating a correct answer that the person can check out on their own in a few minutes helps very little. In less concrete situations, emphasizing or supporting an answer (preferably with some additional information on why) can help to point the asker towards those answers that have the most support. If every answer was only ever given once, with no support from others, the most whacky-assed ideas (sure, cut the tree down yourself!) would get the same consideration as much more reasonable ideas.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:22 PM on November 12, 2006


1. No. This has been asked a ton of times in MetaTalk, so its worth searching through the archives if you want to see people's opinions.

2. Use common sense. If there are competing answers, either because the question does not provide for an explicitly right answer or there is legitimate debate on what constiutes the correct answer, weighing in is appropriate. In that case, it would probably be best to supplement the repitition of the best answer with reasons why you think it is the best answer as well. If there are competing answers and a preponderance of people weigh in with convincing statements about why one is correct and the other isn't, then I think that helps the asker and any others who stumble upon the thread determine what is actually the best answer.

In cases where the "rightness" of the right answer is not really debatable then there really is no point.

In cases where there really isn't any right answer at all, then I don't see the value of duplicating answers.
posted by Falconetti at 9:26 PM on November 12, 2006


If there is general consensus already, as there is in this thread and you don't have anything unique to add, like I don't, then avoid chiming in just for the hell of it - like I just did.
posted by vacapinta at 9:28 PM on November 12, 2006


Also, I forgot to add that if there is general consensus already, as there is in this thread and you don't have anything unique to add, like I don't, then avoid chiming in just for the hell of it.
posted by Falconetti at 9:35 PM on November 12, 2006


This has been asked a ton of times in MetaTalk, so its worth searching through the archives if you want to see people's opinions.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:35 PM on November 12, 2006


Also, I forgot to add that if there is general consensus already, as there is in this thread and you don't have anything unique to add, like I don't, then avoid chiming in just for the hell of it.
posted by loquacious at 10:17 PM on November 12, 2006


What Falconetti said.
posted by felix betachat at 10:58 PM on November 12, 2006


What felix betachat said.
posted by tkolar at 11:16 PM on November 12, 2006


1)It's okay to ask more questions than answers. It's not like we're all operating with the same amount of information here. I don't know a damn thing about fixing computers, or cool things to do in cities that I don't live in, or the answer to about 95% of all the questions asked here. For the love of crap, don't post just so you don't feel that you are selfish. Post good answers (ones that actually answer the question) regardless of what your question-to-answers ratio is.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:36 PM on November 12, 2006


Post good answers, or in many cases affirm the goodness of prior answers.

Don't ask stupid questions.

That is all.
posted by blasdelf at 12:57 AM on November 13, 2006


When your answer:question ratio gets to 4:1 you can use it to expiate one minor bannable offences like excessive rudeness or posting goatse inline (too bad this last one will never happen again. Thanks for that, stupid scripting language). Then it gets reset, though, so you have to build it up again.

My answer:question ratio is INFINITE. This makes me like a god.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:36 AM on November 13, 2006


A forgotten god that no living person has ever heard of. So sad . . .
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:15 AM on November 13, 2006


1) Absolutely not; ask according to your needs, answer according to your abilities. I try to remember to only answer questions when I am sure that I will provide a correct answer, and when that answer is not redundant with others that are already there. I ask questions whenever I feel that AskMe is the best way to get information that I need.

2) What tkolar said.
posted by nowonmai at 8:08 AM on November 13, 2006


At the risk of being a little meta-socratic, don't you think there's circumstances in which asking a question - particularly if it's well-framed - is just as valuable as answering a question?
posted by phearlez at 10:29 AM on November 13, 2006


When your answer:question ratio gets to 4:1 you can use it to expiate one minor bannable offences like excessive rudeness or posting goatse inline

HA. I've almost hit 2500 answers, and even I am terrified at the possibility that I'll accidentally img =goatse.cx someday. Really, though, this post was just an excuse to brag about the first part. And what loquacious said.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:27 PM on November 13, 2006


Wow, Matt even stripped out the IMAGE SOURCE EQUALS to be just IMG =. That's an insane amount of developer fear for inlined goatse.cx.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:28 PM on November 13, 2006


civil, just use &lt;img ="http://goatse.cx/hello.jpg"&gt;. This has always worked, you use html entities to form the < and > characters. Also, it is hilarious that I know the old URL for the famous image.
posted by blasdelf at 7:51 PM on November 13, 2006


Look again! You're 'SRC' tag is gone. :)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:03 PM on November 13, 2006


Not if you make the 'r' uppercase (for example) sRc="hoowooibrokeit"
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:36 PM on November 13, 2006


Can you even use the evil abbreviation of 'source' in a comment?

Testing:
( ) ( Src ) ( = ) ( Src= )
posted by blasdelf at 11:07 PM on November 13, 2006


Nope, you can't use "SRC" in lowercase at all, anywhere. Even though browsers will render tag soup just fine in all caps. Usually case is irrelevant entirely. Dick move, mathowie. If you're that incompetently scared, just don't let us use angle brackets, and use a reduced Textile / Markdown / BBcode / Mediawiki / Whatever conversion server-side and in the live preview.
posted by blasdelf at 11:11 PM on November 13, 2006


Even in pre tags? (  ) ?
posted by blasdelf at 11:13 PM on November 13, 2006


Nope, lame.
posted by blasdelf at 11:13 PM on November 13, 2006


Not if you make the 'r' uppercase (for example) sRc="hoowooibrokeit"

Testing... ImG sRc = "YoAdRiAn"
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:20 AM on November 14, 2006


Hey, good catch, stav!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:20 AM on November 14, 2006


I wonder if you can stick it in the midsdle of a wo--rd?
posted by blasdelf at 3:50 AM on November 16, 2006


Oh god that is some terrible code. You cannot currently, under any circumstances, post the lowercase letters s+r+c to the site at all. Good thing they don't appear in that order in any english word.
posted by blasdelf at 3:54 AM on November 16, 2006


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