Do you think having to vote for the best answer is the right idea?

Alan Trinder June 26, 2013
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Sure I like the idea of giving credit to the best answer although there are times when more than 1 answer is equally helpful. But I feel this is not the way to indicate that the question has been resolved and you want it to be indicated as such. Apart from technical problems where I have has the vote indicated but the question did not then list as resolved I would much prefer to click resolved and then be asked if I would like to vote for the best answer. What do you think?

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  1. Tim dawes
    June 29, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    not the best idea but open to new suggestions

  2. Rob H
    June 29, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Radical idea:
    Maybe we should be able to vote on "best questions" too. Many are so vague that some answers may be totally irrelevant to the original user's actual problem.
    And perhaps "best questioner", as I get the impression some who post many questions seem not to bother with selecting best answer or upvoting.

  3. Chris Marcoe
    June 28, 2013 at 3:01 am

    I think it does, in fact, work. For one, when someone jsut hits the google button and throws on the first link that shows, I always throw on the down vote. Same goes for someone does a search and explains their answer, or talks form experience, I throw them an upvote.

  4. Leland Whitlock
    June 27, 2013 at 8:26 am

    I think the voting works but not enough people take the time to vote answers either way. Worse I find it strange that so many questions get answers that solve the problem but never get marked as resolved. It would be nice if there was a specific moderator just for the answers section that could help expedite things like that or even have the power to mark it resolved in a case where it has already been stated it was. Anyway that is my 2 cents worth...

  5. Bruce Epper
    June 26, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    The voting system should be of most use on the threads where the OP does not return and mark a Best Answer/issue resolved and another user searches MUO for the same or a very similar problem. Since there isn't a "Best Answer" or a "this worked for me" type of solution on the thread, the highest vote count (think of it as "most likely to succeed") answer should be the first one they try. This is because I vote up the answers that in my experience have either worked for me in the past or, based on my knowledge, are most likely to lead someone else down the correct path to find the solution for themselves. I also vote down the answers I know will definitely not be, or lead to, a resolution of the issue. As long as most other people use the voting system in a similar manner, it can become a very useful tool for anyone else searching for an answer to their problem to get an immediate resolution to their problem without having to post their own (repeated) question and wait for a response from others at MUO.

    Another thing to remember is that even though two people may see (or at least report) the same symptoms on their systems, the steps required for a resolution may differ for both of them. So even of the first one comes back and marks an answer as the Best Answer (the solution that worked for them), it may not work for the second person who can still find another solution in the thread that works for them. Since the second person cannot mark a Best Answer, the voting system still allows them to tag the solution that worked for them and (hopefully) will be of use to someone else later down the line.

  6. DalSan M
    June 26, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Agreed. There have been many questions asked where the highest voted answer was not marked as the best answer. There have been a few people in which their sound advice was down-voted, even though the comment was valid and sometimes suggested by another person and that person winds up getting up-voted. Personally, the voting system is not necessary, just a bonus for extra points. The real issues that are going on with the questions and answers are that too many times little to no feedback from the person asking the question is given, and/or the best answer is not chosen by the OP. There may be many suggestions that work for some people, but the one that works for the OP needs to be marked as best answer. This doesn't mean that another person with a similar issue would get the same results, but it gives a better idea on what to start with, then try the others if the "best answer" did not work.

    Suggestions are always welcome to try to make the system better, but at the time suggestions were asked for in order to change the system, the voting system was most asked for. It was never meant for picking the absolute answer, just to help suggest the best answer.

  7. Jan Fritsch
    June 26, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Correct me if I'm wrong (Tina?) but to my knowledge marking a question as resolved and the the voting system are not directly linked yet both give credit (points)

    Basically you can mark the Best Answer (resolved) and vote up all others you liked and they all will be rewarded for it. So in the end the resolving comment doesn't always have to be the one with the most votes.

    I guess it's mostly a terminology thing - one could change it to "This comment was chosen as the solution".

    • tinas
      June 26, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      As Jan says, you can vote up as many answers as you want.

      You can only pick one Best Answer.

      If you pick a Best Answer, the question is marked as resolved.

      Both up-voting and selecting a Best Answer triggers a point reward.

    • Alan Trinder
      June 27, 2013 at 1:06 am

      And there is one problem tinas, deciding the best answer may not be possible unless, of course it isn't that important to you and you just want to stop communicating on the subject. So my view remains that you should be able to resolve without a vote or best answer selection. Also, what would you do if there is no best answer, they are all of no help? but in the meanwhile you have found out what you needed so want to close the question. Pick a response that was of no use to you in the matter?

    • Tina Sieber
      June 27, 2013 at 7:57 am


      If someone found a workaround or solution to their question elsewhere, it would be great if they could post it. And then they can actually pick their own answer as the best one to close the question.

      I know there are other scenarios, e.g. just wanting to terminate comment notifications, but those are a minority and we really want to encourage picking a best answer.

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