# Can people make it obvious when they are seeding?

The seeding is confusing me. It is making it hard for me to keep track of how good people are so I know how I can trust their answers.

• Instead of deciding whether or not to trust an answer based on assumptions about the person posting it, try to decide if it is correct or not. If you can't understand some part, post a comment. – Larry Wang Jul 24 '10 at 4:09
• if people feel strongly about it, maybe we can have a temporary "seed" tag. I don't personally find it an issue, really, though. – Jamie Banks Jul 24 '10 at 4:16
• Reputation is a good enough indicator for their skills. – Chao Xu Jul 24 '10 at 4:53
• @Mgcci: High reputation users are generally (but on occasion, not) good, but what about users who haven't had time to gain reputation yet? @Kaestur: Everyone makes mistakes, but if a user who you know has a record of posting good answers posts something you think is wrong, you know to recheck this. – Casebash Jul 24 '10 at 5:38
• The main reason this is important, IMO, is when considering moderators. We already have a few cases of people nominated as mods (e.g. Katie) who post bad questions as tests. – Edan Maor Jul 24 '10 at 11:03
• @Casebash: Maybe I am just being too strict here, but I think you should always be rechecking any answer someone posts before you accept it, as well as rechecking your own work to make sure you haven't put any false information in the question. I guess this comes from my experience on StackOverflow. Putting code some random internet stranger wrote into your company's production code is foolhardy to say the least. – Larry Wang Jul 24 '10 at 14:26
• @Chao: Not true, there are at least a handful of high-rep folks whose math knowledge is far from the highest here. – Gone Aug 24 '10 at 5:14

I've started using something on my own, and I've seen Katie Banks adopt it partially in a question.

If a question begins with "In my _____ class today", or "I just came back from a _____ lecture, and", you can assume that it is seeded.

This isn't a huge issue because soon, we will have public beta. But until then, if anyone plans on seeding a question, it might be wise to adopt a universal prefix where anyone can tell immediately if it's a seeded question.

It's also minimally disruptive to the reading of the question itself, and if someone isn't following things too closely, it won't "distract" them and have them answer the question any differently than if it was not seeded.

To help prevent false positives, I recommend the class mentioned to be oddly specific.

i.e., instead of "In my chemistry class today,", perhaps, "In my Practical Balancing Chemical Equations course today..."

• I like the idea of including something, yet I'm not sure why it needs to be so cryptic. Why not simply say "seeded" and be open with it? After all, in public beta people may actually mean it. – Akhil Mathew Jul 25 '10 at 4:42
• I think people might be inclined to answer questions differently if they know that it's "not a real question". I've also provided a way to prevent false positives. But you offer a good point -- it depends on whether or not it should be "obviously" seeded to people who are not looking for seeded questions. I think the method described in this answer is good for people who think, "wait, is this question seeded?" for the purposes listed above (judging a poster's character), without influencing how non-caring people perceive the question. – Justin L. Jul 25 '10 at 4:48
• I disagree completely with the idea "that people might be inclined to answer questions differently if they know that it's "not a real question." In fact, I would presume quite the opposite effect - I think we would actually find that there would be a rush to answer those questions. – Tom Stephens Jul 25 '10 at 4:59
• I wasn't quite referring to the rate of answering, but the tone of the answers. Although if you believe obvious seeding will cause people to answer much faster, then perhaps all downsides are worth the cost. – Justin L. Jul 25 '10 at 5:10