Hot answers tagged

95

No you are not required to follow up in comments. At the same time I feel it is not unexpected and rather normal that an asker tries to engage somebody that answered in case something is open. I feel it is strange to get upset about this, doubly so given the sketchy nature of your answer. If you do not want to further engage, say so clearly and neutrally ...


59

I know for a fact that reputation does not reflect infallibility. As a general rule of politeness, when I see something that seems questionable, I ignore the reputation of the author and address them with respect. It is nothing more than the same that I would expect from someone else when I make a mistake. The comments suggesting phrases like "Perhaps I am ...


58

Yes, I do on occasion sit and wait for questions I can answer, although usually I will have on some background tv or news. I don't just intently stare at the screen hitting the refresh button every 5 seconds :) Here are some reasons why (for reference, I am starting grad school this fall): 1.) this gives me a chance to work on my teaching and exposition ...


56

Strictly speaking, to provide an answer to a question with bad formatting / lack of context does not break any rule. If you suggested such user to improve his/her question you did the right thing. The same applies to the downvote / closing vote, if you thought that was the right course of action. But. We all like MSE to be populated by good questions and ...


50

An answer with $0$ votes does not hurt your reputation. If it is a good answer, it helps the site and someone may discover that it is a good answer and upvote it in the future. If it is a good answer, leave it.


50

Please do not post joke answers in response to joke questions. My reasoning has three parts (the first two are SE specific and are linked, while the other is common internet protocol): Joke Questions are not on-topic for the site. Joke questions do not add anything to the site. Thus, they should be deleted: What are the criteria for deletion? For ...


47

I am strongly against downvoting complete solutions, and I believe such behavior would have a negative long-term impact on the site as a whole. I went over my reasons in detail in this past answer, A Consolidated Homework Policy, and I have pasted a large portion of that answer below. I also want to link to Professor Hamkins answer to the question What do ...


45

I have to disagree with you that the motivation for posting answers after others have done so is related to reputation hunt. I am a slow typer and a perfectionist ( others would say a nitpicker!), so that it takes me a long time to compose my answers since I do a lot of checking and try to write a well-formulated answer, of which I won't be ashamed in ...


44

While I agree with quid's1 answer, let me add a point I consider very important: You do volunteer work when you answer questions, and you are entitled to do it on your own terms. If you think a conversation is going in an unwanted direction, you can leave it. It is polite to tell the other party as much, but I would not consider you obliged to do anything. ...


41

If I am working on an answer, and I see the "New Answer" display, I keep working until my answer is done and then submit it. If the new answer is correct, and especially if it is similar to mine, I upvote it. I never remove an answer of mine just because it is similar to another, and I see nothing wrong in similar answers if they were derived independently....


41

Gerry Myerson's reply is factually correct, and I do not want to dispute it, only add to it: The goal of the site is to have a repository of clear, complete, and correct answers. Those answers will last a long time and readers will continue to extract value from them far into the future. If some people are annoyed in the process of developing the archive, ...


39

I've wondered about this too. If it is a very simple answer that didn't take me too much time, I'll just delete it. But if I've invested a lot of time in my answer, and another answer just happens to beat mine by a short period of time, I'll post mine too and let the cards fall where they may. Incidentally, this topic is an interesting reflection of the ...


36

If I post an answer in the comments, it is often because it is not, in my opinion, fit to actually be an answer; e.g. I feel I need to check it for correctness but am not inclined to do so (e.g. too lazy or busy or uninterested) the comment is too tersely stated to make for a good answer, and am not inclined to elaborate more I believe a good answer should ...


35

Sometimes the question explicitly only asks for hints. Rather more often, a hint will actually be more useful to the asker. This is often the case for "homework" questions (when they deserve to be answered at all). With many exercise-type questions, nobody (including the problem setter) actually cares about the answer, but the point of the exercise is to ...


34

Your answer is fine. I have no idea why it was downvoted so much. Even if the original person asking the question does not know about Cauchy sequences (we have no way to tell), it is OK for some answers to address more advanced viewpoints. And, surely, the most direct way to show that $\sum_{k \in \mathbb{N}} 1/k$ diverges is to verify that the sequence of ...


34

Your (hypothetical but not unrealistic) examples are essentially a symptom of the site having many users, which means that easy questions are likely to receive several answers at almost the same time. For more difficult questions, different answers are likely to be explained in different ways, even if they use the same techniques. That's potentially very ...


33

I don't really think that deleting your answers because no-one has reacted to them is the greatest use of your time, to be honest. There's little cost to the site to keep your answers available, and someone may come around later to whom they are helpful and who will provide you with some sort of feedback. And it does take some amount of your effort to ...


31

If you want to, I think it is good for you to post an answer to your question. You can even accept your own answer. To me, it seems like a waste to just delete the question because what if someone has a similar question later on? I agree. On the other hand, it may look like I am cheating the system somehow I don't think so. (although you don't ...


29

If the question is tagged homework, I will post hints as answers, since I hate questions showing up in the "unanswered" queue despite being fully resolved in the comments. If I strongly suspect the question is homework, I will post hints as answers to discourage others from spoiling full solutions. Otherwise, if the hint is very short and I expect others ...


29

A couple of things to answer your question: 1) Good hints belong here. Bad hints do not. If you want to make a good contribution to the site as an answerer, do the problem out always. It does not matter whether you plan to post a full, novella-like solution that details every step as far as $1+1=2$ or just enough to give a taste of the path one needs to ...


29

There are many possible reasons for down-voting that have nothing to do with correctness in a narrow sense, including: DVer thinks the answer is too sloppy. DVer thinks the answer is too terse. DVer thinks the answer is redundant. DVer thinks the answer is too clumsy. DVer thinks the answer uses needlessly advanced tools. Or, DVer thinks the question just ...


28

Mathematics, unlike most other branches of human knowledge and experience, is relatively universal in the sense that everyone has to take some mathematics classes in their academic career. This means that a very large number of people either are currently, or have in the past, worked through the kind of basic algebra and calculus problems that show up here ...


27

You have several options: If you can fix the error right away, use the "edit" button to do so. If you cannot fix the error right away, but want to work on it, and think the answer might be useful to others in the meantime, you can edit it to add a sentence at the top saying something like: Note. This answer has an error (explain what it is); I am ...


27

I understand that the consensus of the community about downvoting is that each one has its own personal reasons to downvote, and should not have to justify that. Yes, but there is one major exception, which is that one must not vote based on the identity of the post-owner. Shortly after I explained the downvote, my answer was downvoted with no reasoning....


27

As others have mentioned, bounties are Stack Exchange's tool for this purpose. Placing a bounty costs some reputation, but it will have the following effect: The question is immediately bumped to the top of the active question list. The question gets placed in the home page's featured tab for seven days. both of which attract more visitors who (...


26

The idea of this automatic message is that answers should be good, relatively self-contained, objective responses to a question. When the guidelines suggest avoiding asking for clarification or responding to other answers, they don't mean to avoid asking for clarification at all costs. Instead, they mean don't ask for clarification in your answer. There is ...


26

As proposed in my comment, I ran this query on data.SE: http://data.stackexchange.com/mathematics/query/87290/post-reputation-over-time This bears out that there has been a recent drop by half a vote per answer in the last two months from 3 to 2,5. Clearly, old posts are sometimes upvoted later on, but based on my own reputation, I estimate late votes to ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible