# Tag Info

100

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 ...

86

I am the user who copied your answer Manx. My original post did not answer the OP’s question, so I edited it to yours. I apologise for copying your answer without mentioning you. I have edited my answer to give credit to you for the original post, and I have recently visited this page for advice on how, and when to edit an incorrect answer. In retrospect, ...

60

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 ...

54

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 ...

51

One thing to consider is that it is rather reasonable to only vote for answers where one is actually confident that they are correct. For for more complicated answer the pool of potential voters is thus smaller, and this goes a long way to explain the phenomenon. The experience you describe is shared by many. Yes, in some sense it is not fair, but it is also ...

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.

49

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 ...

45

N‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌o.

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. ...

43

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, ...

42

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

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 ...

40

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 ...

35

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 ...

35

It's the same reason that detailed essays will never get as many upvotes as cat memes on social media. On the internet, people consume content primarily in a browsing paradigm. Quick and easy content requires minimal investment from the reader, and is therefore able to capture a wider audience. This doesn't have to erode the content. Many complex answers ...

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 ...

33

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 ...

33

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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 ...

32

You can reject the edit, as the author, or it rollback. You can leave a comment explaining why you've undid the edit, and if the problem persists (i.e. edits get reapproved), flag the post for moderator attention.

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

Remember that MSE is meant to be a repository of questions and answers for everyone, not necessarily just the person who asks a question. There is room for a question to have answers at multiple levels, because askers at multiple levels may come across the question in the future. Hence the "goal" of an answer could be either to address the asker's current ...

29

Unfortunately, I think that some appropriate uses of CW is lost on a lot of users who are reviewing CW posts flagged, inappropriately, as NAA or "this is at most a comment....", and on the flaggers as well, ever since CW has faded out of common use, in the past few years. So a lot of current users don't even know that anyone answering with a CW answer gains ...

28

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 ...

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