Voted the best answer...

Reading a Hotline answer just now made me wonder: what's the purpose of designating a winner, since the majority of questions here seek subjective answers?


Not trying to be contentious, I just truly don't get what affirmation beyond the quantity of 'agree's' adds? (Or maybe I'm weird and designating a winner makes it more fun...)

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Amanda Hesser
Amanda Hesser July 7, 2012

Thanks for your question. The designation of best answer is really for questions where there are lots of answers, so that someone new to the question (as well as the person who asks it) can quickly get a sense of which answer earned the majority of agreement. This is especially helpful when answers strongly differ. We don't think of the answer voting as a contest, but a way for the community to help filter answers so the most helpful ones stand out. Our goal is always to provide the best info in the most efficient way, and we feel collaborative filtering is the best way to accomplish this -- it allows everyone in the community to participate in what content gets highlighted, whether it's a recipe or an answer. I hope this is a helpful explanation, and thanks for asking!

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amysarah
amysarah July 7, 2012

That makes sense. Thanks for the clarification - so speedy too!

Have you guys ever considered doing top 3 answers (or some such) - at least for a really long thread? That might highlight more diversity (and also reduce the slight popularity contest feeling that occasionally creeps in)? I have a feeling that's logistically probably easier said than done....

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Amanda Hesser
Amanda Hesser July 8, 2012

This is a good idea -- we're about to do some work on Hotline, so we'll make sure to think about how to improve this filtering system. Thanks.

SKK
SKK July 8, 2012

Another view - when I ask a foodpickle question and people take the time to give me wonderful responses I 'like' the answers as appreciative response - as in 'thank you for responding'

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Voted the Best Reply!

bugbitten
bugbitten July 8, 2012

Well, I've weighed in about this before, so here I go again, but I promise to keep mum hereafter. I agree with SKK that it is convenient to show your appreciation with a simple click. What I don't understand is why that "like" must somehow become a "vote."

Once the"voted the best answer" badge goes up, the impression I get is that the jury is in, the case is decided, and the question is closed. That seems entirely out of place on this marvelous site, which would surely be just as democratic without all the voting.



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SeaJambon
SeaJambon July 8, 2012

I agree with bugbitten, especially since I've seen (more than once) a "voted best answer" on something that really, really was not the best answer -- as became abundantly clear after more experience had weighed in on the question -- but the designation didn't go away.

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boulangere
boulangere July 8, 2012

I've noticed the same phenomenon a few times, SeaJambon, where the "favorite" answer and best, or at least better or more accurate, answers were two different things.

Benny
Benny July 8, 2012

why not just stop giving out the big yellow badge of superiority and keep the "_ people think this is an excellent answer" part of it. The button says "'I agree", not "I vote this one as winner". I've agreed with several answers on the same post before, as I'm sure many others have too.

this filtering system is a good way to filter out the best answer to questions that are a bit more technical and have less subjective answers.

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Amanda Hesser
Amanda Hesser July 8, 2012

Good thought -- thanks.

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