An idea for changes to the Best Answers on GaG.

How many questions get asked that never have a "Best Answer" selected?

Does anyone else find themselves not offering an answer to a question, because it would "mess up" their "Best Answer Ratio"?

I admit: there are some questions I have not answered because my answer would be short and not that different than what someone else might say.

I'm goal oriented. This site keeps track of the ratio of my answers that are chosen as "Best Answers."

So why throw a short answer out there, even if it is accurate?

Here is an idea I have spent all of 5 minutes thinking about, so it must be the best way to change things, and the operators of this site would be FOOLISH to not implement it immediately:

Instead of giving points to people when their answer is selected as the "Best," give fewer points to people for every time a person marks that they "agree" with the answer a person submits. You know, that little "up-arrow." Make each one worth a point or something. Maybe even go so far as to make each "down-arrow" cost a person a point. Maybe not. Whatever.

Then - and here's the thing that I think would also help a lot:

Give the question-asker points for going back and selecting a "Best Answer."

Maybe just do this, but split the points between the answerer and the asker (5 each, isn't it?).

Right this second I think that answerer-ers not getting points for "Best Answer" but instead getting points for each "arrow-up" agreement, and question-askers getting points for selecting a "Best Answer" is a better way to go.

'Cause you know, I've been thinking about this for 5 minutes now and believe I've come up with a better way to run this site.

What do others think about the number of questions that get a "Best Answer" selected? and do others admit that they have not provided an answer because they didn't want to mess-up their question-to-best answer ratio?

Updates:
Responses so far mostly don't care about the points system. A more cynical person might notice that 3 out of 4 people responding un-anonymously this way have a fair amount of points already. A less cynical person would consider that their experience makes them more qualified to give an accurate answer to the question. As I commented on one answer below, I'm too obsessive to just ignore it. It's there, so I notice. I still like the idea of splitting the points: give 5 to Asker & 5 to Answerer.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • I got over thinking about best answer ratios a long time ago. Sometimes I make well thought out answers, sometimes I make amusing ones, sometimes I am really helpful, sometimes I give a shot that I think is what they need to here but certainly won't make them happy ...

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What Girls Said 2

  • Couldn't care less. I answers a question because I think I can offer some advice or offer something to a conversation that hasn't been brought up yet, or even to emphasize it through repetition; not for points, or because I'll get best answer.

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    • You might also notice that I've been on and off this site for 5 years. Back when I joined the only thing you could exchange points for was a featured question; and I never really ask many questions - so I guess I'm used to not paying too much attention. I'm not aginst merit for a good answer; just saying it's not my reason fo trying to provided one.

    • Your answer is fair. I'm attracted to the idea of getting enough points I don't have to look at ads anymore.

      Apart from the bragging rights (or lack thereof) that points provide, I think there is something worthwhile about encouraging people to write more thoughtful answers. However given how few people bother to select a "Best Answer" to a question they submit, I think giving points also to the Question Asker for making the effort to select a "Best Answer" would possibly encourage it more.

  • Yes best thing they could do get rid of it.

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What Guys Said 2

  • I don't reply to questions for "points" I don't care about them, I understand why they are there, (to promote people to give a better answer)

    But this is not a game,

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    • I would like to say I don't care. On some levels I don't: I'd still be here if they didn't exist. But I'm the type that can't have a metric like that put in front of me and then not pay attention to it. If you time how long it takes me to complete a puzzle, I HAVE to try to beat that time next go around. Same kind of thing here.

  • It doesn't bother me either way. My goal is points, not fame

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