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This is related (but I feel a bit different in point) to this question: Do you read others' answers?

So, you see a question that you think you know the answer to, you click on the link and there are already two answers there. Do you read them? What if they are a page long? Two pages long?

At what point do you not read the other answers? And if you don't read the other answers do you still provide your answer? Or do you just move on and assume that the other answer is right?

I got to thinking about this when I asked a question that got a very long answer as a response. I felt the answer was not correct/did not address my question well. But I did not get any other answers to my question.

Now, there was nothing really wrong with the answer I got. (There were no errors worthy of a down vote.) But it just did not really answer my question. (Thus I did not accept it.)

But I think other passers-by decided to move on to questions that did not require so much work.

I felt a bit cheated because I crafted a fairly good question, but someone else's very long answer was (potentially) pushing other answerers away. (However, don't get me wrong in thinking that I was ungrateful to the person that had posted the long answer. I always appreciate when someone takes the time to answer my questions.)

Anyway, has anyone else seen this? Or am I just a bit paranoid?

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2 Answers 2

A long answer doesn't necessarily discourage me from answering. But answers with a lot of upvotes might. Long answers with a lot of upvotes would pretty much lead me to conclude that the OP got his question answered.

Counter-example: Users that answer very old questions that have an accepted answer already. Usually these late answers are pretty poor quality.

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Oh; both very good clarifications to what I said! –  Andrew Barber Dec 12 '11 at 21:57

A long answer has weight with me, when I'm considering whether to post my own answer. But that weight might turn out to be negative.

If I have a strong feeling that I know the right answer to the question, I will skim a long answer to see if there are minor inaccuracies that could stand to have a comment posted to clarify. I have a couple times seen some pretty darn bad long answers, though. So I don't just assume, "it's a long answer - it's probably correct"

I really don't want to post examples here, because I don't want to "go negative". :p

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