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Can we encourage answering questions?

When i see a profile like this one I start to think.

Should we be encouraging answering questions to some ratio?

Maybe a badge if you have 2:3 answers to questions (or 1:3 even) then you can get a badge.

Full badge requirements:

  1. Answer at least 40 questions.
  2. Ask at least 60 questions.
  3. If the ratio of answers to answers is 1:3 then you get the badge (to be named soon)
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1  
I've got a 700:1 ratio and will never get that badge. 60 questions?! :-) –  Bo Persson Dec 28 '11 at 18:30
    
@BoPersson haha idk. I know I havn't got the ratio right. It might be based on the number of posts in general by the user as opposed to ansqwer:question. –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Dec 28 '11 at 18:32
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Pressing people to answer == More bad answers –  Henk Holterman Dec 28 '11 at 18:34
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I take it you haven't met blankman yet... –  Lorem Ipsum Dec 28 '11 at 18:35
    
@HenkHolterman hehe we encourage with badges like Unsung Hero –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Dec 28 '11 at 18:36
    
@yoda haha wow. that is impressive –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Dec 28 '11 at 18:36
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@AnthonyPegram And the first user on that list's only answer has a -4 score.... –  Mahnax Dec 28 '11 at 19:56
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@Can'tGetEnoughMahna, there's a reason we don't want some of these folks answering! And I'm sure if the query factored out self-answers, the ratios would be higher and some other users might appear. –  Anthony Pegram Dec 28 '11 at 20:08

3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

This general topic, although not a badge specifically, has been discussed extensively in the past. We want to encourage good posts regardless of whether they're questions or answers.

Newbies will naturally have lots of questions while lacking the experience needed to provide good answers. Experts will know the answers to many questions while having few questions of their own. The badge you're proposing would be sort of a "in the middle of my career" badge, and I can't think of a positive Stack Exchange behavior that that would encourage.

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3  
Now I'm a little disappointed, because "Journeyman" would be a pretty cool badge name. –  Pops Dec 28 '11 at 18:33

The system already encourages answers more than questions:

  • Answers get 10 rep per up vote, while questions only get 5.
  • There are more badges related to good answers than good questions, especially when you include tag badges.
  • There is less "risk" in answering: a poor question is much more likely to gather down votes, close votes or being deleted. Poor answers are more likely ignored unless they're really bad.

Answers also tend to get more up votes than questions.

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I don't ask questions, at least not on SO and programmers. I have about 19K rep between the two sites, from a little over 500 answers. Zero questions. I need people to ask questions that I can answer. If they start answering after a while, they are sure to benefit - you can learn a TON by answering. To that end there are already badges that should get you started answering. I don't see a behaviour we want to reward in the "both asking and answering" zone - people may do it, but it's possible to be a valued user of the site without ever doing so.

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you need some aspect of both.... –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Dec 28 '11 at 18:38
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@amanaPlanaCAnalPAnaMA Why? If someone has answers to offer but doesn't have any questions, why do we need to encourage them to ask questions as well? –  Anna Lear Dec 28 '11 at 18:59

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