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Fastest Gun in the West Problem

I'm sure just about everyone on this site has seen this: Someone asks a question to which there is pretty much one right answer, like "how do I set the title of my website?" or something. Often 2 or even more people post exactly the same answer. Its correct, and helpful, but still exactly the same. I don't mind when its a one sentence answer, but sometimes I've been typing an example for 4 minutes, and somebody posts exactly the same answer. I don't really care that much about being first, but I feel like I sort of wasted my time. Is there a way we could cut down on this? I'm open to suggestions. The first thing that popped into my head was something that shows how many users are viewing and answering the question. it wouldn't be hard to implement, because I am already informed if other answers are posted, I'm concerned with those about to be posted. If I see someone else is posting an answer, I can look at some other questions, come back in a bit when they're done, and if the answer was right then I just saved myself some time. this suggestion has the same idea.

This really is a nice thing about SO, you get help so fast you get the same help, but I'd like to see something done about it if possible.

Edit: I'm closing this because it's a well known issue a lot of people have. There have been a few suggestions to solve it, so if you don't like any of them but have your own - please review the other threads related to it, and then propose it.

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marked as duplicate by Tom Ritter Aug 4 '09 at 12:03

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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Dupe (mostly) meta.stackexchange.com/questions/11263/…, also not very well loved. –  Ian Elliott Aug 4 '09 at 0:36
    
Also, Olafur threw up a possible feature for discussion yesterday... meta.stackexchange.com/questions/11804/… ...also none too popular, but you might find something interesting in the comments. –  Shog9 Aug 4 '09 at 1:25
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3 Answers

No. Not possible without also harming the contribution of useful, non-similar posts.

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At least it's not quite as bad as, when well into typing a long answer, a bar appears to say the question has been closed and no more answers can be accepted.

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yeah that sux :-) –  Bruce McLeod Aug 4 '09 at 8:03
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I think it's up to the community to handle this. If I see someone has already answered, I delete my answer and upvote the earlier correct answer. If people started to leave comments like "Post adds nothing, you should just upvote Blah instead" it would percolate down to the users that can't see the deleted posts and realize that all the high-rep people do that already. :)

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