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Sometimes I'll follow a link from a StackExchange answer to an external website, and that website will help me find the answer. Or sometimes I can't find the actual question (& answer) on StackExchange but I will find the exact thing I'm looking for somewhere else.

I would love to see a feature allowing people to tag webpages as answers (a la trackbacks in blogs) rather than just posting "See this page, it might help". Likewise, I want to be able to "upvote" a helpful blog post that answered my question, and have that "upvote" be visible/searchable on StackExchange.

Those features would totally make my day.

Edited for clarity, since it seems I didn't appropriately state my use cases in the original post:

  • Step 1) A question is asked on SE
  • Step 2) The answer exists on another website out there, like a nettuts site or blog
  • Step 3) I have some mechanism for attaching a link to that site as an answer to the question on SE
  • Step 4) SE goes out and grabs the content of the post and preserves it as an answer, along with the ability to up/downvote

This allows me to provide helpful information that answers a question, without just posting an answer that says "maybe this site will help" with a link, and it preserves the content of linked sites so that if they go down or the link otherwise breaks the "answer" is still here on SE.

Another potential workflow:

  • Step 1) I have a question and I don't find that question on SE (and by extension, I don't find the answer)
  • Step 2) I go to Google again, and find a 3rd party site that does answer my question
  • Step 3) I tell SE about that website, both as a question and an answer
  • Step 4) SE is able to preserve the content of that site and allow it to show up on SE, get tagged, upvotes/downvotes, etc

This allows me to easily flag relevant information. The current alternate workflow would be for me to specifically some back to SE, post the question myself, then copy-and-paste the answer from the 3rd party website, and answer the question myself. Very backwards.

In both cases, the person linking to the site currently gets credit for the helpful answer, but in reality the other site is the helpful one.

share|improve this question
They're called comments. And what do you know, you can upvote them. – animuson Jan 30 '12 at 2:01
Meh, I want to down-vote and vote-to-close lots of external web-sites. Upvoting, is less interesting. – Zoredache Jan 30 '12 at 8:52
@animuson methinks you miss the point. The answer doesn't exist on SE, but it does exist elsewhere. So why not be able to link the answer in a constructive way that preserves the answer? – gabrielk Jan 31 '12 at 21:53

I don't like the idea of just links, as we all know links can and do break over time. We should stick with linking to a site in an answer with a summary of or passage from the relevant verbiage in the page linked. If it's helpful then the answer can be upvoted.

share|improve this answer
That was kind of the idea -- a la trackbacks. You flag a webpage as being relevant to a question, SE/SO goes out and grabs a snippet of that blog and posts it (and therefore preserves it). – gabrielk Jan 31 '12 at 21:51
The logic to grab the relevant text from the page is a bit over the top. It's much better for humans to do this. – squillman Feb 1 '12 at 13:02

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