What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 131 Stack Exchange communities.

You can more or less set your watch by it: bad questions attract bad answers. Thus the original 'broken windows' model of the importance of closing bad questions.

For example, consider this question, which just popped up with an answer in the late answer review queue. It's a bit hard to decide what to do in these cases. The poor sucker went and spent the time to type in a lengthy disquisition, which is what the question called for. I don't want to upvote it. I suppose I might just leave a comment on the answer to the effect that this kind of question is no longer terribly on topic, and it's probably a poor use of time to answer it.

We seem to have a bottomless pit of these questions sloshing around the site; no amount of tag-driven cleanup seems to be coming close to cleaning them out. Maybe we really don't want to permit late answers from new users? The chances that a brand new user is really going to add something marvelous to a 2-year-old question is pretty slim.

share|improve this question
1  
I see where you're coming from. But putting up barriers for users just because we can't deal with our own crap seems a rather poor approach to me. Unfortunately I don't exactly have a brilliant plan to deal with the crap either. :s –  Bart Oct 14 '12 at 21:33
    
I totally appreciate your bringing up the issue, but the example answer now has a delete vote. Which is not exactly a great way to welcome a new user who has put in effort to give a good answer. –  Pëkka Oct 14 '12 at 22:09

1 Answer 1

I checked out the answer you're referring to, and I'm not 100% sure it's actually an answer to the question. It appears to be a follow-up question/discussion with a brief mention of using tags/labels, which IMHO isn't all that clear.

I left the following comment and flagged the post as "not an answer":

Hi meza, answers should be used to provide an answer to the question. It seems that you're trying to ask a question instead or post a follow up to the original question. Consider an edit to your post to focus on a solution to the problem; otherwise, you may want to remove this. Good luck, and welcome to Stack Overflow! – jmort253

If the user comes back and edits the post, great! But most of the time, this doesn't happen. The correct approach in this case is to leave a constructive comment and flag the post.

Additionally, I voted to close the question as well, and it looks like the community agrees.

share|improve this answer
    
I'm not sure how the answer is actually a question? It looked like a good faith effort to answer the question to me, however displaced. (But I can be wrong.) –  Pëkka Oct 14 '12 at 21:55
    
@Pekka - The answerer mentions looking for a tool as well, and the answer is very vague. The answerer does briefly describe using labels to organize things, but the answer doesn't explain how or address the fact that the asker seems to be looking for a knowledge bank. The more I look at the question and answer, the more confused I get. I think that, regardless of whether or not someone else can make heads or tails of this, some edits could definitely be helpful. –  jmort253 Oct 14 '12 at 22:18
1  
@Pekka - It looks like he just made an edit, and it's clearer now. –  jmort253 Oct 14 '12 at 22:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .