Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

When reviewing late answers, one can see this tip:

This is a late answer to an old question provided by a new user. Watch for hidden gems, non-answers, and spam.

I have doubts on what the hidden gems part means. What exactly should one be looking for? A few examples (the most recurring or offending ones at least) might clear up the concept.

share|improve this question
Whenever in doubt regarding a word or a term in Stack Overflow, refer to the Stack Exchange Glossary - Dictionary of Commonly-Used Terms :) – Shadow Wizard Oct 21 '12 at 11:25
up vote 18 down vote accepted

I believe that a "hidden gem" in this case refers to an answer that's surprisingly outstanding in quality, especially coming from a new user.

Such answers are rare to come by, plus you don't often find these when sifting through a series of usually low-quality answers or "thanks", "me too!" non-answers (which are the norm when it comes to late answers by new users).

share|improve this answer
I actually read it as sarcasm... Especially since its in a list of generally unwelcome content... More along the lines of the urban dictionary's definition... – Lix Oct 21 '12 at 10:48
Oh OK, I thought a hidden gem was a negative thing, like some weird looking link or something. Thanks for clearing that up. – Betoverse Oct 21 '12 at 10:48
Nice, I stole your wording to update the glossary. Hope you don't mind? ;) – Shadow Wizard Oct 21 '12 at 11:26
@ShaWizDowArd: No problem. Just FYI, the term wasn't coined by Stack Exchange - it's a common idiom in English. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Oct 21 '12 at 11:35
Not so common, couldn't find any reliable source; on the contrary - urban dictionary gave not-so-pleasant meaning to this term. :D – Shadow Wizard Oct 21 '12 at 11:47
Googling for hidden gems list places where the only meaning could be positive I thnk urban dictionary is wrong here – Mark Oct 21 '12 at 11:51

I've cooked up a data explorer query that finds not-so-hidden gems: answers that new users made within a week of registering, to questions that were at least six-months old at the time, that have accumulated more than a net of 25 votes.

The top one is the only post by that user, and now has over 600 up-votes. It's a bit short, so maybe the query could be enhanced to limit only to answers that are 'worth a read'.

share|improve this answer
Nice, but this won't help finding any new gems. :) – Shadow Wizard Oct 21 '12 at 11:51

You must log in to answer this question.

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