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Flagging late answers is only soo much fun (40+ today were the not-an-answer variant with a couple of cool-thanks).

How about trying to prevent them, at least from new users? Something like an inverse flag dialog which opens after they typed the answer and click on post-answer:

Thanks ... [blah blah] ... Please take a second to categorize the intention of your answer and check one or more of the following: it is

  • a complete/partial answer to the original question
  • a link to an article/tutorial/product and a short synopsis as to why it's helpful
  • a link without synopsis
  • a question related to the original question
  • a hearty thank you
  • other (?)

If you checked any of the last four, most probably posting your contribution as an answer is not appropriate and might get deleted. Please read the answer/question faq [...and could spell out the alternatives here...]

[button: go back to answer] [button: post anyway]"

The post-anyway disabled until at least one option is selected.

The idea here is to have a combination of reminding them what should/not be posted as an answer and concrete alternative might push them into canceling.

share|improve this question
Everyone knows that users can't read, and get upset very easily instead. Tell me, honestly: do you read the whole disclaimer before installing any software? Well, that's more or less the same thing. They would only search for words like "skip" or anything with that meaning (for them) and go their way – Damien Pirsy Oct 31 '12 at 19:01
@DamienPirsy As dismissive as your comment might seem, it seems that especially the users in question might fall under that category. Can't... or won't. – Andrew Barber Oct 31 '12 at 19:03
"Blahblah..might get deleted....let's select something else then....there you anyway" – Bart Oct 31 '12 at 19:04
@Bart probably wasn't clear enough: they can post anyway whatever they choose - just give them the opportunity to think it over and go for an alternative. At the end of the day, most do have a problem they desparately need to solve - getting that post deleted is certain to not solve it. So they might decide to go the alternative with a higher probabilty (yeah, optimistic me .. :-) – kleopatra Oct 31 '12 at 19:15
@DamienPirsy I think it's less the same thing :-) They are desparate for an answer - let's take their hands and show the direction to actually get it (and show the whip of deletion at the same time) – kleopatra Oct 31 '12 at 19:18
I do indeed think it's overly optimistic. Or maybe I'm too much of a pessimist. I feel that users will just try to circumvent whatever barrier you put in front of them. It's a noble idea, but I don't have high hopes of it working. – Bart Oct 31 '12 at 19:18
@kleopatra You'll end up annoying those users who already know the rules, and just post a minor, easily avoidable, nuisance to those who won't follow them anyway, not even if you tattoo them on their face. And I'm being optimistic – Damien Pirsy Oct 31 '12 at 19:21
@DamienPirsy don't think there's an annoyance factor in it - who answers by the rules and has something upvotable to say, will see it once or twice (who exactly is considered a new-user and would end up in the late-answer review queue?) – kleopatra Oct 31 '12 at 19:24

I disagree. We have our moderation system in place for just that.

Before posting a single answer, a user must first read the FAQ, then check a box stating he read the FAQ. When he posts his question/answer he has help boxes and tips practically everywhere.

If after all of that, he still posts a "thanks" answer, than he deserves to have his question downvoted severely and deleted.

We don't need yet another "Wait! Read me first please!" dialog, they'd just click away to enable the button and post.

tl;dr - Awesome theoretical idea, has little merit in practice.

share|improve this answer
+1 A lot of established users forget about all the material shoved in front of new user's faces because we just don't see it anymore. If someone posts garbage, it's because they ignored the information that was laid out clearly in front of them. – jmort253 Nov 1 '12 at 0:52

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