I'm a moderator on Chemistry.SE, a beta site.
I often see a new question appear--which is within my capabilities of answering--and I am faced with the following dilemma:
Should I answer it, or wait for the rest of the community?
- If I answer it, well, the question gets answered quickly, which is good for the site and the OP. But--people are more reluctant to answer questions which already have an answer, especially if its accepted. After all, we expect new answers to have "extra" info; they shouldn't have the same (or less) information as a preexisting answer. It's not always possible to do this.
If I don't answer, then the question is left open for the rest of the community. This does two things:
It injects more rep into the system--more privileged users, which helps increase community participation. I don't need privileges, thus I don't really need rep.
Unanswered questions tend to attract new users to the site when they try to answer it. Not all question-askers join the community, but a lot of those who join the site to answer a question stay on.
The downside (for me) is this:
No reps! :( Then again, like I said, I don't really need the rep.
I am left itching to answer the question. I'm sort of obsessive-compulsive when it comes to stuff like this.
So, my question is, how does the community think beta mods should behave in such situations? Should we answer all the questions that we can? Or should we wait for others to answer?
Yeah, the question is sort of silly, but this has been bothering me for a while now. I generally feel guilty every time I answer a question immediately after it's asked :S I do leave quite a few questions unanswered and wait for others to answer, though.