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I'm sorry if this is a very basic question, but I feel like there's not enough guidance on how to review first posts and late answers. In particular, what should be done if a post is not particularly insightful, but is probably acceptable? It seems to me that upvoting isn't necessarily the right answer as that seems to attach a positive (not neutral) value judgment to the post, yet I would presume that skipping it just leaves it in the queue, when it might be fine for no action to be taken by anybody.

Secondly, how are we to handle evaluation of posts whose correctness or usefulness we are not able to judge, because it might be relating to an unfamiliar technology? Just skip?

I recently got smacked down by a review audit, and while I'm glad that audit process exists, I also feel as though I'm doing my best under limited direction.

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If posts are valid, but of marginal quality, casting a downvote is the preferred action. Skip is always a valid response if you believe no action should be taken, or you're not sure what to do.

First Posts

Look for things that demonstrate unfamiliarity with the Q&A format, like users attempting to respond to other people's answers with new answers, questions posted in the answer section, non-answers and the like.

Also, look for those users who clearly demonstrate the ability to communicate an answer clearly on the first try, and upvote those.

Late Answers

Look for promotional answers (advertisements, bare links to blog posts, etc). As the answer is late (months or years, in many cases), it is unlikely that the poster is adding any additional value to the question.

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Why should a user receive a downvote for a valid answer? That seems unfair to me... – sjwarner Dec 6 '12 at 22:56
By "valid", I mean that it's actually an answer, and not "me too," "thanks," or "visit my blog to get the answer." I don't mean "correct" or "useful." – Robert Harvey Dec 6 '12 at 22:58
That's useful info, thanks. I think the interface should be a little more clear that Skip is an okay response. Also, the fact that skips are not counted towards progress further devalues Skip to the reviewer, in my opinion. – acjay Dec 7 '12 at 0:55
@acjohnson55: Yeah, I don't think you can incentivize skip; it's too easy to just hit "skip" on everything to get your badges, and people already do this with votes. One always has to be careful of unintentionally creating perverse incentives. – Robert Harvey Dec 7 '12 at 2:37
To the downvoters: I don't mind the downvotes, but if you have a strong opinion, you might want to give it a voice. This is what Meta is all about, after all. – Robert Harvey Dec 7 '12 at 2:39
@RobertHarvey: Fair enough, cheers for explaining :) – sjwarner Dec 7 '12 at 11:39

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