It may already have been established (and I agree) that easy questions are welcome and valid ( Closing 'easy' questions - yes or no? ) but...
Is there an argument for encouraging beginners to answer the easy questions?
In other words, I'm not an expert but I still enjoy answering questions on Stack Overflow, I don't get the chance very often (either because I don't know the answer, or because I'm not fast enough). But teaching is a great way to learn, and most of the time when I start to answer a question I do a little research, and learn a little more myself. It's safisfying and productive. All the more so on the occasions I'm up there with the fast guns and earn an upvote or two.
(Please feel free to edit and add to these points if you can think of better ones)
- Some of todays beginners and intermediates are tomorrow's experts! We shouldn't put them off.
- All (well almost all) input to stack overflow (or it's siblings) builds value.
- The established experts can/will still comment, vote, edit, mentor and Love the answers and answerers to ensure quality. Think Nurturing.
- Quality of answers could diminish (although the whole system is all about continuously improving the quality of answers, and wrong or poor answers don't survive long)
- Speed of answers would almost certainly decrease.
- It would be impossible to manage/implement
- Jeff seemed in past podcasts not to value very easy questions, and he didn't seem aware that beginers could enjoy answereing as well as getting answers to their own questions. In other words he thought beginners only existed in his "google traffic" demographic, not in his "interested browsers and participants" demographic.
- Experts like answering questions too, what right do we have to ask them not to?
- Stack Overflow is a meritocracy, (experts.Merit > beginners.Merit), Therefore (experts.Value > beginners.Value)