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I was thinking, if a question has more than say 40 answers there is very little value in getting answer number 41. The chances of it floating to the top are slim.

Does it make sense to automatically protect any question with more than N answers, so a user needs 10 reputation to answer them? (should that 10 number be increased?)

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10? How about 3K? –  Rosinante Jul 22 '10 at 0:36
    
@Rosinante: should be at least 13K... –  Shog9 Jul 22 '10 at 0:51
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yes for protect and yes for more than 10 –  eruciform Jul 22 '10 at 1:27
    
Are you counting deleted? They pretty much bongo it up. –  random Jul 22 '10 at 1:39
    
How about some cool logarithmic function? Or, how about not. –  Camil Staps Mar 30 '13 at 15:48
    
related (not a dupe): 30 answers ought to be enough for anybody –  gnat Mar 30 '13 at 22:55
    
...also related: Should trending questions be auto-protected? and Lots of not-always-useful but well-intentioned answers. Questions with many answers tend to stick to the top of the hot questions list forever but that's rather because of bug in hotness formula –  gnat Mar 31 '13 at 2:56

3 Answers 3

Just lock 'em. Probably at 60 or 90 answers, so two or three pages are filled.

Maybe add a little note at the top of the question, something like, "This was an entertaining question, but there are now [two|three] pages of answers, and it is becoming difficult to effectively read and moderate the responses. If you feel you have something to add, consider editing one of the existing answers, or post a question on meta..."

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Locking them also prevents casting votes, editing the question and closing it. –  Andreas Bonini Jul 22 '10 at 1:14
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If they haven't been sufficiently voted, edited, or closed by the time they've collected 90 answers, then it's probably too late, @Kop. –  Shog9 Jul 22 '10 at 1:21
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Lock is good. Those posts are just badge whoring, and there's no need to constantly leave the red lights on and badging people for their vomit stains. –  random Jul 22 '10 at 1:40
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How about an auto-close? Then votes are still possible, but you'd need to get a critical mass of reopen votes to be able to add a new answer (or convince a mod to reopen it). –  Ether Jul 22 '10 at 4:26

As was suggested by Shog9 the my question that I'm guessing caused this question to be asked - perhaps we need an option so only 10k or 3kers can answer. Mainly because they're smart enough to know that a question with 600 answers is not going to need another answer.

The idea being that if a 10ker (or a 3ker) feels that they have a valuable contribution to be made, they probably do. It's discrimination I know but someone with 120 rep probably doesn't have anything valuable to add to a question of that nature.

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I don't think we should do that because of the fast pace of code changes that happen in our world. It could easily be that a year or two later, there is a different relevant answer, based on changes in the codebase or environment, and we want people to be able to put that up. You can find plenty of examples of questions that need newer answers for them.

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