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This morning, I spotted a question that had attracted a lot of attention:

The question was interesting and everyone wanted a go at answering it.

As I write this, it has 26 answers. About 15 of them are 100% correct. To write all these answers, several man-hours must have been expended. Is this not very wasteful indeed, seeing as the correct answer was available quite quickly? People seem to obsess about writing the most comprehensive and eloquent answer, when something much shorter will do. SO should ask itself if it wishes to generate discussions that become so comprehensive that the whole site becomes a reference document.

The SO system should try and steer people away from these trending question, at least for a few hours, to give the questioner the chance to accept an answer and call a halt to the madness of duplicating answers.

I am certain there will be cries that I have missed the point (and that my rep is too low to be this impertinent), but has anyone given this consideration?

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something i had never thought of before...good point...+1! and welcome to Meta Stack Overflow! – studiohack Oct 2 '10 at 15:04
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yup, put the most answered and viewed questions down in the list (or better still hide them!) and place the questions with few views and no answers on the top(so that my questions will finally get some answers!)

And instead of all the baloney surrounding Trending Topics ala Twitter lets have a "Non-Trending" topics (And a cool name for such topics instead of the derived "non trending")

Finally lets have an option to mod answers as Funny, Insightful or Troll ala Slashdot, so that less-witty mortals can mod me as Funny and Insightful. (This would work much better than Slahdot since, SO's upvoting does not have a limit of five, and people could have Funny 967 besides their posts.)

(please don't mod me down. I have almost no karma.)

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+1 So 5 people can now vote you down with a clear conscience! – Martin Smith Oct 2 '10 at 11:12
I have been running into a number of your questions and answers, and you don't seem to know how to edit...instead of posting your above feature request in a comment, edit your question and add it there...that way, it is all together and compact... – studiohack Oct 2 '10 at 15:06
thanks @studiohack – abel Oct 2 '10 at 16:38
you're welcome, and welcome to Meta Stack! – studiohack Oct 2 '10 at 17:55

Is this not very wasteful indeed, seeing as the correct answer was available quite quickly?

Who cares? It's their own time people are wasting. :)

Even though I see your point, the general principle on SO has always been that if you feel you can give a better answer - deeper, more clearly put, better explained, with more detail, with more background, with reference links, with more bullet points and formatting :) - you have every right to take a shot, even though a correct answer has already been provided.

I know this often leads to a lot of duplicate content, but I don't think this is something the system should interfere with. The voting system, accept mark and comments are good enough tools to guide future generations through the plentitude of contributions.

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The voting system, accept mark and comments only really work for new questions though IMO. I recently answered a 2 year old question which had 15 answers and an upvoted accepted answer on a score of 67. Even though I'm confident my answer is better than the accepted one my answer is sitting on a score of zero and in the interim the accepted answer has received an additional 3 upvotes. – Martin Smith Oct 2 '10 at 10:33
@Martin that is true, I totally agree that is a problem, but it's a different issue that the one at hand here – Pëkka Oct 2 '10 at 10:35
Wow, someone from Cologne (like me) :) – Henrik P. Hessel Oct 2 '10 at 10:36
@Pekka - I think it's related. Having many answers makes it more difficult to see the wood for the trees. Probably very few people will read past the first three or four answers. – Martin Smith Oct 2 '10 at 10:38
@Henrik hah, how nice! :) – Pëkka Oct 2 '10 at 10:38
@Martin yes, but the question here is how to deal with an avalanche of answers when the question is new. Your issue is about when questions are old, and new correct answers not making it to the top. Absolutely a valid thing to talk about, but I don't really see the relevance here. – Pëkka Oct 2 '10 at 10:42

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