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Sometimes I ask a simple question and get a couple of almost identical answers within seconds of each other. Which answer should I accept?

  • The fastest -- seems logical, but why promote answering a couple of seconds faster?
  • The least upvoted -- everyone gets approx. the same points.
  • The lowest-rep user's -- to even things out.
  • At random -- since there is no clear answer.
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Totally up to you. –  ChrisF Mar 6 '11 at 23:16
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@ChrisF: I'm outsourcing the problem so I won't have to spend brain time. That's the essence of most SO questions. –  user157130 Mar 6 '11 at 23:21
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possible duplicate of Which answer do I accept if I have multiple correct answers? –  Jon Seigel Mar 7 '11 at 0:14
    
@Jon: That question had no definite answer. I'm talking about the case where the answers are almost identical. –  user157130 Mar 7 '11 at 0:23
    
Select one, migrate to another site, select the other. –  Won't Mar 7 '11 at 12:53
    

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Best thing in this case would be to go over the answers and choose the one which defines the issue most clearly and in the simplest language. Also, if the person has given examples, then that should gain the acceptance to one which does not.

If all the answers are equal in all aspects of language and simplicity and examples, then go with one which you feel provides the best value to the person and to you too :-)

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  1. The fastest -- seems logical, but why promote answering a couple of seconds faster?
    • this is not bad, if the answers are equally good. I favour this one when all other factors have already been considered, since the answer did come first (there's no telling if the later answer copied the earlier one)
  2. The least upvoted -- everyone gets approx. the same points.
    • bad idea. So you vote it up because everyone else feels it is inferior?
  3. The lowest-rep user's -- to even things out.
    • this could work, but only if the answers are equal, and you have a thing against high-rep well established users
  4. At random -- since there is no clear answer.
    • if there is no "clear answer", don't accept any. When/if you find your own, add it as an answer or edit it into an existing one and accept that
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Regarding the last point, I meant "no clear answer to the question of how to break the tie". –  user157130 Mar 6 '11 at 23:37

Most of the time, it's not just the code in the answer that counts, it's the wording and the explanations provided. Think of which answer will best benefit future visitors who have encountered a similar issue.

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