I've noticed that some users, after answering a question, add a comment to the question promoting their answer, and praising the OP on the quality of their question. Is this considered bad form?

  • Have any examples? – Michael Mrozek Aug 30 '11 at 3:23
  • For some examples, google site:stackoverflow.com "good question" "see my answer". – Richard A Aug 30 '11 at 3:26
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    People may not know that OPs are notified on new answers (I believe?), so they comment so their answers don't go unnoticed. I do this sometimes when I make a major edit to my answer and there isn't yet an accepted answer or the accepted answer is wrong (minus the "praising the OP" part). – agf Aug 30 '11 at 4:23
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    +1, good question! See my answer! ;-) – Lukas Eder Aug 30 '11 at 6:07

Without getting into any specific examples, I think the answer is clearly: it depends.

Giving credit to someone for asking a good question when you really think it is a good question is a great idea. If it is sincere, it a polite and honorable thing to do. For example, I doubt Eric Lippert has much to gain directly by praising people's questions but he sometimes does it. But if a teacher were to say "good question" after every question it would become meaningless.

Similarly, if you tell your superiors "great idea" for every idea they have, people around you are going to notice that you are a sycophant and probably think less of you. On Stack Overflow if you are insincere and say "great question" when its not a great question other users might think either you are not a very good judge of questions or that you are pandering to the author.

As far as directing the asker to your answer, some askers need very specific help in understanding that a particular answer, perhaps your answer, addresses the conceptual problem being discussed in comments. In such a case, it makes a lot of sense to "connect the dots" for the asker.

In other cases, a "see my answer" comment might be little more than "that kid" who always raises his hand in class really high, waving it around, saying "I know! I know!"

So we really cannot say "you said 'good question' or 'see my answer' and that is bad form." It all depends on context.

What we can say is that if you said "good question" or "see this answer" and you did not supply an answer, then your motives are probably in the right place and you are probably making the site better.


Richard, when I use your google query from your comment:

site:stackoverflow.com "good question" "see my answer"

Then I actually find matches only from one single user doing this. So I don't know if your question should be a general question, or whether this one user is in fact trying to get some massive gold badge on the tag...

This one user seems to be very proficient in XSLT after all, and I like his answers, which I previously appreciated for my own questions. Nevertheless, seeing that he does it virtually on every question he encounters, including praising the OP, which seems silly if every XSLT question is automatically a good question, then I agree, it's not really good form.

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    Yeah, I think those comments should be flagged. – agf Aug 30 '11 at 6:32
  • Just to clarify, I have no issue with the quality of the answers, which are often excellent, it was a question about the technique of getting your name and a reference to your answer 'above the fold'. – Richard A Aug 30 '11 at 23:30
  • @Richard A: Absolutely. Considering the quality of those answers (which I often encountered), I'm actually quite surprised that he does that so often... – Lukas Eder Aug 31 '11 at 5:48
  • ... but I think it's a single case. There are only few people who "abuse" this... – Lukas Eder Aug 31 '11 at 7:35
  • @Luke, I agree that it's rare. One of my concerns is that if is seen as 'normal' then there will be copycats and it will change the culture of the site. – Richard A Sep 1 '11 at 23:23
  • @RichardA: of course, that's why it's important to get in touch with this user – Lukas Eder Sep 2 '11 at 5:50

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