So, this comes from looking at Why reward an answer to a low quality question?. Basically, I don't like legalism, so rather than ask questions about specific cases, I'm trying to acquire a general guideline for how SO thinks.

In this case, there are lots of questions which are fairly low quality and could be answered with 10 minutes on google. These questions are often closed, and sometimes they have already picked up an accepted answer before closing. (not always - after all, why bother for an already-answered question?)

These don't really cost much, because they are nearly trivial to answer, but also mean reviewers are 'wasting' time on trivial questions, and avoiding questions that give the same rep, but are a lot more work to edit - they may require actually looking at docs, verifying results in a console, etc. But obviously, these are the ones that are more valuable, and it would be worth encouraging more of these.

What is the thought for how to incentivize this kind of behaviour? Would it make sense to grant a reputation bonus for late answers that are voted up/accepted (based on posting time, not vote time) vs. immediate, quick answers, to give an incentive here?

Maybe the right answer is just to get better about deleting the closed questions that are low quality, since that will vaporize the reputation as well... users would spend less time on answers to obviously low quality questions if they knew that any reputation gained from it was temporary.

Thoughts? Posted as discussion instead of feature request, because from what I've seen so far, someone has already probably thought this through a lot, and I just didn't find it in the search.

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    "deleting the closed questions that are low quality" That, more so than messing around with how reputation is earned, which tends to have lots of very complicated implications. That, and simply trying to encourage a culture of not upvoting posts like these that don't add value.
    – Servy
    Feb 27, 2014 at 14:41
  • Have you considered that the 80% of the traffic is coming to a website from search engine? More questions translates into more traffic, more money, better service..
    – Revious
    Feb 27, 2014 at 14:44
  • I also think this would be too much complex. Any modify to the rules will impact on the health of the community and this is not a marginal change.. If a lot of people asks for easy-to-be-answered questions a lot of people will, probably, also been looking for this kind of questions. If you delete theme the traffic to this community could lower. Also you could irritate users.. I think it's better to fit to the market than fight it.
    – Revious
    Feb 27, 2014 at 14:48
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    @Revious Simply having more questions does not at all translate into the things you note. It actually can significantly reduce the second two, by diluting the relevance/usefulness. Feb 27, 2014 at 14:49
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    @Revious: if you think more awful questions means "better service", you must have a different definition of "service". They make the site a worse resource to use, even if they do bring in revenue (which I doubt to begin with).
    – Wooble
    Feb 27, 2014 at 14:50
  • Yup, @Wooble. I think one of the reasons Stack Overflow can be financially viable, for instance, is that advertisers know the content here will meet certain standards, which will cause the advertising to be better targeted. Feb 27, 2014 at 14:51
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    @Revious - I like to think that SO is primarily a resource for competent programmers to find solutions to difficult problems, not primarily a site for college students to get homework help. The second is useful, but (I hope, at least) the first is who SO is primarily directed at, i.e. its market.... Feb 27, 2014 at 14:52
  • @CorleyBrigman: I think SO is first of all a company.. If they can earn more money they can offer a better service. And also I think no one is working tor earn less money. But don't misunderstand me, it seems to me this to be a wonderful community. Take a step back. Does it seem to you that SO isn't already on optimal community?
    – Revious
    Feb 27, 2014 at 15:11
  • I was curious about this, so I did some searching, and found this: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/55790/… ... from that, it looks like having more questions actually isn't likely to contribute monetarily. Feb 27, 2014 at 15:18
  • @Revious: nearly all of the value in SO comes from the community. There's very little Stackexchange, Inc. can throw money at to make the site more useful. There is, however, plenty the community can do to make it unusable and Yahoo-answersish.
    – Wooble
    Feb 27, 2014 at 15:20
  • @CorleyBrigman: really interesting. Well done!
    – Revious
    Feb 27, 2014 at 15:22
  • @Wooble: I was simply saying that SO is already a very good community. Don't you agree on that?
    – Revious
    Feb 27, 2014 at 15:23
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    Well, I think the good outweighs the bad at the moment, sure. But there is a constant flood of awful content that, left unchecked, could very well make the site less attractive to experienced developers who provide good answers.
    – Wooble
    Feb 27, 2014 at 15:26
  • There are already a good number of questions that go unanswered, and of course they tend to be the hard, interesting questions. The overall number looks like ~1.5M out of ~6.5M are unanswered, or 20-25%, but i'm sure that that is skewed towards easy homework questions answered, difficult corner cases unanswered. It would be beneficial to all to encourage more of those difficult ones to be answered obviously. Feb 27, 2014 at 15:31
  • @Wooble: yes.. but I think this discussion is OT here, maybe better to drop it. Also if you use words like awful you should define exactly what you mean, since many different person can use the same term for very different kind of questions..
    – Revious
    Feb 27, 2014 at 15:32


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