I find 2 kinds of questions on Stack Exchange sites -

  • Questions that will help people except the OP in the future
  • Questions that only help the OP

Furthermore, some questions that will help people in the future will have high quality answers. When a person is trying to find a good answer to a question, or just trying to learn something new, they will come across questions of all types. Can there be a wiki, the same way as a meta, for each site, that will only contain the good questions along with 1 great answer each?

The sites could me something like




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    Possible duplicate of What are "Community Wiki" posts? – Robert Columbia Feb 15 at 15:55
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    @RobertColumbia: I really hope you do not expect all the good, canonical, widely-referred-to questions and answers on SE sites to be CW. That's not at all the design or practice. – Nathan Tuggy Feb 15 at 18:20

You're describing the Stack Exchange sites themselves. That's the point. That's what they're for.

There are a couple of wrinkles though that make the sites turn out a little differently than you expect. The first is that it turns out it's surprisingly hard to be absolutely sure that a question will only ever help one person. So if it's not in a close reason, it's probably not practical to make that determination in advance. (If you don't expect a question to be useful to others, hit the downvote button. If you're sure it can't generate any answers that could be useful to others, flag or vote to close for an appropriate reason.)

The second is that it's usually impractical to force every question to have exactly one completely thorough and absolutely correct answer. Instead, the sites display accepted answers first, under the theory that the OP presumably has some way to test answer correctness (which is not always a well-founded theory) and then sort by total score by default, in order to show the best answers first.


I disagree with this idea for 3 reasons:

  1. Questions that don't seem like they will have much future value may in fact be extremely valuable to future visitors. If they are certain to have absolutely no future value whatsoever, they can be closed and deleted.
  2. Questions very often can have multiple great answers. There's very rarely a need to compile them all into one.
  3. We just don't need a whole new section of every site just for questions that are expected to be especially helpful to future visitors. It's very hard to tell what questions will be useful in the future.

Stack Exchange already does a pretty good job at sorting out the good questions and answers through voting and sometimes bounties, and sorting out the bad ones by voting, closing (questions only), and deleting.

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