Are there trends or stats on quality of answers for audiences in SO/SU/SF and if there are any relationships among their users?

I'm curious because usually I get decent answers on SF. I don't often go to SO, but am afraid of posting to SU because it seems to feel as if it's the place for people who are smart enough to overclock their CPU's but can't take the time to Google for answers first, but maybe that was just a bad impression I had. I tried posting a question to SU about a Vista screen lock issue, and it had 9 views, no answers. If I tried putting it on SF I know that I'll get it migrated and flamed, even though the issue occurred on a system I had to repair at work for another user that was driving me nuts (the issue...and Vista, not the user).

That got me wondering about whether there are any numbers that (in)validate my feeling that generally there are different amounts of quality answers among the three groups and that it affects your chances of actually getting help.

  • Surely if you make it clear in your question it's a work issue the question shouldn't be migrated. But then with my score on SF what do I know?
    – ChrisF Mod
    Dec 10, 2009 at 14:17
  • 1
    Overclocking doesn't require smarts, it requires courage. There's really little to it.
    – Phoshi
    Dec 10, 2009 at 14:39
  • @Phoshi: I'd usually say the same about googling for an answer before begging for someone else to do it for you in many cases. But I have to remind myself that that is my perspective. Other users and admins apparently have a different mindset. Dec 10, 2009 at 15:46

2 Answers 2


It's difficult to say, first of all because "quality" is a completely subjective measure.

Beyond that basic difficulty, no, there are no metrics for measuring anything like "quality", so there's nothing numeric that can be used to make a distinction.

And even if you did have such a measure, there's no way to account for the simple differences in the breadth and nature of the topic of each site. That is, it may be the case the programming and systems administration questions are necessarily more precise and technical than general computer questions, so how would you account for that bias?

Anything more would be anecdotal. Perhaps others would like to share anecdotes?

  • The entire Internet is subjective.
    – Troggy
    Dec 10, 2009 at 19:12
  • 1
    @Troggy: let's vote to close it as "Subjective and Argumentative" :) Dec 10, 2009 at 21:42

SU because it seems to feel as if it's the place for people who are smart enough to overclock their CPU's but can't take the time to Google for answers first,


Just because a few of the questions are poor quality (and I wouldn't say a lot are) does not mean that the answers are.

Post a good question - get a good answer! (maybe a few bad ones at the same time!)

I have seen some bad questions on Stack Overflow as well... You can't generalise.

... As for your question, it's a hard one! That is why you have no response... I just posted a comment on it - I will try to answer, but, why not try a bounty like on the other SO sites?

  • My general observation is that if I post a question on ServerFault, I generally get a response often within an hour or two, if not sooner. If I post on SuperUser, an answer might trickle in, or nothing ever appears. I think I have two there now with no answers and one with one answer, and I'd like to think that generally I'm asking articulate questions that another user may have run into. Perhaps I'm mistaken. It just seems like ServerFault has more system users and advanced users in the community that answer more readily. Dec 23, 2009 at 12:51

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