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In my recent question on Travel Stack Exchange I attracted a lot of attention (not least in part because it was a hot network question) and I got a lot of answers. Frustratingly, early answers drove the conversation into a related (and highly relevant) problem, and none of them ended up directly/completely addressing the question as written. The top voted answer is a terse reply, that explores practically none of the nuances. The second, more lengthy answer does a better job, but focuses on the related issue and misses valuable contributions to the answer. While I was able to pick out a complete answer, it was spread over 14 different replies.

To make the question more useful for those who would be interested, I collated the information that I found useful and made a community wiki answer that actually addressed the whole question. If someone else had done this, even if it wasn't a community wiki, I would have happily accepted the answer so it would sit at the top of the list.

BUT since I curated it myself it is impossible for me to get this answer pinned to the top, even when I made it a community wiki from the start. Yes, it potentially could be upvoted to the top, but I highly doubt that will ever happen due to amount of early traffic and huge amount of catching up that is needed.

As the asker, in general I am given the privilege of deciding for myself which answer best fits my question (and the community is free to disagree using the voting mechanism). But in this instance, since I am the originator of the wiki, it is impossible to push this higher. I don't doubt there are good reasons for this, probably discussed ad nauseum, but

In a case like this, how can I, as the asker, highlight information that I found more valuable than the top voted answer, but is spread over multiple answers?

I mean, I could put the answer into the question, but that just defeats the purpose of the format in the first place, not to mention would bloat the question. Editing highly voted answers is maybe an option, but there is a lot of content to add, it doesn't seem like a good option.

I am invested in this question, and I really love the Stack Exchange format and community. I really want to make a meaningful and useful contribution, but my hands are tied here.

What can I do?

  • Thanks for the link. It seems I've done what you suggested, but it's had little impact on the question because it's had so much traffic as a hot network question – Phill May 9 at 2:02
  • I just had a thought. Adding a bounty with the specific request of summarising the valuable answers might be a way around this. It should get quick responses because the effort is half done to begin with. – Phill May 9 at 2:06
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    @Phill, please read the last paragraph here, plagiarizing the best parts of each answer to make one perfect answer isn't appreciated and could be flagged. Encouraging it and offering a bounty could result in cancellation and a forfeiture of the bounty. --- For the lowest cost you can comment on each most helpful one and point out the most helpful portion. For a large cost of reputation you can award the least most helpful 50 rep, the slightly more helpful one 100 rep, and the most helpful one 200 rep. For most people neither is satisfying. – Rob May 9 at 17:06
  • @Rob With a very high traffic question, with lots of answers that don't answer the actual question, I really think the value of the question is diminished because the actual answer is obscured, and the only answers that get any traction are the populist answers. If collating the valuable parts it not acceptable, then it seems like there are no good solutions. – Phill May 10 at 0:17
  • To add to that, what counts as plagiarism on here? If proper attribution is given an there is a link back to the answer, then what is the problem? – Phill May 10 at 1:27
  • @Phill, popped in for a minute, quick response: "What should I do if none of the answers are suitable?" and "What to do when plagiarism is discovered"; also check the right column, "Linked" and "Related". – Rob May 10 at 1:50
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Make a sock account, answer the question with the collection of points, the same way you'd self-answer, and accept the sock's answer to pin it to the top. You may or may not wish to make your sock's answer a community wiki. Clearly state, in a comment, the about-me of the sock, or a foot note to the answer or question, that the sock was created by you, in order to pin a particular answer for that question.

And don't proceed to use your >15 rep sock for naughty stuff (assuming you don't community-wiki the answer in order to make your sock gain rep).

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    Yeah... we generally find self answers between a sock and a master to be red flags. Please, don't do this. – Catija May 9 at 4:28
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    This is a blatant violation of the sock puppet policy, which says that you shouldn't do anything with multiple accounts that you can't do with one main account. Pinning an accepted answer to the top is something you can't do with just your main account, so using a sock puppet to do it is not allowed. – Sonic the Bracketed Hedgehog May 9 at 4:30

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