It is known that in professional sites like StackExchange - subsites users take question very seriously.
A good question is a mix of all sorts of things such as making the users think, research, and at the end post their own unique answer.

So, we probably won't see a lot of cases of good answers posted on bad phrased questions.
But that is just thinking logically, the numbers tell things are pretty different..

I've seen many many questions (Especially on Stackoverflow) that caught the attention of well-known users (With a lot of reputation) who were kind enough to answer those question in a very finely, detailed and precised way.

While they get many upvotes, the question itself stays the same - quiet and lonely. Which made me think of two reasons:
1) People tend to upvote well known users, somewhat of a 'Herd behavior'
2) People tend to understand only the important parts of the question itself, but take more time to read the answers, and thus appreciate more.

I am not sure if those are correct, I am not sure at all. I would like to hear your ideas from your personal use of those sites (such as, StackOverflow Mathematics etc..)

  • Related: the reversal badge. May 23, 2020 at 3:49
  • 2
    #3) Well known users are well known because they write good answers...? There's several factors at play here, personally, I've changed my username on my main site Worldbuilding every month since joining (till recently) to try and untangle the confounding factors a bit, still managed to become a user with 10,000 + rep points. Frankly I'm still none the wiser.
    – W.O.
    May 23, 2020 at 4:17
  • People answer poor questions, often by guesses. Thus helping the asker, but impeding the asker by enabling poor asking, and thus cluttering the site with poor questions & burdening it with still-poor askers. People have different agendas & different notions of costs & benefits. PS What has your research on meta Q&A on this shown that is relevant?
    – philipxy
    May 23, 2020 at 8:39

1 Answer 1


It is not uncommon for the quality of an answer to be noticeably (sometimes quantumly) better than the question it answers.

To write a great answer an experienced answerer only needs to be able to discern what they think an asker is asking. That may be in a poorly written question, and often askers may be quite inexperienced.

The combination above may mean negligible upvotes (even downvotes) on the question and lots on the answer.

If you see a great answer on a poorly asked question, I recommend that you not only upvote the answer, but also edit the question, to a state where you would be happy to upvote it, and then do so.

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