I've often found a situation where multiple replies helped with an answer, but only one person gets the overall answer. I think it would be incredibly beneficial (and fair) to provide a function to say an answer that was provided "assisted" as well as being able to tick just one as the current "answered the question".

  • My hero jeff has touched a post of mine! wowwawiiiiwaa! :)) – Shadi Almosri Jul 12 '09 at 4:28
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    oh :( only to decline my request! that sucks... – Shadi Almosri Jul 12 '09 at 4:28
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    Well, as much as I like the basic idea, how would you do this practically? Give one "accepted" and up to three "assisted" bonuses? What if four people besides the accepted answer helped...... where do you draw the line? – marc_s Jul 12 '09 at 13:41

I don't think this warrents the additional UI complication - it seems like this is basically what upvoting is achieves - the most upvoted answer will be displayed just below your accepted one.

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    Agree. Upvote and comment on any helpful answers. – Bill the Lizard Jul 12 '09 at 0:59
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    Comments don't give the person reputation point for being helpful, often the community votes a "popular" answer (some to gain the 300 votes for one of the easiest badges, simply by following the popular vote). But on many occasions answers that have not been popular or have not received the most upvotes, have helped me more than the ones up votes. As i can only up vote once, i don't think those uses received the right amount of credit for their time and effort. – Shadi Almosri Jul 12 '09 at 4:26
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    I agree with Shadi. An assist would let the question's OP, rather than the community, decide what is most helpful to the OP, much like the Accepted feature does. I, too have seen questions where several answers come together to provide the needed answer. I think the moderators should reconsider this feature request base on that. – RobH Feb 4 '10 at 22:31

There is nothing prohibiting you from upvoting multiple answers, which I think would be more than enough to reward an answer that provided extra information (or was also factually correct).


I’d like to point out an example scenario which demonstrates the utility of assists. In this question, I asked for help to correctly get a command-line argument. The two posted answers were not useful, but the two comments (to the question itself) did give me a nudge in the right direction. As a result of the two comments, I did some testing and found the solution myself. I figured the correct action to take was to post the final answer myself since none of the existing answers were applicable. However, the most that I could do to credit the two people who helped (ie assisted) was to up-vote their comments.

I believe that an assist feature could be helpful in the this situation—like ExpertsExchange has—(though I’m sure that someone can probably explain why even in this scenario it is unnecessary).

  • Even in that case, since the useful hints were not answers an "assist" wouldn't have been useful. Encouraging the commenters to post an answer and up-voting their answers (and accepting the most useful one) would achieve the same result in the existing system. – AnonJr Feb 5 '10 at 1:11

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