As a user of Stack Overflow, I noticed a phenomenon which quite decreases the quality of answers, that is, showing the first answer first (then, according to upvotes).

I notice that, specially in easier questions, people rush to give an answer quickly, that is satisfactory, but with speed having a higher priority than quality.

I'd like to suggest that, after someone asks a question, the answers just appear like 10 minutes later, not in creation time order (maybe random, maybe according to reputation, I don't know).

This would be an incentive to giving a more complete and detailed answer, rather than a quick and dirty one. What do you guys think?


I agree with what Jeffrey said, there is value in a quick answer many times and over time the better, more complete answers tend to float to the top. But I would add, if you're looking to learn something from a question, be a smart consumer and don't assume the right answer is at the top or even the accepted answer. This is especially important, because I would imagine a lot of the time you're not looking for an answer to the same exact question, but a similar question/issue, and therefore you need to be able to apply the answers to your own situation and not be fully reliant on the vote system. The voting system is a tool, not the end all.


This is something that has been addressed on the podcast several times. The current perspective by Jeff and Co. seem to be that there is real value in having a correct (albeit brief), immediate answer.

Answers that are long and thorough will be voted to the top of the stack eventually in a majority of cases.


I think most high-rep people answer quick then re-evaluate their answers and edit them to provide more details and content.

I think, however, the thing that most results in low-quality answers is selecting a correct answer too early. It suppresses the desire to provide a similar answer but with more detail or with a slightly different twist.

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    Yes. Currently the most effective way of getting lots of upvotes seems to be - quickly answer with "Yes, you can do this with [some module]", then go back and edit it to add a better description of the module, links, example code and so on. You get votes from people clicking on the question just as it appears (because it's the best, if only answer on the page) - then when more people answer, your's already at the top of the page, and now much more comprehensive.. – dbr Jun 29 '09 at 18:40

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