Not sure if this was discussed before.
First, a relatively easily answerable question pops up.
Typical response to this: two/three people respond to such a question within the same minute, often with very similar/close answers. The accepted answer can only be only one, unfortunately.
And then the edit war begins.
Each answerer realizes that minor details start to make significant impact to the decision of getting his/her own answer accepted. A minor remark is added (e.g. "this was mentioned in book X"). And then another one a minute after. And another one. Semicolon is fixed in the code. A method call is added to help the asker. Well, I'm sure you know the story.
This is one of the my most hated features on SO. Why?
- In order to get better chances for my answer to be accepted, I need to constantly monitor the answer and see if someone else added a (relatively minor) comment so I can add another just to keep up with competing answers. In other words - I have to take active participation in this war;
- in order to get points, you know you are very, very time limited. Unless you answer within seconds (especially involving popular tags), your answer is useless;
- some people submit an answer within first few seconds by providing bare bone answer (just to put other people off) and nail-polish it within next 20 edits;
Does this contribute to the overall question/answer quality? Maybe.
Does this encourage non-alpha-geeks to answer questions? No.
- deliberate delay for first X minutes before answers show up (not very good idea apparently);
- per question/per post edit limit;
What do others think?