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Similar to "should-hand-histories-have-accepted-answers?", and pursuant to a comment I posted on this answer, What is the best solution to giving equal credit to equally useful multiple answers to a question?

It's important as many questions will be asked on the main site and I foresee this as a common issue people will face.


In the FAQ, how to ask section, it states that accepting an answer is actually akin to deciding "which answer is the most helpful to you..." and is not about accepting something as definitively correct. That's an important distinction, and undoubtedly one that is misunderstood by a lot of users.

After posting a few hand-histories I find this is a dilemma! On the one hand, I want to reward helpful answers but the system only allows one acceptance. On the other, I don't want to be asked repeatedly to "accept" an answer for the sake of it. That's frankly disrespectful of the usefulness of the system. Also, this will inevitably lead people to regard the accepted answer as correct/better/more relevant/more detailed/etc., and this just isn't true for many cases. It will also sway opinions, which is a negative affect in these specific cases.

I'm not proposing that the system is altered to add additional options to accept multiple answers, as I think that has been adequately discussed on other sites already. See here, here and here for a few highlights on the topic. The issue repeatedly comes up and I'd like to discuss the viewpoint from our unique poker-tinted perspective.

Thanks.

Additional Info:

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Upvote all answers that are helpful or useful. Downvote those that are wrong. Comment when you downvote to give the answerer an opportunity to improve or delete the answer. For answers that are unhelpful or inappropriate -- such as posts that should have been comments but were posted as answers -- comment asking for a revision or deletion of the answer and, after a reasonable ammount of time has passed, downvote. (Edit Per Comments) these posts should also be flagged for moderator attention. I generally comment first, let some time pass, then come back to downvote & flag. This gives the poster a chance to correct his actions before being hit with actions that could be viewed as punitive (but really aren't).

Find a criteria that works for you to decide between multiple answers that are just as good when chosing which answer to accept. Everybody does not need to use the same criteria -- they certainly don't on other SE sites. Some people discern based on some minutiae within the posts, others base it on the time when the answer was first posted or most recently edited. Remember you can always un-accept one answer and accept another if subsequent edits have improved one beyond the other.

I think it's important that you work this dilemma out. You currently have 6 questions on the beta with a 0% accept rate. It's good that you have the questions, but you need to start accepting answers. Currently the accept rate appears healthy as far as the stats are concerned, but refusing to accept answers gives the site an unwelcoming vibe. The last thing we want to do during Beta is chase potential users away by making them think there is no sense of community here.

  • From JA's post, "...accepting answers is not required." Technically, I don't "need" to do anything, but I want to. And I will eventually. What I won't do is subvert my principles just to appease the masses. p.s. I upvoted your answer! – Toby Booth Jan 31 '12 at 14:10
  • Subvert your principles to appease the masses? I got a bit of a chuckle out of that. You're not running for political office -- you're posting on a poker forum. I think we can keep a little perspective here. – John Dibling Jan 31 '12 at 14:16
  • "...inappropriate -- such as posts that should have been comments but were posted as answers -- comment asking for a revision or deletion of the answer and, after a reasonable ammount of time has passed, downvote." These should be flagged for moderator attention - non-answers should be converted to comments or deleted. It's fine to first leave feedback to let the poster fix the problem themselves, but if it isn't fixed it should be flagged. – Chris Marasti-Georg Jan 31 '12 at 14:48
  • @ChrisMarasti-Georg: Yes, I agree. I flag such posts pretty actively on SO, and will do so here as well. – John Dibling Jan 31 '12 at 14:55
  • @ChrisMarasti-Georg: I've edited. – John Dibling Jan 31 '12 at 14:57
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There are a few things to consider here.

First and foremost is that accepting answers is entirely optional. Some sites like Stack Overflow lend themselves to more objective questions and the acceptance rate carries some meaning. I believe Jeff's post is written with Stack Overflow in mind. In fact, I'm pretty sure it predates Stack Exchange 2.0 and sites like this one entirely. So, other Stack Exchange sites (like Programmers, for example) are more subjective and determining a clear "most helpful" answer is either difficult or impossible.

The community here can decide, by consensus, to not put much stock in the acceptance rate.

Beyond that, there are a few things you can do:

  • You can rephrase your questions to include some specific criteria for evaluating the answers. Even a subjective question might impose some parameters on the solutions.

  • When you just can't pick any criteria for the content of the answers, look at their structure. Which answer is the most complete? Which one has in-depth analysis of the problem or perhaps explains a complicated concept in simple, approachable language? Which answer made you go "Oh! I get it now!"?

  • Consider whether your question really is answerable and not just a starting point of a discussion. If it's a question that attracts items, ideas, or opinions posted as "answers", it may be best asked in chat or on a forum somewhere instead.

For everything else, there's voting. :)

  • I think that this last point is very important... "Consider whether your question really is answerable and not just a starting point of a discussion." I feel that most expert level poker content occurs as a discussion, and not so much a question/answer. – Chris Marasti-Georg Feb 2 '12 at 16:48
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The only thing that will cause me to accept a hand history analysis is a realistic EV calculation that proves that one line is superior. Other than that, it's upvotes and downvotes.

I will be going through and accepting answers for some answerable questions that I asked during private beta - I had wanted to wait for public beta so that people wouldn't see the questions having marked answers and not bother with them.

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