Is it just me or are there more extremely short answers here than on many SE sites?

Stack Exchange obviously prefers longer answers. Not bloated and not with "filler" but also not just a sentence or less, because they all come up under the "review" link.

Is there a post by Jeff or Joel we can refer to that might help encourage people to want to make better answers, especially during the beta when we want to showcase how great the site could be?

1 Answer 1


If you find a one sentence answer, just flag it for moderator attention and vote it down. These answers should be moved to comments for being low quality.

Unfortunately, there's not any Jeff/Joel posts (that I know of) that really address this issue. Generally voting and flagging takes care of the problem.

Alternatively, if you feel that there are parts of the question that remain unanswered, add a comment to the answer asking for more details.

It should be noted that if the question can be fully answered with a single sentence, the question itself is probably too simple and the question should be removed. If the single line answer does not fully answer the question, the answer needs to be removed.

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    In a near miss with irony, I nearly posted that first "paragraph" as my complete answer. Fortunately, I caught myself before I hit the "Post" button.
    – Richard
    Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 17:39
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    Really? I don't really like to downvote that easily in early beta for fear of offending and discouraging contributors. Isn't there something with less risk of being interpreted as negative that we could do? Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 18:11
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    You can add a comment asking for fuller posts (3rd paragraph). I agree that we shouldn't "scare off" early contributers. However, it is crucial at this point in the beta that we fill our site with high quality content. If we permit people to post low quality answers early on, this site will fail--it will fail to draw experts and ultimately fail to launch.
    – Richard
    Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 18:18
  • Yes I suppose it's the wording or such comments I'm worried about. I'm not great at that stuff and Joel and Jeff are good at it so I was hoping I could link to or pick bits out of something they already said. There is a delicate balance. In one beta I was in one good contributor had a bad reaction and deleted all their work and their account so I try to be extra gentle and supportive while trying to promote high quality answers. Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 18:24
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    @hippietrail Yeah, I'm more of the SWING THE DIAMOND HAMMER!! type of guy.. (Just kidding). Moderators are experts (or should be) at dealing with things appropriately. That's why I suggest flagging them.
    – Richard
    Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 19:55

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