This has bugged me for a while, but this question demonstrates the problem nicely.

Priorities for Limited Funds

The question is okay but I observe that the three answers are all 20+ lines long, and all mention similar things.

It feels like we're not leveraging the upvote mechanism for answers, and I wonder if it would be better for that question to have one item per answer, and let the votes say what's most important.

So if the answers were

  • A mini-pump
  • A floor pump
  • spare tube
  • a boulder
  • Water and food
  • helmet and visibility clothes
  • lights

Then I'd expect the bad answers to get downvotes, and the good answers to appear near the top..

Otherwise its a bunch of very similar answers and try to glean the common items in most or all, while looking out for the gems mentioned only once and avoiding any lemons.

Thoughts? Or have I just described a community wiki ?

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  • 4
    Yeah, that would have been definitely the more interesting way to do that, and would show more clearly the actual priorities... But most answers try to be "everything" kind of answers. If that question was set up like that, telling people to "give their one favorite thing to have on a ride so I can prioritize my buying", that would make sense(And it would be interesting to see what comes out of it). – CardMechanic Jul 28 '17 at 14:17
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    Two of those long answers were probably written on top of each other, I see they had similar time stamps. The third, I really would have expected to be downvoted and out, since it came in several hours later and doesn't really add a lot. – CardMechanic Jul 28 '17 at 14:18
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    Well, it was an overly broad question so you're likely to get overly broad answers. :-( – RoboKaren Jul 28 '17 at 17:31
  • They are fine answers to the stated question. We don't get to dictate the format of the answer. If it is rude or a non answer you can flag a mod. Your answer to this bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/49282/… is longer than any the the current answers. – paparazzo Jul 30 '17 at 6:01
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    @Paparazzi Yes, however I point out its the only answer too, rather than three answers that try to say the same things. New answers to that folding-to-MTB question should include new answer info, rather than rehashing what's already been said. You're right though, it is of the same (possibly flawed) answering style. My question though, is it worth consciously avoiding this style and having each answer be more "atomic" ? – Criggie Jul 30 '17 at 9:26
  • I don't agree it is 3 same answers. A user should be able to post an answer if they want. If repeated information with a later time stamp gets a down vote the so be it. If an answer left off three items from another answer how would you know they don't recommend or just did not repeat. It is not the intent of an upvote to have a poll. I get your dedication to the site but I think your answers get out of scope here and yet you want to reel back answers I think are in scope. Your answer to the other question is longer than these three combined and covers bike types out of scope. – paparazzo Jul 30 '17 at 10:04

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