Could we have a ‘best answer’ feature in GQ?

Possibly this has been discussed before, apols if so.

Anyway, askmetafilter has a gadget which allows everyone (except the OP) to flag an answer to a question as the ‘best’ one. You can flag more than one answer. See here for example:

They also have a facility where you can browse through questions that have received ‘best’ answers.

I think this would be a very useful tool to have on the Dope, especially in threads where one answer is recognisably great, such as JohnM’s in this one:

(Hope the other answerers don’t mind me saying that!).

Anyway, any chance we could implement it? What do you think?

I don’t think that’s possible with our current software.

Besides, what’s “best?” Says who?


Popular vote. We can redefine the world we live in.

I think it would be kinda fun. Especially if you could categorize answers as, say, “Popular ‘Best Answer’”, which we all would participate in, and, perhaps “Cecil’s Personal Pick” which would be bestowed occasionally by a mysterious black art.

However, this would require such heavy modification of the board software I don’t ever see it happening. Nice idea, though.

Best Answer? Most popular is not the same as “best;” junior high school should have taught you that. :slight_smile:

That being said, interactive features are cool; we want you all to be involved here.

Not exactly sure how we would implement this, so your ideas on this are solicited. Doesn’t make it a done deal, just soliciting comment and suggestions.

If this shapes up as something feasible, I’ll take it upstairs to management.


We have this to a certain extent already, where in some threads people will say, “I second what previousposter said.” Sometimes an answer even gets thirded or fourthed.

This isn’t exactly what the OP was asking for, but it does provide a mechanism where particularly worthy posts can be acknowledged.

(Having absolutely no understanding whatsoever of the programming involved)

Would it be possible to add a button like the flag that allows users to “agree with” a post? The results could be a star or symbol in the post heading. Maybe a little note in the heading like, “## number of users agree with this post.”

Is this even possible with the current software (and feasible given the limitations of man-power)?

Many things are possible, far above and beyond that. However, code modifications are not going to be done to the base software on this site, barring a profound change in policy. And many existing functions are not enabled for performance reasons.

The “best answer” idea might work, but there’s another aspect. Because so many repeat threads get posted about the same god damned topics, there are often anywhere from 1-30 threads on record about any given question. And the quality of the answers in each thread are very different. What if Thread A, where Question B was answered in 2001, really contains the best answer? As opposed to Thread Y, started yesterday, which contains other answers? Without a managed loose FAQ or overall accounting system, you would have absolutely crap answers being ranked “best”.

In addition is the sad fact that sometimes, the “best” answer in a thread is actually wrong or incomplete or misleading, and by the time an expert in whatever field it is comes in to correct 30 posts of mutual back-slapping and dick-sucking and other activities, the OP has long since moved on to post another thread such as “Which ‘My Little Pony’ Are You! OMFG take this LJ quiz!” and no one gives a shit about the answer any more. So what happens when everyone says the “best” answer is the wrong one? A call goes to a Moderator, who rolls out of bed, trips over Glenmorangie bottles and sleeping Ukrainian sex slaves, rubs their face, stares at the screen balefully, and says “Sweet merciful crap, not another one”.

I have to agree with Una here. On a lot of the topics that come up in GQ, the average person isn’t capable of judging what the best answer is. This seems like a really good idea on paper that would just backfire horribly in the real world.

Sorry, in my original, it should have read not just “is it possible,” but “and (somewhat) easy to do, given the basic software running this site.”

If it’s not a (relatively) easy fix, the rest is immaterial.

Of course we would. The scenario you described is little different than the way theories, etc. are developed through scientific inquiry. One would assume that in the later threads, some expert would have come along and “set the record straight.” From that point on, when the thread is accessed, collective knowledge of the dope will help to filter out the previous wrong answers. There will always be mistakes, and people will link to the “wrong” best answer, but, overall, (I assume) the concensous of the board will help to keep the “right” best answer the one that gets used in future threads.

Hmmm… You know, this could be a very interesting experiment on how a common knowledge set is built or how inquiry leads to solutions. Get someone with some university money and a PhD thesis to write to financially support the man hours in modifying the software. :smiley:

Not ‘basic.’ “Background.”

Let’s try this again…

Would it be possible, and (somewhat) easy to do, given the background software running this site, to add a button like the flag that allows users to “agree with” a post?

sorry for the multi-post

How come Tuba never told me about the Ukranian sex slaves when she tries to talk me into signing back on?

Yeah, me too!

How come she didn’t tell me about the moderators when she was trying to hire me as a se….
(never mind)

To add a little content in addition to the (probably not that) funny comments, I think that ranking answers could be problematic. Although we get a pretty good set of answers here, we still get the occasional dipstick.

Would it be possible to have a ranking by a SDSAB member? Or maybe some poster sort of officially assigned to a subject? This seems like a lot of work, but I can’t see getting a decent ranking out of just general public polling, even around here.

Secretary? :smiley:

Yes, with the latest version of the software (3.5.0) something like this is indeed possible. Just takes a few minutes to set up.

Yeah, secretary. Now that you mention it, secretary is exactly what I was going to say.

At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. :smiley:

Maybe because they specifically requested that you not be told? :wink:

I don’t think any vB upgrades are on Jerry’s schedule. But I’ll ask; maybe I’ll be surprised.


Thanks, Tuba!

With regard to the debate about the ‘best’ answer, my particular idea was for it not to be a poll, but of course if everyone prefers that idea I’m happy to go with it. At MeFi a answer is labelled as ‘best’ post when only one person flags it as such (and, surprisingly, this doesn’t happen in every thread). We could limit flagging to the OP of course.

And I don’t know, my opinion of the Dope is high enough that most people will wait till a few answers have been given before the ‘best’ is flagged – and our judgement is usually sound.