Meta Question

Shippy's avatar

Do you bother to answer questions where the user didn't even say thank you?

Asked by Shippy (9857 points ) February 15th, 2013

If I ask a question, I will either say thank you personally, or score a point to that user that answered. (As I figure people have better things to do than answer my bullshit all day). So in appreciation I will do that or comment on what they said, and as I mentioned earlier award them a point of thanks. Unless the answer really sucks.

I have noticed some users ask a question and not one person on the thread got a point? Or a mention. My feeling is why bother? So I wont! It’s a bit like hey answer my question OK??? and no thanks to you!

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50 Answers

livelaughlove21's avatar

I don’t think much about it. I also don’t keep track of my points very much. I come here for fun, for something to do, and in the process maybe even help someone out if I can. I might be slightly miffed if I leave a well thought-out answer that gets no points over less helpful ones, but I don’t dwell on it.

I don’t say thank you to each individual person that answers my question unless they gave a particularly helpful response, but I’ll give points to those that answered as long as they weren’t being unnecessarily sarcastic, rude, unhelpful, or otherwise. I guess I don’t think much about the points, though I appreciate the feedback.

marinelife's avatar

No, I don’t answer the questions for thanks or for lurve points, but I do like it when I get them especially the thanks.

Judi's avatar

I rarely click the “thank you” button unless I ant to say something to someone privately. I usually give lurve to most people who answer my questions unless the answer really isn’t helpful or someone comments several times.

DaphneT's avatar

Personally, I don’t answer questions to get the points or the thank you. There have been many questions about this topic and the main point to many of the answers is we only have 100 points to give out per person, so if I gave you 100 already you won’t see more. And a thank you is gratuitous. If it flows naturally, then do it, otherwise don’t sweat it.

Some posters can’t come back to a question for days or weeks and by that point it’s moot, everyone has moved on, and the conversation that developed can’t be joined or it feels awkward to interrupt it with a brief thank you. If the OP wants a conversation then the OP can continue the discussion or start a new one via PM.

Some questions just seem to naturally terminate with neither party having anything more to add.

ucme's avatar

I answer questions based entirely on their merit, any other motive is just bullshit which I have no time for.
It’s funny that people will ignore a perfectly good question because they dislike the asker for example, you couldn’t make that shit up.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@ucme Agreed. This happens with lurve as well. People will give points to their friends and ignore equally (or more) helpful answers because they don’t like or know the person.

…which is why I don’t really give two shits about the lurve popularity contest.

tups's avatar

I don’t answer questions because I want to be thanked, but because I think they’re interesting and want to add my two cents.

Shippy's avatar

I am not talking about points, just making a ‘point about being grateful for answers”. Really? I see an entire thread of people answering no one got not one point. But hey, different strokes for different folks. I give a shit about points too. But surely someone there on that thread helped? Or maybe not, who will ever know? we wont for sure. @livelaughlove21 The lurv popularity thing was the least reason for this question. Sometimes people want to know they helped. I like to know if people were helped that clear the question??

ucme's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Never cared for the numbers game myself, some clearly attach great significance to it…bless.

Shippy's avatar

It’s interesting that for the most part people who answered, did so regarding a contest.When it was not even mentioned nor part of the question strange

ucme's avatar

@Shippy I do get your point, in the sense where a thread with very little GA’s seems messy & a little mean spirited/petty.
In general terms though, “lurve” means absolutely nothing to me.

zensky's avatar

You’ve been here nearly a year now, @Shippy – and you must know by now that lurve is both meaningless – and completely irrational. I have some questions with literally hundreds of posts – with but one or two GQ’s. Posts are easy – meaningful, one-liners or even without anything – can get anywhere from zero to a hundred lurve. Sometimes none, which means that even the OP hasn’t bothered.

Welcome to Fluther. The Q and A site and community. Not Fluther: The Game.

And I very rarely “thank” someone. I never think of it. But I do PM a lot.

I have noticed some users ask a question and not one person on the thread got a point?

Maybe your reference to points confused us – or you.

Shippy's avatar

@ucme Yes! Thank you that is what I meant. I do think at least one person there deserved a thumbs up. So anyway for the most part I wont bother to answer those questions. The whole thing seems narcissistic to me. :P (assuming I am just grateful to be here answering questions I mean). @zensky Not talking about lurve, I am talking a whole thread with zeros. Nice one ’ Asker’, your gratitude was overwhelming

ucme's avatar

@Shippy I automatically GA every answer in a question of mine as a matter of course, good manners if nothing else, unless you happen to be a complete head of a dick.

zensky's avatar

I also automatically lurve everyone in my question – except for @ucme – force of habit.

Shippy's avatar

@zensky Yes but you are a class act… what can we say!! and Ucme gets my vote too, most the time.

zensky's avatar

I notice you still haven’t lurved me up there…

ucme's avatar

@zensky liar, liar, ya pants are on fire!
@Shippy There goes that pesky capital again…harumph!

Shippy's avatar

@zensky True I didn’t read it properly (Your answer.) Most of my lurvers have used up their 100 ages ago. So no it’s not the point, but surely someone said something worthwhile give them my friggen point goddam it, give them something? For taking the time to read the drivel and then answer it. my drivel included But it is the thumbs up or thank you I am talking about. Perhaps lets add thumbs down and up. Then either way we know if our answer sucked eggs and the Asker actually read it.

zensky's avatar

I have noticed that the longer I am here – and the more iPhones and Smartphones there are – the fewer lurve is given out. I don’t have one – but I understand it is extra work to do so on one. People can’t be bothered.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@zensky I don’t know. Giving lurve on an iPhone is just as easy as on a desktop. It only takes a tap and it’s done.

ucme's avatar

“Giving lurve on a phone”...sounds like sexting, could be interesting.

janbb's avatar

A lot of newbies don’t know about lurve or saying “thank you.” It doesn’t bother me. I do like getting “GAs” and thanks but that’s not why I answer.

wundayatta's avatar

I see questions as a gift to the community. Answerers should be thanking questioners, not the other way around. And they do, when they appreciate a question. I see questions as belonging to the answerers, not to the questioners. I know some people here think the questions belong to the questioner and the questioner gets to guard it jealously, but I think that’s not a good community building way to go about it, and my concern is community building, not answering questions.

So for me, questions are a service for answerers. They provide answerers with an opportunity to reflect on or investigate various issues. They allow answerers to express themselves.

The questioner is least among us, and that is reflected in the relative value of lurve for questions and answers. Answers get more points from a GA than questions get from a GQ. And both run out after a while, so you can only give 100 points from lurve to anyone.

Indeed, the only points that never run out are those for showing up. You can get one point a day for showing up many days in a row. That shows you that the site rewards community more than anything else. It rewards participation, and participation in answers most of all.

So it is inappropriate for questioners to thank answerers. It should be the other way around. Of course, that’s just following the format of the website. Obviously when people are polite and kind, they thank people no matter what.

So thank you @Shippy, for asking this question. You are a boon to the community. I hope you understand that.

thorninmud's avatar

For the most part, when I answer a question I’m not just doing it for the benefit of the person who posted the question. It’s a social activity. Whether or not the asker acknowledges my comment, it’s up there for the whole community (present and future) to see and consider. That’s usually very much in my mind when I’m writing. If the asker happens to like it, so much the better; but that’s not necessarily the most important thing.

Frankly, when I see that all of the answerers to a Q are getting an automatic GA for just showing up, then it carries very little reward value. I think most of us really want to see at least some correlation between the amount of reflection and care and insight that went into an answer and the lurve it receives.

The asker of the question is in a difficult position: if an answer gets no lurve, then the resentment of the answerer is going to fall on the asker, not on the countless other jellies who read the answer and weren’t moved to give it lurve. That puts social pressure on the asker to give lurve even when they’re underwhelmed by the answer. I know I do. That’s a part of being a social player; preserving your social standing with others becomes more important than pure objectivity.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I answer questions that I want regardless of whether the OP thanks me (I never use the “thank you” button personally) or lurves me. I, myself, don’t acknowledge or lurve everyone’s answers on my own questions so I certainly don’t expect others to do do so for my answers unless they feel it is a GA or they want to respond.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I usually try to thank answer’s whenever I can. Sometimes things come up and I can’t. That bums me out. :(

SamandMax's avatar

I’m so glad you brought this up.

I recently had to ask the chief to shift a question I asked into the Social section of Fluther as opposed to the General section because the thread ultimately got so very out of hand, and ended up going fairly off tangent. This is not a new issue. It happens many times over in many other threads. The guidelines generally are followed but they also get overlooked quite a bit. I guess that’s half the joy of posting answers on a website that involves a bit of debate every now and then, and the occasional answer relevant to the question being asked.
When the question being asked in a General section though, which requires an answer directly related to the content of that question, is answered by scores of people having a debate and not really answering the question at all, it becomes a bug-bear to have to read through the whole lot to determine what are good answers and what really aren’t good answers in relation to the guidelines. Does it answer my question in the general section? No it doesn’t, so sod it, no gold star for you then. Sad but true. Firm but fair. Does it answer it in the social section….well…yes I suppose it does. The social section allows for answers to be many and varied in content so long as it’s relevant to the discussion at hand more than the question.

I thank people when I can, but I can be slow to do so – not that I’m lazy, it’s just that clicking on over 40 answers as being great answers can take a while.

syz's avatar

I answer questions that interest me or that I feel I have pertinent information about. I do not expect a thank you, and am surprised when I get one.

I ask questions to get answers and give a GA for particularily helpful, thoughful, clever, or funny answers.

Coloma's avatar

Never crosses my mind to want a “Thank You.”
I give lurve points for the reasons @syz mentioned and infact, I am often surprised some of my wacky Q’s get Great Question responses. Just never crosses my mind to expect a “Thank You” for something I voluntarily participate in.

bookish1's avatar

If I post a practical question in General, I try to remember to give a GA to everyone who responds, and sometimes I will thank people privately too. If I post a creative or survey question in Social, I think of that more as releasing a question to the community to see where it goes. People aren’t necessarily responding to me anymore but to the question or theme itself, and I don’t mind if my Social questions go on tangents. I don’t feel it is as important to thank every individual answerer when I post a Social question, but I do try to be a lurve fairy in general.

Bellatrix's avatar

I am not motivated to answer a question by whether the person has historically thanked me or given me lurve. It is lovely when someone does thank me and I have noticed a couple of people religiously do this whenever I answer one of their questions and their behaviour stands out. I can’t say who is allocating lurve other than that but I have noticed questions with no lurve awarded.

When I ask questions I try to use the ‘thank’ button OR thank people personally in the thread or at the very least give everyone lurve. I have been distracted away from a question on occasions and have come back to it later (even quite a while later) to say thanks or give lurve. That happens rarely but my response has been delayed on occasions so I would give other people the benefit of the doubt and not judge them too harshly if I am not thanked in some way.

CWOTUS's avatar

I’ll make a first answer if I have one and have the time and interest. But if there’s not even an acknowledgement, then I’ll probably stop following the thread sooner than I might have otherwise.

I don’t need lurve, but acknowledgement, follow-up question or some kind of evidence of having read and understood (or request for clarification) or even disagreement with the response is a sine qua non for me.

Sunny2's avatar

I should give GQ’s to every question I answer whether it really is good or not. It gave me something to think about besides the problems I really face. Guess I’ll do that.

augustlan's avatar

I see where you’re coming from @Shippy, but it never crossed my mind to withhold an answer for any reason.

I’ll answer anyone’s question, if I think it might help. Even for people I don’t particularly like. I look at much the same way as @thorninmud does…the answer is not only for the asker, but for anyone else who has a similar issue, now or in the future.

ucme's avatar

That’s one of the reasons I don’t get why people refuse to acknowledge questions asked by users they don’t get along with. It’s their question, but the communities thread, any answer they give may either help or enlighten a pal, or simply evolve a question in a fun/playful manner, seems petty & rather counter productive to me, but there you go.

janbb's avatar

@ucme So you noticed I don’t answer your questions? :-)

ucme's avatar

@janbb Hee-hee, I got you licked…the chocolate penguin anyhoo ;¬}

tinyfaery's avatar

Huh? No one has to thank anybody. Answering the question is the thanks you get for asking it.

Shippy's avatar

@augustlan Good point. I think it is to me a manners thing. I try to thank people where I can, since like I mentioned earlier I feel most of the drivel they read and try to answer deserves some response.

dxs's avatar

I always give lurve to people who answer my questions if they are relevant, and I have definitely thanked some people and even added to things in private conversations, but I guess it doesn’t really phase me if they don’t thank me or lurve me. They may appreciate it just not say it. A lot of the time I get pleasure out of simply answering anyway. But thanking never hurts.

Pachy's avatar

One thing I’ve learned in my time is that it’s best not to expect thank you’s. If I get one, whether on Fluther or in my daily life, I consider it a bonus.

This is not to say that I don’t sometimes feel a little miffed when I don’t get a thank you when I think I deserve it.

Rarebear's avatar

I actually find it annoying when people thank me for answers. It means I have a PM and involves an extra mouse click, and I feel like a schmuck when I don’t answer. And I could give a rats ass about points. I wish they would go away, actually.

Unbroken's avatar

Reading the title I thought this would be a completely different thread then it is.

Sure lurve for answers to questions I ask almost always gets handed out. Seems to me people are fairly generous even sometimes before I get back which makes me feel good, people are having a good time and being looked out for.

The issue I struggle with sometime is my sense of obligation to respond to everyone in one of my questions. Sometimes I just don’t have the time or much to say in response especially when there is a consensus and responding in line to everyone can be difficult as I am on my phone 90% of the time. Or sometimes I disagree with one person but don’t want to make it an issue or pick sides esp since it could be helpful to someone else in the future. This is more for subjective matters.

I do still attempt to be diplomatic. There are times when the question and responses don’t seem to warrent an additional comment from me. Or the intent of the question was so off from the response I just read and hand out lurve and debate whether its rude for me not to add anything.

There are times I worry I add to much. Sometimes I will ask a question and even though I am fluthering in order to get a response from a broad spectrum of people instead of guiding the nature of content I won’t read the answers until significantly later.

Then there are times I have missed a golden moment and the thread has moved on. Which is fine by me. But sometimes I wonder if people think it is rude. I am starting to thank a few people for great responses personally. I don’t always do it. And sometimes I just don’t have the time.

Saying that, I overthink things way too much. It is not that big of a deal. As long as we all try. Some will no doubt exceed expectations consistently and others won’t meet it. I could name a few that do. It’s fine I will answer any question I feel interesting depending on time and boredom as the shifting factors. As well as sometimes I realize I need to keep my mouth shut but can lurk.

jca's avatar

I haven’t read the previous answers on this thread but I don’t care if people thank me or not. I appreciate it, sure, but I don’t post questions or answers for thanks for necessarily for lurve points. To me, the purpose of Fluther is the back and forth, ask any question, answer any question, not thanks or lurve points.

hearkat's avatar

I don’t get hung-up on social niceties on the web – especially since I’ve never considered Fluther to be a ‘social’ site. Besides, how will I know whether someone might thank me or give me a GA until after I’ve answered? I don’t have time in my day or space in my brain to keep track of other jellies’ behaviors.

jonsblond's avatar

note to self: quit thanking @Rarebear. :)

harple's avatar

One of my biggest bugbears on here is people who put their heartfelt thanks at the end of the details of the question. It feels so disingenuous and makes me very wary of the asker. It seems to form a signature in a similar way to Randy’s nice people sign-off.

I generally GA people who take the time to answer my questions, and will send active thanks to people who have shared a particularly personal or deep answer. I don’t like to come back on a question thanking people for answers until it looks like it’s run its course.

Shippy's avatar

@rosehips Totally agree. Can’t comment on all answers, like even on this thread. But I think I like to stick around and say something. So that people feel they are heard and that I did read their answers. I think @ucme really ‘got it’.

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