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tups's avatar

Why does a great answer reward more points than a great question?

Asked by tups (6709points) December 28th, 2012

I, personally, think it should be the other way around. I think everybody can give answers – they can either be quality or lame or shallow or whatever. Answers are uncertain, no one can know what the right answer is for real – it is debatable, it is thin.

But asking questions is an artform, it is true and answers can lie in question. You are curious, you want to learn, you are open-minded. People answer things all the time. I think the world needs more asking people, honest people who knows that they really know nothing and therefore they ask, instead of people thinking they know everything.
I think Socrates would agree, no?

Anyway, what do you think about this on Fluther?

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35 Answers

El_Cadejo's avatar

I agree with you and have raised this issue a couple of times in the past couple of years since lurve was implemented.

Bellatrix's avatar

I don’t know. Good question @tups.

AstroChuck's avatar

Because the Fluther gods have deemed it so.

PhiNotPi's avatar

The lurve/reputation/rating/points system has to be fine-tuned to the site’s purpose. If we were a website dedicated to technical questions with a single, correct answer, then it would make a lot of sense to have answers worth the most. Nobody cares about why you personally want to do ___ in Java, but everyone wants to know the answer as to how to do ___ in Java. If a person has a reason to do ___ in Java, it doesn’t take much skill to ask “How do I do ___ in Java?”

However, many of the questions at Fluther are discussion questions, where the goal is to have a discussion. It is very hard to craft a question to start a discussion. In those cases, the question has a good reason for receiving more lurve points.

However, Fluther isn’t all discussion. There are many “what is the answer” sort of questions where there are definitive answers. In those cases, the answers most certainly need more points. Anyone could ask “Where does gold come from?” but it takes more skill to explain how supernovas work to create gold.

It’s almost a thread-by-thread thing as to what deserves the most value, but that’s impractical. So, we settled on the current system, and it is unlikely to change any time in the future.

janbb's avatar

I think what you say makes sense and I have thought that too. However, since no new development is being done on the site, the question (while deserving of much lurve) is moot.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

On a Q&A site it would seem logical that questions be more important than the answers; for if there are no questions, there is nothing to discuss. You would hope the questions be substantive, or have some meat on its bones and not be mere fluff; the questions make you stop, wonder, or at least ponder something you never thought of in ways you never thought about them. However, we are but mere humans, so sites like this the answers weigh in more than the questions many times, because people attach themselves emotionally to the question more than using pure logic. If you answer closer to the emotional grain of the masses you will get more larve because of the popularity of your answer not so much as it is logically sound or germane to the question. What can we say? So long as humans are involved in the larve system it will never. Ever be anywhere near perfect, and 110% inaccurate 90%m of the time.

burntbonez's avatar

I agree with you. However the rules are what they are. Answers are rewarded more. If your goal is lurve, then you should spend your time on answers and not worry about questions. Of course, if your concern is discussion, and you think lurve is a waste of time, by all means, try to ask good questions.

bob_'s avatar

The Federal Reserve ordered so as part of its lurve quantitative easing program.

wundayatta's avatar

As I have been told many times when suggesting this site do things another way, I am free to go elsewhere and set up my own site with whatever rules I want.

They aren’t making any changes to the site these days since the owners are working full time day jobs. It doesn’t matter what we think. Nothing will change for the foreseeable future.

For the record, I think questions should be worth more, too.

Sunny2's avatar

I agree that questions should get as many points as answers. It would help create more asking of questions.

jrpowell's avatar

Originally the site was for solving problems. I think solutions are more important than problems so the numbers make perfect sense to me. Help > Needing Help

@Sunny2 :: It would create more “brain fart” questions and that doesn’t really help. The questions in Social are intentionally not indexed by google because they lower the quality of the site in Google’s eyes.

augustlan's avatar

As @johnpowell said, in Fluther’s original form, questions were about asking for help in solving a problem, not creating discussions. In that situation, answers were king. And as @PhiNotPi said, it would be great if some questions were worth more, but it’s impossible to do it on a case-by-case basis.

janbb's avatar

@augustlan How ‘bout on a Penguin by Penguin basis?

augustlan's avatar

If only I had the power. :p

janbb's avatar

Good morning @augustlan! I thought I was the only one awake at this ungodly hour!

augustlan's avatar

Morning, penguin! I haven’t been to bed yet. Are you jetlagged or the opposite?

janbb's avatar

Jetlagged. I did well the first night but not as well tonight.

augustlan's avatar

Poor penguin. <soothes brow>

janbb's avatar

Gonna go back and lie down again for a bit. Got a houseful of company coming tonight and tomorrow.

ucme's avatar

I couldn’t give a fuck.

wundayatta's avatar

Wow, so the the separation of one category into general and social is what killed fluther? Or severely disabled it? I always thought it was a bad idea, but had no idea Google would use it as a way of killing us. Sad. Self-inflicted wound.

bob_'s avatar

Eh, c’est la fucking vie.

augustlan's avatar

@wundayatta No, Google’s changed algorithm caused the problem with the NSFW questions (which can be asked in Social or General), not the Social/General sections themselves.

jrpowell's avatar

@wundayatta :: It was just one thing tested to get back in Google’s good grace. I’m not sure if it actually helped since it takes a long time for the changes to take place and be reflected in the numbers. But one thing is obvious. It didn’t hurt in any meaningful way. There wasn’t a 60% drop in traffic when they did it.

wundayatta's avatar

It does look like we are improving. 220k back in July, up to 270K for November. Slow and steady increase. That’s very hopeful. Thanks for the chart.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Weird…The site was experiencing steady growth up to Feb 23rd where there were 31k people and then the following day on Feb 24 there were only 15k… I wonder what happened….
was that the day Bendrew left?

augustlan's avatar

@uberbatman Nope, it was when Google unleashed the Panda algorithm. Grr.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@augustlan what exactly was that and how did it effect Fluther so negatively?

El_Cadejo's avatar

oh shut up bob…I know how to google I was also asking specifically how that effected fluther, ie why this site was considered “low quality”...

bob_'s avatar

See the eighth result.

augustlan's avatar

@uberbatman Our “hits” on Google plummeted immediately after Panda was put into place. For a long time, we had no idea why we were being considered ‘low quality’, and Google wasn’t particularly helpful in figuring it out, either. They basically told us nothing had changed our standing, but it was clear that something had. We thought maybe it was the Social Section, so we de-indexed that (so Social Section questions wouldn’t show up in Google), but it didn’t seem to help.

Very recently, we got a notice from Google about an NSFW question…they wanted it removed immediately, or they’d pull their ads from the site. That particular Q wasn’t all that NSFW, either. Certainly not the most R rated thing on the site. That got us thinking, so we de-indexed the NSFW questions. Ever since, our traffic has been picking up again (traffic has increased at least 15% this month). Seems awfully unlikely that it’s a coincidence.

bob_'s avatar

@augustlan they were that pissy over one question? What was it?

El_Cadejo's avatar

@augustlan wow thats pretty dumb. I mean awesome that Fluther is doing good again, but wtf google… thought we were pals.

@bob_ If I’m guessing correctly, the question had the word porn in the title.

augustlan's avatar

@bob_ I can’t even remember the specific question, but I was completely bewildered that out of all the potentially NSFW content here, they flipped about that particular one. Weird, right?

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