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Gaining Points and the Top Answerer

    General discussion

  • I just ran a test in the Sandbox forum - to see how many times I could mark my post as an answer. I got five before it unmarked (and now I can't delete the thread!) but that's another story.

    I find it silly that if someone marks a response to their own thread as an answer, they're entitled to appearing as a top answerer for the forum (take the 0 star that found the answer, for example). It makes the "Top Answerers" mean less.

    Also, I think the mark for 1 star should begin at 3, because some people respond to threads because they "have the same problem." Consequently, I guess you'd move the others up one as well... or, if you don't like an uneven number, move the start to 5.

    I just feel like it's really, really easy to become 1 star.

    Web Designers for Obama/Biden 08.
    Saturday, September 13, 2008 10:33 PM

All replies

  • >I find it silly that if someone marks a response to their own thread as an answer, they're entitled to appearing as a top answerer for the forum (take >the 0 star that found the answer, for example). It makes the "Top Answerers" mean less.


    Given that it's probably unlikely that they will re-write the forms software so that it allows someone to mark their own reply to their own thread as an answer but not include this in their points score (which affects the Top Answerers list), I've been for not allowing people to mark their own posts as answers which will naturally remove this problem that you rightly bring up.


    I'm also against the possibiilty of someone marking their own answer (in a thread started by someone else) as "Propose as answer" for similar reasons.


    In both cases the threshold to the answer being marked as an answer is too low and the possibilty of getting cheap points too high.




    • Edited by Mike Walsh FIN Sunday, September 14, 2008 2:50 PM spelling (wilol)
    Sunday, September 14, 2008 2:50 PM
  • Mike:

    I had thought that when you marked your own post as answer it did not count to the point score (even if it does contribute to Top Answerers; I did not know about that). But in any case I am opposed to answering your own post as answer.

    I am also even more opposed to allowing responders to propose their own reply as answer, as it is more in indication of the lack of humility of the poster than the quality of the answer.

    Actually, I am opposed to propose as answer altogether, since I think it serves no useful purpose.

    Mark as answer by OP, and Vote as helpful. These are enough. The forums need fewer features, free of bugs, not more.

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Sunday, September 14, 2008 4:29 PM
  • a. Marking your own post as an answer does not give you points, but it does give you stats in Top Answerers (which is what I think is wrong)

    b. That feature of "proposing your own reply as an answer" has been removed - thankfully

    c. Marking your own post as an answer should stay, because sometimes one can find the answer to a problem. If the above two things are taken into account, then I see nothing wrong with it.

    d. Propose as answer lets OPs know that there is a possible solution.



    Web Designers for Obama/Biden 08.
    Sunday, September 14, 2008 9:37 PM
  • Oliver:

    I am opposed to allowing the OP to mark his/her own response as answer, but at the very least I agree that it should not give points or contribute to Top Answerer stats.

    AFAICT we have not eliminated the ability to self-propose. See this sandbox thread where I was just able to do this:

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/msdnsandbox/thread/3d1f2844-bb63-4721-9c5d-2e32831142e6

    I do agree that we should at least get rid of this feature.

    But I am really opposed to Propose as answer altogether. I suppose that very occasionally it could cause an OP to realize that his/her question had indeed been answered, but most OP's are not that clueless.

    Rather I had thought that the purpose of Propose as answer was

    1. To suggest to OP's that they should Mark as answer. Here it is totally ineffective, counterproductive even.

    2. To suggest to moderators that they should Mark as answer. I would hope that moderators are sufficiently on the ball not to need this crutch.

    I just see no benefit to Propose as answer. The new improved Vote as helpful is a much better feature, IMHO.






    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Monday, September 15, 2008 12:25 PM
  • One Microsoft moderator (one who does it in his spare time - not one paid solely to moderate) has told me that he likes having Propose as Answer because it allows him to quickly whip through just those threads in order to see if the posts are worth marking as an answer.

    I see Propose As Answer **by someone else than the person who wrote it** as serving that purpose well enough.

    Propose As Answer by the person who wrote it has all the negative consequences described well enough in the posts above.


    I wouldn't mind if Propose As Answer vanished altogether but I wouldn't be mad if they just restricted its use to a neutral person. However the present system must go.
    Monday, September 15, 2008 12:41 PM
  • Mike:

    I think the new improved Vote as helpful could fulfill the same purpose for moderators. If someone has voted a post as helpful, then it must at least be a candidate for being the answer. Not necessarily the answer, I agree, but just as likely as for a post that is proposed as answer.

    I really think that the conceptual difference between Vote as helpful and Propose as answer will escape most users of the forums, and just cause confusion. I personally have made the decision never to use Propose as answer on somebody else's response, and I would prefer that others would not propose my responses as answer. In my experience it is the kiss of death as far as getting OP's to mark as answer, because they see the issue as already dealt with.


    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Monday, September 15, 2008 2:22 PM
  • One thing I should point out: The people that are debating self-proposing and self-answering in this thread are all moderators (I think). Most people cannot do this. Moderators are given special powers since we've given them a certain level of trust. One would HOPE they wouldn't abuse that ability...


    Matt Fraser, STO Forums Software Developer
    Monday, September 15, 2008 5:02 PM
  • Matt:

    I am a not a moderator, and I was able to self-propose in the Sandbox forum:

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/msdnsandbox/thread/3d1f2844-bb63-4721-9c5d-2e32831142e6

    And anybody who replies to his/her own thread can mark it as answer. I guess this is OK as long as we have this concept of The Answer, but if we must have voting I much prefer Vote as Helpful. The best way to get marked as answer is to provide a few lines of code. But much more helpful to the OP is to teach them where to find the answer, or to give enough of a hint to figure the problem out for themselves. You know: Give a man a fish and he can eat for a day; teach him how to fish and he can eat forever. This question/answer pair mentality is very alien to teaching the OP good documentation-using habits.




    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Monday, September 15, 2008 5:36 PM
  • OK, I thought self propose was taken out. Obviously not. I'm kind of on the fence as to whether it should be there or not. I can see arguments both ways, but I tend not to do it myself.
    Matt Fraser, STO Forums Software Developer
    Monday, September 15, 2008 5:59 PM
  • Self Propose IS disabled, but I can mark any of my replies to my own thread as Answers, as tested in this thread: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/tnsandbox/thread/db8e8ddc-af64-4971-a1d2-929aee1cfc2f/

    I verified that my Point count never changed, but my "Answers" total is increasedddecreases for each post I mark/unmark.  This should also be disabled as the Top Answers could be users answering thier own questions.
    Jeff Schertz, PointBridge | MVP | MCITP: Enterprise Messaging
    Sunday, September 21, 2008 2:50 PM
  • Jeff:

    Propose as answer by OP is no longer allowed.

    But proposing your own response to someone else's question remains. Some people routinely do this, and it is very annoying, IMHO.

    But, once again, I would prefer to get rid of the entire propose as answer feature. I see no point to it.



    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Sunday, September 21, 2008 4:33 PM
  • For an example of the kind of nonsense that can happen with "Propose as answer" see the thread

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vclanguage/thread/38c78adf-d8ee-4b98-aed6-7dd5cfcb3424

    Here, one of the responders in the thread has gotten it into his head to propose one of the OP's follow-up questions as answer.

    This thread also provides an example of duplicated post.


    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Tuesday, September 23, 2008 1:53 PM