The Observation

The tour page that captures the essence of the Q&A format of Stack Exchange rather well contains two very important sentences about answers. The first being:

This site is all about getting answers. It's not a discussion forum. There's no chit-chat.

This is why it we try to keep focus on the sites. Questions that are off-topic are closed and there is a flag option to mark answers as Not an Answer. There's also a network-wide policy to edit out the pleasantries, salutations and tag lines that find their way into the posts. This emphasizes the focus on good content in good answers.

The second line is this:

Good answers are voted up and rise to the top.

This is also a very good point that makes a good site and gives a good orientation for readers of the answer of it's worth. Good answers rise to the top. There's just one caveat for that on our site:

Answers per question on IoT.SE; Sharp spike at 1, declining steeply to six answers, flat-lining to our 14 answer out-lyer

Over fifty percent of our questions have exactly one answer. There won't be any rising there.

Are there questions that are sufficiently and completely answered with one answer? Certainly. Questions asking for a yes or no can often be answered definitively. For some other questions that might apply as well. A lot of our questions however ask for solutions of certain problems. As everyone knows, most problems have lots of solutions.

We have as of now ...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that those 218 answers or even the 87 are bad. On the contrary, 159 of those 218 answers are rated five or higher.

What I'm saying is that there are no alternative answers were might be very good alternatives to the presented approaches and solutions. It's always good to have alternatives.

The Challenge

Thus, I'm calling for alternative answers on our zero-to-two-answer-questions to give our readers some options to weigh between and to give more answers the ability to actually rise to the top.

What's in it for you, you ask?

The great feeling of giving some company to a very lonely answer, of sharing some of your knowledge, of increasing this site's quality an answer at a time and of making the world a better place! :)

Besides that, you'll be rewarded with some good old Stack Exchange currency (in the form of invaluable site reputation). There's a reason Stack Exchange gives 10 reputation for an answer upvote but just five for a question.

Furthermore, I'm willing to back that up with some reputation of mine. Doubling it, actually. The first five answers, posted to a zero-to-two-answer-question that was posted before mid of June, that reach a score of five will get fifty bonus reputation via the bounty system from me. (Eligible questions)

Combined with the votes that's 100 reputation per answer!

1st bounty going out for this answer.

2nd bounty going out for this answer.

Eligible answers.

  • 3
    Excellent proposal! ...and while you're all at it remember to vote.
    – Ghanima Mod
    Jul 3, 2017 at 21:48
  • How many if all are gone of the bounties?
    – mico
    Jul 28, 2017 at 9:34

2 Answers 2


I have posted some answers as alternatives, but the percentage value on the custom search has risen, not fallen from the time of this question.

Could the people who have actually followed the provided queues and answered some of them please vote up the comment right below this answer?

  • Vote up this comment if you followed @Helmar links and answered one of those questions.
    – mico
    Jul 28, 2017 at 9:00
  • I just wanted to collect some statistic how well this is received.
    – mico
    Jul 28, 2017 at 9:17

My conclusion is: I have focused on "Unanswered" questions since the answered one already have a answer.

Now I am thinking, that I should also look at the "Answered one" and see if I can add other perspective or additional information.

More information is a gained value of information.

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