29
\$\begingroup\$

I've seen three questions in the last few days that have a similar, and unusual, life cycle:

  • OP poses question,
  • some good answers come in,
  • time passes,
  • OP comes back to report how it went.

That last bit, though, seems to get a little problematic.

  • In one case, it's posted as an answer and drawing Not An Answer flags. But they've been disputed. It's been removed.
  • In another case OP came back and added it as an addendum to the question. (Looks like they were prompted to do so by a comment explicitly asking for this sort of update.) This edit occasioned a conversation in chat asking for a mod's input, and it strikes me as clear from that conversation that there's not an abundance of clarity/consensus on this sort of thing.
  • The third case (10K+ only) is a little different: the question asked if something was balanced, it wasn't, but from the answers the OP was able to come up with something that was balanced, and wanted to share that back. But they got conflicting advice on how to do that from two high-rep users (one with a diamond).

So (some) new users are getting conflicting advice/direction and (some) experienced users (incl. me) are unsure where the consensus lies. In the interests of developing and showcasing expertise, it seems like the result of a situation should have some place in the Q&A. But where?

\$\endgroup\$
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ I'd like to point out that this is a big problem we have with any sort of feedback question - making adjustments based on that feedback doesn't really have a place, and undercuts answers. I don't have a solution beyond "if you want back and forth discussion, take it to a forum", but I think it's a point that needs to be made. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Nov 2 '17 at 4:50
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, there's a big difference between "how do I foo this bar?" and a year later getting "I tried what @ClaudeShannon recommended, and it worked great!" vs. "will this foo solve my bar?" and a day later "well, how 'bout foo-prime, instead?" \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Nov 2 '17 at 12:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ My point of reference for bringing this up is the question about a toxic player, and the "how we solved the problem" description almost two years later. A lot of times, we try to prompt querents about "what problem are you trying to solve" and with that in mind, when a solution is reached, if it isn't the same as the answers that might be a valuable addition to the list of answers. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Nov 2 '17 at 12:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ What interests me about this is that both answers clearly identified the core problem as the DM, not the toxic player, and made suggestions to engage the DM, which apparently Did Not Work. The players had to go all vigilante, which worked. (But the aftertaste was obviously bitter). That is A solution. See the chat discussion between me and doppelgreener on some of the implications of that, which nitsua linked in the second bullet. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Nov 2 '17 at 12:48
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Related: Follow up to posted questions \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 23 '18 at 10:52
28
\$\begingroup\$

Assuming that this update is offering something new and useful, “how I did it” is an answer. That is, quite frequently, exactly the sort of answer we expect from everyone else who answers the question. And so answers are the most appropriate place to put such answers. They are answers. In fact, they can make a decent case for being the accepted answer, though it may be better to accept the answer that led to the answer posted (this is up to the OP).

But adding them to the question makes no sense, and comments aren’t the place for anything of value. An answer is the correct place, the only possible correct place, for them.

If the recap is not providing anything new or useful—say, the user just went with one of the answers—then I think a comment on the question is the most appropriate place for it, if it appears at all (realistically, the accepted answer checkmark should inform us what the user ended up doing in these cases). Such a comment would presumably garner upvotes, and probably deserves not getting cleaned up with other comments, but by putting it in the question, you clutter the question, and you either have to signal your edits and make it clear that the update is not part of the question, or else risk confusing new readers who wonder why the answers aren’t taking that part of the “question” into consideration.

And if the user finds that the answer(s) to the first question have prompted more question(s), then those should go in new questions.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelspooker Well, that’s kinda what I was suggesting when I pointed out that “comments aren’t the place for anything of value,”—I kind of expected it to be implicit that in cases where such commentary doesn’t really add anything of value (because they just went with one of the existing answers, perhaps), then a comment seems more appropriate. It will presumably be upvoted, and shouldn’t be deleted probably, but it’s exactly the kind of “tangential interest” sort of thing that I think a persistent comment is appropriate for. In the question, it clutters the question and needs edit signals. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Nov 2 '17 at 17:04
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ For the question that got us talking about this, in nitsua's second bullet, do you feel that the "how it actually worked out" should be added as an answer, rather than in the question as a later addition? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Nov 2 '17 at 17:31
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast I would, yes. It may not be the most useful answer (hopefully not too many people are caught in such a situation with such a toxic player, arbitrary forum rules, and an unhelpful GM), but it is an answer. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Nov 2 '17 at 17:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kryan I am glad that I am not the only one who feels that way. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Nov 2 '17 at 17:52
6
\$\begingroup\$

Status Quo

When I joined the site several years ago, advice on this was more common. People were encouraged to put what happened as an addendum to the question. Adding it as an answer could certainly be appropriate instead, but it's usually going to be only part of a larger answer. I don't think I've seen people get told not to chameleon here, but that would be relevant if it started happening; for the record, you should not have extra new questions in your 'what happened' addendum (or, if you do, they should just be links to new questions where you actually ask your new questions).

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ That last sentence in particular needs to be emphasized. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Nov 2 '17 at 12:49
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I don’t know who encouraged you to put this as the addendum to the question, but I think that’s terrible advice. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Nov 2 '17 at 16:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan There's a reason I tagged this status quo ;) but yeah, I don't actually do this, I've just seen high rep users tell new users to do this when it comes up (or, rather, I used to. Haven't seen anything in this vein for a while). Personally recaps fall outside of my point in using the site most of the time, but I can see how people would be curious and so maybe it's worth the clutter/weirdness? Idk. Just thought I'd put out what I think the no-change answer is, since it wasn't in the question. \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Nov 2 '17 at 17:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough, but I can’t recall having seen it before. Wasn’t the status quo in my mind. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Nov 2 '17 at 17:15
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan I was trying to sort this out with doppelgreener in chat the other day, which I think led to this meta, because my gut instinct was "what actually solved the problem" ought to be an answer ... but I got some feedback that this was not the case. I am glad nitsua has asked this, because I think "how I solved the problem" is an answer. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Nov 2 '17 at 17:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm also happy to see this getting discussed and debated. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Nov 2 '17 at 17:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .