Solved by "best answer"?

Via technologies, inc. / Km266a-8237
July 19, 2011 at 17:16:05
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, 1.792 GHz / 2031 MB
I've noticed "[Solved]" shows up when a "best answer" award is given, but several posts aren't really "solved". Shouldn't the OP judge when the problem is truly solved, and not by a "best answer" award?

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#1
July 19, 2011 at 17:22:16
Same here, just picking a best answer doesn't exactly mean that the problem is completely solved. Say if someone needed to find a video card driver for an old card that is compatible with Windows 7. Someone finds them the driver, and the OP marks it as best answer, but then the OP finds out the driver doesn't work. It would be marked as solved, but the OP still needs help finding another driver.

Ask and Answer. The way of learning.

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#2
July 19, 2011 at 17:35:52
Hey,

Yes, I realize the system isn't perfect. However, I do want an easy way for users to quickly identify a post has been marked as best answer. I played with the idea of [Answered] but that makes even less sense to me. [Best Answer] just seems to long. [Solved] was the compromise I came up with. I the confusion can be justified by the benefits for most people.

Justin


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#3
July 20, 2011 at 05:44:21
I've noticed that many posts marked [Solved] aren't solved at all. How is that a benefit? What it's going to do is prevent helpers from revisiting a thread & possibly providing the correct answer because they'll assume the problem is "solved" & no further action is needed.

Example: http://www.computing.net/answers/ga...


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#4
July 20, 2011 at 06:56:23
mickliq,

I think you could say that is an issue with "best answer" in and of itself. I'm sure most users won't want to continue on a thread that has been marked best answer, as they think the OP is done with the problem. All regulars on the site should quickly realize that [Solved] just means a best answer is marked, so I'm not sure why they would think what you are saying just as a result of that.

Fundamentally, its really the OP's error in not understanding how to use the best answer feature.

Justin


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#5
July 20, 2011 at 09:03:21
It just seems confusing to me. I get your point of having solved problems marked as solved, but as mickliq said, users won't go to that post even if the OP needs help installing the video driver (as an example from my other post in this thread), leaving him/her without help. What if the system waits for 2 days without a post in the thread, then marks it as solved? Something like that would work for most questions.

Ask and Answer. The way of learning.

Dell Dimension 8300
Intel Pentium 4 HT @ 3.20 GHz
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#6
July 20, 2011 at 09:57:58
RMT2,

That would be a good compromise. However, on the opposite side, I could still argue that helpers might want to know if a post has a best answer before they go and look at it, whether or not that actually "solved" the problem. I see it as a time saver for the regulars in that sense.

Justin


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#7
July 20, 2011 at 16:43:54
"I could still argue that helpers might want to know if a post has a best answer before they go and look at it..."

But to me that further supports the argument that the OP may not get a "real solution" to their problem.

I've never been really keen about the idea of "Best Answer" since its' inception. Especially since it can't be changed once another "better than 'best' " answer comes along in the post.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#8
July 20, 2011 at 17:42:10
Maybe it's just me but I pick up posts quite irrespective of whether they are marked [Solved] or whether there is a Best Answer. I usually scroll to the bottom to see if it is really solved, if so I leave, if not I help if I can.

I guess this means I just ignore all these trimmings and sort things out for myself, as I did before they came along.


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#9
July 20, 2011 at 19:36:37
Derek,

That's sort of my point... The regulars know exactly what [Solved] means, so they shouldn't be confused thinking it is 100% solved. HOWEVER, for the average user browsing the site who has no intention of answering, just looking at posts, it might be worthwhile for him to see straight away that a post has been marked with a best answer. This at least gives him a better chance it contains a good solution before he needs to open it.

Justin


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#10
July 21, 2011 at 07:43:26
I guess this means I just ignore all these trimmings and sort things out for myself, as I did before they came along.

FWIW, I do the same as Derek and see no need to change anything.

HOWEVER, for the average user browsing the site who has no intention of answering, just looking at posts, it might be worthwhile for him to see straight away that a post has been marked with a best answer. This at least gives him a better chance it contains a good solution before he needs to open it.

I'd have to agree with your logic Justin.

I know if I was just arriving here for the first time looking to resolve an issue, I'd use the search function. Say that search yielded 5 possible fixes, I'd be reading through the ones marked "resolved" first.

Sure being marked "solved" doesn't necessarily make it true. But it does make it a lot more likely there's been a response that may fix it has been given. Whereas a thread with no "solved" seems (to me) to be a lot less likely to contain a decent response and possible fix.

All I know is, if I was searching here and had 5 responses, 3 marked "solved" and two not. The last two I'd consider looking at would be the ones not marked as "solved".

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#11
July 21, 2011 at 08:43:37
You do make a good point there Curt R. I guess it would help the average new user with the "Solved". I guess you kinda knocked out my argument :).

Ask and Answer. The way of learning.

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#12
July 21, 2011 at 11:16:40
I have to admit that I'm glad I saw this post. When I first saw posts arriving with [Solved] ahead of the title it made me wonder if all our new posters had gone mad. Maybe I missed something from Justin which advised about this addition, although I began to suspect something of the sort.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#13
July 24, 2011 at 15:12:46
The "Solved" is crap. Get rid of it. It was never needed and it's not needed now.

Just another gimmick.

Imagination governs the world.

Napoleon

http://sandyedge.blogspot.com/


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#14
July 25, 2011 at 15:12:57
My issue is with letting the OP choose the Best Answer in the first place.

If they came to us looking for an answer to their question, how do they know which answer is the best?

I've once again run into that issue in the Office forum. Someone posted an answer which appears to work for the OP, but in fact there is an error in the answer. Since the OP doesn't know enough about Excel to notice the error, he thinks it's the best answer and marked it as such.

Unfortunately the OP marked the answer as the Best Answer before I had a chance to read the post.

I have posted what I believe to be a "better answer", but it's a little late now.

Again, my main issue is letting the OP choose the Best Answer when they may not have the knowledge to know which answer is the best.

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#15
July 26, 2011 at 01:21:23
... I honestly thought that the "best answer" was run by a "robot" as they seemed so random and sometimes inappropriate!

... noting some of the above comments, take a look at this example.
.
Demonstrative exspelling
... there is logic to this madness!
http://img811.imageshack.us/img811/...
the element of surprise Grrrrrrrr


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#16
July 26, 2011 at 07:18:35
mavis...

That is just one more example of the issue I mentioned in response #14.

We're asking the OP, who posted on this site because they need an answer, to rate which answer is the best when in many case they have no clue which is the best answer.

Many times they take the first answer that sounds logical and award it as the Best Answer before the really Best Answer is even posted.

Here's a thread where the OP awarded a Best Answer before I could respond. After I responded, the person who was awarded the Best Answer came back and said that my answer was better.

I'm not bragging...I'm merely pointing out the fact the OP often doesn't know what the Best Answer is or doesn't wait long enough to see if a better answer comes along.

The [Solved] title gets added, another user sees the thread via a search, notices the Best Answer highlighting and, not knowing any better, uses the solution which may in fact not be the best one.


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#17
July 26, 2011 at 08:55:59
Yep, seems rather pointless.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#18
July 26, 2011 at 09:50:47
"The [Solved] title gets added, another user sees the thread via a search, notices the Best Answer highlighting and, not knowing any better, uses the solution which may in fact not be the best one."

Very good point there, DerbyDad03. If a user searching did find the "Best Answer", and say it didn't work in their situation in the end, that much time was wasted trying to do what was said in the "Best Answer".

Sure we could remake the "Solved" system, except with what though?

Ask and Answer. The way of learning.

Dell Dimension 8300
Intel Pentium 4 HT @ 3.20 GHz
4 GB RAM
Nvidia Geforce FX5200


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#19
July 26, 2011 at 12:06:20
Well, one thought I guess would be giving the moderators the ability to set or change "best answer" and/or "solved"..................

Then if they see something obvious, they can change it. If another regular sees something, they could PM the mod about it and then the mod could change it.

Or, we could all just PM Justin every single time and he could go change them.......

*WEG*

LOL

;)

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#20
July 29, 2011 at 00:31:28
I see where posters click on a first answer as the best answer and it does not solve the problem....I think maybe there should be like a 3-7 day grace period where someone can undo the best answer and apply it to the proper one.

It's a bit comical when someone spends the time to post back that a solution worked and then the member who offered the solution says 'hey, instead of telling me, why not just mark it as 'Best Answer'
Almost like begging for points...LOL

I just think it's a bonus when they at least post back saying a solution worked for them.....

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions Cheers


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#21
July 29, 2011 at 08:25:58
I see where posters click on a first answer as the best answer and it does not solve the problem....I think maybe there should be like a 3-7 day grace period where someone can undo the best answer and apply it to the proper one

Would my suggestion, allowing moderators to set/change "best answer", not serve this purpose?

If a mod missed one, or a non-mod saw one that needed changing but handn't they could always email one of the mod's for that forum and mention it to them.

Or, we could just all PM Justin and let him do it............LOL

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#22
July 29, 2011 at 09:47:29
... add "report offensive" best answer to the "hit list" ..... lol

... I'm all for "making things work" !!
.
Demonstrative exspelling
... there is logic to this madness!
http://img811.imageshack.us/img811/...
the element of surprise Grrrrrrrr


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#23
July 30, 2011 at 06:08:25
Curt R: Would my suggestion, allowing moderators to set/change "best answer", not serve this purpose?
Mods could from day 1.

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way


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#24
August 1, 2011 at 06:04:17
Just FYI...

I just had a case where the OP must have selected the Best Answer before he even tried the solution.

I noticed that the thread was marked [Solved], but based on the number of Answers shown, there seemed to be one too many.

The thread page should have shown 2 answers - my suggestion and possibly a "Thanks" from the OP.

Instead it showed 3, so I looked at the thread to find that the OP had posted 2 more times, with both new posts mentioning issues he was having with my suggestion.

This goes back to my main contention with the Best Answer feature: We are asking those that don't know which is the Best Answer to choose the Best Answer.

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#25
August 1, 2011 at 09:31:11
Here's an idea: when the OP marks the Best Answer, he gets a little dialog saying the thread will close in 3 days. Any time during those three days, the OP can change his mind, undo the Best Answer, and the thread will remain open.

This will either discourage the OP from using the Best Answer feature entirely, or it'll fragment a bunch of threads. I'm eager to find out which.

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way


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#26
August 1, 2011 at 09:42:25
I hate to keep doing this (no I don't!) but it just happened again.

An OP marked as answer as Best, the thread is marked as [Solved] and the OP is back with more questions since the solution really isn't to his complete liking.

"I didn't know I would have to do this. Is there a way to make it to do this instead?

Bottom line: It wasn't the best answer and even as moderator I don't want to have to keep reseting the best answer for users that mark them incorrectly.


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#27
August 1, 2011 at 09:51:36
Razor2.3:

That doesn't solve the problem of the ignorants (and I mean that in the nicest way) choosing the Best Answer.

If the OP marks an answer as best because he truly believes it to be the best, and the thread closes, then we have a [Solved] thread with a post marked as Best Answer that really isn't.

6 months later, a member searches the archives, finds a [Solved] thread, clicks the Jump To Best Answer link and would probably assume that it's the Best Answer because computing.net told him it was.

I don't have a solution mainly because I didn't think that there was a problem before the Best Answer feature was implemented. I'm seeing problems now where there weren't any before.


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#28
August 1, 2011 at 10:23:39
That implies the OP doesn't try the "bad" suggestion and come back within those three days, though.

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way


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#29
August 1, 2011 at 15:53:51
The last one took over a week for the OP to come back and tell us that the Best Answer really wasn't.

Of course, he didn't really say it wasn't the best answer, he just asked more questions indicating that his original question wasn't solved by the Best Answer he had chosen a week ago.

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#30
August 1, 2011 at 17:29:24
Re #27
"I'm seeing problems now where there weren't any before"

I recall a question, which can be applied to many things:-

What is the problem to which this is the solution?


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#31
August 1, 2011 at 18:48:01
Then that's a vote for the fragmented threads outcome.

You can't win them all, all you can do is hope to win enough of them. Functionally, the suggestion addresses three issues: one long standing issue (When should a thread be closed? What denotes a completed conversation?); and two newer issues (How do we impart significance of the "Best Answer" to the OP? How do we promote the "Best Answer" mechanic to the regulars without resorting to point whoring?)

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way


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#32
August 2, 2011 at 03:21:39
Look at the length of this thread. That in itself should point out how worthless this best answer thing is.

Get rid of it so we can get some sleep.

Imagination governs the world.

Napoleon

http://sandyedge.blogspot.com/


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#33
August 2, 2011 at 07:25:19
LOL seawatch1

Razor2.3

Mods could from day 1.

ROFLMAO

I didn't know that.......I had never tried to change one. Truth be told, I don't pay any attention to it........I never have and never will which is why I laughed when I seawatch1's last response.....you could remove it and I'd probably not notice that either.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#34
August 22, 2011 at 08:07:49
Here's a good one...

I replied to the OP that I had no clue what he was talking about and gave him instructions on how to post some example data to hopefully clear things up.

I offered no hint of a solution to his question.

That response is now marked as the Best Answer even though the OP followed up with an attempt (albeit, a lame attempt) to clarify his question.

I guess that since the thread is marked as Solved, I no longer have to respond to the OP.

http://www.computing.net/answers/of...

Click Here Before Posting Data or VBA Code ---> How To Post Data or Code.


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#35
August 22, 2011 at 09:52:41
Best thing is to ignore the [Solved] annotation and press on regardless to see if it has "really" been solved. Treat best answer as a fashion accessory.

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