The statistics of our site on Area 51 says that we have only 2 answers per questions instead of the required 2.5. We are still at a nascent stage and it may not be a big problem for us now. But considering the future of our site, this may become a great hindrance to graduation. The main cause for this problem is that some of us are accepting the very first answer, without waiting more answers.

For example,

All these questions were asked just a few days before. Not even an entire week has passed after these (any many others too) have been posted and they now have an accepted (and only that) answer. I understand that they are accepting only when that first answer satisfies them. But, once they accept the first answer, others (people like me) may find it unnecessary to post another answer to the question. Some of them may also be capable of posting a better answer.

If this continues, I'm afraid that the number of answers per question may further go down and significantly prolong the existance of the site in the beta stage. In order to avoid that, I request the users to wait for a reasonable period of time before accepting the answers to their questions. This will help in increasing the number of answers for the questions.

Even after the wait, if the question doesn't draw much attention, we could try putting some bounty on the question. This will attract the attention of other users towards the question. I also suggest that we frequently check the list of unanswered questions and try to make possible contributions to the questions listed there. This will ultimately increase the answer count per question.

I welcome constructive discussions about the idea.

  • I agree.. we should accept the answer atleast after two days. IMO.
    – Mr_Green
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 11:40
  • @Mr_Green I don't think that we can't expect to get a few answers in just two days, given the small group of users in our site. We may have to wait for atleast 10 days to get a few answers for a question. Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 12:00
  • It depends, that is why I mentioned atleast :)
    – Mr_Green
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 12:03
  • +1 for raising the concern, but a better proposal would have been, encouraging people not to look at whether a question is marked answered or not. This proposal might favor the stats Area51, but other than that, I don't see a reason as to why a user shouldn't mark an answer as accepted if it solves their query. Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 13:35

2 Answers 2


The Area 51 metrics are a poor measure of anything

Many sites have graduated without achieving the "Excellent" level in one or more of the metrics on Area 51. Those metrics were created years ago, back when the people at Stack Exchange didn't understand the way in which beta sites evolved as well as they do now. The metrics are generally agreed to be pretty outdated. They are, I believe, still taken into account by the community managers in deciding whether or not a site is fit for graduation, but they are just a few out of many factors taken into account.

For the most part, you shouldn't alter your behavior to try to bolster the metrics

When users artificially alter their behavior on the site in an effort to bolster the metrics, the outcome is typically not great - users tend to post rubbish answers in an effort to increase the answer/question ratio, or post garbage questions in an effort to increase questions/day.

Basically, if you are a user of the site, you may as well ignore the Area 51 metrics. Carry on as if they didn't exist.

That said, don't be hasty to accept answers

I posted about this over at Meta.Buddhism.SE.

The gist: if you find an answer that tells you exactly what you wanted to know, accept it! There's no sense in not accepting an answer that answers your question.

But if an answer is just sort of okay, or even good but somewhat off-target, or something like that, it may be better not to accept an answer - this serves as a signal that you are still looking for better answers.


Don't make the rules to suffice sites statistics

others (people like me) may find it unnecessary to post another answer to the question

So don't feel like its unnecessary to answer the question. Now yes, it is obviously unnecessary if you are going to post the same answer, so duplicating the same answers won't make sense.

Than what you should do?

On StackExchange, users can change their accepted answers. What makes a user change an accepted answer?

The new answer is —/— Compared to accepted answer

  • Well written in terms of better explanation, extra but relevant information which may be useful in understanding the concept in a better way
  • has authentic reference of the content he is posting here
  • Canonically answered
  • Proves accepted answers wrong and clarifies why is that wrong and provides the true information as well

So here, post a second answer if your answers going to prove one of the above point compared to the one which is selected correct.

Users can accept their answers after 15 minutes, thats the rule here, but yes, the website is not that active hence other users won't get a chance to answer when the question is asked but again, preventing users to accept answers won't help you increase answers/question.

answers/question will only increase when a question has multiple stories, or incidents etc. Duplicating the answer to increase the q/a ratio doesn't make sense, so let users accept the answers they feel is correct, if you have a better one, post that answer, the post will be shown under the active tab i.e the home page of this site

Eventually your post will get views and votes and user can change the correct answer accordingly.

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