((Apologies for typos, I'm on my phone))

As our beta site continues to grow, we are attracting folks outside of our original circle, which is great! This is how we wanted the site to develop :).

I've noticed on a few questions that address fields related to bioacoustics that experts in those fields are chimming in, but their answer isn't always the top answer. Or even the second. I think this because of a few reasons:

  1. when a question is posted, those of us that are active on the site are eager to answer it.
  2. when we answer, it may be because we have a familiarity with the subject, even if we aren't actively in the field.
  3. users with high reputation and a solid answer, that answered the question early, will often become the accepted answer as we have moved on to keep the site active.

This can turn related experts off, if they come to the site, find a question they can answer better than the top answer, and that answer doesn't do well. Why should they trust the system? I think this is something we should activly avoid, however, with asking every expert to join the slack and introduce themselves (Which is just asking them for another commitment) so we can be aware of them, I'm not sure how to approach this issue. I know moderators can review new answers to old questions, but can they boost them?


3 Answers 3


That's a good point! Now that the site is launched, maybe we should be stricter with our votes indeed, maybe we could:

  • use the upvotes with more caution, ie only when the answer is very good and we are sure about it
  • use more the downvotes when the answer does not fit well with the question (possibly with a comment to explain why, especially for new folks).
  • don't hesitate to kindly critic answers on comments, that would help other people in their choice of upvote/downvote
  • use the "Follow" button just below the question/answer, to keep an eye on specific posts; this is also useful for instance when we don't want to upvote/downvote a post right now because we are waiting for more information from the author etc.

I guess that would make the site healthier.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure how I feel about down votes, especially if the original answer has good info in it! $\endgroup$ Jul 30, 2022 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ Adding the follow is a great idea for those of us with access to moderator tools. $\endgroup$ Jul 30, 2022 at 15:49
  • $\begingroup$ if there are good info in it, of course we shouldnt downvote, but maybe just not upvote automatically in this case (if we want to have the best responses located on the top of the thread)? $\endgroup$
    – Noil
    Jul 30, 2022 at 21:13

Great that @etgriffiths brings this up (I've definitely let enthusiasm overtake actual specialised knowledge). Echoing @Noil, perhaps at this stage we can afford to be a little stingy with our votes on answers+ questions.

However, I'm not sure why changing answers is a problem. If the new answer is context appropriate and answers the posed question better than others - why not change it? Some fluidity in which answers are acknowledged is nice as it will encourage a wider participation.

Explicitly encouraging a change in accepted answer also allows us to welcome new members' (with field-specific knowledge) contributions?


Not sure if I understand correctly:

case 1: there is a general question that is answered by, say an underwater guy giving the answer with an underwater spin but that is general enough to be accepted. Later some expert from the bird community comes in and gives a better answer. Is the question now, should moderators/question owner un-accept the old answer and accept (boost) the new one? Not sure that this is wise as it can easily results in an acceptance war. Better would be to acknowledge in the accepted answer a new entry (even by the moderator).

case 2: someone new (with say no reputation) makes a convincing or better answer to the question much later on, then it should be treated as it where from an expert.

case 3: someone new posts a question that addresses an aspect that had not been discussed so far, then yes someone has to decide if this question is really on topic, but this would be independent if the poster is an expert in the field or a newcomer. In most cases, one would ask the poster to clarify the question and background of the question.

Concerning self introduction, honestly, I prefer the way as it is. Most of us can be googled.

  • $\begingroup$ I think the example you outline in case one is the one I am more thinking of. But yeah, it is a slippery slope. Perhaps we can recommend un-accepting an answer? $\endgroup$ Jul 30, 2022 at 15:47

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