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We have some pretty nice stats in our Area51 page. Almost all green except for daily questions and answer ratio. While there are some things we can do about questions or visits (asking new ones, generating good quality answers and sharing both), the one we can actually work on right now is the answer ratio.

I've noticed lots of comments that would be great answers, but are not posted as such. I imagine the reason is probably that the poster doesn't have enough time to give them more content and prefers to leave it as a comment instead. But when I'm looking for help in stackoverflow, it's usually the short and straight-to-the-point answers that solve my problem.

Also, (in SO specially) I tend to skip the comments and go directly to the answers. Not sure if this is the usual behavior for others. So:

  • If you do, why do you chose to post answers as comments?

  • Would you be willing to post the same content as an answer in aims of improving our A/Q ratio?

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    Side note re. the questions-per-day thing: it'd definitely be great to increase it, but we shouldn't be too down it: looking at the rankings there are only 2 beta sites with 15+ questions per day and around 5-10 fully launched sites with less than 15. Even just getting from 7/day to 10/day would put us in a really good position. (another side note: 7,000 questions per day on StackOverflow... blinking Nora...) Apr 13 '13 at 19:20
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I posted a suggestion in a comment to this question: How to fill shirt patterns into a shirt silhouette with realistic form "twist"?

I chose to post it as a comment for two reasons:

  1. I am not an expert on 3D modeling

  2. 3D is considered off-topic here

In the question, the OP specified "Or in any case, which other software I could use for this", so I figured my comment was worth mentioning. I try not to answer questions if I don't know what I'm talking about, and my 3D modeling experience doesn't go far beyond the basics.

The real nail in the coffin, however, is the off-topic nature of the solution. What do you think, should I have posted this as an answer instead? I could have explained in a little more depth about how UV maps work and why this solution would suit the OP, but I did not want to stray far from what is considered on-topic here.

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  • Well, I'm not sure. I mean, answers could be just suggestions or alternative approaches. We don't seem to be having the problem of "Oh, this has 1 answer, I won't add another one" that other sites have... so I'm trying to think what would be better for a new user to see: an answered question with a helpful comment, or a question with a more or less related answer.
    – Yisela
    Apr 14 '13 at 0:35
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I post comments rather than answers when.....

  • I need to ask a question regarding the question
  • I'm making a more general statement rather than supplying specific problem solving details.
  • and yes, simply because I don't have the time or inclination to provide all the details which I know should be provided.

Best dpi for printing a 48x18 inch at 200%? is a good example of the last two bullets.

I'd be happy to post comments as answers when feasible.

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I usually post a possible answer as a comment when it's just that: a possible answer. When I'm not too sure, but I want to chip in with something that might just work.

And yes, time constraints are an issue. I'd like my answers to be thorough and grammatically at least a bit sound—and sometimes I don't take the time to do that. Especially with shaky answers.

Will remember to post it as an answer if turns out to be right!

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