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I am a bit troubled, based on my other .SE experience, with the apparently low percentage of questions with accepted answers. Do some of the mods have access to the stats, and do these stats compare as unfavorably as it seems to me that they do to the other sites?

What should we do in order to get more accepted answers? Is the lack of accepted answers problematic?

Given that this is supposed to be a compendium of questions and answers, it seems that having few accepted answers is problematic. Then again, maybe only the upvotes on answers matter, but then I worry that this is no different than your typical Reddit site (such as Ask Philosophy).

Thoughts?

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We can see data on our site but not other sites so it's hard to compare. Philosophy is, however, not as clearcut as other SE sites so naturally this will occur. It is known that the lines between what is acceptable here as a question and what is not will always be a little more gray on this site than others, and with that, what is acceptable as an answer in much the same way. That, and unlike some software code or math solution that works exactly the way you wanted it to, philosophy answers will rarely reach that kind of precision, and even when they do, the OP may lack the wit to recognize it or simply be unwilling to agree with it.

As you mentioned, just going by votes is enough if you are curious which answer is the "best" answer (should you be unable to figure it out for yourself). There are enough questions with accepted answers that this really isn't problematic; it's just something we have to accept in order to make this work.

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  • That seems reasonable enough. I'm just more used to SE sites trying very hard to distinguish themselves from Reddit style equivalents, and it is hard to see what distinguishes this site. – Dennis Jan 4 '13 at 6:44
  • @Dennis there's a good bit that distinguishes us from Reddit that's totally unrelated to answer-acceptance -- I guess I'm just not sure how altering the ratio of accepted answers would serve to differentiate our community? – Joseph Weissman Jan 4 '13 at 21:55
  • Oh I'm not sure it would. I just noticed this difference between this and other SE's I'm more familiar with and wondered if this is an issue. I suppose my thought is that having an answer "accepted" fixes that question as resolved (or as resolved as can be expected). So, I suppose, I fear that low acceptance rate might be a sign of low question resolution. Now, I realize that it isn't always clear to an asker when an answer should be accepted. I suppose I just have to accept that this site is not TeX.SE, where the asker has a problem and the accepted answer demonstrably fixes that problem. – Dennis Jan 4 '13 at 22:28
  • My worry that this isn't much different from the AskPhilosophy Reddit is that if questions aren't be "resolved" at a high rate it is all just upvotes and downvotes. Maybe a weighting of votes by reputation? I don't know, this isn't very well thought out, just a few concerns I have after using this site a bit. – Dennis Jan 4 '13 at 22:30
  • The relevant question is, why does it matter whether we are different from Reddit or not? Who cares, there's allowed to be more than one philosophy site on the internet. :P – stoicfury Jan 5 '13 at 3:06

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