19

I have been reading a lot of "answers" that are merely someone's opinion or lazy guess. If someone asks a specific question and you don't know the answer with authority then don't answer. If you find yourself writing "I think..." or "Your best bet probably is..." or "I haven't tried this app so I don't know but..." then please promptly hold the backspace button down for a few seconds then click on the "x" in the upper right hand corner of your screen.

I don't necessarily think that someone has to have actually done something or used some solution before they can suggest it, but there is a line between giving a well reasoned suggestion and regurgitating what you read in the app market. I'm not sure where that line is, but I think it needs to be there.

I see this as more damaging to the site then the "Subjective" questions.

Am I way off based on this? Should we be more diligent about providing substantive answers? Should I just stop complaining and downvote an answer if it's an empty guess?

Disclaimer: I realize that I have probably answered several questions like this. Ooops.

  • 1
    Gotta love teasers like the comments on this answer: android.stackexchange.com/questions/41/… "You can do that, but I'm not telling you how!" – richq Sep 18 '10 at 23:17
  • @richq I know! Hopefully we'll get some better answers now that the public beta has begun. – ICodeForCoffee Sep 20 '10 at 20:51
  • 1
    @richq - I didn't post how because I did not have a stock ROM for 2.1 on hand, I just knew that it existed since I had seen it before, and that is what I commented. I did not say I knew where it was. If you do know what it is and you're looking for a guide on how to use it, I'd refer you to other questions on the site which cover that subject. – Arda Xi Sep 22 '10 at 17:53
17

I would expect that those sorts of answers would be less helpful and, as such, not get voted as highly. I think the natural mechanisms of the system will take care of it.

That said, if it's really not an answer to the question, or at least an attempt at answering, it should be converted to a comment. Flag it for a Moderator's attention.

  • 4
    Agreed. Also, in the absence of any other answers, such suggestions may be better than nothing, at least until somebody comes along and posts something more authoritative. – Dan Dyer Sep 20 '10 at 23:09
2

I agree with Al's point. Of course the natural mechanism of the system takes care of such bad/strange answers.

However, in some cases, it can be hard giving a very specific answer, thus resorting to using

"I think..." or "Your best bet probably is..." or "I haven't tried this app so I don't know but..."

"I think" at this point, "your best bet probably is" that not everything that works on my phone will work for someone else's phone. Android is Android, yet there are so many caveats, that make giving certain answers sometimes hard to do in different situations. Until one has had the opportunity to use over the 10,000 different types of devices that exist today, I doubt anyone can give 100% certain answers on everything.

For instance, in answering this question, I used the expression, "could", pointing out that, I'm not certain. Although TWRP saved my life some time ago on my Z2, does not necessarily mean it will work for this OP.

I wasn't certain it will work, not because I don't know what I was saying, but because what works for me is different from what will work for someone else.

Of course, outright nonsense answers need to be flagged, yet, the idea of suggestions aren't all bad, as what works for me won't work for my friend next door, always!

TL;DR

Not knowing an answer to a question is different from not being certain something'll work for the OP. Thus, I don't think the use of ...

"I think..." or "Your best bet probably is..." or "I haven't tried this app so I don't know but..."

... is entirely a bad thing.

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