Many times I have several ideas to answer a question. For instance, in response to, "How do I mitigate tendency X in game Y?", I might have a few strategy ideas, as well as a couple of expansions I think make this less of an issue, or possibly even house rules to help. Some of these ideas are better than others. Should I just pile this all into one big answer, or split it out into several? I prefer to split up my answers, so that each answer can be voted up or down on its own merits, but I've had several people ask me to just condense everything into one answer. What's the right thing to do?
This is a question and answer site, not a forum.
The fact that you have to click through a warning dialog box is a strong message that multiple answers from one person are not encouraged here. If you think you need multiple answers for one question, then the question is probably not the best OR you need to condense your answers into one.
No matter how many answers a question gets, we all know that most folks are only going to read a couple of them. I don't think it is fair for one answerer to try to attract extra eyeballs by submitting multiple answers.
Let's keep ourselves to voting on complete answers, not items or ideas. Every answer follow the "back it up" principle.
- It contains personal experience
- You link to an outside source.
If your answer contains phrases like, "I haven't tried it but ..." or "Many people use ..." or "I've heard that ..." just strike that whole section. Speculation doesn't belong on a StackExchange site. There are plenty of forums that would love that sort of discussion.
I certainly haven't been trying to attract extra eyeballs, just doing what made sense to me. If splitting up answers is not helpful to people in the context of SE expectations, I'm happy not to do it. Dec 20, 2011 at 18:17
I think this is unnecessarily absolute. I do definitely agree that it's better if you can write a single comprehensive answer, with all the pieces connected, but if there are two very distinct solutions to a problem ("how should I store game X?") it might be most organized and fair to present them separately.– CascabelMar 26, 2015 at 21:45
If you feel that you must split your response into two answers then that's a good sign the question wasn't very well formulated to begin with. As per the FAQ:
All questions on Stack Exchange are expected to be objective and have concrete answers; we’re not a place for conversation, opinions, or socializing. We also expect questions to represent real problems, not just imponderables, hypotheticals, or requests for opinions.
StackExchange sites are built upon the premise of precise, well-formed questions that have a concrete answer. If you feel you have contradictory answers to a question, or answers that would make more sense if they were two separate answers, then the question needs to be made more specific, or perhaps itself split into two questions.
To use your example "How do I mitigate tendency X in game Y?" I can see how this question is so broad that you feel that more than one answer is required. I would first request clarification of the question. Are you looking for house rules? Strategy? Game expansions which deal with this issue?
It might be best to request the question be made more specific, or split into multiple questions: "What house rules could be made to mitigate tendency X in game Y?" "Which expansions help solve tendency X in game Y?" "What game strategy can I employ to mitigate tendency X in game Y?"
The general consensus is: don't. The stackexchange network likes canonical answers. Cover the question as good as you can in one question. You'll get more upvotes that way.