There are a few questions popping up every now and then that want to get the answer about reliability of services based on the rating of the answer. For example:

"Please list one service per answer (not multiple services in the same answer) so that the votes can decide on reliability (use comments for testimonies, if there are any ;-) )."

"I think I won't accept an answer for a while ... I'd like to see some upvotes before we can conclude an online wallet is really "trusted"."

Is such answer-picking going against the rules or the spirit of Stack Exchange? Shouldn't one provide some external data regarding service reliability, user testimonies, etc, instead of using SE as a review website? How should such questions be handled?


Questions like that are generally discouraged across Stack Exchange.

The Q&A model here isn't really built to handle recommendations well. This is why you tend to see requests like "please post one [thing] per answer". Another issue is that questions like this tend to attract answers that are often just links and don't offer any additional information. This is not useful to future visitors, especially if any of the links ever go out of service.

Some sites are more tolerant towards questions like this than others and it is up to you guys to figure out whether or not you want to keep them, but here are some tips that might help increase their quality.

  1. Try to rephrase the question to focus on the how instead of the what. The blog post linked above goes into more detail on this, but the gist of it is that instead of asking which site or tool you should choose, ask how to make that choice and then apply the answers to whatever options are in front of you. In many cases, good answers to how will include informed recommendations of the what anyway.
  2. Provide specific criteria to evaluate the answers by. This helps others to actually evaluate the responses and upvote ones that are helpful rather than simply "best" for some unknown value of "best". (The second question you listed does this better than the first.)
  3. Edit answers to include more information than just a link or a short sentence. Encourage others to provide more information, share their experience with the thing they're recommending, etc. Don't be afraid to downvote or convert to comments answers that don't do this.
  4. Encourage the use of chat for recommendation questions. Bookmark the best ones. You could make a meta post with links to the best ones.

Of all these, #1 is by far the approach that results in the most constructive questions that remain useful long term, but you may find all of them helpful to varying degrees.


Good advice, however here's some more:

Refrain from drawing conclusions to your own questions that call for yes or no answers, when clearly there is no constructive basis to this approach, as the conclusion should be left to the reader, unless it's absolute fact(s) and or truth! Otherwise there is no point in asking the question in the first place... especially if the information is readily available elsewhere and providing an honest answer by way of a genuine link, and not links that further compound an unproven question or answer... This is NOT helpful to anyone!

Moderators I would expect to be un-bias, and hold no favoritism - this should go without saying, but obviously is not the case from what I've experienced here on just one thread^ Especially when you can't respond to some voting up or down for lack of points?! This is completely unfair and defeats the purpose of an honest debate, when some are subject to edits and others are not?! Rewarding for contributions is one thing, but limiting responses to others, simply because some are more active on site than others? Again defeats the purpose...

An open source subject - should not be restricted or limited due to participation requirements or rewards... this only negates the validity of Q&A, and losing yet more credibility as such - It's like saying "you can stand here - but if you stand there you're not allowed to speak!" And limiting edits to 5 minutes is also ridiculous, if mis-spoken in the real world, there's no limit to retracting your statements!

Free speech has no limits, unless it's a dictatorship or promotes slander in any form/forum!

  • Shared on facebook^ – CoIntellect Nov 13 '14 at 11:45

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