What are good heuristics for judging the quality of the advice received here?

Joe Emison Chief Information Officer at Xceligent

October 11th, 2015

I find question/discussion forums like these interesting, but in the topics where I am knowledgeable (not many), I see a lot of terrible advice, some of which gets decent upvotes, and honestly not enough things are upvoted to use votes as a judge most of the time. Does anyone out there have any good heuristics (outside of votes) of judging which advice is good? I'm thinking of things like level of detail, length, etc.

Neil HereWeAre Want To find-close Business Online without competition Before They Google Search? We solve this problem 1(508)-481-8567

October 11th, 2015

Why complicate this.

I want specific details on what to do, specific how to do it and most important, why the suggested process, answer, advice can resolve the issue under discussion.

Facts, examples, proof is also what I look for that can back up the advice. I comment in the way I described here.

Simply comment, softly disagree and or clearly expand the answers given in the way I suggested above. then give the details of what can and does work re the discussions subject.

If there are pertinent links re addressing whats under discussion, include them as other resources. I even include my own blog articles if they fit but I say its my own article.

Michael Brill Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products

October 11th, 2015

Joe, I'm guessing you're thinking more broadly than this forum (e.g., is there a way to generally help people focus on a subset of responses that are likely to be the "best")... I'm sure through some combination of NLP, clustering of similar responses, upvotes, downvotes, reputational measures, etc., you can at least find the common sentiments.

But good luck on determining whether they're the "best" or not. There are a ton of problems: questions rarely have enough context for you to evaluate whether an answer is best or not. "Best" or even "directionally correct" are highly subjective and I can find myself on either side of an argument just depending how much caffeine I've had.

Neil's comment is right on. If you disagree with a response then the single most valuable thing you can do for yourself and the community is to present a counter-argument. That's the only way people learn.

Sudhakar Change Operations & Technology Leader

October 11th, 2015

If you find the answer let me know, would love to feed off your learning.