-1

This answer (screenshot) is (to me) an example of an answer that was deleted far too quickly. The original question was how a guy could get his friends to get more serious about starting a business together.

The answer proposed a way to move from vague talk to a more concrete proposal. The timeline shows it was posted 19 hours ago. 13 hours later, in less than a full day, it was deleted. Sure, the answer could have used more fleshing out, but it's blindingly obvious that one way to get people to make a decision is to move from vague statements like "we ought to start a business someday" to a more concrete proposal like "let's get a food truck in place at the corner of Main and 1st".

| |
  • 1
    Are you sure you linked the right answer? That answer doesn't mention a food truck... – Tinkeringbell Dec 5 '18 at 18:27
  • @Tinkeringbell I'm using the food truck as an example of something concrete that would get the friends thinking actively about starting a business – DaveG Dec 5 '18 at 18:29
  • Quick reminder to anyone voting on this that meta questions shouldn't be downvoted solely because you disagree with the premise (unless it's a feature request). Personally I think this is a well written question that points to a specific answer and gives the thought process behind why OP is confused. – scohe001 Dec 5 '18 at 19:17
  • 1
    @scohe001 I'd argue that it's well written, but not well researched or helpful. Well researched and helpful would imply this isn't just another repeat of "an answer was deleted for being too brief but I don't agree with that" followed by an answer of "Here are the rules, here's why, etc". – Jess K. Dec 6 '18 at 16:22
9

We've discussed answers like that, at length, before. The most notable post is most likely Should we be more strict about one-line answers?.

A good subjective answer meets a few points, described here. I'm going to quote one:

Great subjective questions tend to have long, not short, answers. The best subjective questions inspire your peers to share their actual experiences, not just post a mindless one-liner or cartoon in hopes of being rewarded with upvotes for being merely “first.” Sharing an experience takes at least one paragraph; ideally several paragraphs. If I’m asking about how to bake cookies, don’t give me a list of grocery items: milk. butter. vanilla. eggs. There is virtually nothing I can learn from a short, static list of grocery items that make up a recipe. Instead, tell me what happened the last time you made cookies from that recipe! Share your detailed experiences, so that we all might learn from them.

And this is the answer:

enter image description here

This answer is literally the shopping list example from the quote. Every line needs fleshing out, explaining why to take that step and why it's likely to be of more help than whatever OP has already tried. So yes, it not only 'could have used some fleshing out', but if we want IPS to succeed within a scope set by SE, the answer needs fleshing out. Having it deleted is good moderation by the people using this site. OP is free to edit their answer, and only then can we think about undeleting it. There's comments there pointing out what should be improved, so that shouldn't be too hard.

As for it being blindingly obvious that this solves the problem: I personally don't see it. It doesn't mention, like you say, to move from vague statements to more concrete ones like food trucks. That is a valuable addition to the answer, and perhaps you picked up on it... I didn't. Someone that's asking about these types of things isn't likely to know that they're making too vague statements either, or they might've asked 'how to make more concrete statements'. So, it's one of the things in the answer that needs fleshing out.

Remember: Closing, Editing, Commenting, Deleting... all of these actions are done to give people a chance and time to improve their posts, they don't come with penalties (except for a few exceptions). This post now has two downvotes. If it is edited, improved, and undeleted, it has a better chance of recovering than if we'd have left it around longer, but all downvoted it to double digits because it didn't meet the most basic standards for answers on subjective sites. Deletion in thirteen hours isn't too quick for a post that should never have been posted in that shape in the first place.

| |
  • I understand that the decision has been made, but I must seriously disagree with the idea that "Great subjective questions tend to have long, not short, answers". Brevity is the soul of wit. – DaveG Dec 5 '18 at 18:46
  • 2
    @DaveG Before I comment on that, if I say 'long answer', how long do you think? (could you guesstimate a nr. of paragraphs/lines/words that make an answer long in your opinion?) – Tinkeringbell Dec 5 '18 at 18:52
  • I was just looking for a question that was a perfect example, but couldn't find it. It was from a dev who complained that his coworkers found him too wordy. And the question showed why, it just scrolled on indefinitely with extra junk. And when people asked him to clarify, he just added in yet more stuff. This is the counter-example that adding more makes things worse, not better. – DaveG Dec 5 '18 at 18:59
  • In the case of the particular answer we are looking at, I think just a few sentences would be plenty to justify that people work better off something concrete than something vague. It doesn't have to be War and Peace. But what bothers me is that the core of a good answer is lost forever. – DaveG Dec 5 '18 at 19:00
  • 3
    @DaveG But like I said, it isn't lost forever. The core can be edited upon, and it can be undeleted. Formatting like bold or cursive can be used to highlight the core. To me, four small paragraphs of 'do this, like this, because that' isn't too long of an answer. – Tinkeringbell Dec 5 '18 at 19:28
  • 1
    @DaveG Another possibility is that you (or other users) could write your own answer "inspired by" the core of that one, but which fills in the blanks with the needed explanation based on your own knowledge and/or expertise. If you find the concepts valuable and can explain why and answer the questions posed in comments, I'd say go for it -- given the brevity of this one, most of a good quality answer based off it will be original content anyways. – Em C Dec 6 '18 at 2:37
  • 4
    @DaveG "Brevity is the soul of wit" - if the folks asking questions here were socially/interpersonally 'witty', they would not be asking questions in the first place. Details are important, we have to assume we're answering questions for people who know nothing. That's why these rules are important. What you and I may be able to deduce, someone else very well may not. – Jess K. Dec 6 '18 at 16:22
6

After thinking more about it, the biggest issue of all with this deleted answer is that it doesn't define any use of interpersonal skills...

enter image description here

These are all tasks the OP could do by themselves, no interpersonal action required. It doesn't cover how to engage with the team about these items at all, which is really the most pressing part of this question.

From what I am seeing, the items in the list themselves really don't need fleshed out so much as the interpersonal part of this answer needs to exist. Until then, this answer should not only be deleted because it's not a subjective answer, as mentioned already by Tinkeringbell, but it should remain deleted because it isn't even an answer involving interpersonal skills.

| |
  • The question is about how to get the friends to engage in a business venture. The items laid out are all the methods to that goal. Saying "use the business plan and the skills and the markets to engage the friends" is superfluous. – DaveG Dec 6 '18 at 20:13
  • 3
    @DaveG In a Stack that is explicitly about using interpersonal skills, the business venture part of this is superfluous. The interpersonal explanation always needs to be present, not implied. There is no room for discussion about whether or not an answer can contain "implied" interpersonal explanation on a Stack that is explicitly to seek interpersonal solutions. If you asked me how to bake a carrot cake and I say "get the ingredients from the store and then cook it" you'd probably think of me as an awful resource for answers on how to bake, would you not? – Jess K. Dec 6 '18 at 20:28
  • 3
    @DaveG Moreover, and most importantly, what's superfluous to you is not superfluous to all. I can see what you're saying, and in any other circumstance outside of this Stack, I'd agree. But we have rules in place here to make sure there is clarity in every answer that anyone can view and follow. For this reason, the interpersonal aspect really needs to be fleshed out and explained here. "Do this, here's how and why it's a good idea" is generally the best way to accomplish this. – Jess K. Dec 6 '18 at 20:30
  • Clearly I think that your argument is better than tinkerbell's one. Even a developped version of this post woud likely still be off-topic from the this Stack. – Walfrat Dec 12 '18 at 12:15

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .