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I've noticed a few times now that people are enforcing (probably too much) the apparent policy about one answer per post. Here are a couple of examples:

Also there are loads of examples with seriously long lists which have not been addressed.

Basically my point is - it looks bad having someone answer multiple times, as it kind of looks like they just want to bump up their rep, not to mention the fact it would completely clutter up the page with numerous answers.

I would say that they only need to really be broken up within the post - i.e. not one massive block of text which is never appealing.

I just think some people need to take a chill pill when it comes to these sorts of posts as the people answering are just trying to be as helpful as possible. Perhaps as some middle ground it should be enforced that people clearly label different options / methods within a single post so the information can be easily extracted without having to trawl through the text.

e.g.

Answer 1:

  • blah blah blah...

Answer 2:

  • More twoddle

etc...


I don't mean to sound like a douche but I just think that a couple of certain individuals need to take a step back and think "this is probably one of the only sites on the SE network that a single user would post multiple responses in one post" - for most of the other SE sites there are usually only one answer that would solve the problem, or at least only one that a single person would think of and have the time to explain.

This meta post writes about what a good Lifehacks answer should look like and at no point does it mention "DO NOT LIST MULTIPLE ANSWERS", in fact it states something that would be completely the opposite of that:

If your hack does have obvious tradeoffs, you can "innoculate" it by including conventional solutions! I've made good use of this in the past, as have many others. I guess this kinda makes sense - you're essentially providing enough information for readers to judge the applicability of the "hack" in the answer itself instead of relying on them knowing it (or the asker explaining why he can't use it), so it side-steps a lot of common problems.

I just feel it needed to be brought to the attention of some.

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    THIS! I wondered where you draw the line before and asked in the LH chat. I understand that it helps to sort answers, because when they're separate it's easier to spot the good ones based on votes. Anyways, there still are some topics where different methods aren't quite different methods but also not just modifications of one. I also prefer having multiple methods in one, because in separate answers you would also have to explain the context every time. I'm still not sure about this - Let's wait for our higher authorities. – Alex Mar 19 '15 at 14:37
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    @Alex Well that's the thing, ti's a community so we can't just rely on the mods to make the rules and carry out 'justice' - don't be afraid to give your opinion, it is what a discussion is for. It seems to me that all the mods are of one mind and don't really have alternative views on anything which makes it hard for anyone else to express their views without it being 'wrong'. – MrPhooky Mar 19 '15 at 14:42
  • don't mean to sound like a douche but I just think that a couple of certain individuals need to take a step back and think "this is probably one of the only sites on the SE network that a single user would post multiple responses in one post" I definitely disagree with this. This site is not even remotely unique in this regard. – Sterno Mar 19 '15 at 16:59
  • Any question which has more than one possible answer (which is most of them!) has this problem. In fact, it's because you're talking about fundamentally different answers that splitting them up makes sense! If you have two wildly different solutions in your single answer, how are people supposed to know which of them I'm upvoting and downvoting? I'm not saying everything has to be perfectly split up... particularly if the two things you mention amount to the same thing with a tiny variation. But the whole reason for separating different solutions is to make voting meaningful. – Sterno Mar 19 '15 at 17:00
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    On the other hand, if someone's asking a hypothetical (stupid) question about how to make marks on a piece of paper, it's probably fine if both "use a pencil" and "use a pen" are in the same answer, since they're so closely related. "Put a pin in your finger and write with the blood" would probably be best served as a separate answer, though. – Sterno Mar 19 '15 at 17:06
  • I should have just written my own answer at this point, but I guess one last thing I have to say is that while I think multiple answers tend to work best, going crazy and editing everything into multiple posts is probably not worth anyone's time and effort. – Sterno Mar 19 '15 at 17:10
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The problem with having multiple answers/solutions in one post is that users aren't able to vote on each individual solution. If you have two solutions to a problem, and one of them doesn't work at all, and the other works perfectly, how do users vote on that? All they can really do is comment saying one works, and the other doesn't. Splitting those solutions up into multiple posts allows users to vote on each solution independently, thus allowing that terrible solution to be shoved off our site and that fantastic solution to rise to the top.

Robert covers this here A Lifehacks Manifesto, and I'd suggest giving it a read.

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    Quoting the relevant part of Robert's post here: AND ONE ANSWER PER POST! We cannot properly vet an answer that contain a list of solutions. There are times that a comprehensive answer might cover more than one variation, but if you see a post that is just a brain-dump of unrelated answers, please comment and get it edited down to one answer per post. Answers should be comprehensive, but one solution per post please! – Sterno Mar 19 '15 at 17:05
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    Exactly. It's in the manifesto, and it makes sense. And it's not changing anytime soon... – J. Musser Mar 19 '15 at 17:40
  • The problem with having multiple posts to cover multiple solutions is that you can't say when to use each solution. That makes for inferior posts. One item per post is something you do in a poll, but Stack Exchange is not good at polls, it's good at answers. Answers are not limited to one solution. – Gilles Mar 19 '15 at 21:24
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We cannot properly vet posts with multiple unrelated solutions. Let's say I post an answer that contains both a great solution, and a completely unrelated terrible and ill-advised solution. How does one vote on that answer? Do you vote up because I have a great solution? Do you vote down because I also recommend something that is a blatantly bad solution? Do you leave it at zero because they balance each other out?

It gets weird when multiple solutions are contained within one post. If we separate that into two answers, then the voting is easy. That is the logic behind one answer per post.

This isn't the only site on the SE network that does one answer per post. Software Recommendations also does the same, for the same reason, and I think the logic is similar here. Keeping to one recommendation per post allows voters to vote on the individual recommendation, and not have to vote on a package of recommendations.

  • No, Software Recommendations does not encourage posting multiple answers for different software. The community is divided on that. – Gilles Mar 19 '15 at 21:22
  • I am strongly against having mandating separate posts because it almost always makes for inferior answers. The best way to propose multiple solutions is in a single post where you explain when to choose solution A and when to choose solution B. – Gilles Mar 19 '15 at 21:23

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