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Before that for me was annoying to see someone without any effort wants to get an answer for his homework from community. But right know I see most of answers are by few users which are either professors, phd students, well experienced computer scientists/programmers, postdocs or very good (undergrad) CS students. This means that good undergraduate student afraid to participate in site by providing an answer1, so he cannot get upvotes (respectively reputation) to be interesting for him to participate in. (specially if this site is the first site in SE family that he joins).

To resolve this problem I think is better to allow following type of questions to help other participants to gain some reputations:

  1. Easy questions : Question which are already answered by google search, wiki, first few pages of some CS books, ...

  2. Implicitly duplicated question: e.g If someone understand that what does big O and recursive relation means, he should be able to solve T(n)=2T(sqrt(n)) + n. (by supposing that we already covered general ideas for these stuffs in our reference questions.)

  3. What's your opinion to help new but good (undergrad) students to gain upvotes?

Pros: Helps to grow the site faster, because number of user increases, number of question and answers are increases and the site will be in search engines more often for similar questions. (Yes the philosophical question is why we should grow up? Or Quality vs Quantity? and at this time I think Quantity is more important.)

Cons: Someone abuses this behavior(one solution for this users is to flag them).

1: This is my guess may be is wrong.

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    $\begingroup$ My perception is that we have a slow, but steady increase in qualified, active users. I am quite happy that rep-diggers stay away (some crawl from the pit of opinion whenever a soft/broad/subjective question appears). $\endgroup$ – Raphael Aug 13 '13 at 10:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Raphael, I'm also happy to see that rep diggers are staying away (one thing that I hate it in SO), but, it's not very bad to bring a little freedom to them, may be there are some undergrad students which have very good ideas, and by this we can help them to develop their idea and in future they will improve site quality. $\endgroup$ – user742 Aug 13 '13 at 12:56
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    $\begingroup$ I get where you are coming from, but I think we are neither going to attract nor train the users we want (or they want to be) by emphasising quantity. The best I know how to help students is to teach rigor and attention to detail as well as a broad persepective, and to lead by example (as best I can). $\endgroup$ – Raphael Aug 13 '13 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ huh? what is a "rep digger"? why would someone with high rep speak disparagingly of people working to achieve rep? SA I for one agree with the idea of attempting to broaden scope/participation, not sure how it would work, and frankly, in the past, I have seen on tcs.se that even as high rep users encourage a broader change in the scope, and it is upvoted on meta, it possibly has little effect on the site. basically, believe it or not, it seems high rep users are not really interested in broad[ening] participation. ie incentives are toward increasing rep, which is not the same as community... $\endgroup$ – vzn Aug 20 '13 at 21:32
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Quality vs Quantity? and at this time I think Quantity is more important.

NO. Quality is always important. You cannot grow a site by favoring quantity over quality. If you make the site boring for experts, the experts will leave!

It's normal for a Stack Exchange site to start out at a slightly higher level than the final target, when most of the participation comes from a few highly motivated individuals, and gradually open up to the long tail of questions that go all over the map.

There's no point of filling the site with questions that can be found in any reference text, because these questions are easier to find in a reference text than on Stack Exchange. The point of a questions and answers site is for when the answer isn't in Wikipedia or in the textbook, or at least not in a readily digestible form.

Helping people gain upvotes, whoever these people may be, is not the goal of the site. The goal of the site is to provide good answers to questions about computer science.

It's quite natural that an undergraduate student would start his participation here by asking questions. If you're an undergrad, don't feel bad if at first you can't answer questions. When you find a question about something you've studied, try working out the answer for yourself before reading the answers that have been posted. After a while, you'll find that you are able to find the answer. And then one day someone will post a question, and you'll find the answer, and you'll realize that no one has posted it! Then go, go, post your answer!

Also, sometimes there's an answer but you don't understand it. If you don't understand it, chances are that some of your fellow students don't understand it either. So take your keyboard and write up a more detailed, better-explained answer!

There is something that I think we can change, but it requires participation from both sides. We get a lot of fairly generic-looking homework-type questions.

  • For the students: don't just dump your homework assignment. Tell us what you understand and how far you've gotten in trying to solve the problem.
  • For the high-rep users: don't be too eager in closing as duplicates of ultra-generic questions. What looks like a straightforward application of a general theorem may be a difficult question to someone with less broad knowledge, and the theorem itself may be gobbledygook even when its application to a concrete case is an exercise of middling difficulty.
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    $\begingroup$ Too bad we can't award bounties here. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Aug 13 '13 at 10:19
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    $\begingroup$ disagree somewhat because of the way search engines work, sometimes more content is better than less content, and have seen posts from SE employees that point this out, and they do indeed value question volume, even as it is pointed out prominently on area 51 stats. already, most questions have few votes. it is not at all clear that expanding scope would lead to more questions with fewer votes than the current average. and by the way, voting is the only subjective-turned-nearly-objective measure of quality possible. $\endgroup$ – vzn Aug 20 '13 at 21:21
  • $\begingroup$ In some sense I agree with vzn, as I mentioned in the question, if is important for us to be up in search engines then is better to have more users and more questions, on the other hand last two advises of Gilles, was very good specially for good users, and I think most of them will read this, and this is a good point (at least I achieved half of a my purpose: allowing to students to participate in more relaxed situation). $\endgroup$ – user742 Aug 21 '13 at 12:42

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