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I think this question about bead breath solutions for dogs is one of those acceptable list questions, i.e. there are different possible solutions, each with their pro and con. Currently, 2 out of the 3 answers recommend the same three solutions (separated by a minute difference in posting), so which one should I vote up?

More importantly, what if I happen to disagree with one of the three proposed solutions but think the other two are good?

I think the question might be better served if the proposed solutions were split into separate answers so each can be voted up individually.

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    "More importantly, what if I happen to disagree with one of the three proposed solutions but think the other two are good?" - vote up the two you think are good. If you still feel strongly against the third one, vote it down. – JoshDM Oct 14 '13 at 15:41
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I think you have 2 questions -

  1. How do I decide how to vote when there are duplicate answers spaced only a few minutes apart? Well, my opinion is you should vote like you normally would. Unless you think any of the answers plagiarized any of the others, then you should vote if you found the answer helpful. Given they are only minutes apart suggests (to me at least) that everyone arrived at the same answer at the same time and the only difference is who is the faster typer.
  2. Is this a list question? Yes it is, but I don't think we've quite reached a consensus on if these are acceptable, and if so, which are good and which are bad. The OP is asking for solutions, not product recommendations, so I think this falls on the good side at this point.

Now how to handle if you disagree with a specific point in the post?

That's one of the challenges that you have to deal with when these type of questions. I don't think that requiring users to split their posts up is the right way because you'll end up encouraging more 1 line answers and it becomes a pain to moderate. It's fine now with a limited user base in the Private Beta, but when any Tom, Dick, or Harry can post an answer, you'll end up with a lot of dups that weren't posted at the same time and are just "me too" posts.

But voting shouldn't change regardless. If the answer is helpful then vote up, if not vote down. But how you evaluate the answer might change if the answer has a couple of solutions.

  • Maybe you decide that one of the solutions is so bad that it needs a downvote.
  • Maybe it is just not a good idea that it cancels the upvote you would have given the other parts of the answers.
  • Maybe it isn't bad enough to cancel the downvote.

But in this case, a comment might be helpful to explain what you think it wrong. And here since the other answers have solutions you support, you can up vote those and not vote at all on the other.

  • I would think this is an acceptable list question as well, but #1 isn't my problem so much as "what if I happen to disagree with one of the three proposed solutions but think the other two are good"? I edited accordingly – ThomasH Oct 14 '13 at 12:08
  • @ThomasH again, vote and comment as you normally would. But I've added an update to address. – psubsee2003 Oct 14 '13 at 12:15
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Vote up any answer that you think is good. There's absolutely nothing wrong with voting up all of them, if you think they all offer good advice.

However, I strongly disagree with the idea of splitting them up into separate answers, one suggestion per answer. That is exactly what we want to avoid (they're colloquially referred to as "me too" answers).

Each answer should be as complete as possible.

If you think 2 of the suggestions are good, but have an issue with the third, its up to you if you think the overall answer(s) is helpful enough to upvote, or bad enough to not merit a vote (or even a downvote). You may also want to add a comment to one of the answers indicating your concern, if you think it will help the quality of the information.

If your objection to that one suggestion is that you don't consider it particularly effective, I'd personally just ignore it. However, if your concern is that it is potentially dangerous, or otherwise detrimental to the health of the dog, I'd consider posting at least a comment explaining your concerns, and possibly a downvote.

I consider this more of a "shopping/recommendation" question than a list question. The discussion on shopping/recommendations shows this particular question as probably within the bounds of what we'd consider acceptable.

  • It's not just that they all offer good advice, but that they offer the same advice. Also, what if I happen to disagree with one of the three proposed solutions but think the other two are good? That last point wasn't made clear in the question, so I edited. – ThomasH Oct 14 '13 at 12:05
  • @ThomasH It doesn't matter if they all offer the same advice, so long as none of them are obviously plagiarizing another, as psubsee2003 mentioned. If you think 2 of the suggestions are good, but have an issue with the third, its up to you if you think it is helpful enough to upvote, or bad enough to not vote (or even downvote). You may also want to add a comment to one of the answers indicating your concern, if you think it will help the quality of the information. – Beofett Oct 14 '13 at 12:10
  • @ThomasH Edited to address your question's update. – Beofett Oct 14 '13 at 12:14

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