This is probably more of a general SE Meta question than one specific to our site, but it came up in this question: What song has the phrase "waka waka wee"?

Are we writing answers primarily for the person who asked the question --is our first and highest responsibility to that person --or primarily for the larger community that might find it useful?

I guess the possible answers are

a) the querent
b) the community
c) both should be considered equally.


Whenever I'm anywhere on the internet, I always assume that there is a larger, more permanent audience than whomever I'm currently addressing. It's like being on a talk show. You are talking to the host, but it's for the benefit of the audience at home. In the same way, when I answer on SE, my priority is the community first, then the querent second. The querent is one person, the community is a whole group.

Of course, you can take this too far. You have to respect the querent and speak directly to him or her or you won't ever have a community.


Again, ID questions are primarily for the querent. The community does not get much from these questions long term for it to even make sense answering in terms of the community because then we just disregard the OP and post whatever.

The original scope was designed with the community in mind and disallowed ID questions for this exact reason. We can't have our cake and eat it too. If we want ID questions, we need to take care of them and cater to what they need. If we want a stronger community, we need to weed out questions that can't do that. Most of our traffic now is ID questions which does not give us a lot of questions that will help us build a community, it just attracts one and done questions.

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