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Is it appropriate to include something like "Thanks for your help!" in your question?

  • I'm assuming including 'thanks' in the question will encourage users to answer.
  • Maybe 'thanks' should go in the comment area instead?
  • Some people won't read the comments, so they'll miss the thanks.
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    Not trying to start a war. Just had my thanks edited out of a question and I'm trying to understand. Thanks ;) – Tyler Langan Dec 2 '12 at 20:08
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    me to! i don't think a "Thanks for your help" at the bottom of a question takes away from the knowledge base. it doesn't clutter up the preview either. – Patricia Jan 14 '13 at 15:59
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I'm going to directly quote user TheTXI's answer from Meta.StackOverflow here to the question "Should 'Hi', 'thanks,' taglines, and salutations be removed from posts?" because I can't answer this better than it was answered there:

I've always been against the greetings and salutations (along with other extraneous clutter) in questions for a number of reasons:

  1. It will leave even less room in the question preview so that we have more difficulty gauging what a question consists of by reading the preview.

  2. It takes time to read and parse through those questions when I am trying to spend my time more efficiently reading through the actual question and figuring out how to appropriately answer it. If I have to start reading all the little side comments and snarky humor inserted in there it detracts from the overall message.

  3. If this is supposed to be a website which is servicing more than just the primary author, we need to think about how we construct messages so that they appear more clearly to those searching on google for questions that match their own. If I am looking for a solution for question X, I want to find someone who had the same problem, not their short autobiography and formalities before getting to that actual question.

This website isn't about individuals asking questions in the most polite manner, it is a repository for important, interesting and useful questions. While adding 'thanks' might be thought of as polite when you initially ask the question, it serves no benefit to someone viewing the question in 6 months time; they just want to see if the question fits their issue so they can get to the answers.

The politeness comes from providing high quality questions and answers, from directing users how to improve questions to allow them to get the best possible answers and by improving posters spelling and grammar to make everything much easier and friendly to read.

The way I think of it is to compare ux.se to Wikipedia instead of traditional forums. Can you imagine reading Wikipedia and each article started with 'Hi, I want to talk about Ford Motor Vehicles.......Thanks for reading, I hope you liked my article, James'. That is unnecessary to the content of the article, it would just be noise.

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    +1 for the wikipedia analogy, it's a useful one :) – Vitaly Mijiritsky Dec 2 '12 at 21:24
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    The only thing I have to add is "thanks" shouldn't be added as a comment either (another part of the question). Thanks alone is noise no matter where it is (except in chat, but chat's totally different) – Ben Brocka Dec 2 '12 at 22:05
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    I suppose one could say that you say "thanks" by up voting the answer or comment making the additional "thanks" comment redundant – Charles Wesley Dec 3 '12 at 0:37
  • @Charles exactly; upvotes/accept marks are our built-in "thanks" feature – Ben Brocka Dec 3 '12 at 16:29
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    Isn't stackexchange a community of people trying to help each other out? It is much more a sort of 2-way traffic community than wikipedia, so I don't think that comparison makes a lot of sense. – Bart Gijssens Dec 6 '12 at 10:30
  • @BartGijssens StackExchange is a lot of things - as the diagram on the about page shows. Predominantly it is about the content. Yes, new questions are predominantly 2-way, but once a question has been asked and an accepted answer left that really answered the question then it becomes more of an article at that point. – JonW Dec 6 '12 at 10:39
  • Even if an answer is crap, I always appreciate when people take their time to help to solve my problem. Therefor upvote != thanks. – Bart Gijssens Dec 6 '12 at 11:25
  • @BartGijssens so you upvote bad / incorrect answers just because they took the time to provide it? I think a more constructive option would be to comment explaining why the answer isn't particularly good so they get an opportunity to improve it, and then upvote once it's been improved. – JonW Dec 6 '12 at 12:26
  • @JonW, I don't upvote incorrect or bad answers. I do upvote when an answer is well funded even if it doesn't correspond with my own idea. My remark (and this question) is purely about what you do with questions you have asked yourself. For those questions, you don't know if an answer is good/bad/incorrect, because then you wouldn't have to ask the question. For those answers, yes I am particularly open-handed when upvoting. The only exception is where people clearly did not read/understand the question, or just give personal opinion etc. – Bart Gijssens Dec 7 '12 at 7:44

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