I think that the question presents a false dichotomy. We do not have to choose one option vs the other. Also, as users or moderators we are exactly like comments. We are ephemeral (as moderators tend to remind us about comments). Who knows which one of us will still be around to answer questions or moderate this forum in ten years from now? Why do we need to ...
What I look for in answers: (i.e., what I typically upvote)
A neutral, down-to-earth tone
A fresh take on a question (i.e., don't make your answer start with "I agree with XY")
Substantial answers (very short answers are not typically very useful to me)
A user that, based on her/his bio and SE habitus, seems trustworthy to answer the question
Sources, if ...
Honestly, I think that we can and should effectively serve both goals.
I see the aim of this site as consistent with #1: providing consistent, clear, and correct answers.
Because of the nature of the questions and answers, however, there is inherently more subjectivity and personal perspective involved in creating a good answer than there is for a question ...
I don't know if this question asks about what we should look for or what we are looking for. I ran this query and extracted the answers that received 100 votes or more*.
Here are the links to the best voted answers to date in decreasing order of vote count:
tl;dr: vigorous maintenance and weeding help make this site the success it is
Stack Exchange software and guidelines are all designed for "building up a library of concise, clear and correct questions and answers".
That's not the only way to do things. As userxxxx noted in a now-deleted answer, places like the Ask Academia sub-Reddit provide a great venue ...
Adding to the other things already said, I also think it is very valuable when an answer delves into the principles and reasoning the lead the poster to answer in the way that they did. I think that this is particularly valuable because many answers are derived from a broader scientific or pedagogical ethos. Communicating that ethos helps beyond the ...
Academia in generally is pretty harsh and we all have a lot of things to rant about. What I really like about AC.SE is that we are NOT a discussion board and we have a low tolerance for ranting. Many of our questions are "soft" and our answers are our opinions driven by our experience. While our answers may be our opinions, I think sometimes others can ...
First of all, I'm not sure this question is really appropriate, but that's just my opinion. I do think there's no reason to be vehemently against such a proposal without seeing how it'll turn out.
In my opinion, 'paranormality' is actually a sort of 'parareligion'. Since we have serious sites that manage to seriously and objectively discuss Christianity, ...
Many a time have I wished to just call a student or colleague stupid. In my opinion, there are three factual reasons (ergo disregarding morality, politeness, religious beliefs, etc.) why one might wish to avoid it, regardless of how strongly they believe it to be the case:
The practical reason is to avoid lawsuits.
The historical reason is that it is a ...
I think this might be an interesting discussion, but the example you gave seems far separated from the type of "not offending anyone" that your post implies (referring to discipline and sexism).
Part of the original question for the answer you linked was:
Is there any moral (or even legal) problem in criticizing other people's figures on my website? ...
I would like to know why there is intense focus on not offending
people? Sure, people should not go about intentionally offending
people, but someone will be offended by something somewhere, someday,
even if we don't intend it.
There are two major reasons, in my mind:
Inoffensive approaches are often more productive than a theoretically more direct ...
I'm in the same boat as those commenting that I don't fully understand the question, but I'll hazard an answer all the same.
Many, many people have thin skin (i.e., get insulted easily). I'll venture to say that most people have thin skin. To that extent, when resolving a disagreement, the "lets be frank" approach is very likely to cause someone to be ...
xLeitix's answer is great, just want to add one thing to that: answers should be concise. Many answers here tend to have lots of examples or stories or other stuff that's relevant but not required, and it almost always makes the answers much harder to read with little benefit. Shorter is almost always better.