One of the nicer types of posts I see from time to time are posts where parents return to their questions and provide insight as to what they ended up doing and how it worked out.

It's much more powerful than simply marking one answer as the correct answer.

I'd like to engage in a discussion as to how to encourage people to follow up, but first it seems we should answer the question - should we encourage question askers to follow up?

Of course it will be tempting to discuss ways we could encourage follow up, but please only approach that if it also answers whether we should encourage follow up.

3 Answers 3


I think it's a great idea to encourage follow-ups. We have done something (somewhat) analagous on Puzzling.SE, where we encourage people to post a follow-up answer explaining their thought processes when they were creating a puzzle.

We could do something similar here, where we have a meta post detailing the way a follow-up post should be written. Then on questions where it seems especially appropriate, we could post a comment linking to the meta post, and suggesting that a follow-up would be beneficial.

  • I agree that follow ups are good, but I think an edit of the question is better than a separate answer.
    – Warren Dew
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 8:21

I think this is a nice idea in principle, but am unsure as to how to go about it within the structure of Stack Exchange.

Simplest route would be to add a comment on to the original post and ask, but we'd have to be careful this didn't end up as discussion or conversation, so wording would need to ask for how the issue was resolved.

Then, of course, the problem is that the OP really only has anecdotal evidence, and the preferred answers here have references or studies to back them up (many don't, I know) and as they can accept their own answer, there may be a bias away from a really good answer towards their one.

  • 1
    I agree on all points, but this answer has one "yes we should", one "implementation seems challenging", and one "no, anecdotal stuff isn't appropriate". While we prefer research I believe we've long accepted that anecdotal answers are ok as long as they point to personal experience and aren't merely opinions. At best your answer is very mixed. ;)
    – Adam Davis
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 21:19
  • Hence my "unsure" comment:-)
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 21:23
  • I agree with @Rory Alsop that follow-up is outside of the Stack Exchange model, but must admit that I really enjoy it when I see it. So, I am conflicted as well. :-/ Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 0:33
  • I don't think follow ups are outside the stack exchange model. People are allowed to answer their own question, which must surely be so they can provide the solution they used. People are allowed to edit their questions, so they can easily provide an addendum saying what answers were useful and how they used them.
    – Warren Dew
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 8:24

I love the idea of follow-up so I vote yes. Perhaps we could suggest follow-ups in chat or meta to stay true to the model.

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