My question about the accuracy of the smoking and drinking habits depicted on Mad Men has received a handful of answers. The first cites an ad exec who was around during the time period and spoke of first-hand experience. Later answers cite personal experiences of varying degrees of utility.

The difference: the first answer (and the one I accepted) contained quotes from an interview with USA Today about the accuracy of the smoking and drinking habits on Mad Men. Duh. The later answers were more secondary source material, but interesting nonetheless (to a degree).

Because there is some valuable, if not interesting, information presented by these answers, I hate to see them languish. One of the answerers does go off on a personal tangent that degrades the quality of the post, but the newest one by Becky is fairly useful.

What can be done to keep these users (two of which were fresh to SE sites, one is a Super User vet) involved in Movies.SE? Is there any generally applicable constructive criticism to offer answerers providing an answer that is either second-hand or anecdotal?

1 Answer 1


I think that positive feedback in any form encourages users to stay involved. Many users (especially new users it seems to me) are not driven by rep alone, so they appreciate an upvote or an acknowledgement as much as an accepted answer. You could start upvoting Becky's answer and/or give some positive comment. And others will be quicker to upvote seeing your comments.

But (slightly off topic) I see your problem. Sometimes it seems fair to accept two or even more answers. My main SE site is StackOverflow, where usually there is only one truth, so there the "classical" Q&A format fits well. But here at movies (and many other sites) truth can be many-faceted. Not for the first time I wonder whether accepting more answers should be introduced (and I'm not the only one). Your question with the answers are a perfect illustration of this dilemma. Personally I'm even more convinced by the personal stories!

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .