So there's a question you have the answer to and you post it as an answer.

A short time later (maybe even seconds), a second potential solution comes to mind that's a different way of solving the issue. What do you do? Post it as a second answer or edit the first answer to make it even longer and encompass both answers?

I lean towards posting a second answer, but I note that there are no badges encouraging this. I expected there would be something like "two answers to the same question, both with a score of at least +1" (to stop answer spamming), but I can't see one.

I feel multiple answers should be encouraged as often the second answer will be better than the first. Also of course in this realm there are often multiple solutions to a problem and none is "right".


  • 1
    I suspect getting votes on more than one answer is reward enough so getting a badge too would be like double dipping.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Aug 12, 2015 at 6:19
  • 2
    @PolyGeo - I'm not sure that follows though; there are plenty of badges for things that already give lots of score (great questions/answers being the obvious ones, let alone all the tag-badges). Shouldn't we be trying to encourage more good answers, even if they're to the same question? I can't see a downside to such a badge (or series), but there are upsides. Aug 12, 2015 at 9:21
  • They seem to be for single questions and single answers. If there's a precedent for a multiple answer badge you could always make your case at Meta Stack Exchange because badges are coined at above site level.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Aug 12, 2015 at 10:59

1 Answer 1


Related question on Meta Stack Exchange:

What is the official etiquette on answering a question twice?

There are several duplicates there. The mainstream seems to be advising posting different answers when they are (completely) different from one another. In this case Lance Robert argues the following:

  • different approaches will be voted separately, and, therefore, it will be easy to identify what is good content and what it is not.
  • comments are easy to follow down single subjects than within multiple ones.

It was also said if the system allows for posting multiple answers, then it is ok. The community will vote and judge if the answers are worthy upvotes or downvotes (or none).

Personally, when it is possible to connect (somehow) different answers or approaches in one single answer I try to put all the effort in a best post attempt (examples here and here). But the point is that not doing so is also ok.

In this post, PolyGeo had three answers in the beggining, and two of them were connected to become a nice answer. The third one which had different context was kept separated.

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    +1 The key to this good advice is "different approaches." What we try to discourage is the posting of follow-up answers that merely comment on or augment one's existing answer in the same thread.
    – whuber
    Aug 11, 2015 at 19:39

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