See question: What are the benefits of switching from bi-weekly to semi-monthly payroll?

The question started as an opinion poll, but received a couple of answers anyway. It was then edited to a "pros and cons" question (and has received a couple of more answers since, but that's not relevant here).

The edit invalidated the earlier answers. I totally agree that if an answer was posted to an off-topic question, there shouldn't be much ground to complain if the improved question invalidated those answers.

However, one answer was useful without participating in the opinion poll, but now seems to not answer the current version of the question. I find this somewhat unfair because it pointed the OP in the right direction by showing a flaw in their approach. ("You shouldn't ask the internet for opinion, ask your employees what they want.")

What options do we have to preserve the useful answer while also making it a valid answer to the new question?

We could certainly ask dan1111 to update his answer in this case.

In the general case though, when a question has to be bent into shape, what should be our approach to preserve any existing useful answers?


Bad answers should be downvoted. If someone answered an opinion poll with an opinion and not a well constructed answer based on references, and or real world experience, it should be downvoted, flagged as not an answer and, if not improved, deleted.

  • The question is not about answering an opinion poll with an opinion, in that case, it is obvious what should be done. In this case, he answered without participating in the poll, but instead by explaining why asking for an opinion poll was not the right approach.
    – Masked Man
    Apr 7 '17 at 16:18
  • 2
    Still not an answer. That is a comment. Apr 7 '17 at 16:46
  • Though if you are talking about dan's answer. I think it does answer the question properly and explains why it is the right approach. That is not to say that I think his answer is "Right" just that it meets the requirements for an answer. Apr 7 '17 at 16:48
  • It doesn't list any pros and cons, just "ask your employees what they want". That is an answer to the original question, not to the modified version.
    – Masked Man
    Apr 7 '17 at 16:53
  • 1
    @MaskedMan workplace.meta.stackexchange.com/q/2321/16 - I do not really like the dont do that answers myself but this has been dealt with and settled. Its been long enough ago I would support an effort to change that if you want to lead that charge. Apr 7 '17 at 17:44
  • BTW Pros and Cons questions used to be considered bad questions on SE. But the new crop of mods think they are ok so its hard to tilt at that windmill. Apr 7 '17 at 17:47
  • I am ok with "don't do that" answer as long as it explains why. That doesn't necessarily make it a good answer, but at least helps the OP adjust their perspective. As for pros/cons questions, I completely agree, that is no different than a laundry list question, and opens a big can of worms. "Which job should I take, A or B?" --> Closed as off-topic --> "What are the pros/cons of job A and job B?" --> Tada! Reopened as on-topic!!?
    – Masked Man
    Apr 7 '17 at 17:53
  • @MaskedMan - I think we have a new question to ask for the next Mod Opening.... I get what you are saying about the answer. But it explains why it is the right way to handle it even if it doesnt explain why you shouldnt do X directly it does say it is better than taking advice of the random people in the interwebtubes... which is what we are. Apr 7 '17 at 18:25

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