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I've noticed that the majority of questions right now are being answered by the same couple people (I won't name names).

I think this type of thing is counter-productive for developing a fledgling community.

As someone who would like to contribute, it's frustrating when every question has already gotten a detailed answer by users who have already farmed a bunch of points in this community (whether from being in the beta, or moderating, etc.)

I suggest that those individuals actually refrain from participating until others have already contributed to a question. Otherwise there's little point for someone like myself contributing to a community when 1-2 people are already answering all the questions and their answers automatically have high visibility.

I suppose if the goal of the community is NOT to attract additional contributors, and you're fine just creating a google searchable archive of 1-2 people's opinions, then you're on the right track. However, I think numerous opinions from a diverse array of contributors is preferable.

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    What does prevent you to frame anothe answer if you think there is another approach to answer the question ? – Tensibai Apr 10 '17 at 19:32
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    Just because someone already answered (regardless of the answer's value or if it's accepted or not) it doesn't mean someone else shouldn't. It's actually desired to have several answers so that the best/most popular one (based on the number of votes) bubbles to the top. See the answer ratio in area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/97295/devops. – Dan Cornilescu Apr 10 '17 at 19:35
  • My comment above is a genuine concern, I see not much to answer to your post if you don't explain a little more what prevent you from answering, maybe linking to one or two questions and explaining what stops you may help better understanding your concern – Tensibai Apr 10 '17 at 19:36
  • OK, maybe I should clarify - just don't repeat what already existing answers say :) – Dan Cornilescu Apr 10 '17 at 19:39
  • @Dan sometimes, answering the same thing with a your own wording and experience (not plagiarism of course) is good also, it should add something on top of existing answers, but every answer should answer the question alone so overlaps is expected. (That said I'm guilty of no doing this every time) – Tensibai Apr 10 '17 at 19:44
  • @Tensibai Right. We're in agreement. – Dan Cornilescu Apr 10 '17 at 19:50
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    Interestingly, this post has now received two upvotes - I would be interested to hear the opinions of those who agree with @EthanEdwards – Richard Slater Apr 11 '17 at 16:07
  • What is your actual question? Something that ends with a "?"-mark ... And what's your proposal about how long "I" should not be allowed to "Contribute"? Do you mind if while waiting I continue to suggest tag wikis / excerpts? – Pierre.Vriens Apr 14 '17 at 20:05
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As one of the early users of the site, and the person who has seen the largest increase in reputation in the last week I am making the assumption that you consider me to be one of these problem users.

Three things come to mind:

  1. Regarding the percentage of answers, it doesn't look like any one person has the majority:
    • Richard Slater: 24/435 = 5.5%
    • Tensibai: 49/435 = 11.2%
    • Jiri Klouda: 26/435 = 5.9%
    • Xiong Chiamiov: 5/435 = 1.1%
    • Evgeny: 27/435 = 6.2%
    • Pierre.Vriens: 20/435 = 4.5%
    • Dan Cornilescu: 31/435 = 7.1%
  2. Having multiple answers to questions is highly valuable; in fact, it is one of the measured metrics for SE Beta sites.
  3. Reputation is not the goal here; I, personally, answer questions because I want to share knowledge - the majority of new users are going to come to the site with questions that they want an answer and an answer within a reasonable time.

There are currently 9 Unanswered Questions and 15 without an accepted answer questions are being posted at about three a day if you have specific skills you can subscribe to the Tag RSS feeds for those tags, that's how I find new questions on StackOverflow.

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    fully agree with Richard ... on top of that: about 50% of my questions have no ACCEPTED answer yet, while the ones with an accepted answer are all candidate for being challenged with an even better answer (if a better answer comes in, I will for sure change my mind and change to such answer as accepted) ... PS: note that I intentionally react slow to marking an answer as accepted, though I am pretty flexible to upvote most answers to my questions ... – Pierre.Vriens Apr 11 '17 at 6:50
  • I think the fact that the only contributors to this question \ discussion consist of the people I was talking about, only reinforces my point. – Ethan Edwards Apr 11 '17 at 21:43
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    @EthanEdwards and then what do you propose ? That top contributors stop answering to leave room for you ? – Tensibai Apr 12 '17 at 7:10
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As someone who would like to contribute, it's frustrating when every question has already gotten a detailed answer

There's actually 6 unanswered questions. I've answered this one yesterday which has been asked on April 7th and did stay 4 days days without answer.
And for this one I did just dig into the documentation, that's far from a good answer in my opinion and someone comfortable with Circle-CI should add an answer with more details and best practices extending over to multiple keys management.

I suggest that those individuals actually refrain from participating until others have already contributed to a question.

How long until someone having an answer can post it if no one post ? 4 days ? a week ? a month ? When do you think it would be acceptable someone you have grief over post an answer if no one has done one ?
Corollary: do you really think that's fair for the question author to leave them without answer for an extended period of time for imaginary reputation points ?

Otherwise there's little point for someone like myself contributing to a community when 1-2 people are already answering all the questions and their answers automatically have high visibility.

There's no more visibility for an answer or another, each answer added bump a question on the top of the homepage, so any answer even on a very old post will get visibility. There's a badge for answers getting more votes than the accepted answer also: populist along with badges for well received answers.
I would recommend going through How do I write a good answer? for advice to write good answer even if existing one are there.
You didn't give any example of question you had like to answer and was discouraged from, so we can't have any idea of what you're interested in nor a starting point to get background from your post.

I suppose if the goal of the community is NOT to attract additional contributors, and you're fine just creating a google searchable archive of 1-2 people's opinions, then you're on the right track. However, I think numerous opinions from a diverse array of contributors is preferable.

Here I've a problem with your approach, we're not here to build a collection of opinions but a collection of answers to problems. Stack Exchange sites are not discussion forums, the format doesn't work well for opinions debate.

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I've definitely felt this problem on various sites, including some of those in the Stack Exchange community; the worst part is the initial bootstrapping, when you can't do things like comment on posts until you've got 50 rep.

In general, however, Stack Exchange favors good answers over quick ones, and that's good for someone in your situation. It means that if you have a better (or just different!) explanation of something than others had, you can post it - that will cause the question to get bumped to the homepage, which means your answer gets views, and generally people are pretty free with upvotes to reward good content like that. This is much better than, say, reddit, where there's a strong bias towards the first few responses.

With that being said, being quick to answer questions is also a good way to get your foot in the door. Last year I decided I was going to become active on security.SE, and frequently checked the new question list; this got me from 300 to 7500 rep in 6 months. The Stack Exchange mobile app is particularly good for this.

Finally, questions get you reputation, too!

Overall, we're here to help each other out, and it seems silly to intentionally not help someone when you can.

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I think the fundamental problem here is trying to gain reputation on a site that just doesn't have much activity. The OP might find a much happier home on ServerFault where there are 20 unanswered questions for every hour of the day. Or if they work better with fire hoses head over to StackOverflow itself. Then once you've reached the 200 rep to get the 100 association bonus on each new site life becomes much easier. This doesn't mean that you will suddenly be gaining lots of rep on sites like DevOps (or even my favorite Bricks) which are simply low-volume at this point in their lives. I have sites that I've been on for over a year where I've only gained 4 or 6 rep in my entire time there. I don't see anything wrong with that if I'm learning and I'm contributing as best I can in most cases.

A significant secondary factor is that some of this also comes down to luck and timing. I've written hundreds of answers in my time on these sites, but after two years I was in the right place at the right time with the right answer and folks loved it. I had no idea that answer would be so much more well received than all of the previous effort I put in. I had prior answers that had their own github repos, but that "huge" effort wasn't as well received as something I dashed off quickly to help somebody out with their LEGO projects. That's just luck and timing.

A third component of this that I haven't seen previously mentioned: maybe the OP just doesn't like us. Ops folks have a well-deserved reputation for being jerks or curmudgeons so this isn't a surprising result to old timers. (And I don't think the Dev folks with their wild optimism are any easier to deal with.) Regardless of our presumed faults, sometimes folks just don't get along. Part of the beauty of the StackExchange model is that there are lots of other communities where you might find a vibe more to your liking.

So I wish the OP better luck in finding a happy home on StackExchange. Ultimately I think being able to give back to a community which has done so much to make my job and life easier and more fun is a worthwhile endeavor.

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