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This is my first private beta (151 area 51 points would be a newbie clue)

I have a few questions with some really good answers. But I hesitate to mark them accepted, during the private beta. They still have room for good answers, and as we are only a few participants, leaving room for answers to existing questions during the public beta seems like a good practice for encouraging participation.

What is the "best practice" on accepting answers during the private beta? How does it differ from "best practice" during public beta and/or post beta sites.

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Typically, I would say you should 'accept' an answer when someone provides an answer that best solves your problem specifically. But since most of the questions here are asked out of conjecture or idle curiosity, the accepted answer design doesn't quite fit.

I would say the best practice is not to accept an answer too early. Wait until someone comes up with a great answer that really does the subject justice. It could be during the private beta, but often a great answer comes much later. You want to wait until an answer jumps out at you that says "Wow, this is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!"

Remember that accepting an answer essentially locks in a post that will be the first folks will see when searching for this stuff; so you want it to be canonical. You're never actually obligated to accept an answer at all. There's still the voting to say "this is is the best answer so far."

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Also, remember you can change your accepted answer, and that is perfectly acceptable. I've had times where I've changed my accepted answer at least twice on a question, as new answers came along that were better than previous ones.

In general, however, I don't accept an answer unless I feel it is a good answer. Holding off on accepting an answer until a good answer is one way I subtly hint I'm looking for better answers to the question.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I had not considered switching accepted answers as an option. $\endgroup$ – James Jenkins Jul 20 '13 at 11:04

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