Taken from this question.

Is @BlaXpirit's answer too vague? I understand that he didn't explain what was going on in the videos, but merely linking them and saying "Watch them, you'll get your answer that way."

Are we supposed to support our videos with text? Or are we supposed to simply place videos into answers without explanations?

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Most of the time, I would say yes, support your video link with text, but there's so much information in that first video, and it's so well presented, that it'd be an injustice to try and summarize it. –  MBraedley Feb 10 '13 at 22:32
    
So, if the video explains it well enough, is it a good enough excuse to not add text to an answer? –  meme scientist Feb 10 '13 at 22:37
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Does BlaXpirit's answer stand on its own without the videos? No, it doesn't. Could he have done more to add some explanation? Yes. Can someone write a suitable answer without using a video? Probably, but can it also be done without pictures? Probably not. You didn't succeed, as indicated by the vote counts (although you didn't really answer the question to begin with). The use of video is almost a necessity here, so take that into consideration. –  MBraedley Feb 10 '13 at 22:58
    
It's not about my question. I know my question didn't succeed (question title was unclear), but it's not like this a is a personal feud or something. –  meme scientist Feb 10 '13 at 23:07
    
I didn't mean to imply that. It's more that one person (anyone really) has tried and failed at providing a text only answer, whereas someone who linked a video succeeded. As the only other answer on the question, it makes for an easy point of comparison. –  MBraedley Feb 10 '13 at 23:15
    
What do you really mean by "frown upon"? Do you mean, "will moderators delete it as not an answer", or just "will people tend to downvote it?" –  Sterno Feb 11 '13 at 0:01
    
FYI you linked the wrong answer. Should be gaming.stackexchange.com/a/90376/1298 –  DisgruntledGoat Feb 18 '13 at 12:32

1 Answer 1

up vote 41 down vote accepted

Just like link-only answers, the answer should be able to stand on its own feet even if the video becomes deleted/private/unavailable in your region/gets taken down or if youtube embedding doesn't work.

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In general I agree, but sometimes it's not easy to summarize a complete video, and I don't think that's a reason not to post it... though in these cases, at least provide a brief description of it. –  Oak Feb 10 '13 at 22:48
    
@Oak That's a reasonable objection. –  badp Feb 10 '13 at 22:49
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"Brief description, at minimum" is a good guideline, I think. –  Raven Dreamer Feb 10 '13 at 22:56
    
The consensus is that writing filler text is somehow useful, so you should do that even when linking to a comprehensive answer. –  Decency Feb 11 '13 at 7:40
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@Decency No, the consensus is that all answers should be answers, not links to things that are answers. We're a Q&A site, not a search engine, so if you can't find the solution to your problem somewhere in an answer post then it's not actually an answer. Links for references and further detail are awesome but they are not answers. –  Matthew Read Feb 11 '13 at 18:59
    
@MatthewRead I understand the policy, I just don't think it makes much sense when dealing with anything beyond a simple code snippet from documentation or a line of text from a wiki. When you have questions that involve huge depth and nuance, your options are essentially to not allow the questions (and many of the best questions on the site are of this type), or to allow answers that are almost entirely useless without the content in their links. The in-between pretense that two sentences can accurate summarize an essay or video is ludicrous. –  Decency Feb 11 '13 at 19:23
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@Decency Some answers require more than two sentences, sure. I agree that an inadequate summary is not sufficient, but I don't think that's what is being promoted here. I've written 1000+ word answers (on Android at least) that are basically just summaries of other content. –  Matthew Read Feb 11 '13 at 20:02
    
@MatthewRead Sure, and that's the exact behavior that generally is a complete waste of time and detrimental to the original creator of that information- linked to or not. Especially in the gaming world where content producers typically rely on viewers to produce more content, pulling those viewers from them is nontrivial. –  Decency Feb 11 '13 at 20:12
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@Decency I agree that there's a big difference between crafting answers and rephrasing "content". Honestly, however, the Stack Exchange is at least supposed to be an answer crafting community and just linking to other sites isn't "content creation." In other words, you shouldn't take the easy way out and get reputation for what others have written. (Also, yes, questions that require books for answers should be closed.) –  badp Feb 11 '13 at 20:52
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@Decency If the video is complex enough to resist summarising, then the answer should at least give some hint as to what the answer was about should the video disappear. "Here is a video that answers your question: [dead link]" is a bad answer. "Here is a video that demonstrates how to use pistons to build a complex long-tick clock, instead of using repeaters like you were thinking of doing: [dead link]" is a much, much better answer. It gives future readers some leads to work with even if the link rots. –  SevenSidedDie Feb 12 '13 at 17:58
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@Decency I have. The "this video is no longer available" thing happens more when you live outside the US. Even more frequent is the "this video is not available on your device". It's a rather relevant argument for me. :) And editing the answer to update a dead link is dependent on a number of factors: Is the original answerer still around to fix it? If not, does anyone remember what the answer was? If yes, does any proper replacement exist? That's too many ways the answer can break. Having at least an insufficient summary means that we don't rely on memory or the original answerer to fix it. –  SevenSidedDie Feb 12 '13 at 18:13
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@Decency That's assuming that the answer is correct, which is not always the case: It is also better for evaluating whether I want to use my precious time watching a (e.g.) 20 minute video that might actually not adequately answer the question. A summary is like a title: it gives some hints about whether what follows is useful or trash. We can't make policy by assuming that users are perfect – we must make policy that is robust against incompetence. That is the whole point of the structure of the site. Summaries are a fail-safe in many ways. –  SevenSidedDie Feb 12 '13 at 18:42
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@Decency If upvotes were all we needed, then we wouldn't need any policies, mods, deletion, flags, editing capabilities, or anything else. Votes are not the universal solvent, and the site is not designed to treat them that way. That way lies Yahoo Answers. You don't want us to be Yahoo Answers, do you? :) –  SevenSidedDie Feb 13 '13 at 3:22
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@Decency Aaaand the circle begins. I choose not to complete it. The matter appears to be resolved, continued jawing notwithstanding. If you'd like to know why, there is lots to re-read. Good day! –  SevenSidedDie Feb 13 '13 at 3:39
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...and they'll be forums for discussion, not Q&A sites. I really don't see how Discourse relates to the question. –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Feb 14 '13 at 21:58

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