I'm often torn when faced with providing an answer to a question that is clearly asking for an opinion based response. We've all seen those types of questions that ask:
“What's the best...”
“In your experience,...”
“Can you recommend...”
Some users on this site have no problem providing answers, while, some of us tend to flag the question as “opinion based”. I find that in some of those instances, we may be missing out on some really good replies if the rules were skewed just a bit. I'd like to feel that providing an opinion based answer is accepted if it is based on some valid experience or anecdotal evidence, and, not just a
“well, it worked for me once.”
At the same time, I don't quite agree with the “points” strategy that provides the same rating (ie. “+10”) for an answer that is later closed as “opinion based”, and, an answer that is backed by studies/fact. In fact, I've seen where some users have answered the question, received an up-vote, and later voted to close the question as “opinion based”.
I'd much rather see the site change to allow opinion based responses, as long as they are supported with some kind of “evidence” (anecdotal?) or long term experience. That would mean an answer like,
“...it worked for me...”
without putting some context and experience behind it would not be valid. I think the site would become more useful because we could be relying on the wealth of experience from its users, some who've been training for many years in varied disciplines. This would encourage users to share their experiences more easily without the fear that the question will eventually be closed. And, to further encourage these types of responses, I'd like to suggest that “+5” be rewarded (rather than "+10") for those answers that are eventually voted as “opinion based”. Providing a different rating for opinion based responses would support the validity of fact based answers.
I'd like to know what others think.