Overall, I think we're doing great. We get more questions per day than all but 8 beta sites, we have awesome users with tons of reputation that help out, and we have a pretty decent answer rate considering the restrictions we place on questions.
Our answer quality guidelines are fairly strict:
The asker has provided a list of requirements that the software must fulfil. It is the responsibility of the answerer to provide details on how their recommendation fulfils these requirements. Use screenshots if the asker has asked for a clean or intuitive user interface so that the asker doesn't have to install the software to see that you're right.
Going back even farther, we have the manifesto from the Area 51 days:
Good answers on this site will be in the form of honest testimonials that share first hand experience with something and why it meets the needs of the asker.
You should answer questions when you have first hand knowledge of things that satisfies at least most of the constraints given in the question. You should be ready to talk about your experience with it, what you liked about it, what features it does (or perhaps doesn't) have, within the context of the question. You should also talk about any potential quirks that you can think of, and even things that you found to be a down side of the product. In short, share your experience with something, not simply your knowledge that it exists.
Answers that do not even come close to meeting the constraints described in the question should be flagged as not an answer, and will be removed quickly.
But are we still as strict on answer quality as we were in the early stages? I don't think so. And we need to be. I wrote this quick query to get all the answers from the last month, ordered by length, shortest first. This surprised me:
And that's from just the first ~10 entries in that query. These are really indistinguishable from spam - actually, I'd bet money that at least one is self-promotion. But we don't have any way to know if they're smart about hiding it. This is why we have to delete these - if we don't, we'll turn into a spam haven.
We have plenty of insanely good, well-researched, bullet-pointed, requirement-matching answers. That's awesome. But we need to be taking care of these.
Really, this is my fault for not being more proactive hunting down these low quality answers. I'm planning to do a lot more of that. But if you see one, I'd really appreciate it if you'd flag it.
Now, your turn. Have I had too much pizza and this is all crazytalk? Should I refrain from hunting these out, and just handle flags when they come up?