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Judging by a few comments I read on this site, a general complaint is that the later answer get much less attention. Higher scored answers are propelled up, get in the view first and keep scoring - because the whole answer list is usually long and people get tired of reading through. Isn't it a vicious circle? My question is: do you think sorting chronologically and putting most recent answers on top would be more appropriate for the default answer sorting this site? And probably not by the recent edit date, but the original post date.

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This is in your control. Questions with answers show three tabs (right side of the image) allowing you to control the presentation order.

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Now, to address the questions of "should", I'll note that the most common use case for a post to a Stack Exchange site is a non-user coming to the site after searching the web. These folks are looking for answer. Not only that, but good answer without a lot of work.

And that is the whole point of the voting: to crowdsource evaluation of potential answer, and give those visitors what they came for.

So, no. The default sorting for answers should not be newest first.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I would agree for a general stack exchange site - where a practical solution is sought. Here it is a different story. High chance that a language on top is not suitable for a "non-user". Additionally there is almost no practical value in many questions here - it is a fun competition site. And as in any competition answers deserve a statistically equal attention. Which they don't get from "non-user" that you mentioned - who will give an occasional vote-up to some top answer, wouldn't care for digging down and leave. I've seen enough good answers with minimal number of votes. \$\endgroup\$ – Vitaliy Kaurov Dec 3 '12 at 4:23

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