I'm noticing a few active members of this site with very low accept rates. Is there a generally accepted method for enouraging those members to go back and accept answers? Or at least to get them to revisit the question if none of the current answers are acceptable?


I think you're doing exactly the right thing, by gently reminding them of the option to accept an answer (some may not be aware of this option) and by explaining why it benefits them and the community to select an accepted answer if one of the answers did solve their problem. Keep it up!

  • $\begingroup$ This is probably the best approach for now. It isn't a lot of users, so pointing it out to them directly isn't too hard. $\endgroup$
    – mikeazo
    Aug 2 '12 at 11:49
  • $\begingroup$ An automatic notification would maybe also do: your question was answered $x$ times but you selected no answer. Maybe at intervals of exponentially increasing durations. Maybe with a reset of the time interval whenever a new answer is provided. $\endgroup$
    – bob
    Oct 15 '12 at 11:38

It depends on the kind of user you're talking about.

Some simply do not know about the feature, and you(or better the software) should tell them about it.

If you're talking about the more active users with bad accept rate, like fgrieu or me, then I don't think there is much you can do about it. When I don't accept an answer, I either need to do some work myself like investigate the answers or improve the question, which I haven't done yet, or nobody posted an answer yet that answers the question.

I believe in accepting an answer only if it answers the question fully, and just up-voting but now accepting if it makes good points, but isn't complete.

Looking over my own questions with unaccepted answers:

  • No acceptable answers:

    • Why do new versions of TLS use an explicit IV for CBC suites?
    • Proof of work for standard computers
    • Which blind signature schemes exist, and how do they compare?
    • Using same keypair for Diffie-Hellman and signing
  • Need to improve question:

    • In which situations is a length-extension attack a problem?
  • Need to investigate answers(and possibly write my own):

    • Purpose of outer key in HMAC

Isn't it a vanity to want members to accept one of the answers? My practical experience is:

  • Have a question
  • 'search for it' (google)
  • Find existing question on stackexchange
  • use fragments from three answers
  • go off and user them
  • (sometimes I find a better answer and then I come back and add what I've found)

Obviously I like votes and badges and the like, but for me it does not matter, (I'm probably missing something but I'm already back working by the time you read this.)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I wouldn't say it is a vanity in most cases, definitely in some though. Reputation points help establish the community, identify experts, and help other users with the same question at least know which answer was best in the OPs mind. $\endgroup$
    – mikeazo
    Sep 17 '12 at 11:23

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