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[meta] What is the best thing to do if a question received no answers after a period?

on 2/21/13, 6:07 AM 2,433 views

I counted today 21 February 2013 a total of 633 questions of which 134 received no answers. I find this an amazing good result. I want to thank the site administrators, moderators and community for this!

I wonder what is the best thing to do with the questions that received no answers in a period of let us say 1 month.

I think about the following possibilities:

  1. If the question received no answers and also no votes I think the question owner best can delete the question and if it is still an issue for him / her ask the question again with a better formulation of it. If so has this consequences for his / her Karma? I assume no consequences.
  2. If the question received no answers but has received votes I think it needs attention of a moderator.
On 2/21/13, 6:24 AM

On StackExchange Q/A sites this scenario has been questioned and answered on many ways. I don't believe deleting the questions should be the solution. Maybe in a near future some other new user know the answer to that question. Or, keep reading below the following links.

Some samples:

And quoting one of the more accepted answers on this situation:

You can "bump" your thread by editing the question to provide status and progress updates resulting from your own continued efforts to answer the question yourself. I usually do that unless I really hit a dead end with no further clues to follow. Some times I eventually bring about enough understanding to realise the answer, and thus post a resolution to my own problem.

Other propossal is to add a "bounty" to the best answer. But I don't know if AskBot has this option. If available, here is another way:

If you have at least 75 rep points, you can offer a bounty, promising to give some of your points to the person who correctly answers your question.

I also think deleting these questions is not an option, the author can often improve them or close them themselves after finally figuring out the solution. If you want to ask the author about that, you can of course post a comment in that sense. See also the "Necromancer" badge ;-)

Olivier Dony (odo)
on 2/21/13, 6:28 AM

+1 IMO the question should be kept, and moderator time should be spent on bad questions and answers. And editing it to improve or add info on additional research would bring more attention to it.

Daniel Reis
on 2/21/13, 6:33 AM

+1 It makes the user more likely to update and improve, rather than endlessly recycle the same question. Seeing no solutions to your question is frustrating, but perhaps it makes you more determined to find an answer yourself - and then you can come back and boast ;)

on 2/21/13, 7:58 AM

Antonin Bourguignon (abo)

--Antonin Bourguignon (abo)--
| 0 0 0
--Antonin Bourguignon (abo)--
Murder simulators enthusiast. http://gaming.stackexchange.com/users/15726/anto
Antonin Bourguignon (abo)
On 2/21/13, 7:33 AM

Questions without answers or votes are just questions without answers or votes: it doesn't imply that they are bad questions, requiring moderator's attention (even if, practically, it might be the case quite often).

SE has a great system to bring that kind of question to the community's attention: bounties. Unfortunately Askbot doesn't feature it. Therefore, when facing a question with no vote and no answer, your weapon of choice would be... common sense.

  1. Does the question fit our Q&A scope ? If it doesn't, close it, else
  2. Is the question intelligible ? If it's not, edit it or ask for more information in the comments, else
  3. Do you have the answer to the question ? If you do, answer it, else
  4. Upvote the question, or perhaps share it over the Web (it fits our scope, it's intelligible but you don't have the answer: it probably worths it)

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Asked: 2/21/13, 6:07 AM
Seen: 2433 times
Last updated: 3/16/15, 8:10 AM