tl;dr Go to http://cleanup.thepcspy.com and start cleaning!
It only took a year but it's finally here: It's clean up time! But let's step back a bit... What on earth am I talking about?
Well we get a lot of questions. Most of those are answered but a significant portion (over 20%) are currently in Limbo, with no answers or answers with a score less than +1. They either haven't attracted the right attention or their answers have been ignored. There are a few things we can do with these questions, as I said in the initial plans:
Identifying good answers - Plenty of old questions do have some answers but those answers haven't been voted for nor have they been accepted. In these threads we need people to vote for the good answers, just like normal. Getting a good answer up to +1 will classify the question as resolved and get it off our list.
Answer it - You probably haven't seen every question on the site so some of these questions will get organic answers. You'll get rewarded by the community in the regular way.
Flagging old topics - Given the nature of Ubuntu releases we need to make sure we prune out unanswered old topics about old installation techniques or hardware issues that may be fixed by upgrading Ubuntu. This won't always be automatic but we need to keep on top of how many active, old-release questions we have.
Removing or improving the unanswerable - Ask Ubuntu is only as good as its questions. We will need people to chase up old threads to make sure they have enough information to be answered. If their users don't respond and edit their posts, we need to cull the deadwood.
Merging duplicates - So many duplicates slip through the gaps and we end up with multiple answered questions covering identical ground. While this isn't the prime aim of the week, any duplicates (even from established, answered questions) are candidates for treatment.
Identifying good, hard questions - Some questions are unanswered because they're really very tough to solve. There's no value in closing them so if you can't answer them, we need users to try and involve relevant external groups and get askers to keep the information flowing in. If we can match people with the knowledge with the questions, we fulfil several of our goals.
Until now it's been slightly painful to get a good grip on what questions need answering. It's also a job that goes without recognition. These are two things we wanted to change so I set about building something that uses the StackExchange API to find and allocate people questions.
Today that something is going live and everybody and anybody can join this targeted clean up effort.
You'll see how it all works when you get there but essentially, per the plans, you get "Clean Up points" for cleaning up. These are completely separate from your reputation.
So go there, sign up and see if you have any problems (let me know!)
Assuming everything goes to plan we'll then hold a competition-based Clean Up Week to see who can clean the most in 7 days. We're just working out what we're going to do for prizes.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I log in? What is my OpenID?
If you don't have a regular OpenID with another provider, you can use Stack Exchange's provider by entering the URL:
I've just cleaned something up but it's still in my queue... What's going on?
The queues update every 20 minutes and there's 5-minute caching on the pages so in the worst case scenario you could be waiting for 25 minutes for something to disappear. In most cases, you'll be waiting less time than this.
It's been hours and it's still on my list! What gives?
Might be a bug. I've certainly turned up a few of them during this process so just let me know via an answer on this thread and I'll try to see what's going on and fix it.