According to this our answered rate (percentage of questions with an upvoted answer) is now 76%. We took a big hit with the number of new questions for 12.04/12.10 and the difficulty of being able to scale with so many new questions and users; despite months of cleanup/voting/reviewing effort we're now competing for 4th worst on the SE network. :-/

I recognize that as sites get larger it goes down, but the recent surge has left us pretty battered and busy (in a good way) -- so perhaps there are some things we can do to improve this?

  • 1
    You refer to "an upvoted answer" as opposed to "an accepted answer". I've come across answers that have been accepted but not upvoted.
    – user25656
    Commented Nov 24, 2012 at 11:32

6 Answers 6


The Stack Exchange data dump is now more up to date and is now being updated on a weekly basis! This means that even if you run out of votes you can still leave a comment on the question so that it can show up in a query and get into the review queue:

Here are some queries to find questions (feel free to add your own):

When I am out of votes I'm going to keep adding pro forma comments on questions that I think should be reviewed so they'll show up in these queries. If we only have a few people doing this we should be able to clean these up considerably by getting them into the review queue!

Also there are a ton of "crash", "bug", and "freeze" questions that should be on Launchpad, not AU:

Most of those are bug reports disguised as questions, there's some serious orange circles (0 answers) in some of those searches.

  • Crash in the title is not almost the double of that, freeze almost the triple. Bug in the title almost 70% more.
    – Braiam
    Commented Feb 28, 2014 at 15:43

With increasing numbers of new users we are also faced with increasing numbers of non-voters and non-acceptors. This can e.g. be seen from only just about 800 users that have cast more than 10 votes. I feel this is a poor rate considering that we are more than 15k users and have asked more than 13k questions by today.

We need an elegant way to encourage new user to vote and to accept without let them feel to be forced to and without leaving the impression that we are greedy for rep. We could think of a prominent message that asks users that haven't done so to vote and to accept answers to their question. We could also explain in this message why this is so important for our site.

  • 1
    send them an e-mail reminding them about their questions. some forums used to do this and they managed to get some users back to the forum. something like " Hey we missed you. Come check some of the popular questions in the site" am pretty sure you can suggest something better than mine ;)
    – Suhaib
    Commented Nov 15, 2012 at 20:33

I don't think our problem is the lack of answers, but all those unanswered questions (in the "two upvotes"-sense) that just need to be closed.

Best case: a question is only open because nobody knows the answer.

We could split the questions via search into:

  1. Questions that have no answers and no comments: graph
  2. Questions that have no answers but comments: graph
  3. Questions that have answers but no comments: graph
  4. Questions that have answers and comments: graph

One list for each category. Then it's more or less "take a closer look at the question" and decide what to do (e.g., if a question has no answers, but a comment including an answer, we could add this to the question, upvote and it's off the list).

Would be great if I could say: "I have time, let me pick and work on those 50 questions." Afterwards I would update their states (close/open/needs_upvotes/unsure) in the list.

We could do this in meta with four community wiki answers, putting "reservations" in the comment section while we are working on questions, but then we'd need to break the operation up into smaller time periods, because currently we'd end up with an average of 1200+ items per list. :-)

[V] = needs upvotes, [C] = vote to close ongoing, [ ] = todo, <s>Done</s>

  1. [V] Question question question
  2. Question question question
  3. [C] Question question question
  4. Question question question
  5. Question question question
  6. Question question question
  7. [ ] Question question question
  8. [ ] Question question question
  9. [ ] Question question question
  10. [ ] Question question question

100 should be ok, so ~400 questions targeted at a time.

Two important questions:

  1. When do we consider a user inactive? After one month? Three months? Half a year?
  2. When do we consider a question important enough, so that we do not care about whether the questioner is active/interested or not? One vote? Two votes? (Stars?)
  • 1
    You could almost do this better with something like a Google Doc or etherpad.
    – jrg
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 21:25
  • Yeah. As long as it's easy to access, every solution is fine. :)
    – htorque
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 21:28
  • That is true! :)
    – jrg
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 21:36
  • Perhaps Ask Ubuntu needs an official Google account for this?
    – nanofarad
    Commented Nov 11, 2012 at 0:03

Go through the list of unanswered questions. Pick one. Answer it (or close it, if it's not a good question). Repeat.


We should have a separate chat room where we can post questions that need to be closed.

Of course we'd have to spread the word among the 37 people that can cast close votes so they know where to look for questions that would need to be closed.


In my opinion, a HUGE improvement would be to be able to filer the unnaccepted questions. Currenty, only the unanswered questions can be filtered.

So a question that gets 1 silly answer quickly goes off the radar, and remain with no accepted answer forever.

An no easy way to track down such questions.


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