In general, people who answer questions on AU do their job with a certain pride. We want answers to work. If not, we either remove the answer or edit it until it works for at least the situation of OP, but if possible, for a wider range of situations.

This process works best while still in the flow of the question. That implies that if the first sign of life of OP comes after 4 or 5 days, the mind has moved on and it is less likely the answer is edited with the same creativity as what is was written with.

Unlike what some people seem to think, asking for feedback is not so much a matter of chasing reputation, but we simply want a confirmed working answer. Not only for ourselves, but mainly for the sake of the quality of the site. That is why it is discouraging and kind of frustrating to read a comment like "thanks for the answer, I will look into it one of these days, this week, next week, who knows...". Even worse of course if there is no reaction at all.

If you know someone responds accurately to his or her questions, you feel like doing "an extra step", since you know your work will be fruitful. The other way around: if you have the experience someone neglects answers, communicates very slowly (or not) or tends to abandon his own questions, it is unlikely you will take the effort to even write a comment, although you like the question at first sight.

In short: if you ask a question, take the time to communicate in an accurate way. It is good for the site, for the quality of your answer and improves the chances you'll get good answers in the future. Be aware of the fact that this is not a personal help desk, but we create question/answer combinations to serve a wider audience then the person who asks and answers the question.

  • 45
    I will read this question in 6 to 8 weeks
    – Braiam
    Commented Feb 14, 2016 at 19:58
  • 1
    @Braiam perfect, I will wait for your answer :) Commented Feb 14, 2016 at 20:00
  • 1
    I'm confused... Commented Feb 14, 2016 at 21:08
  • 1
    Is "I have access to AU only on the weekend" or "only on weekdays" a legit excuse? Commented Feb 14, 2016 at 21:44
  • 6
    @JacobVlijm waiting for 6 to 8 weeks is rarely a good idea. :)
    – muru
    Commented Feb 14, 2016 at 22:04
  • Many of these issues come from new user accounts. Is there any way in which we can encourage users at registration to follow up on their inquiries?
    – Anon
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 11:14
  • 20
    Sadly, those people who abandon their questions are unlikely to read Meta.
    – Takkat
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 11:21
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    @Takkat totally true of course. One of the reasons for writing this post was to create an option to add a "please see this" comment, stripped from the annoyance of the moment, instead of writing a long story in a comment :) Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 11:26
  • 2
    @JacobVlijm --- +1, perfectly agree to you. I did complain for something related once (meta.askubuntu.com/questions/13515/…); unfortunately I think that this is an effect of the carelessness of the average new user of this site. We have a lot of shot an answer, get bored, forget, I don't mind if you spent half an hour of your life trying to help. It's a lot more rewarding asking and answering, for example, in the tex site...
    – Rmano
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 18:26
  • Yes, agreed . . . but that's all there is to it . . . People who answer questions here probably have an idea of how to take care of their own questions . . . but most new users do not. They won't even know this meta question, or meta site exists unless they spend at least a month of active use of the site. At least that's the way i see it . . . Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 19:37
  • If there's a lot of support for this, can we discuss the site limitation that says the quickest we can get notified about post replies is every 3 hours? Every other forum allows instant notification by email. I completely agree with Jacob's point, but it's somewhat unfair to criticise question askers for letting the flow go cold, when there's a feature on the website which introduces a 3 hour response lag.
    – dez93_2000
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 0:49
  • You might find this question interesting: unix.stackexchange.com/q/196219/70524 (note the dates)
    – muru
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 1:05
  • @dez93_2000 there's no such thing as far as I know. You get notified of new answers/comment replies pretty much immediately. What is this 3 hour lag you speak of?
    – terdon
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 11:19
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    @dez93_2000 oh email. I never use those, I receive my notifications on-site.
    – terdon
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 14:44
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    Yes, I kind of live on SE. I have 12 SE-related pinned tabs... Sounds like a good idea site-wide though. On the other hand, 3 hours is not that long. Dunno. If you want more, keep the tab open.
    – terdon
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 15:12

1 Answer 1


I agree absolutely here. There's nothing that irks me more than giving an answer to a difficult question than never hearing from the OP again. I've run across this multiple times:

Headphones are playing a local radio station - OP never showed his face again
Creating a VPN without a router for gaming - OP said he'd look into it, but never heard from him again
ubuntu demo available - The OP here said he found a solution, but didn't answer his own question to let us know what it was
Format usb linux Western Digital external disks - Never heard from the OP again

Questions like these irk me. There's no reason someone who is capable of asking a question shouldn't be capable of accepting an answer. If you're just trolling us, then go somewhere else. Go to Area 51 and suggest a Trolls.SE site.

Sorry for the rant, but I've waited 6 to 8 weeks to say all this.

Live long, and prosper 🖖🏼,
His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Meatloaf

  • 2
    Is there any option for question responders (either responding to specific question or who've responded to a threshold number of questions) to rate the question asker, in the same reciprocal way that ebay/uber/etc works? I know there's rep, but isn't it functionally meaningless for new users? What if there was a warning text [Jacob's] shown to people posting for the e.g. <5th time, coupled with a feature to tag 'bad asker' which will mean e.g. there's a 1 day delay on your post being visible? Or similar stick-like incentive?
    – dez93_2000
    Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 21:20
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    I don't think so. I mean, they could recode SE to place early posts in the review queue, but that's complicateder than we want.
    – Daniel
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 22:26
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    Wow, this is my highest upvoted answer? I didn't even answer a question...
    – Daniel
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 22:26
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    we're upvoting you because of the strong possibility that you're simply murdering these people. The last time anyone heard from any of them was when you gave them some advice, so...
    – dez93_2000
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 1:39
  • Ha. Too bad that meta doesn't earn rep...
    – Daniel
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 2:09
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    @Daniel Voting is different on meta, it just shows agree or disagree, so 15 people agree with your opinion and one does not. Also "complicateder" is not a word, correct usage is "more complicated", but I agree so +1
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 17:11
  • I know how voting works. I've even been around a little on meta. I've just never had 17 people agree with me. And I know proper English. I'm white, born and raised in the Heart of Dixie. I'm an American, meaning I have freedom of speech, so I can make up words if I want to 😛
    – Daniel
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 22:16
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    Now I want a trolls.se site. Kinda like the other side of the coin, what stack does absolutely not want to be.
    – Durandal
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 16:25
  • If I suggest one in Area 51, can you follow it and spread the word? We might be able to get it into the beta.
    – Daniel
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 18:11
  • 1
    @Ev1l0rd A good idea, but with one major flaw! Trolls don't troll Trolls. :) It would be a very interesting read though. Before anyone comments, I know this was back from Feb. Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 23:28

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