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As I write this 75505 questions on ASKUBuntu are considered unanswered, out of a total of 222,107 that have been posted.
As a newbie I want to answer questions to get reputation but looking at this vast pile of "unanswered questions" I find that the majority have a perfectly reasonable looking answer. I am aware that StackExchange requires a question to be marked as solved or an answer to be voted up to be regarded as answered but the numbers show that this is simply not working.
What can we do to fix this? We need to motivate question askers to indicate when an answer solved their problem or else to comment on the answer saying they tried it and it didn’t work. We also need to motivate question readers to vote answers up or down.
Personally I would propose that if a question is not marked as solved after two months and no answer has been voted on the whole thing is deleted, since the question and answer don't add any value. Anyone who doesn't already know the answer to the question has no idea if the answer is helpful or dangerous.
A lot of the question askers on this site are obviously very new to Ubuntu and motivating them to act better is not going to be simple. Once they have fixed their issue they may come back and leave a comment such as Thanks! or we may never see them again. In this case the best we can do is probably refine the User Experience for which we need the insight of a UX expert.
However the answerers appear to be highly motivated so it should be possible to direct their behaviour by changing the way reputation points are awarded. Their user experience could also be improved. One change I would suggest is removing the link at the bottom of every AskUbuntu page saying help answer "unanswered questions" when in fact the link points to posts "considered unanswered".
If an answerer knows that he has correctly answered a question as a result of a comment left, is there any mechanism for getting the answer voted up?