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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?

  • Related meta.askubuntu.com/questions/2869/… – Mark Kirby Apr 17 '16 at 19:00
  • @Mark Kirby If someone else tests and confirms the answer but does not indicate this by voting up the answer then they are the only one who knows - so no value is added to anyone else. If they test the answer and it works and they confirm this by voting the answer up then the question and answer have value and are not deleted – Steve Roome Apr 18 '16 at 11:49
  • "If someone else tests and confirms the answer but does not indicate this by voting up the answer then they are the only one who knows" Not true, I have a lot of answers on here and often receive notifications about comments saying "this worked for me on X" but they don't vote, just comment. I this situation, anyone who read it would know it worked but with no votes it would just get removed, even though it has value. @SteveRoome – Mark Kirby Apr 18 '16 at 11:55
  • @Mark Kirby OK I agree this sometimes happens, but in the earlier post on this subject it was discussed how to stop people doing this. – Steve Roome Apr 18 '16 at 11:59
  • @SteveRoome You don't offer a solution "offer them motivation" is an empty statement, how do we motivate them? but that is not the issue anyway, most users who come here are new and they don't understand how this site (including voting) works, they expect a forum and that leaving a message is the best way, there is nothing we can do about this. You say this happens sometimes but in my experience, it is close to 50% of "this worked for me" comments are not accompanied by a vote, of course that is my subjective experience but I have 361 answers, so I see this alot. – Mark Kirby Apr 18 '16 at 12:08
  • @Marshmallow I was referring to the fact that at the bottom of every page of AskUbuntu it says help to answer "unanswered questions" with a link that takes you to those "considered unanswered". – Steve Roome Apr 18 '16 at 12:10
  • @SteveRoome Marshmallow won't see that, comment on there answer. – Mark Kirby Apr 18 '16 at 12:11
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There is no such thing as "flagging as unanswered". Nobody flagged those questions. It is a site's feature to provide the list of questions considered unanswered.

And perhaps you are right that this is not a very useful feature. The ongoing project on navigation redesign will eventually remove the Unanswered tab from all sites.

Many unanswered questions do get deleted automatically, but care is taken not to lose valuable questions that take a long time to find a solution.

  • I was referring to the fact that at the bottom of every page of AskUbuntu it says help to answer "unanswered questions" with a link that takes you to those "considered unanswered". – Steve Roome Apr 18 '16 at 12:13

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