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Every so often I stumble upon an excellent answer to a problem only to find that, while it may have a high score, the answer has yet to be accepted. Case in point:

Changing the Extension of Multiple Files

This happens with many "drive-by questions" from new visitors who are unfamiliar with how Stack Exchange sites operate, but it also happens with people who have been active participants on the network for years.

What would be a good, non-annoying way to encourage people to click/tap that checkmark?


This is certainly a duplicate, as there's this question from a decade ago, but I'm wondering if there are any modern/more-accepted ways to encourage this sort of participation.

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    Personally, I don't think accepts are very useful - they only show what happened to work for the OP (who often doesn't know much about the topic), but visitors are likely to think that the accepted answer must be the best one. Votes are a better indication of the quality of a post (and anonymous feedback is even better imho).
    – Zanna Mod
    Aug 23 at 9:14
  • @Zanna: Easy to say for someone with your rep, for us low rep guys 15 points and a green dot are great. Ubuntu Forums used to have an upvote system and did away with it. It is now a happier place but has less traffic 8<D Aug 23 at 11:37
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    I agree with @Zanna, I even asked a similar question a couple of years ago, albeit in a completely opposite way though :p meta.askubuntu.com/questions/18490/…. I just want to add that the duplicate you linked is from a long time ago in a time when accepting answers actually mattered due to a metric that showed called "Accept Rate". This used to cause new users and users with low accept rates as they used to get ignored by answerers as they believed they will not get the 15 rep and such.
    – Dan
    Aug 23 at 13:36
  • If votes are the main metric to go by — which does make sense — then perhaps accepting an answer is really only necessary when a bounty is put on a question. I wonder if this is something that could be solved with a magic wand 🤔
    – matigo
    Aug 24 at 5:52
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    @matigo accepting is never necessary. You can award a bounty without accepting an answer. Personally, I would love to completely remove the accept button. It only causes drama and people complaining about their answer not being accepted, and gives almost no benefit at all.
    – terdon
    Aug 24 at 10:45
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If you really, really want to, and the OP has posted something indicating they've seen and appreciate the answer, you can add a comment along these lines:

If one of the answers here solved your issue, please take a moment and [accept it](https://askubuntu.com/help/someone-answers) by clicking on the checkmark on the left. That is the best way to express your thanks on the Stack Exchange sites.

But there is rarely any point. The accept mark isn't important, doesn't affect whether a question is considered answered (having an upvoted answer means the question counts as answered), and simply indicates what the OP's preferred answer was. This is often not even the best answer.

So as a rule, I would just say do nothing. There is no benefit to having an answer accepted so why bother?

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  • Does that mean I needn't accept this answer? 😉
    – matigo
    Aug 24 at 5:54
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    @matigo yes, actually. Accepting on meta is even less important.
    – terdon
    Aug 24 at 10:43
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Encourage Askers to Accept an Answer

I think this boils down to crappy web page design.

If you were a New Contributor how would you know how to accept an answer? And how would you know that you should?

There is nothing on this page that says "Click here to accept the answer and give the Answerer 15 points".

There is nothing to say "Click the little well hidden question mark to search for site etiquette".

Perhaps the best thing to do is ignore 1 rep people until the page layout is improved.

Please take a moment and accept this answer, sounds like you are begging.

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    The problem with ignoring 1 rep people is that they are usually the ones who need help the most. Aug 23 at 12:07
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    Perhaps the best thing to do is ignore 1 rep people until the page layout is improved. This is exactly why the "accept rate" metric was removed since it had this exact effect on people. I hope people are still not doing this nowadays. :(
    – Dan
    Aug 23 at 13:39
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    Having some helpful popups for people new (or unfamiliar) with how the site works would certainly be nice. I'll admit that I scratch my head from time to time trying to understand how something should work or what a particular message means 🤐
    – matigo
    Aug 24 at 5:54

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