tl;dr: Read the whole thing guys. Please.

As part of an effort to clean up the site (with a focus on closing abandoned questions), jokerdino, Bruno and I have done a few cleanup sprints - wherein we start with a data.se query, our flags and close votes, and just RUN until we are out.

And while this is (on the one hand) great, at the same time, assuming we all have all (or pretty close) our votes, that's still only 3 of us.

So what I'd like to suggest is a "daily" (or however often as the community sees fit) sprint wherein we all cluster to the Ubuntu Regulators room, and someone just starts posting questions from the query of the day and we all vote to close on them.


  • Closing abandoned questions will get a little easier.

  • Our answer rate goes up.

  • Only takes 20-30 minutes for us to do it.

  • It's a good way to get your Marshal and Deputy badges.


  • We need 3-4+ people to make this affective. Or just two, a user and a moderator. However, I'd prefer to do this without moderator intervention if possible, we already put enough work on them. (coughISent42FlagsAtHimBeforeLunchYesterdaycough)

  • It only takes 20-30 minutes before we're all out of votes.

  • In the past there hasn't been a really good advertisement of our suggested solutions - in other words, it's Amith, myself, the mods, htorque and then like, two other random people.

SO. Yay? Nay? A "lolwhut is this guy smoking?"? Is it worth a try for a week or two?

  • 3
    Sure, count me in. Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 13:45
  • 1
    We should synchronize your watches! :D (I'm in ofc) Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 14:29
  • 1
    We just need one more! XD
    – jokerdino Mod
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 14:53
  • Count me in! Lets Sprint :D
    – Amith KK
    Commented Jan 27, 2012 at 11:16

3 Answers 3


After some discussion, a short debate and something inbetween, here's what I think we'll do - feel free to leave comments etc to make sure we get things right.

At about 12AM UTC (so in other words, as soon as we all get our votes replenish), I'll show up in the Regulators room armed with votes, flags and a data.SE query from this list (I'm currently working on the kill all abandoned questions one) STATUS: Complete until next data dump, and then we'll just run with it.

Jorge pointed out (rightly so) that some users have access to existing close votes - I think we should utilize that "ability", and have users who don't have access to the mod tools get in on the action as first because from my point of view, we have a lot of close votes that aren't being used - and if we could just focus this vote source, we could make a dent on cleanup.

(ok, that sounded like I'm planning a rebellion which I might be, but its true about having no focus...)


As of 01:50 UTC on the 27th of January, we've done two sprints and have gotten to 2011-06-23. At this point, I'm not sure if we're being effective - I'd appreciate some feedback on that from the moderators if they can give that to us. Also, I've not seen this number go down at all, in fact its gone up - however, as I said earlier, I'd like some feedback from the moderators.

Also, of special interest to me is the answer to the question "are we doing the right thing by flagging all of them?" - I'm pretty sure jokerdino and I are both flagging most (if not all) of the posts we deal with - is that overkill?

Also, we're now moving onto the possible duplicates.


This is really a good work and we can do this for a very long manageable time but another thing that is also missing from all of this is continuing to vote.

Since the main reasons for this group effort are not only cleanup but also increase the answered questions score for Ask Ubuntu we need ot make sure that we vote on answers that are good enough to be voted.

Vote, its necessary! Does not cost a thing (besides when you down vote but has mentioned on another question that is necessary and down votes normally are not as important as up votes).

If an answer is well formed, has content, makes sense in the current situation and could help the user is some form vote up! 2x votes and the question is answered.

You can close 50 questions a day, everyday (you cant, that's just an idea) but if another 50 come that have no enough up votes on the answers the number of un-answered questions will maintain it self.

Vote, its useful, its nice, it makes ppl more comfortable and happy!

  • Yes yes yes!! I vote, you vote, we should all vote!! :D
    – jrg
    Commented Jan 27, 2012 at 16:01

While I think these sprints are a good idea, we need to be careful not to turn this into a hunt against old questions. Abandoned questions are questions that can't be resolved without further input from the asker. They are not just "old questions".

For example, this is not abandoned. It may be a bad question for other reasons, but it is fully coherent, has all requested information in it, and could be addressed fully even if the asker dropped off the face of the earth (which he hasn't).

Moral of the story: this isn't a game to purge questions that aren't answered from the system. It's a game to purge questions that can't be answered from the system.

  • While I agree that this isn't a game to purge questions that aren't answered from the system, so far (through the 100+ questions we've been through) we've had three false positives that I know of - this one and two others. I think thats not a bad track record (if I say so myself)
    – jrg
    Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 13:17

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