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I asked a few questions, and some of them didn't get me an answer that helped (or an answer at all, for that matter. Occasionally people answer a question with more info, but not an answer). *

And yet, the StackExchange platform seems to chide me by pointing out my acceptance rate. Kind of like a dunce cap, isn't it?

So:

a) Should I feel bad that the system is pointing out my "low" acceptance rate?

b) What should I do if I don't get an answer to my question?

* Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's just not an answer.

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Well, if you don't get an answer, but the issue is kind of resolved, you might answer your own question, or something like that. Or, just give the green check to somebody who was, at least, helpful. Or, if the answer was "how do I..." and the real answer is "you can't," you can feel fair giving the check to the first person who let you know that.

Don't feel bad about the low acceptance rate. But... Well, if you do, just work on being more generous with the green check.

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  • I wonder if this will stir a debate :) I approve of your answer because it's what I wanted to hear. snicker What do others thing about this? – Jono Aug 28 '10 at 13:50
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If your question isn't answered - then it's just not answered. I would hesitate giving out check-marks to answers that don't help.

The acceptance rate isn't there to dunce you - it's more of a guide for answerers as a way to show the typical response rate from you (obviously 0% raises a concern) but it isn't necessarily a deterrent especially in a community this young.


So how do I get my questions answered?

Sometimes you just want answers - and the ones you have aren't cutting it. You can place a bounty on the question (offer a reward) to whomever can provide you an answer. This is great for questions that are more complicated / difficult to answer because the incentive will likely get someone to provide the answer


I figured the answer out on my own!

This happens all the time - and it's not a problem! Just post the correct answer to your question and accept that answer. In addition to providing the ability to ask/answer questions we're also building a database of questions and answers (Like a knowledgebase) so it's always good to have the correct answer to a question. Accepting an answer just because doesn't help us in that arena.

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  • 2
    To add to @MarcoCeppi's first point, in cases where you're not getting an answer or not getting acceptable answers make sure that the original title, body, and tags on your question are as clear and informative as possible. – moberley Aug 28 '10 at 20:04
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Should I feel bad that the system is pointing out my "low" acceptance rate?

Only if you're purposefully not accepting things that have accurate answers.

What should I do if I don't get an answer to my question?

  • Leave a comment on the answers you get that don't satisfy you. Either point out that they outright don't help or need improvement.

  • If somebody gives you a partial answer that allows you to solve your issue, edit their answer (granted, you need more reputation to do that, so leave comments) so there is a detailed log for the next person with your problem.

  • Downvote answers that are miles off the mark, unhelpful or damaging. It costs you some rep but it'll help other people by ranking the answers you get. Make sure you leave a comment when you do this so the author gets a notification so they can improve or delete their answer.

  • If you're not getting any answers, you can start a bounty, trading some of your reputation as an incentive for attention. You need reputation points to trade so you might need to get involved in other questions, helping out before you can do this effectively.

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