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How do I get attention for my old, unanswered questions?

I ran into a predicament, with StackExchange, a few months ago, and I wish to know if there is a practical solution. Allow me to explain:

A good majority of my questions, mainly on StackOverflow, go unnoticed or without a relevant answer, for some reason (not because they're badly written or anything). So, after a few weeks or more I would delete the question, as it had been pushed down into oblivion (with no chance of an answer) and I could not repost the question if the old one existed.

But, as I found out, if you do this too often then your account gets banned and your IP address gets blacklisted (harsh much?). Apparently, the reason for this is that it is inconsiderate to delete a question which could potentially be useful to future readers, which I understand ...if the question has an accepted answer (which mine never do).

This leaves me in a somewhat difficult situation. Either I never get an answer, or I get banned after a certain amount of time.

Is there a way to bump the question up to the top of the list or to regain interest in your question? And please don't suggest that I gain reputation so I get noticed among the questions - I simply don't have enough experience to solve other people's issues.

Thanks

(Also, I don't know if this is the appropriate meta site for this question, so my apologies if it is not)

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marked as duplicate by ChrisF, Matt, Oded, Shadow Wizard, Mat May 15 '12 at 10:37

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
Firstly it is the appropriate meta. We deal with both questions specific to Stack Overflow and ones for the entire network. –  ChrisF May 15 '12 at 10:20

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

So, after a few weeks or more I would delete the question, as it had been pushed down into oblivion

That's the wrong way about it.

Don't delete your question - edit it and improve it. This will gain you two things:

  1. The question will be improved and as result may get an answer.
  2. It will get bumped to the front page.

Another way to get attention to a question is to declare a bounty on it (at a reputation cost). See How does the bounty system works? for details.

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3  
There is usually no way for me to edit and improve it, unless I have new information, as I spend a considerable amount of time drafting it in the first place so that it is as informative, straight-to-the-point and neatly constructed as possible. Can I just edit and and not add anything? Thanks, I'll read into the bounty system now. –  mythofechelon May 15 '12 at 10:43
1  
@BenHooper - There are always things you can do to improve a question. Rephrasing, reiterating some points, updating layout etc... –  Oded May 15 '12 at 10:44
    
Edit it and add the results of the research or experiments you have conducted on the problem since originally posting it. Or did you just give up on making any progress yourself? –  Chris Stratton May 15 '12 at 19:15

As @Oded remarked,

Don't delete your question - edit it and improve it.

Here are some ways you can improve your question:

  1. Clarify and add context to your question.
  2. Show your work - what have you tried that hasn't worked?
  3. Compare and contrast - link to some questions that have been answered and show how your issue is different.

Jon Skeet has written a blog post with a number of suggestions on asking good questions. Googling "how to ask a good question on Stackoverflow" also provides a number of suggestions.

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