Can we talk? Can I be honest here?
A lot of the 'dead' questions that could use an answer or a better answer are also unattended. i.e. the account is anonymous or abandoned.
If I take the time to read through any existing answers and decide that I can improve upon it, great. So I take the time to provide a detailed answer and, when appropriate, a working tested code sample.
Now my effort is added to the din.
Days, weeks, months pass by and there is no activity, either because it is a niche question or just has had no hits.
So now, I have an unaccepted answer in my list with 0 upvotes. That is a metric that is in-your-face and I do not like to see white zeros in my list.
So, should I go and delete the answer? No? Why not?
Oh Yeah! someone else may have the same question at some later date! That's right. So now we are expecting people who have the same question to sift through x number of answers and try to find the right one. Sounds like fun.
And if someone looks at my profile and sees page after page of consecutive white zeros they are liable to take that at face value and that is not the image I wish to project. So I would rather delete the answer than take the zero.
Call me an egomaniac if you like, that is the truth of it.
So, really, where is the incentive? Citing altruism is well and good. I feel that exchanging my time, knowledge and experience for a virtual payout is altruistic.
If I make it a habit to make the effort to answer a lot of abandoned questions, especially niche questions, my efforts have improved the content of the site and I expect that effort to be recognized.
So here is my suggestion:
Add to the 10k privileges the ability to accept answers for abandoned questions.
This means we have to define 'abandoned'.
- Asked by a dormant/abandonded account with no activity for xxx weeks/months?
- Asked by an active account with serial hit and runs (<50% acceptance)
- Just plain OLD - a three (arbitrary) month old question with an obviously correct/superior answer
These are just a few suggestions.
Bottom line is: You are making money from my knowledge and time. Make an effort to make it worth my effort.
And to anyone who says 'If you don't like it, don't do it' I say....
I love it, and if making me feel that my effort is appreciated can be accomplished with a minor policy change where is the problem?
CW so I don't get rep-raped(tm) for stating an opinion. ;-)