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There's been a number of suggestions that an answer reminder be sent, but here's some new / fresh ideas to that:

  • 'Poke' the Question Asker: There should be a way of buzzing that user / sending them a notification, asking to please close. This would be similar to Facebook's former 'poke'. This is a friendly way of reminding people to respond.
  • 'Tutorial' for New Users: Often, new user see StackOverFlow more like a forum, than a Q&A. It'd be great to include a 'tutorial', or reminder somehow that you then are expected to select the appropriate answer.

What do you think? There's a lot of similar thought, but I'm not sure they've quite got what I'm thinking. Happy to clarify further.

For Poke, it would need to avoid being annoying & irritating. Easy way of doing this is to add an age & score restriction, as well as potentially it being a privilege. If you can be in the habit of accepting an asked question, it's nothing to worry about. It's to cover those times where the question should actually be accepted.

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Facebook doesn't have pokes any more. At least, it's not the main part of the site. –  simchona Aug 14 '12 at 3:21
    
Updated about reference to Facebook. –  Teh Hippo Aug 14 '12 at 3:23
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there is no such thing as "should" accept an answer. –  Andrew's a Unitato Aug 14 '12 at 3:46
    
Closely related: Encourage users to select accepted answer for old questions, among others. –  Josh Caswell Aug 14 '12 at 3:51
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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

'Poke' the Question Asker:

Absolutely not. That's the last thing we need; a way to send people annoying messages, bugging them to accept our answer. If a user doesn't want to accept your answer, or even any answer, that's their business.

Accepting answers is for the OP to decide. The system already reminds new users about the accept feature.

'Tutorial' for New Users:

See above.

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I disagree. I think there's a way to make it far more friendly. If you can be in the habit of accepting an asked question, it's nothing to worry about. The 'Poke' should only be available if it's more than 7 days old, with a score of at least 1 or 2+ for instance. So, it's those times where the question should actually be accepted. –  Teh Hippo Aug 14 '12 at 3:20
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@TehHippo: "So, it's those times where the question should actually be accepted." Why? Who are you to decide that, just because an answer is upvoted, it should be accepted? We give the right to the OP to accept or not as they see fit. And they should not be harassed for exercising their right. –  Nicol Bolas Aug 14 '12 at 3:22
    
"The system already reminds new users about the accept feature." - Do you know the details of this? It would be great to have them in the How does the system guide new users? answer. –  oberlies Sep 7 '12 at 12:13
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How many other websites do you see out there with tutorials? Something on the order of zero? Why should Stack Overflow be an exception?

It's enough that we publish a list of rules and acceptable behaviours. If you can't be bothered to actually read the FAQ and figure out how to post to a site before you post, you are probably doomed to fail here from the get-go. The kind of person that needs some kind of tutorial to use a website is probably not the kind of person Stack Overflow is suitable or intended for.

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I remember once upon a time I registered an account with xda-developers. I remember that they had a very humorous video (yet brief) about what the site was, what they focused on, and some guidelines for new users. I must admit, it seemed really friendly that they would do something like that. Tomorrow, I'll see if I can find that video, but for now, just a suggestion: a brief tutorial video.

EDIT: The video has been found http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmvCpR45LKA . Maybe this is a little blunt for the Summer Of Love™, but I'm sure we can do better. Would anybody in the community be willing to take on the challenge of writing the video?

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