I've been reading a number of posts on SO regarding unanswered questions. Despite the 'accept rate' not really being that important, I'm one of those people who likes to keep things in order. Therefore I'd like to suggest the possibility of being able to mark questions as unanswered.
Now, before you all jump on me for what you may deem a silly suggestion - it does come with some benefits. For instance, on my Stack Overflow account I have only one question which didn't receive a usable response. This question is no longer important to me as I often flit around like a butterfly from one project to the next. In this instance I approached the problem from a completely different angle, so I didn't feel it appropriate to answer my own question, given the new approach didn't answer the original question. Hence I am left with a question which is unanswered.
Now your ordinary person probably wouldn't care about this. And while I understand the prospect of 'just ignoring it', the OCD in me requires some kind of closure. Wouldn't it be nice to have a feature where you can actually mark (after X amount of time) the question as definitively unanswered? The benefits of this would be as follows...
- OCD people like me can gain closure.
- People won't be tempted to mark a question as 'answered' just to keep their accept rate at 100%
- Other searchers (having searched already) will find questions which are known to be unanswered and will know ahead of times that they can (a) try again because X time has passed or (b) look for an alternative.
- People like me will stop asking questions about unanswered questions.
I'd suggest that after X time passes, the question can be marked as unanswered, and that those marked questions will be included when the accept rate is calculated, even if those unanswered questions are shown differently in some way.