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I saw a lot of people who have asked a question, but after that they're not looking at the answers at all. If you visit their profile you see that they're active (seen: x minutes ago).

Today I answered 3 questions, the questions had around 3 answers each, but the OP did not comment on any of them. I don't know why they're asking a question and after that just ignore them.

I'm wondering if more people have seen this occurrence?

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closed as off-topic by Martijn Pieters, Emrakul, Cody Gray, hims056, BinaryMisfit Aug 12 '13 at 9:24

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

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Just move on. You cannot force people to engage. Besides, if someone is travelling and checking on their question from their mobile smartphone, the site registers them as visited, but perhaps they are not in a position to type up a lengthy response? – Martijn Pieters Aug 12 '13 at 8:46
after that they're not looking at the answers at all - how do you know? – Oded Aug 12 '13 at 8:46
@Oded But WHY should you ever do this? why asking a question then? – Kees Sonnema Aug 12 '13 at 8:47
@kee - only the OP could answer that. – Lix Aug 12 '13 at 8:48
@MartijnPieters It's probably the best to just move on, but I'm wondering why people do this. – Kees Sonnema Aug 12 '13 at 8:48
We're programmers and such, not social psychologists. Who knows. – Grant Thomas Aug 12 '13 at 8:50
@KeesSonnema: How are we ever supposed to know what motivates other people? All I know is that you cannot make assumptions, and you cannot force people to do what they don't want to do. – Martijn Pieters Aug 12 '13 at 8:50
how long did you wait? It's not unusual for the askers to take their time – Jan Dvorak Aug 12 '13 at 8:50
@KeesSonnema: but this makes your question nothing more than idle speculation, or a rant. That's not very constructive and should be left for the chat rooms instead. – Martijn Pieters Aug 12 '13 at 8:50
@JanDvorak I also answered several question last year. They're never commented by the OP. – Kees Sonnema Aug 12 '13 at 8:50
Who knows. They might have asked a question at the end of their day and will get back to it tomorrow. Or someone at work asked for their attention. Or they were carried away by thousands of kittens. Or...or... – Bart Aug 12 '13 at 8:51
Or there is no reason to comment on the answers. They asked a question, you posted an answer. That's how the site works. – Cody Gray Aug 12 '13 at 8:51
@Bart +1 for the kittens >.< you guys are right. I just have to move on, I just wanted to know how other SO'ers are facing this. – Kees Sonnema Aug 12 '13 at 8:52
You're worried about answers you gave just today? Do you realize that the real value of SE's format is the longevity and usefulness of answers to people with the same question for years to come? – Caleb Aug 12 '13 at 10:04
No today was just an example, as I mentioned in the comments, answers from last year too. But it's fine, I just move on when I notice it. – Kees Sonnema Aug 12 '13 at 10:21

There are many possible reasons for this:

  • When looking for answers, they do not log in anymore, especially many new users do not know or care about accepting an answer
  • After asking the question, they solved the problem themselves; often asking a question lets you help to see your problem more clearly, especially for people who ask questions very hastily without doing a lot of research, or even thinking beforehand
  • Something else might have happened - the person suddenly lost interest, the project the question was about was cancelled, their grandma had a car accident; there are million reasons for people not being active

Also besides not answering at all, when I ask a question, I usually have thought about solving that myself for most of the day, and I will typically ask the question before going to lunch or going home. So you will usually not get immediate responses from me as well.

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Number 2 happens to me a lot, though usually I don't post the question in that case. (I have gotten into the habit of typing up the question early but only posting it a few hours later on just in case I figure it out shortly after). So it definitely happens. Not sure about #1, though.. I know many users don't care but most of them definitely come back *eventually*. – Thomas Aug 12 '13 at 8:57
@Thomas: In this case you should still ask the question, and answer it yourselves (except if the original question is actually a duplicate, which sometimes you only see if you already have the answer) – SztupY Aug 12 '13 at 8:59

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