Maybe there is such a feature but if so it is IMHO not prominent enough since I did not stumbled upon it even when I was looking for it.
As you can see I joined the community just recently and I noticed the following:
Initially I used the site (no-registered) kind of selfishly: I searched and learned without giving anything back. I might have up-voted good questions and answers but somehow I never signed up so this was not possible.
When I noticed this behavior to be counter-productive I created some accounts and started up-voting and even answering questions. I did not gain much reputation since I mostly answered older question that mostly were already answered but I felt I could add something useful.
When I have a question I normally proceed as follows:
- search SO
- enter my question heading and check out the proposed related questions
- formulate and ask the question
Using this procedure I most often find the answer without asking a new question - often not the exact answer but enough to figure it out at least when combing several sources. Then I asked my first question that was answered and up-voted really fast. The same hold true for my second question.
Surprisingly (at least to me), these two question yielded 54 reputation points (including those for accepting answers) whereas my 7 answers yielded "only" 40 reputation points.
Not that I care that much about getting more reputation for my answers (they are all more or less basic) but this made me think about a potential problem:
If you post a new question, chances are good that many users read it and vote on it. This could make people create questions without researching enough just to earn reputation points but I think this is kind of balanced since most questions I found very helpful.
But, if you answer an old question, chances are low anyone will ever read it. I think this keeps people from investing time and effort in improving answers when they could and the feature I am asking for/proposing could solve this IMHO:
If I up-vote a question/answer and/or answer a question I would like to be pointed to late answers to reconsider my votes. And I am not talking about subscribing to a question and getting messages/mails for each and every update but a list just like the Unanswered list I could check from time to time.
I think this would draw much more attention to good answers that were just a little late for the initial attention phase without bothering users.
So my question is: Is there such a feature? If not, is there a reason why? And if not, do you think it would solve the described problem? Do you even agree that problem exists?
Since my question is already too long (sorry for that), I can also take some more space to point out once more that this is not about my answers and by far no complaining about not getting enough votes - I am talking about potentially much better answers that needed a lot of more work but ended up unrecognized. So please do not attack me with down-votes and comments for trying to campaign to get more attention!
Since psubsee2003 pointed out it was not clear enough that I am not that much concerned about not getting enough reputation for late answers I post, but more about potentially missing interesting late answers to questions asked by others but up-voted by me.
I consider this important because most question I would ask have been asked before and I would like to be pointed to new answers to those questions as well.