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While the answers might not be the best or the question really doesn't have an answer, if none are upvoted or the person doesn't accept an answer, they sit and sit in the unanswered page.

In cases which do have realistic answers, I've been voting up the best. Even if I combine the best answers into a better one, the questioners aren't upvoting, accepting or closing the questions anyway.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Sep 2 '09 at 17:25

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It certainly would be the quickest. –  Brad Gilbert Sep 2 '09 at 17:40

3 Answers 3

The best way is to put a better answer on them.

The second best way is the evaluate the answers - if any of them are good then vote them up.

If there are no good existing answers and you don't have the experience to give a good answer, but there is probably a good answer out there, then don't do anything.

If there are no good answers, and you have the experience to determine there are no good answers, post an answer saying so and wait a day or two to see if it gets upvoted. If it doesn't then close the question as "no longer relevant" so it falls off that list. If someone else wants to add to it later they can open it, or post in the comments to ask that it be opened.

-Adam

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Like I said, in some cases, there is no real answer, but in other cases, I've been voting up the best. Even if I combine the best answers into a better one, the questioners aren't upvoting, accepting or closing the questions anyway. –  Cade Roux Oct 2 '08 at 16:29
    
I'm out of upvotes for today - you'll get one tomorrow! –  Cade Roux Oct 2 '08 at 16:46
    
Cade, you make a great point - as a questioner I upvote every answer that isn't bad, and I wish more people asking questions would as well. A cooperative questioner badge is something that is being considered to help encourage people in this behavior. –  Adam Davis Oct 2 '08 at 17:23
    
I think the questioners should be able to rank all the answers to their own questions and that a view in that order should be available as well as the view in order by public voting. –  Cade Roux Oct 2 '08 at 17:34
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I have kind of the opposite problem. I have a question that has not received a reasonable answer yet, but of the three answers, one has been upvoted, so my question isn't on the unanswered questions list anymore. I down voted the clearly wrong answer, but I'm still out in the cold for visibility. –  Aaron Jan 7 '09 at 14:51

Part of the problem is the varied user base. Some people are here frequently and know all about the system, but others are here just to get a solution to a task.

The first group will mark and answer correct, while often the second group never will, since by the time they have verified correctness, they feel they are done for the moment with the site and won't come back to give credit, either due to lack of interest or lack of knowledge.

Basically I would say that if there is already a pretty good answer that hasn't been marked correct, then there isn't too much that can be done, likely the person who asked the question isn't going to mark one correct regardless.

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I'm out of upvotes for today - you'll get one tomorrow! –  Cade Roux Oct 2 '08 at 16:48

Wouldn't it be nice to have s.th. like an 'abandoned'-tag or whatever solutions there might be? I would be very happy to have a possibility to filter these answers out of the list. What can we do, to make it happen/who is in charge?

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