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I did a quick scan of featured questions on SO. Many, maybe most, have very plausible answers sitting there. Not only has the OP not accepted, the OP has not commented to indicate why none of the answers fills the bill. It's hard to see how anyone would add another answer without knowing what's wrong with the 4 existing answers.

Is more OP-nagging called for?

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You didn't necessarily need to make this question CW. The advice I would give you is, don't make questions on Meta CW, until you get several comments requesting that you do so. There is a much higher threshold for CW posts here on Meta. – Brad Gilbert Nov 23 '09 at 15:24
I disagree. I find that on meta, people shot first with downvotes and ask questions later. I set things CW when I don't want to lose what little rep I have in return for posting some thought or another. – Rosinante Dec 5 '09 at 20:58
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I would say that 'plausible' is relative and greatly influenced by the results the OP experienced when applying any given answer to a question. There are some factors that make a correct, not just plausible answer gather dust:

  • The answer suggested to the OP that their language of choice simply can not effectively solve the problem. The OP does not know the suggested language.
  • The answer was correct in the context of the question, however incorrect when actually applied to the problem. This usually means the OP did not provide enough background / context when asking the question. For instance, it may fix the problem at hand, but break something else that is completely unrelated.
  • The answer involves more work than the OP is able or willing to do.
  • The question is highly subjective and every answer is correct, the OP is unable to single out the 'best effort'.

I sometimes answer bounty questions because I like the thrill of winning a prize, just like I enjoy throwing darts at balloons at carnivals. The prize itself (in this case rep) is incidental, just like the cheap stuffed animal.

I usually put quite a bit of time and effort into my answers, I too become slightly annoyed when there is absolutely no feedback or answer chosen. I always wonder "Did this person take my example and get his pay check, without even bothering to give me my puny prize?"

Then again, I try very hard to assume the best in people.

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So, if the answers don't appeal, why don't they add some comments? – Rosinante Nov 23 '09 at 1:36
@bmargulies: Indeed .. but the whole point of this question is regarding 'radio silence' from the OP. – Tim Post Nov 24 '09 at 5:11

Some people (I know I do) tend to accept bounties late it the piece, just in case a better answer comes along.

Bounty acceptance is forever. People fear it.

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Yes but if you don't accept an answer before the bounty expires you lose the points pointlessly and then can't accept any answer at all. – ChrisF Nov 22 '09 at 23:02
Only if all the answers have 2 or less upvotes – RCIX Nov 23 '09 at 5:18
@random: When did that change? – Macha Nov 23 '09 at 7:45
If you don't accept an answer, the answer that will get the automatic accept, won't receive the full bounty. – Brad Gilbert Nov 23 '09 at 15:25
@Macha: I don't think it has. That's always been the case. – mmyers Nov 23 '09 at 15:27

Perhaps they've seen the "start a bounty" prompt on their questions with no accepted answer and think that's what they need to do next.

Other than changing it to "start a bounty or accept an answer" (assuming that there is an answer) I don't think there's a lot that you can do. Some people will always act in a contrary manner.

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Actually the ones that don't accept answers, leaving it to the community to do so, don't bother me as much as the ones that accept arguably wrong answers. Since the selection is irrevocable, these questions are stuck with a bad answer.

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