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Engaged - Member for 6 months of greater with an accept rate of 90% or higher
Married - Member for 1 year+ with an accept rate of 90 or higher

Bronze/silver maybe. This way new users may see some reason to accept answers. Becoming more engaged in the process.

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If your going to downvote at least give a reason...I'm just trying to think of a way so users will accept answers(on answered questions) –  Gage Jul 14 '10 at 17:40
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I didn't downvote, but I'm guessing I can give a reason why somebody did. I've been a user for over a year and my Accept Rate is 100%. I've asked 6 questions. Does that really deserve a Gold Badge? –  Justin Niessner Jul 14 '10 at 17:45
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in case you weren't already aware, voting on Meta can be kinda different. –  Pops Jul 14 '10 at 17:51
    

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Ultimately, the acceptance rate is already there to encourage people to accept answers. There is also a message in the user's profile to remind them.

I've mentioned this in quite a few answers before. I'd like to quote one in particular

Should questions with no accepted answers be charged interest?

Users already have an acceptance rate which shows when they do not accept an answer to a question. They should NEVER be punished because the system failed them.

If a user asks a question and does not receive any correct answers, why are we going to force them to accept an incorrect answer?

No harm is caused by not accepting an answer.

Another part of this issue is whether or not we really need an accepted answer for it to be useful.

The other side of the issue is a question of whether or not the community can really determine what answer it was that helped the OP the most, and the fact is that the cannot. The community can vote up answers to indicate which answer they this is the most useful in general. So if your answer is more generalizable, or more abstract, thereby making it applicable to more situations, then you answer will be highly voted up. It doesn't mean that you answer was 'more helpful to the OP'.

Votes mean 'useful in general'

Accepted means 'useful to me'


Essentially, we should not be incentivizing "settling" behaviour. On StackOverflow, we want to the answer checkmark to reflect the answer to the question, and not a particular user's attempt to get a badge.

I've asked 17 questions, and some of them simply did not generate valid answers. I edited, I participated, I engaged, but the answerers simply didn't know. Which is fine, I only come to SO when my questions are way too hard for me. But I would hate to think that I'm missing out on a badge because the system failed me.

Some links

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There is already a badge to let users know accepting answers is a good thing:

Scholar — Asked a question and accepted an answer.

This is awarded immediately after first accepting an answer.

The accept rate isn't to punish or praise users (note it isn't listed on a user profile), but to guide answerers who feel it's important when deciding if they should answer in the first place.

I initially thought nagging users about it could be useful, and that it would be somewhat useful to decide whether I should answer. Now I think it's detrimental noise and flag those comments when purely unconstructive and negative.

I sometimes look at accept rate out of curiosity, but it doesn't affect my decision to answer or not – that's dominated by the "quality" of that particular question combined with how much the issue interests me.

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I make a point to accept answers for all my questions. However there are just simply times when the question you ask is about too obscure a topic and no one really answers it. And even after offering a bounty, the question still has no good answer.

I'd actually be doing the community a disservice by accepting the one and only "answer" (even though it was unhelpful) just to maintain my accept rate at 100%.

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I think showing the accept rate under your name to let the community decide if they should nag you about it is sufficient. The main problem is it's easy to accept answers haphazardly just to keep your percentage high enough; I would rather users not accept an answer at all (which means the highest voted answer moves to the top) than have them go back and accept answers at random. There's discussion here about the problems

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Maybe the site could notify them of their low accept rate. If it doesn't already do that. –  Gage Jul 14 '10 at 17:41
    
@Gage There was a proposal at some point to do that if the user is new, but I'm not sure what came of it –  Michael Mrozek Jul 14 '10 at 18:15

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