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Take this with a light heart.

Ok, so we've all been there. You answer a question with a perfect answer, but then the question goes dark, falling into the stackoverflow abyss. The OP never comes back and bothers to say, "hey it worked", or "no, that's not what I meant". In fact he never returned to the question, even though he was on the site 10 minutes ago.

So I'm thinking, maybe an overlay gets posted on their avatar with the word tactless, in bright red. I mean, who in a corporate setting goes up to the smart guy and asks a 10 paragraph long question, waits for the guy to finish his answer, then says, "huh? were you talking to me?" Then walks away without ever broaching the subject again. That's tactless.

Let rep 1 guys do it sure, no way to stop it, but not a guy with 600 rep and 86% accept rate that decided he was going to get lazy about 10 questions ago.

All in fun.

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13  
Again: no badges for bad behavior. –  Michael Petrotta Oct 2 '10 at 5:55
    
But wait, this isn't bad behavior. This is more like the tubleweed bad. I'm not saying their behavior is intrinsically bad. It is however tactless (a well defined social phrase) and portrays a meaningful descriptor on what to expect from the OP when answering one of their questions. –  JMC Oct 2 '10 at 6:05
4  
I wouldn't describe this as "tactless" but "ungrateful" or possibly "inconsiderate". Either way, I don't think it should be particularly highlighted on the site. –  Jon Skeet Oct 2 '10 at 6:15
    
The stackoverflow positive environment is great. Negativity has the potential to mess up a good thing in any successful program. Would be great to see people use the same proper etiquette they use in real social situation on the internet. Asking for someone's time is a great request. Asking for someone's time, then failing to reciprocate, shameful. –  JMC Oct 2 '10 at 6:29
    
@JMC, there is no reason why you can't downvote the OP at a later date, it is up to you whether you feel justified doing it. But the behavior you talk about is no more insulting than when you post a rather lengthy answer and the OP turns around and asks for teh codez in the comments of your answer - equally tactless and lazy. –  slugster Oct 2 '10 at 8:43
    
You can already identify users like this when they have hundreds of questions and only a 50% accept rate. –  Andy E Oct 2 '10 at 19:45
    
@slugster, usually when I answer a question I upvote it. If he doesn't change it after a period of time, my vote is locked in. –  AttackingHobo Dec 4 '10 at 18:26

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

So what? In the eye of dog, the important thing is that the question and the answer are now sitting there. They wait to help someone who searches in google, sees them, and puts a penny in the stackexchange revenue box via an ad impression. The OP, like a male pheasant at a lek, has made his contribution and moved on.

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1  
+1 for the analogy, don't see much mention of leks on technical sites these days...which could be considered odd, really, given the similarities between a rep-rewarded Q&A site and a lek itself. =/ –  David Thomas Oct 2 '10 at 14:20
1  
@Dav I was looking for the most obscure/polite way of relating this process to, ahem, 'gene donorship.' Here's a riddle for you: how is stackoverflow.com different from a lek? Answer: Both involve a lot of pretentious puffing. At a lek, a very few males are rewarded for their displays, while at stackoverflow, none are. –  Rosinante Oct 2 '10 at 18:17
    
The lek comparison is funny as hell. Moving away from the lek, the Q&A system is more useful to the third party searcher if the answer is corroborated. Just like a father that stays in the child's life. A penny in the stackexchange coffer is always a good thing though. I've already learned more from it than I'll probably ever get to give back. Good thinking, Accepted. –  JMC Oct 5 '10 at 4:15

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