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I've seen some new users lately with very low rep that are asking away and not selecting answers. This hurts them and others. It hurts them because they don't gain the rep of having selected an answer, and it hurts others because they don't award rep where it is deserved. Also, it clutters SE with "unanswered" questions. I understand if user123987 has three or four questions and a 50% or 25% accept rate, but if you've got 10-15 questions and a 10% accept rate, that's chutzpah.

Case in point: Vineeth

I think we need a way to reinforce answering for new users with low accept rates. Perhaps new users should not be able to ask 5 or 10 questions without N% accept rate?

Devil's Advocate:

Maybe the new users haven't been getting satisfactory answers? (Possible, but unlikely. 10+ questions should have four or five good answers at the least. Besides, if the question has three answers and it's been sitting there since January 2010, it's a cop-out on the OP's part.)


That said, I propose a question cap under a certain rep and accept rate combination or at least a more powerful nag for new users with low accept rates. What are your thoughts?

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WTF?!!! Your accept rate is only just over 50% and you expect me to answer this question? ARE YOU CRAZY OR WHAT? :) –  Benjol Nov 9 '10 at 7:25
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@Benjol - Nope, I expect you to answer the question, reply to my comments a few times and then wait where you are while I log off, never to return. –  Moshe Nov 9 '10 at 7:27
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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Personally, I think adding comments on their new questions is a pretty good way of drawing their attention to the problem. I'm not sure that it's abundantly obvious to all users that there is even a notion of 'accepting' answers: I mean, it's not like there's a button, or even some text, there's just this hollow, light gray tick, that kind of fades into the background....

I'd say rather than fiddling with the appearance of the tick, maybe there could be a callout when you vote up an answer on your first question -> "If this is the answer, you can mark it as such by clicking here". Then subsequently maybe nags on the Ask a question page: "People aren't going to be motivated to answer your questions if you never mark answers".

Having said that, I wouldn't push too hard, because otherwise you have people accepting answers "randomly" just to fiddle their stats. I certainly remember feeling pushed to do that at one stage, even though quite a few of my questions either had no decent answers, or multiple 'right' answers.

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I actually thought of that - the question-mark is kinda vague. Perhaps first time users should get a more visible reminder and then, as their rep/accept rate even out, it can fade away into the current stage. However, the given example has accepted an answer before. See the profile linked in my post. –  Moshe Nov 9 '10 at 7:13
    
Just be nice about how you phrase it ;p –  Marc Gravell Nov 9 '10 at 7:19
    
the "multiple right answers" point is interesting, I've seen that quite often. It'd be nice if you could mark multiple answers as being "correct", possibly even having correct and accepted/best being different things. But the it's started to get overly complicated. But, an interesting point you raise reardless. :) –  Antony Scott Feb 19 '12 at 0:55
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This already happens -- below 1k rep (roughly) the question owner gets a reminder upon clicking upvote on any answers to their question:

screenshot

The text of the message, presented after clicking upvote, is:

don't forget you can mark this as the accepted answer by clicking its check mark

However, it does require at least 15 rep to upvote.

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It's not completed, because users don't seem to be following directions. –  Moshe Nov 9 '10 at 7:31
    
Enjoy your 99.9K :P. Seriously though, I disagree. –  Moshe Nov 9 '10 at 7:32
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@Moshe, maybe the user just doesn't see why they would want to do that, or what it actually means? –  Benjol Nov 9 '10 at 7:38
    
@Benjol - Okay, but that's my point. Until the user learns to use the system correctly, this is not [status-completed] –  Moshe Nov 9 '10 at 7:40
    
@Moshe I think adding something along the lines of "the higher your acceptance rate/percentage the more likely people will be willing to answer any questions you might ask in the future" –  Antony Scott Feb 19 '12 at 0:57
    
@Moshe - IMO, the SE UI doesn't get it exactly right here. It ignores new users who don't have the ability to upvote, but do have the ability to accept and thus work their way towards getting enough rep to upvote. The UI should show a brief message on each of the user's question pages encouraging them to accept an answer if they like it, for any user with <15 rep. That would educate newbies. –  Yawar May 18 at 2:32
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