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What is your experience with: "Thanks it solved my problem" comments instead of answer acceptance? My most recent example is this question.

Just by reading related questions I think it is not possible to automatically turn such comments into answer acceptance, is it? I'm not sure how different is UI for user with reputation 1 but I can imagine that detecting words like Bingo, Thanks, etc. and offering him explicitly to accept answer could be possible (but intrusive). Any other idea?

Edit:

Ok, by browsing my recent answers, I got immediate example, that my suggestion with acceptance offering can't work - No thanks, no bingo.

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Also note the use of the /review route ;) –  jcolebrand Jan 18 '11 at 20:51

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Right now you can just write a comment aimed at the user and ask them to accept the answer exactly like you did in your example question. It may or may not happen, depending on how much attention the user's paying to the site after they get their answer.

There is a pop-up informing the asker of the answer acceptance feature when they upvote an answer to their question. I wonder if a similar thing could be done when they post a comment for the first time with the words like "Thanks"?

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Addressing the comment directly to the OP with the @username syntax is better as otherwise they won't see comments on answers. –  ChrisF Jan 18 '11 at 23:32
    
@Newbies: As a total newbie myself \o/ (oops) I want to say it is my upbringing to thank people who have helped, no matter if result has been encountered. Yes I already gave up thanking people by leaving one last thanks for everyone. Indeed it is even inappropriate to say thanks at this community. Better learn everything and give an answer if you know it as an appriciation. A better thanks you can't give, embrassing the community system. O, and accept an answer as soon you know which one is (most) correct ofcourse. Maybe a third or fourth time a pop-up with a hint comment could be informative. –  Steijn Feb 12 '11 at 21:42

While I certainly feel your pain (from experience), you just can't force users to conform to certain behaviors. There will always be new users who don't know about, understand, or care about the answer acceptance system. You can implement all of the seizure-inducing pop-ups you want, and it won't solve the problem. You certainly look like you put some effort into that answer, and on behalf of the community (or at least myself) thank you!

For better or worse, most of a new user's learning about a community is not done by reading help files, introductions or FAQ's. That's where they head if they have a specific question. New users learn most about a community by interacting with it. First, through observation (they'll notice those large vote numbers, etc...) and also through gently worded educational suggestions from others such as yourself! If they stick around, most users will eventually get it, or at the least, when they ask their 12th question without accepting any answers, someone will comment about their low acceptance rate instead of answering the question :) If they don't stick around, well, they probably weren't interested in learning the nuances of the community anyway.

Your commented response, in my opinion, is the best course of action. I honestly don't think adding more informative pop-ups for the new user is the answer. We don't want to scare off new users, and keeping track of the first 'thanks' comment by a user seems more trouble than it's worth. The ones who stick around (for the most part) learn the game. Probably not what you wanted to hear, but that's my (useless?) opinion, and I'm sticking with it. But if you don't accept an answer on this question, you will be hearing from me.

EDIT: Also, on the not so gloomy side, I've seen multiple users, who when receiving that comment about having low acceptance have gone back and accepted those old answers. Yay.

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It is not useless opinion. You are right that users can return to ask other questions and accept previous answers. –  Ladislav Mrnka Jan 18 '11 at 21:49

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