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When looking around at questions I often see people asking with very low, sometimes 0 accept rates, and the first comments are almost always something along the lines of "work on your accept rate."

Would it be beneficial to have a more prominent warning for such users when they ask a question? Some message on the page along the lines of "your accept rate is very low, users may not answer your question well because of your low accept rate?" This might have the advantage of prompting them to work on increasing it before asking the question, saving the need for the low accept rate comments and hopefully getting the question answered better as a result.

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I'd prefer if people just didn't leave those comments in the first place. I flag "work on your accept rate" as spam every time. It usually costs me flag weight, but I'm tired of accept rate police. –  Cody Gray Apr 15 '11 at 14:10
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Most people who leave this noise don't check to see that it's only the OP's fourth question usually –  random Apr 15 '11 at 14:17
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If I see one I usually double check the number of questions asked and add a suitable comment. –  ChrisF Apr 15 '11 at 14:38
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@random, then maybe the accept rate should not be shown until the OP has asked more questions... –  Ian Ringrose Apr 15 '11 at 14:53
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@Cody Gray, I guess it depends on which mod sees your flags first. I generally delete such comments on sight. –  mmyers Apr 15 '11 at 14:58
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Wait, now we're not supposed to leave those comments? Then what's the point of accept rate? –  Michael Mrozek Apr 15 '11 at 16:43
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@Cody Gray, As one of the "accept rate police", I will leave the comments only if I see an accept rate lower than 50% and if they have asked over 7 questions. If they have a 0% accept rate, I will usually leave a quick tip on how to accept an answer in case they didn't know they could accept it. That being said, if I can help answer their question, I will still post an answer. A low accept rate doesn't mean I'm not going to help. –  Jason Towne Apr 15 '11 at 17:32
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To clarify my previous comment: "Increase ur accept rate" -> delete. "Did you know that you can accept answers to show that it solved your problem? Just click the checkbox right next to the voting arrows. This lets the community know that you're actively engaged in your questions." -> upvote. –  mmyers Apr 15 '11 at 17:36
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@cody, @random - Sorry, but I keep leaving these comments because if I'm going to spend 30-40 minutes knocking out a detailed answer then I sure as hell want some return or at least an acknowledgement for my effort. I'll usually only nudge if the accept rate < 55% and they've more than 12-15 questions where most of the questions look like they've got pretty reasonable answers. Hell half the time these people don't even know that they can accept an answer! –  Kev Apr 15 '11 at 17:42
    
Not upvoting/marking answers as accepted is just downright ignorant/lazyness so why shouldn't we nudge. Jeff's mantra was that SO should help make the internet a better place. I fear that without these nudges to make people aware they should be recognising other peoples efforts will just slowly devolve SO into yet another forum full of drive by plz-send-teh-codez posts. I don't think there is a problem in mildly harassing selfish users into realising that if they want good answers they have to live by the site's etiquettes which are hardly overbearing. –  Kev Apr 15 '11 at 17:46
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I would prefer a nudge button than the constant commentary on improving accept rates. Just have a button that tells the OP to improve or a notification - why the heck should anyone else truly care that much? –  Jeff Yates Apr 15 '11 at 17:50
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I've informed people about accept rates before when they have a 0% accept rate and have asked several questions. Informing means just that: letting them know that the feature exists and how it works. It doesn't mean leaving an angry comment, it doesn't mean threatening them with people not answering their questions if they don't comply. And certainly for people who have an accept rate > 0% have figured out how to accept answers, so they are not simply in need of education. All you're doing there is ranting, whether their accept rate is 10% or 45%. –  Cody Gray Apr 16 '11 at 5:52
    
@cody - I think you'll find that most folk don't "rant" (myself included) and are fairly polite about nudging users with low acceptance rates to go do something about it. The ones with > 0% are in need of educating with a gentle reminder. Otherwise what the hell is the point of the whole rep system? Users who don't accept answers, or enough answers are preventing other users break through the various privilege barriers. That's not exactly fair on these folks if they're putting in effort to reach the ability to become a more trusted user...which needs rep. –  Kev Apr 17 '11 at 1:25
    
@Kev: I very much disagree. I'm sure that you do this in a completely reasonable, non-ranting, non-hostile way. But it's not at all true that the majority of comments I see are phrased that way. In fact, nearly 80% of them are some variation of "do something about your accept rate". Perhaps ranting was the wrong word, but I don't think that qualifies as "polite", either. It certainly doesn't educate people who are unaware of the system, and don't know what an accept rate is. If I come along later and link people to the question here on Meta, and they usually thank me and say they had no idea. –  Cody Gray Apr 17 '11 at 4:06

4 Answers 4

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Totally agree, but...

Sometimes we can see people with 200+ questions, 0 answers, 10 upvotes (or less), 30% accept rate (or less) and what we can do about it?

(that looks like they aren't getting value from community, so community sucks)

One example I've just found! (at the moment 8 Q, 0 A, 0 V, 0% AR)

All questions, has been answered!. In last 3/4 questions he's got comments to accept previous answers but he just ignores comments and keeps asking new questions. He doesn't vote (insert: yeah he can't with 11 rep), he doesn't accept. That's rude.

A lot of people just ignore questions of this kind of users but I think that posting comment about low accept rate is a good thing (or point to FAQ: How do I ask questions here?). Otherwise, they will keep asking same questions again and again and wonder why nobody answers (that's real spam).

We shouldn't post "low accept rate" comments for users with few questions, but if they have 20+ questions and still 20% accept rate that means they don't contribute to the community or their questions are too bad for community. In other words, they are not good enough for community.

I don't have anything against those people but they should learn to reward other people for their effort.

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Your example is an unregistered user with less than 15 rep. He can't vote. –  ChrisF Apr 15 '11 at 16:12
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@ChrisF, YES, but he still can accept and got needed rep 8*2=16 rep. That's just one example I've found recently. Look at every of his questions and you'll see what I'm talking about. –  Wh1T3h4Ck5 Apr 15 '11 at 16:15
    
Regarding your update: His last visit was June 2nd of 2011. His reputation might have steadily increased, but at the time he left, it was 18 (or thereabout) instead of 144. Given that his reputation has steadily increased without even participating any further and given the many views on some of his questions and fairly reasonably well upvoted answers he received, his contribution has not been all that bad. –  Bart Oct 24 '12 at 12:34
    
@Bart, Yes, you're absolutely right. Honestly never looked at user's "last visit" date/time. Last update has been removed. Thanks. –  Wh1T3h4Ck5 Oct 24 '12 at 12:41

I've posted several 'accept some answers, please' comments that have had an effect. Apparently these users were unaware of the importance of accepting answers and I think one of them even thanked me for pointing this out to them. In all case these were users who had a dozen or more questions and a 0% accept rate.

However, it really is annoying when you see somebody just firing away with low-quality questions while completely ignoring all comments. There should be a faster way of weeding such people out because they are de facto undermining the goal of this site.

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Ignore it and post a world answer. If the user comments that it has solved the problem, comment back like

You're welcome. Since you're new here, please don't forget to mark the answer which helped the most in solving the problem to accepted. See also How does accepting an answer work? Do the same for the questions which you asked before which you can find in your profile.

I do it and it works for many of them.

The biggest problem is indeed the "work on your accept rate" police, better put your focus on it.

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+1 good point. A lot of people even doesn't comment that it has solved the problem. They just ask and ask again, and again... And if they don't get answer, they repeat same question again, until someone provide answer they need. –  Wh1T3h4Ck5 Apr 15 '11 at 16:52
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Yes, this doesn't work for users who doesn't give any form of feedback, but I usually don't post answers for them anyway. If they have posted too much of duplicate questions, I usually flag for moderator attention who then suspend the user for a certain period. That works as good. –  BalusC Apr 15 '11 at 16:53

On the other hand, the questions and the answers might be useful for lurkers. While it might seem rude, it is not necessary a bad thing for the community as a whole in the long run. (As long as the question are not repetitive and add noise)

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Questions and correct answers can't harm community, I agree, but with good owner's accept rate, answers should be better and people who answers will push more effort to find solution for the problem. Sometimes, I skip that kind of questions to answer because I can answer somewhere else in same time (with good chance to get some reputation back instead). Just, I personally don't like people who think that rest of us have not something else to do, but answer their questions in the first place. –  Wh1T3h4Ck5 Apr 15 '11 at 16:44

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