I would like to request a better way of 'reminding' someone to accept an answer or at least up-vote ones that the OP found helpful. While I know some of these problems exist from 'hit-and-run' questioners (they get the answer and don't interact with SO until they need another question answered) some, I assume, just forget.

I've had multiple answers where the OP would comment 'Thanks!' or something similar and are still active on SO. I know that commenting on their comment or question would notify them, but I don't want to do this for 2 reasons:

  • While I DO want the points for reputation because they have actual consequences (more privileges) I DON'T want to make people think I am hounding someone for the rep. Mostly, I would just like it to work how the rules state it should.

  • Commenting shouldn't be used for reminders, they are supposed to be used for commenting! I know you can remove the comment later but that seems to be a convoluted way of just getting someone's attention.

I think making some kind of 'attention requested' section on the profile page would be nice where people that answer could 'request attention' on a given question so a question poster would remember the courtesy of rewarding people that are helping them. The user would then have to do some action (up-vote, select an answer, or state they are satisfied with the current state of things) for it to be removed from the 'attention requested' section.

To emphasize this, there could be a penalty system put in place that could start deducting points, maybe one point a day everyday after a week after the 'attention was requested.' Once the user takes an action (up-vote, select an answer, or state they are satisfied with the current state of things) the points would be returned to him/her.

Is this a viable feature that could eventually be implemented? If not, are there plans for something similar being introduced?

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    This doesn't seem likely to be implemented, and IMHO I don't see a problem with a comment linking to How Does Accepting an Answer Work. Here's an answer of mine where I did exactly that. – Some Helpful Commenter Aug 31 '11 at 20:05
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    @Conrad Yes, but this is a fairly common occurrence and comments made saying 'choose an answer' usually disrupt the flow and helpfulness of the comments. Not only that, but you commenting in that particular way seems a little demeaning. – docmanhattan Aug 31 '11 at 20:14
  • @doc, IMHO unaccepted answers should not bother you. You want the rep, fine, but since the question remains unanswered it will show up in the unanswered tab and be bumped on the main page from time to time. If your answer is the right one, it will probably be upvoted by further visitors (remember that two upvotes yield more rep than one accept). Also, the questioner might change his mind and accept your answer further down the line. Since you're supposed to be experiencing all moments of your life at the same time, that delay shouldn't matter to you ;) – Frédéric Hamidi Aug 31 '11 at 21:28
  • @Frédéric Yeah, but unfortunately my area of expertise doesn't get much traffic and so the emphasis on the OP up-voting or choosing an answer is greater (since they are obviously interested in the question and correct answer) as there is a much less chance someone else is gonna come along and up-vote. – docmanhattan Aug 31 '11 at 21:41
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    @docmanhattan I certainly didn't mean to demean anyone. I really do try and be respectful. Is there something specific I should have rephrased? – Some Helpful Commenter Aug 31 '11 at 22:10
  • @Conrad While I'm sure you aren't intending to demean anyone, it makes it seem you are assuming they aren't selecting an answer because they don't know how, rather than they forgetting or some other reason. Since it is fairly easy to figure out, I'd take it as an insult (but that is just me). Instead, I'd do something like 'If you've found any of the answers helpful, please up-vote or select an answer.' I could just be overly sensitive from links on other sites I've seen posted with titles like 'How Google works' which actually are meant to demean :-D – docmanhattan Aug 31 '11 at 22:28
  • I don't understand why this question has so many downvotes; it is neither unclear nor unhelpful, and I can't see why this doesn't show any research effort. Can anyone explain? – Jonathan H Sep 13 '18 at 15:13

We already do this with Accept Rate, and a few other mechanisms that I don't remember off the top of my head.

Like voting, accepting answers is a totally optional activity. Yes, it is good manners, but like most such things, it is difficult to legislate. Manners should be something that people do because they want to, not because they are forced to.

Users who do not accept answers either don't know how, or don't want to. Those who don't know how can be helped by linking to How does accepting an answer work? in a comment, if they have a zero accept rate. Note that general comments about "improving accept rate" are not useful to anyone.

Those who don't want to accept answers generally have other problems; specifically, they tend to ask vague or highly localized questions that they can't get a correct answer to.

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  • Yeah, I guess you are right. Most of the non-response questions I have answered were for people with very low rep (I assume fairly new users). I was mostly interested in not having to use comments to remind people to respond to answers that have been posted. To me, this would be the same as if comment functionality didn't exist in SO and people used 'answers' to do what you would with comments. It is more a hack of another set of functionality for something that should have its own (IMO). As for accept rate, it isn't useful on new users which you kind of have to gamble on :-P – docmanhattan Aug 31 '11 at 21:16
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    Accept rate is totally bull and broken in my opinion. I accept questions that don't deserve accepting and personally I don't care about accepting wrong answers despite the consequences that accepting these answers hurt the system, for the pure fact that showing the accept rate has cooerced me into accepting questions that I would not of otherwise. If I ask a question, I don't like the 24% accept rate showing up. So I accepted 15 or so answers in order to lift my rating higher. It's awful and broken. – Laykes Aug 31 '11 at 21:31
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    @Laykes: If you are asking good, answerable, on-topic questions, you ought to be able to accept the correct answer on at least half of them; 50% is a perfectly good accept rate. – user102937 Aug 31 '11 at 21:34
  • @Laykes, I don't think accepting "non-deserving" answers to improve your accept rate is really the way to go. If you're not getting a good answer to your question, maybe you should refine the question itself, e.g. by exposing your problem from another angle, so more people might understand what's going on and provide better answers. – Frédéric Hamidi Aug 31 '11 at 21:38
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    @Robert Harvey stackoverflow.com/users/194528/layke is my profile. When 33% of your questions only have 1 answer, and then a good percentage of your questions are specific and focused questions on a very targetted topic, then it is hard I think to agree with some answers. I never post an answer half-assed or have asked a question on a whim. All my questions have been well thoughout and composed. (At least in my opinion). – Laykes Aug 31 '11 at 21:41
  • @Frederic Hamidi > I wrote a question on it last week: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/103777/… – Laykes Aug 31 '11 at 21:41
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    @Laykes, indeed, and you got some good answers over there. Maybe you should accept one of them :) – Frédéric Hamidi Aug 31 '11 at 21:47
  • I have. Just the 85% accept rate is probably about 30% too high if I was being honest. Maybe eight or nine add very little value to my actual question. I'm not a scrooge by any means, I hand out up votes and down votes, and will accept where neccessary. It was just an observation I had. – Laykes Aug 31 '11 at 21:49
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    @Laykes You are lucky, I seem to gravitate towards answering the type of questions you ask (very targeted) but I'm unlucky in the fact that whoever I write the answer for likes my answer (comments 'thanks!' or something similar) but doesn't upvote or accept it. :-( – docmanhattan Aug 31 '11 at 22:05

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