Whenever I see an unclear question/answer, or some other mess, I basically have two options:

  • (a) ask OP (or answerer) to fix it, make some suggestions on how, etc. Give them a week or so (say, according to activity) and then (b)
  • (b) just go and try to clean up the mess

I usually do (a), but it gets harder and harder to get back to those questions—I might easily forget about them. I tried to use "Favorite" to mark them, but that's also very inconvenient as it gets messed up with the real favorites.

So how should I do that? Maybe SO could make it somehow easier for me by providing me with facility would help me track these?

Note: If there already is a way to do it (which I'm just apparently missing), please just close this.

Note: Similar proposal already exists. The main difference is that in my proposal, I mean only a my user-specific list.


1 Answer 1


I usually just do (b).

(b) just go and try to clean up the mess

I haven't identified any side effects to this strategy yet. It fixes all of the problems you're facing with choice (a), and obviates the need for cluttering up the UI with this feature entirely.

If the question is unsalvageable through an edit, that's when your close votes and/or flags come into play. Those questions aren't worth keeping around on the site in the first place. You certainly don't want to come back to them.

Besides, my experience tells me that in a lot of cases, your comment suggesting improvements won't make a whole lot of difference anyway. I imagine there are a couple of common reasons for that:

  • The people who post low-quality questions simply don't care and have no incentive to read or heed such comments, no matter how helpful they attempt to be or how much in their interest it would be.

  • The people who post such low-quality questions simply can't or don't know how to do any better. They might even agree that there's something wrong with their question (its formatting, the grammar, an unclear title, poor explanation(s), etc.), but they don't know how to fix it. This is where the fresh eyes provided by an outsider (or the language chops of a native speaker) become very useful. There are frequently things you can fix on someone else's question that even a conscientious asker can't fix on their own question—help a fellow in need.

  • Third bullet: they got the answer to their question and never came back...
    – Benjol
    May 22, 2012 at 11:25

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