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How do I get attention for old, unanswered questions?

For example if there's a question and answers are given but none of them are right and a few days pass, is there any way to indicate you haven't just forgot to accept an answer? One idea I had was editing the title by adding [still open]. The problem is viewers may still assume the edit is old.

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    Don't edit the title, that's for sure. I would go with editing the question itself, explaining why the current answers are not accepted. Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 19:38

3 Answers 3


Edits are a good way to get attention back to an old question - but edit should add information, not just be abused for "bumping" a question. By this I mean that you should add what you have tried in the meanwhile, what has not worked, code samples and any other pertinent information gained in this time.

As for the issue of viewers assuming edits are old - once you edit a post the edit date/time will show up on the question, so people will know when the edit was done.

Also see How do I get attention for old, unanswered questions?


The best way to get more attention for a question is to offer a bounty on it. This will tell the world that you are still looking for an answer. It'll also give you a chance to write a little additional information on what exactly you want from the answer (or what's wrong with the current answers).

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    This is what I'd do. Open a bounty (see faq) and add bounty remarks to inform others why existing answers didn't meet my need.
    – yhw42
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 19:16
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    @yhw42 it sort of seems wrong to open a bounty for this reason. Especially when its other people giving vague answers and then other viewers see that there are already answers.
    – Celeritas
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 19:19
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    Check out this blog post where "I want a more comprehensive answer..." is used as an example usage of the custom text field @Celeritas
    – yhw42
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 19:25
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    "It'll also give you a chance to write a little additional information on what exactly you want from the answer (or what's wrong with the current answers)." Editing can allow you to do that. Offering a bounty is a bit of an overkill. I see that as a last resort. Also, editing helps bring the question to a state closer to perfection so that when a bounty is eventually added, it draws more positive attention.
    – jmort253
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 19:31
  • @jmort253 yes, but editing a question doesn't make it immediately obvious that none of the current answers are good enough. Adding a bounty makes that very clear.
    – Oleksi
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 19:34
  • How long are we talking? Few hours? Days? Weeks? Months? Have any edits at all been done to clean up the question before trying to highlight a possibly unanswerable question? I'd hate to see people waste their hard earned reputation just because they skipped a few intermediate steps....
    – jmort253
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 19:36
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    Ok, nevermind. I see your point. You're saying the question already has answers whereas I'm thinking about one with little to no answers. Still, you might consider editing your answer to suggest that the question be cleaned up before posting a bounty. If you're not getting good answers, there's generally a reason for that.
    – jmort253
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 19:37

I might also suggest that, in addition to making the question more clear about what you're after, commenting on the existing answers might be enough for them to improve their answers. Since they've already shown a willingness to help you solve your issue, they might be able to improve their answers if they get a clear indication of why they're currently inadequate. If they know why they're not getting an accept, it is probably minimal effort to get it to that quality (depending on how much info was left out of the question originally). Plus additional activity on the post will push it up the active queue.

I know I have improved many answers when the OP clarified what I got wrong initially (whether I misunderstood the requirement or whether the original question was missing vital information).

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