This happens regularly:

  1. A new user posts their first question
  2. They get a good answer
  3. So they leaves a comment saying "OMGz Thx it WORKEDD!!! you have saved my life :D"
  4. Answerer leaves a comment back saying "You are welcome, but on SO to say thanks we up-vote and accept; do this by clicking the hollow tick mark"
  5. User doesn't know the SO way of accepting and up-voting, and doesn't see the comment until they need help with the next problem (if at all).

My suggestion is for users with low rep, low questions, low accept rate, if they leave a comment containing some keywords such as solved, worked, or thanks, a dialog box appears with a message similar to:

On stackoverflow.com you show you appreciated by accepting and up-voting, would you like accept this answer?

Accept | Don't accept this answer right now

The answer then gets accepted and +1 (if the user's rep is high enough) if they choose to accept.

  • 4
    Amongst other things, I don't like how an upvote is bundled with the accept. – user200500 Dec 5 '12 at 19:30
  • 2
    @asad in what scenario would you accept an answer but not upvote it? – iiSeymour Dec 5 '12 at 19:34
  • 5
    I like this idea in theory, but I'm not sure that "worked" and "thanks" are sufficient or accurate. It would miss out on "this solved my problem perfectly!!!" and add insult to injury for "this had no effect but thanks for trying I guess." – Pops Dec 5 '12 at 19:35
  • @PopularDemand yes this just a loose spec, I agree it's flawed in certain cases, such as if the OP leaves multiple 'thanks' comments on multiple answers.. – iiSeymour Dec 5 '12 at 19:39
  • 5
    @PopularDemand That last line implies an accept would automatically upvote as well. sudo, whenever the answer solves my problem but is not a particularly good solution. A working hack, when the only answer on a question, merits an accept but no upvote IMO. – user200500 Dec 5 '12 at 19:39
  • 2
    @Asad I wouldn't accept such an answer unless multiple days have passed... I'd wait for a 'real' answer, so to speak. – durron597 Dec 5 '12 at 19:40
  • 2
    @durron597 I have very frequently let a question stew for several days, repeatedly bumped it etc. but it just doesn't garner any attention. With some questions this is not circumstance: they're just not interesting questions. Any working solution I get in this situation I am grateful for. – user200500 Dec 5 '12 at 19:43
  • So what happens when the OP comments, with, "thanks, but this didn't solved my problem". – Servy Dec 5 '12 at 19:43
  • @Asad the +1 doesn't have to be bundled with the accept and/or the wording could explicitly state the fact. I don't think I would accept an answer that I didn't deem necessary of a +1. – iiSeymour Dec 5 '12 at 19:43
  • @Servy removed if they choose to accept. – iiSeymour Dec 5 '12 at 19:45
  • 3
    Don't like #4, I don't believe comments should be used for this purpose. The system nudges people to vote, to accept answers. There's no need for comments from users replicating what the system already does. – casperOne Dec 5 '12 at 20:02
  • 1
    @casperOne I agree and I think this could help to alleviate this issue. – iiSeymour Dec 5 '12 at 20:08
  • 2
    Just a side note about #3, I like getting comments like that from users. I spend time answering questions to help people, and it's always nice to hear back from them. If I only got points and votes for my time, I probably wouldn't still be around. It's the human element that keeps me coming back. Don't try to stamp it out completely. – Rachel Dec 5 '12 at 21:03
  • 1
    @sudo_O you need 15 rep to upvote so most users that would get value from this dialog wouldn't be able to upvote. Generally its bad form to tell someone to do something that they can't do. – Some Helpful Commenter Dec 5 '12 at 21:09
  • @SomeHelpfulCommenter a new user only needs 3 upvotes on a single question to get 15 rep, 1 reasonable question usually gets this due to the review process and the fact users who posted an answer will recognize the fact and give an upvote to allow the OP powers to +1. Plus I stated if the OPs rep is high enough. – iiSeymour Dec 5 '12 at 21:14

I think you're drawing an assumption which simply isn't true. You're implying that because privileges and badges are awarded on the basis of reputation and up votes per tag that reputation and upvotes per tag are somehow desirable. In fact, the only desirable thing is an unselfish urge to improve the quality of this site by your well-thought out answers. If any user, low rep or not, fails to recognize the effort you put into saving his/her bacon and thereby fails to increase your rep and up vote counts, then that's all beside the point. The important thing is that you did something positive for this site and you should look forward to another opportunity to leverage your expertise again without being credited.

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  • 3
    I think you have missed my point the user hasn't failed to recognized the effort, they have recognized this and conscientiously said thank you (just not in the SO way). This isn't to do with what one finds desirable, whether that be the goodies or the unselfish act it's about educating new user on SO ways. – iiSeymour Dec 5 '12 at 21:37

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