After an answer is accepted, sometimes a much better answer comes along. While an original poster gets notified of new answers, there is currently no notification if a different answer garners far more votes than the accepted answer. It would be nice to nudge the OP to reconsider whether the originally accepted answer is still the best one.

This kind of reminder would help prevent the case of a long, accepted answer causing a far more popular answer to not appear with the initial viewport. It's easy when you see a comforting accepted answer mark and reasonable vote count to forget you might be better off scrolling first and reading later.

Another benefit is that less experienced users would learn that they can change the accepted answer (I think many don't know that).

My suggestion for a notification threshold would be double the accepted answer's vote count with a 10 vote minimum. Follow-up reminders would be good at 4, 8, 16, etc. times the accepted answer's vote count.

  • 3
    Why can't you just add a comment?
    – PeeHaa
    Jun 13 '13 at 12:08
  • 6
    Upvotes don't always relate to how useful the answer is to the person who asked the question.
    – Joe W
    Jun 13 '13 at 12:10
  • @PeeHaa 埽: In my personal experience, when I'm scanning quickly, the big, green check mark catches my eye. I sometimes look at comments, too, but that takes more time. Nothing is as efficient as directly highlighting the best answer. Jun 13 '13 at 15:43

I like the idea of encouraging users to revisit their old posts from time to time, but I'm not sure about encouraging them to change the accepted answer.

Before posting this answer, I looked back at some of my oldest questions and quite honestly, I can barely remember asking them. Sure, I'm probably more qualified than I was four years ago to accept the most technically sound answer that was given, but I accepted the answer that helped me the most at my competency level at the time. Presumably, someone now in one of my previous predicaments would be similarly competent. The answers I accepted were the ones that helped the person that asked that question the most - I'm not sure if I'd change which ones I checked, even though better answers were subsequently posted.

If an accepted answer is scored lower than other answers posted, we're giving clear signal that while the accepted answer was found to be very useful by at least one person, other answers might be more optimal. The discrepancy is, in and of itself, informative. It can often tell someone "The way I thought I was going to do this isn't the best way at all."

I'm not fundamentally against the idea, I just wonder if we're gaining more than we're giving up.

  • I'm sure there's some value preserving initial thoughts, but I don't think much, compared to a clear direction of best practice. That's part of the reason that the accepted answer can be changed to begin with. The focus should be on the final answer, with how we got there relegated to a footnote. Jun 13 '13 at 15:47

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