It seems like the majority of questions that I come across on SO never get the official green checkmark from the original poster.

When an answer is given that the OP accepts, sometimes they leave a comment under their accepted answer, sometimes they upvote it, sometimes they don't do anything. It seems like only rarely do they hit the green checkmark.

Is it because folks don't know about it? Or they don't care? Or is there some other reasoning with regards to the way reputation works that I'm not aware of?

I have only asked a large handful of questions but I always make sure that I hit the green checkmark on the answer I accept because I feel I need to give credit where credit is due. But I just want to make sure I'm not missing something here.

5 Answers 5


Wow. I just looked at the questions that you answered on SO and the accepted/not-accepted ratio on those is really dramatic. I think you hit upon a sub-population of SO that is clustered around specific tags where accepting an answer doesn't really seem to be very popular. But it's not only accepted versus not accepted answers that's interesting here: That sub-population also doesn't seem to be particularly prone to upvote anything. Most of the questions themselves have a score of 0. Maybe you can answer your question when you answer this question: Why did you never upvote a question that you answered? You have asked 10 questions, answered 24, but you have only upvoted 20 times. Why?

  • Are you implying that all/most ‘answer-ers’ should up-vote the questions they answer? I don't see why “I think I have an answer for this question” implies “I think this question deserves an up-vote”. Commented Oct 29, 2009 at 9:33
  • 3
    I guess, yes, that is exactly what I am suggesting. If I think my answer deserves an upvote, the question itself should also deserve one. Not always, but fairly often.
    – innaM
    Commented Oct 29, 2009 at 10:04

I think it's because the green tick doesn't look very much like a button and there is nothing directing you to actually click it when someone has provided the right answer.

It should be buttonised, and have a big geeen hint under the question (for the question asker).


I think what you are seeing is evidence of a generation gap. This is going to be rather difficult to articulate, however I'm going to give it a try.

It's rare these days for me to see someone under 30 years old actually hold the door open for the next person entering a building. The generation now in late years of high school or early years of college is of course a little different than previous generations. I don't imply anything sinister when saying this, I'm sure that many people just assume you know they are grateful for your answer. I also realize that people are individuals, not just members of a particular generation. There are exceptions, which solidifies my point.

What alarms me more than what you brought up is the increasing number of "show me the codez" questions. I'm as lazy as they come, but I enjoy learning something from pointers (no pun intended) that more experienced programmers are kind enough to lend. I'm starting to worry that natural curiosity, the kind where you just can't sleep until you solve a problem, is dwindling.

Anyway, it all adds up to "Generation Gap" for me. But, of course, just IMHO.


This question, in particular illustrates what I'm trying to convey. Look at the comments in my answer.

  • Interesting. But is their any hint that the people you are talking about are actually younger than the rest?
    – innaM
    Commented Oct 29, 2009 at 9:22
  • 1
    This question illustrates a lazy programmmer. Nothing more. They could be 15 or 65. It's not proof of any generation gap.
    – Macha
    Commented Oct 29, 2009 at 9:42
  • I did say it was difficult to articulate and just an opinion :) Proving it is an exercise I simply do not have time or resources to accomplish.
    – user50049
    Commented Oct 29, 2009 at 9:46
  • @Manni: My answer is from combined recent experience, not just on SO. I participate in many mailing lists and news groups, SO is just one example in many contributed to my opinion. If you feel that I can better phrase my answer, please comment again :)
    – user50049
    Commented Oct 29, 2009 at 9:47
  • I think your answer is well phrased. But I also think that it doesn't offer any evidence for your claims.
    – innaM
    Commented Oct 29, 2009 at 12:23
  • I really never understood why people hold doors for someone behind them. Is it really that hard to open a door yourself? If the person behind you has their hands full I can understand, but if they are walking just like you all you are doing is getting in the way.
    – Bob
    Commented Oct 29, 2009 at 15:33
  • So Bob, I guess the critical question now is: How old are you?
    – innaM
    Commented Oct 29, 2009 at 17:36

There's a lot of users who have reputation of 1. My guess is that the SEO for the site works so well that it organically attracts non-SO users who are seeking answers to developer problems. When they can't find the answer they want, they ask a question, and don't concern themselves with reputation or respecting input of their peers.


You get green check-mark for questions you asked, so only you can accept the answer for questions you asked

  • How does this relate to the question?
    – innaM
    Commented Oct 29, 2009 at 9:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .