Many people often subscribe to Stack Exchange to ask the first question frequently without reading the minimum requirement to ask a question. But not only these people, also frequently users do it.

Then, it happens that this question receives four or five or more answers. Nothing else happens: There isn't a flagged answer, people do not vote for the most deserving answers, there are no comments, nothing. Simply the author of the question disappears, sometimes for years.

What function does a question described if none of the answers are correct? Is it possible to solicit feedback from the author of the question after a set time, or some reminders by email? What happened to these question/answers?

  • Not sure what you suggest. Forcing new users to post comments on answers? – Shadow9 May 23 '16 at 17:46
  • I'm not speaking to force people, maybe too strong, I've used the term "solicit", more soft, but I don't know how to do.. – Alessandro Ornano May 23 '16 at 17:47
  • You mean something like what being asked here? – Shadow9 May 23 '16 at 17:51
  • Similar, not really, I wanted to know also what benefit/value/use have the created thread (question/answers abandoned by God without any guide). Sorry for explaination but it's very hard for me, I'm not english. – Alessandro Ornano May 23 '16 at 17:55
  • Do you have any examples? – Catija May 23 '16 at 17:59
  • Look this for example: stackoverflow.com/questions/36540339/… but there are many others.. – Alessandro Ornano May 23 '16 at 18:01
  • So you're looking to ask the people who ask questions to come back after a while and tell us if the answers worked or not, and hopefully vote on them? – ArtOfCode May 23 '16 at 18:05
  • I'd hardly say that a 4.6K user who's been on the site in the last hour has really "abandoned" his question... – Catija May 23 '16 at 18:19
  • Yes but also what is the real position of these question/answers (threads?) , the utility i meant for the users who searching similar things but these thread dont have any sure guide. – Alessandro Ornano May 23 '16 at 18:19
  • Not every question has a good answer. If no one on the entire SO has upvoted your answer in a month, it seems unlikely that it's a valid solution... Alternately, it could be a very edge case that no one is familiar with so they don't feel knowledgeable enough to answer... And if it's that much of an edge case, there may not be many people looking for the info. – Catija May 23 '16 at 18:22
  • I agree with you, but this does not happen. It's a fact. Perhaps because the average user asks a question and get the answer goes away?. And always the average user give an answer to a difficult question which it considers the most correct of all and nobody votes anyone. This thread can be considered lost ? – Alessandro Ornano May 23 '16 at 18:31

There's a presumption in your question that you might not have thought of:

What function does a question described if none of the answers is correct?

While the person asking can certainly 'accept' the answer that was most helpful to them, it in no way signifies that the answer was technically correct or optimal. Voting on the answers is a much better indicator of correctness than anything else.

So, if the answers are good, and some of them stand out as very good - there's plenty of use for the question.

If the question is at-best vague, and the answers are just trying to take pretty wild guesses at what the author wanted - then it's not very useful, and a good candidate to be closed and eventually deleted.

So, if the answers are good and the question can be cleaned up - then we've got something that can benefit quite a few people, not just the asker. If that's not the case, there's a good chance it'll be caught in a broom as folks sweep.

  • Indeed. In the case of "no votes no comments" the question will get deleted. – Patrick Hofman May 23 '16 at 18:17
  • 2
    @PatrickHofman I've seen a few here and there not get caught in that dragnet due to an up-voted snarky answer, but flags tend to catch those nicely. But there are some with "I think this is what you mean.." and then an awesome answer, but no way of knowing if that's what the OP wanted. In those cases, it's time to just make the question useful by editing - especially if it's clear that the OP no longer cares about it. – Tim Post May 23 '16 at 18:20
  • So if your site is full of these questions, where half of them have the correct answers, but no one has voted, it is right to close them? I think this is an answer more from shell scripts that an appropriate solution. Im not agree with this politic, but it's only my personal opinion. – Alessandro Ornano May 23 '16 at 18:23
  • If the answers are correct, they should be able to get at least one upvote from someone... like you... If you find an answer that needs an upvote because it's correct, upvote it... and that will save the question from the site's roomba. – Catija May 23 '16 at 18:24
  • @Catija, If I try to give an answer (to contribute to find a solution) I dont want to vote an answer different for example by my answer that I' m consideret wrong, prefeer to vote a good answer but ofter there isnt. It's more a moderator work than a user attitude. Moltiply this for all users who partecipate at that question, the situation is blocked (freeze in time if anyone will vote it) – Alessandro Ornano May 23 '16 at 18:41
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    @AlessandroOrnano If the answer is good, there's no reason not to upvote it just because you've also answered the question... We even give out badges for it... No one is saying you should upvote bad answers... also... if you only care about this in the case you have answered the question, you're not really helping the site out much. Upvoting is important to site health. – Catija May 23 '16 at 18:45

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