I think it would be useful to be able to search (or have a tab) for popular questions that have no answers with upvotes above some reasonable value (4?).

There would be an incentive to provide better answers to these questions as you are guaranteed that the question will be viewed by many people.

  • This seems rather hard to implement. How do you determine what's really popular? How do you determine the answers are low quality? And how many such questions are out there? – alex Dec 2 '09 at 13:34
  • As proposed in the question, questions with a 'lot' of views where the accepted answer score (or average answer score, where there's no accepted answer) is 'low'. Pick suitable values for 'lot' and 'low'. – edoloughlin Dec 2 '09 at 15:19

It should be possible to implement additional "advanced search" features to support such functionality. Right now you can search on questions by views, votes, and how many answers they have, but you can't search by the max votes on answers (as requested). I don't see any reason why (in principle) a max-answer-vote search key couldn't be added.

Then you could search for (e.g):

  • views:1000 max-answer-vote:4 => Questions with at least 1000 views having no answers voted higher than 4
  • votes:10 max-answer-vote:4 => Questions voted 10 or higher having no answers voted higher than 4

You could decide for yourself what combination of votes and views makes a question "popular."

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  • This is a much better way of doing it. Instead of having tens of tabs, searching might be easier. It would also be nice if these searches could be saved as custom tabs. – alex Dec 2 '09 at 13:49
  • This would be nice, but would probably only be useful to <5% of users and would be complex to implement. My motivation for proposing the simple, fixed tab was that it's an easy way to identify popular questions that haven't been answered well. The motivation for the answerer is that answers will likely be viewed by a lot of people and stand a higher chance of being upvoted if they are good. – edoloughlin Dec 2 '09 at 15:25
  • @doloughlin: The solution I presented is probably less complex to implement than the tab option you asked for in the OP. In fact, since presumably there is already some form of dispatch in the search logic for generating the appropriate SQL query, it should be a a simple matter of writing the necessary SQL for the max-allowed-votes parameter. – ベレアー アダム Dec 2 '09 at 15:53
  • @Adam Bellaire: don't forget the UI and the load on the server(s) of a bunch of people executing arbitrarily complex queries against the DB on demand. With the 'tab' solution, the queries could be done off-peak and the results cached. – edoloughlin Dec 2 '09 at 16:37
  • @edoughlin: There is no UI for search features, the search box is already present. Unless you're referring to the UI for the other proposal I linked to, in which case I've misunderstood and I agree. Note that doing off-peak caching for a tab is yet even more implementation complexity, although you are right that it would help offset any potential load issues. – ベレアー アダム Dec 2 '09 at 18:06

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