Newer users sometimes overlook the accepting and voting part of Stack Overflow. No big deal as this mostly resolves itself after they are pointed to it.

Recently, however, I stumbled upon more users who had 0-1 accepted answers (yes, I regularly checked the more than 4 questions whether there was something worth accepting), had 0 votes and didn't respond to comments on both being an integral part on Stack Overflow. As they did usually respond to questions that could lead to solving their problems, language barriers are not an explanation.

Should and can we deal with such users that are "not giving back" to Stack Overflow in some way?

Note: I am not worried about my own rep, most of these weren't even questions which I had answered.

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    Just let them be. – perbert Apr 29 '10 at 15:22
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    Related : meta.stackexchange.com/questions/14994/… – rlb.usa Apr 29 '10 at 15:41
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    I agree with voyager - just let them be. There is some irony in gf's complaint, given his own accept rate of 50%! – Stephen C. Steel Apr 29 '10 at 16:05
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    @Stephen come on. Accept rate on Meta doesn't count. His SO account shows a fine 92% – Pekka Apr 29 '10 at 16:13
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    This concern has been mentioned before in various forms of questions and feature requests. It is best to just let it go. If the question OP got their question answered and the question helps future visitors, the site goals have been achieved. – Troggy Apr 29 '10 at 16:14
  • @Stephen: a) What pekka said. b) You are twisting my words - i only mentioned extreme cases. – Georg Fritzsche Apr 29 '10 at 16:35
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  • @Ether, thanks for these, the first one is on spot and a duplicate i guess. Now i only have to figure out why the voting behaviour on 20696 was so different although it basically adresses the same issues ;) – Georg Fritzsche Apr 29 '10 at 21:25
  • @gf: possibly simply because it's a duplicate -- you asked the question as if it was the first time it was raised, when actually it has been extensively discussed over very many months (and indeed, some controversial sudden changes were instituted in the SO rules recently in an attempt to address some of these problems). – Ether Apr 29 '10 at 22:16
  • @Pekka - gf's question concerned "newer users". While he may be an experienced user on SO, he doesn't have a lot of activity on meta and would be classified as "newer user" by many users of meta. @gf I would hardly call not accepting answers on a mere 4 cases an "extreme" case. The lack of response on a few questions could even be something as innocuous as taking a short vacation. – Stephen C. Steel Apr 30 '10 at 15:38
  • @Stephen: I tried to make clear that i didn't mean users with a few or relatively fresh questions, sorry if i failed in that regard. I recently stumbled upon more "newer" users with >=10 questions who didn't accept although most had clear answers and most were older questions. Also the "0 votes" part had me stumped. – Georg Fritzsche Apr 30 '10 at 18:19

Ignore it and move on. The sites are about getting helpful, relevant content out in front of those people that need it and it's working. I agree that acceptances and votes are (somewhat) useful feedback from the community in order to gauge the value from the OP's perspective and from the community's perspective but if someone stumbles upon an answer (regardless of it's voted / accepted state) and it helps them then there is success.

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The thing that bothers me is that I don't get feedback on the quality of my answer.

Most of these questions tend to remain with one answer, one upvote and some 5-10 views. They will almost never attract any interest in the community and create useful feedback.

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  • So don't answer those questions, if you feel like you're not likely to get what you want. – David Thornley Apr 29 '10 at 20:53
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    @David Well it's hard to tell beforehand sometimes. I didn't expect to get no feedback from a 40k+ user for example. – Filburt Apr 29 '10 at 21:03

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