I find that several of my questions are just being ignored.

Are they too dificult? Too elaborate?

Or is the average Stack Overflow user trying to answer only the repeated and easy questions and ignoring the others that would take more time to answer? Or my questions are just flashing through the first question pages due to Stack Overflow high trafic?

Or maybe I just need to improve my questions text, to make it more atractive for the Stack Overflow users?

**UPDATE: ** I noticed that some of my questions are related to serverfault.com and I accept they are just plain difficult and some even too specific.

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    Links. With links we could offer some constructive criticism. Well, actually you're likely to get a mix of constructive, sarcastic, ironic, and just plain weird criticism, but that's the risk of coming to meta... Nov 14, 2010 at 0:18
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    I'd answer, but ...
    – Rosinante
    Nov 14, 2010 at 3:16
  • Well the answer I got here definitely wasn't written by someone lazy: stackoverflow.com/questions/4087919
    – Ivo Flipse
    Nov 14, 2010 at 9:43
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    Seriously, given your history your complaint is ridiculous. Nov 15, 2010 at 3:59

6 Answers 6


No, I don't think so.

You're probably taking things a bit too personally, as you've asked 12 questions with 2 of them going unanswered (according to Stack Overflow's definition of "unanswered"). This is actually slightly below the overall site average of (checking just now) 18%, and far too small a sample size to constitute a pattern.

Assuming you're referring to this question, this question, and possibly this question, I think it's probably just that your unanswered questions are very difficult, no one knows how to solve the problems, or the problems are unsolvable using the suggested methods. (Yes, I'm deliberately being general, because I have no idea how to solve those problems either.)

In this question, the user gbn gave an answer -- I consider him one of the experts/regulars on SO for this stuff -- and he didn't seem to be able to figure it out. So I'm thinking that the questions are just plain difficult, or possibly unanswerable. is a fairly high-volume tag, so I really doubt that the questions weren't looked at at all -- it's more likely that people simply don't know the answer.

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    +1 for a considerate answer. Nov 14, 2010 at 13:01
  • Well I understand that my latest questions are really difficult, but if you check out the question dates, you'll see that those are my most recent questions, so lately I'm not getting answers, and again its probably because they are dificult. Nov 16, 2010 at 14:35
  • The first two links @Jon gives are now deleted. Were they deleted by the asker, or by the system? Dec 15, 2010 at 7:12
  • @Gabriel: See Andrews's comment -- I don't have 10k on SO to check for him.
    – Jon Seigel
    Dec 15, 2010 at 13:42
  • @Andrwe I deleted my questions and reposted on ServerFault, as they are much more related to Serverfault than it is to StackOverflow. Dec 15, 2010 at 13:47
  • @Andrew: (Comment ping)
    – Jon Seigel
    Dec 15, 2010 at 13:50
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    @GabrielGuimarães What have you contributed to this community yet? Oct 29, 2012 at 11:26

What's different is that the algorithm for what's on the front page was recently changed. Contributors now see questions that match their selected favorite tags. While you might previously had eyes on your questions from passers-by that happened to know enough about [sql-server], many programmers do, now you almost exclusively only get views from contributors that selected that tag as one of their favorites or had a history of answering a lot of them.

I know some [sql-server], it is not in my favorite tags. For example.

There's no obvious 'fix' for this that I see, some tags are going to lose out. This may very well change the tagging dynamics, no idea yet what that may look like.

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    That would be my diagnosis...I don't get to answer as many drive-by questions as I used to. Nov 14, 2010 at 3:38
  • note that this is only true for a) logged on users who b) have either excplitly set up "favorite tags" or have asked / answered enough questions for us to kinda-sorta infer what tags they know. For anon and new users, the front page is not terribly different than it used to be. Nov 14, 2010 at 5:08

Or maybe I just need to improve my questions text, to make it more atractive for the SO users?


As I said in the comment (plus a bit of more information) without a link to a specific question no one will be able to help beyond giving general advice.

The general advice I give is be specific, use appropriate tags, show what you've tried so far and explain why you want to do what you are trying to do - you never know there may be a better/easier way.

Beyond that it is a matter of luck as to whether someone who can answer your question is online at the time it appears on the home page (or the page they usually use).

  • can you be a little more specific? Nov 14, 2010 at 0:18
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    @Gabriel - as @dmckee points out in his comment on your question, without a link to a specific question no one will be able to help beyond giving general advice. The general advice I give is be specific, show what you've tried so far and explain why you want to do what you are trying to do - you never know there may be a better/easier way.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Nov 14, 2010 at 0:21
  • Nah, you're just been lazy :)
    – Yi Jiang
    Nov 14, 2010 at 7:42

Actually, users have always been lazy about answering questions. That's why so many easy, beginner questions have 10 answers, some with 50 upvotes, and most meaty, complex questions have maybe one or two OK answers and a pathetic trickle of votes.

This is a real phenomenon, it's just not a new one.

I'm actually hoping and expecting that the Homepage Changes will change these dynamics. By "downgrading" questions with a lot of answers/votes, people will see newer/more important questions before they see those questions that everybody else has already piled onto. Ideally, the lower strategic value of easy questions will result in fewer pile-on answers to those questions, as contributors realize that they have to answer more interesting/obscure questions (and more questions in general) in order to hit their precious rep cap.

Matters may or may not turn out the way I'm expecting, but I don't really think that there's anything else that can be done about it. People aren't getting lazier, they're just lazy in general.

If the root of this concern is that your questions aren't getting enough attention, then read the guidelines on how to improve your personal situation.


I notice that correct answers to difficult questions don't score nearly as much rep as answers to repeated questions that should be closed as duplicates. For example consider the votes that this answer1 scored versus the votes that this one2 did. Which one of those answers better speaks to my growing expertise in Python? Maybe the second one was too long. Consider this one3.

Both the second and third are far more indicative of skill with Python. The second one is just stupid show-off sort of stuff but the third one represents a useful knowledge of python much more than the first one. Yet the score is 7 for the first one and 2 for the second and third.

I understand that this is because it's easier to verify the easy answers but why pile on upvotes? It doesn't make sense to me.

That being said, I will continue to tackle challenging problems that interest me (the second one) and obscure problems that I know the answer to (like the third one) but, rep wise, answers of the first type are much more rewarding. So if I want to get my legendary badge one day, I should technically focus on the easy ones. Also, the first link is actually a rather weak example of the sort of upvotes that trivial answers to trivial questions can get.

1 Basic explanation of how to make a class method and and static method and the differences between them.

2 How to inject a local variable into a function - solved by rewriting its bytecode

3 Why static methods can't be placed in lists and still be called using the normal syntax.

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    all true, but there is also more competition in the easy questions, no? Nov 14, 2010 at 5:07
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    @Jeff Atwood, This is correct but if I'm playing for max rep, it makes more sense to cruise around picking up 10 drive by answers of which maybe 3 will pan out with 9 votes or so than it does to spend the same amount of time to (figure out how to) answer a few difficult questions that might get me votes. Most of the time, I'll gravitate towards the latter because I care more about skills than points but points are cool too :) Nov 14, 2010 at 5:35
  • @jeff @aaron - Yes there is more competition with the easy questions but experimentally I found that my rep rocketed by sitting on the Newest Questions tab and picking off these low hanging fruit. I enjoy answering stuff related to programming against the IIS API's but as Aaron pointed out, the rep return for a detailed in-depth answer is shockingly bad. Compare these answers I gave: stackoverflow.com/questions/381508#381529 - totally right out of the reference manual low hanger to stackoverflow.com/questions/4088928#4110829 or stackoverflow.com/questions/3937958#3938245
    – Kev
    Nov 14, 2010 at 20:04
  • or stackoverflow.com/questions/3938058#3942281. I like the format of SO which is why I come here to answer questions, but it can seem a bit thankless at times when you put in a special bit of effort (hell I've gone and built VM's just to prove my answer was correct) and you all you get sometimes is a tick.
    – Kev
    Nov 14, 2010 at 20:05

Lazy, no ... I don't think so. In fact I am noticing an increase in answering on SO recently due to home page changes.

As to your specific case:

You have a total of 12 questions. All except for 3 have accepted answers (one of which has an answer):

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/4135890/sql-log-shipping-two-databases-using-the-same-shared-folder , got 30 views and no answers yet.

I had a look at the question, I am pretty strong at SQL Server, however find it hard to give you an answer. Part of the problem is that its a serverfault type problem. Log shipping can be configured manually, or you could use the SQL server wizard stuff. If you do it manually well a single folder is fine, if you are using the SQL server stuff, it kind of becomes a server administration issue and probably should be on server fault.


Again this feels like a serverfault problem, again, this question got plenty of eyes looking at it (27)

And again, this feels very under specified. I think you should break this down into a tangible demonstrable issue. Are you having issues with the RESTORE command? If so, what have you tried? What works? What does not?

  • I get it. Your right about me asking very specific questions, and related to server fault. I was wondering how should I determine what SQL questions should be on Stackoverflow and what should be at ServerFault. Nov 16, 2010 at 13:58

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