Possible Duplicate:
Function to convert an answer to a new question

There are a sizable number of new users who stumble across StackOverflow from a Google search, see an answer which almost helps them, and leave another answer asking for more help.

Currently, there is no good way to deal with such people.

Can we have an option to promote such answers to new questions (with a link to the old question)?

Added Bonus:
Change the original answer into a link to the new question with a standardized explanatory text before deleting it. This way, if the user ever comes back, he'll be led to his new question (assuming that he comes back on the same account)

  • Note that these answers typically don't make great questions either; this might not be worth doing.
    – SLaks
    Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 2:23
  • 1
    Here is an example which would make a fairly good question. (I deleted it)
    – SLaks
    Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 2:30
  • lold at dupe humor
    – Aiden Bell
    Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 4:14

2 Answers 2


An alternative approach to these answers is to leave an explanatory comment encouraging the Ask Question button, then delete the answer. If the user comes back, he'll see the comment on his deleted answer and (hopefully) ask a question.

This has the advantage of forcing the user to ask a meaningful context-free question.
(That is unwarranted optimism)


A good clue is in

an answer which almost helps them

so, as the new user is asking the same question and therefore can't improve on it ... how about a "bump" like mechanism (I know forum-bumping would be bad, but a method to say ... "hey, there are still people wanting some answerage here")

I know I have answered questions in the past where my answer is far from perfect and new experts could improve, but it is at the bottom of the pile even though "learners" may still care.

Even just a "call for improvement" flag or vote that gets people's attention in tag lists etc?

Just a thought

  • No. Typically, these users have a slightly different problem, or need a little more hand-holding.
    – SLaks
    Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 3:27

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