// Snip. First point removed because as was pointed out it was duped many times.

The other point was about questions that the questioner feels they can't accept an answer on. I'm going to try and rush through this because I've just realised how much I've typed.

There are two situations when this arises, firstly when no appropriate answers have been given, and secondly when multiple answers have been given that are equally appropriate. We believe that a user's accept rate should not go down in theses situations.

We came up with a few proposals all of which would become available a certain amount of time (probably a long period) from asking a question, and assume it has answers:

  • The questioner should have the opportunity of passing the responsibility of accepting the answer to the community. This on the face of it sounds like just accepting the most upvoted question, and in fact would do just that! But, it wouldn't occur immediately. There would be some type of timeout until this occurred, and the question would be marked in some way (in the listings) to show that it was in this state. This may make people think twice about what is really the best answer, or perhaps to vote (up or down) when they just couldn't be bothered before.

  • The questioner can add a "no acceptable answers" vote to the question. Just like close/reopen votes. If enough are accumulated the system considers the question answered but without actually having an answer accepted.

  • The questioner can vote to merge all the answers he thinks should be accepted. If enough votes accumulate, the answers are merged. Whether this involves simply appending them together or an edit and review process to ensure duplicate content does not appear I don't know. The reputation is shared equally among the answerers.

In all cases the questioners accept rate, would stay as if they had accepted the question themselves and just like actual accepts they would have the option of changing their mind or restarting one of the above processes should new answers come through.

I wonder what your thoughts are.

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    Is your friend you? – user7116 Jun 30 '11 at 2:30
  • @sixletter Heheh. :) No he's not. I thought it was going to come across like that as I was writing it. If he was then it really would be a cry for help! – tjm Jun 30 '11 at 2:32
  • You know how gmail has that beer goggles add in...? – jonsca Jun 30 '11 at 2:34
  • @jonsca. I didn't but I think that'll come in handy, thankyou. That said. I only had a couple and I don't think I'll regret this. It's long but I think I make fair points. – tjm Jun 30 '11 at 2:37
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    Both issues have been discussed at length here on meta. I'm too lazy to find them right now, but you should probably go review those discussions and edit your question so it doesn't look like a dupe. – Pollyanna Jun 30 '11 at 3:01
  • @Adam I expected that some of this at least was a dupe. I'm reading around now to see what I can find. Surprisingly I can't find anything on the rep issue though. I'm sure my search skills are just not up to scratch though. I'll keep looking. Anyone who's not feeling lazy now, feel free to close/delete this as appropriate. I don't want to add things that don't need to be here, and I'd appreciate the dupe links! – tjm Jun 30 '11 at 3:12
  • @tjm Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/198/… looks into the idea of anonymizing answerers so people don't vote for them based on reputation. – jonsca Jun 30 '11 at 3:16
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    Here are a few questions regarding your first point: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/79621/… ... meta.stackexchange.com/questions/21458/… ... meta.stackexchange.com/questions/43104/… ... There are more, but, again, I'm lazy. Try meta.stackoverflow.com/search?q=hide+reputation ... Please don't view this as evidence that I'm not lazy... – Pollyanna Jun 30 '11 at 3:16
  • @jonsca, @Adam. Thanks I'll start reading. – tjm Jun 30 '11 at 3:17
  • @tjm Adam's got it covered, but I did find a bunch regarding the second half of your statement. It's definitely gotten coverage. I'll take Adam's lazy and raise it a lazy :) – jonsca Jun 30 '11 at 3:19
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    @jonsca In relation to the beer goggles add in, it got me thinking, maybe we need a drunks.stackexchange for when you want to post a question but probably shouldn't. You'd have maybe 24hours to delete it before the post got migrated to the appropriate SE site. :) – tjm Jun 30 '11 at 3:26
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    @tjm I'll drink to that. – jonsca Jun 30 '11 at 3:27

He mentioned that he had often seen answers when browsing the site that he really believed were superior to others, and yet the lesser answers were upvoted above the superior ones, and the common factor was the answerer of the lesser question already had much more rep than the other.

Links or it didn't happen. I have a fairly high reputation plus a diamond by my name and I get outvoted all the time. I honestly think popularity plays a role only rarely. (Sad, really. You all should kiss up more than you do. I can delete your accounts, you know!)

On accept rate:

when no appropriate answers have been given...

Don't worry about your accept rate in this case. Add information to your question or add an answer of your own, but the important thing is to get an answer to your question, not your accept rate.

and secondly when multiple answers have been given that are equally appropriate.

First you should upvote all the answers that helped. Then you can either accept the one answer that helped the most, or leave comments indicating that additional information would make an answer more acceptable. Editing is how we merge good answers together to make one best answer.

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  • I do of course upvote all answers that have helped, but merging answers together and accepting the merge I think is not a great encouragement, for new users especially. My first suggestion is equivalent of a merge but makes it clear who should get the credit for the answer(s). The thing with accept rate is that it is deemed very important. New questioners with low accept rates get it in the ear so to speak regularly, at best, and at worst don't get answered. Perhaps their accept rate is low because they've had no good answers. Thanks for your response though. – tjm Jun 30 '11 at 2:44
  • @tjm: It's true that some people are placing too much emphasis on accept rate. I've taken to deleting many "improve your accept rate" comments when I see them. See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/66773/… – Bill the Lizard Jun 30 '11 at 2:50
  • @Bill That position on accept rate comments doesn't seem to be universal, though (not to put you on the spot nor go OT, lol). – jonsca Jun 30 '11 at 2:57
  • Ah. It's good to know that users with "the power" are thinking about it. I see it often and really think it's a problem. – tjm Jun 30 '11 at 3:00
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    @jonsca: True enough, but the only ones I usually leave are the ones that explain why it's beneficial to accept answers. I tend to view most of them as just noise. – Bill the Lizard Jun 30 '11 at 3:08
  • @Bill I flagged a comment that only said 20% accept rate and it stuck around hehe. – jonsca Jun 30 '11 at 3:17
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    @jonsca: Other mods might dismiss that, but I'd definitely consider it noise. – Bill the Lizard Jun 30 '11 at 3:20

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