4

votes

[meta] What to do about unanswered questions?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 13, 2012 at 12:31 AM

I'm specifically referring to questions that get bumped to the top of the site automatically over and over again. They are usually one-of questions asked by a user that has long since disappeared. They'll never get answered, because the questioner isn't around to accept any given answer, so they'll keep getting bumped to the top.

Some are pretty esoteric, and if the user is long gone I've been flagging them for closure using a valid reason (not really a question or too localized/specialized). Maybe we need an option for 'old-ass question that nobody cares about anymore'? There's already a lot of noise on PH, anything to help with the signal-to-noise ratio is a good thing.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 13, 2012
at 06:01 AM

Like this one, Matt: http://paleohacks.com/questions/66884/anyone-in-san-diego-who-wants-to-join-a-grokfeast-tomorrow I was able to see that it had a vote to close; I closed it; after I closed it I saw that the vote was from you. The Grokfeast in San Diego from last September will get no more attendees.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 13, 2012
at 05:59 AM

OK, I'm going to close some of those when I see them (using judgment, including factors like the ones Matt recommends; and keeping an eye on flags that you guys give and close votes that you guys cast as a service to the board). It looks like Ed has done this already for the ones Beth mentioned. And so I assume Ed will be doing the same in the future too.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 13, 2012
at 03:20 AM

That must be it, Ed, I just checked a few on the front page and they all lack any answers with votes. So we can upvote sub-par answers or we can close questions.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on February 13, 2012
at 01:55 AM

Matt, I believe the "community" bot will only bump if none of the answers has an upvote, or if there is not yet an answer.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on February 13, 2012
at 01:30 AM

But that question has three answers! Maybe we need to vote up (or down?) those questions when they appear.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 13, 2012
at 01:27 AM

Beth, that one drives me crazy!

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on February 13, 2012
at 01:26 AM

Oh, this is a good one too (from *last* February!): http://paleohacks.com/questions/25026/paleo-exercise-groups-in-honolulu

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on February 13, 2012
at 01:25 AM

Clicking on the "PaleoHacks" logo (to the left of the Questions box) brings up the Active tab.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 13, 2012
at 01:23 AM

There very well may be answers already to the question, but if the asker doesn't pick an answer, the bot just keeps bumping it.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 13, 2012
at 01:22 AM

Regarding 'Anyone from X' questions, I did check the few the did popup recently and the question asker was not seen for 8+ months. Doesn't need to get bumped every few days hoping it'll get answered. I too flagged the 'party' question as no longer relevant.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 13, 2012
at 01:21 AM

Great example of an obsolete question bumped today: http://paleohacks.com/questions/84335/day-after-xmas-pot-luck-lunch-intampa-bay#axzz1mDhWlRXk

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 13, 2012
at 01:20 AM

Yep, under the Active tab (its default?), a "Community" bot bumps threads to the top, only unanswered questions as far as I can tell.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 13, 2012
at 01:18 AM

+1 I laughed...

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 13, 2012
at 12:55 AM

I normally use the Active tab and user "community" bumps questions all the time.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 13, 2012
at 12:44 AM

@Melissa, "Community" automatically bumps up questions with low vote/answer counts. Some are obviously obsolete, others deserve attention if someone with the references/expertise sees them.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on February 13, 2012
at 12:42 AM

I've never seen them bumped to the top. What tab are you viewing?

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3 Answers

2
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 13, 2012
at 01:56 AM

Also some of the questions have been answered but the owner has not accepted an answer..

2
0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on February 13, 2012
at 12:41 AM

Your last sentence about the noise made me think of this.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 13, 2012
at 01:18 AM

+1 I laughed...

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 13, 2012
at 12:39 AM

Since you asked, I'd rather see us somehow consolidate the many, many "Anyone from Anywhere, Planet Earth?" questions into one thread. I think THEY tend to clog the list at times.

Okay, back to your question. I flagged the "Dec 26 party" question today as no longer relevant. I agree with you that there are more like those questions out there, but it's also true that the first time or two Community bounces a question up there may simply not be anyone viewing the queue that has the necessary expertise to answer. Who knows, the next time there might be.

I don't want us to be too quick to close, but if a time-specific question comes up or one from say 3 months or more ago that no one's tried to answer we should close or update it.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 13, 2012
at 01:23 AM

There very well may be answers already to the question, but if the asker doesn't pick an answer, the bot just keeps bumping it.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 13, 2012
at 03:20 AM

That must be it, Ed, I just checked a few on the front page and they all lack any answers with votes. So we can upvote sub-par answers or we can close questions.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 13, 2012
at 01:22 AM

Regarding 'Anyone from X' questions, I did check the few the did popup recently and the question asker was not seen for 8+ months. Doesn't need to get bumped every few days hoping it'll get answered. I too flagged the 'party' question as no longer relevant.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on February 13, 2012
at 01:55 AM

Matt, I believe the "community" bot will only bump if none of the answers has an upvote, or if there is not yet an answer.

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