21

I just noticed that it can be hard for new users on our site to push some existing but not answered question. If a new user finds such a post (maybe the first visit on our site), he will have only two choices: 'Answering' it with "I am having that problem, too" or asking a new question which creates a dupe.

Especially new users tend to the first approach and those answers get closed quickly as I just did on TeXShop search not working for multiple file source. They get a comment that they should use a bounty in order to push this.

Well, for the post linked above, there have been two new users with interest in that solution but both with very low reputation. I thought: "I have no interest in that post (urgh, Mac... :-)) but as two new users asked for it in the last two month... I'll put some bounty as I have enough rep."

Of course, this resulted in an answer at once (thanks, Pouya, I hope someone tests it soon). I therefore asked myself two questions, which I want to pass further to you:

  • Is that the correct way to manipulate here or should I wait for "answer the unanswered" days, minor edits which have to be proofed by high-rep users, or (worst in my eyes) exact duplicates?
  • Should we think about some better approach on helping in such cases, as pointing to bounties does not help our new guests a lot? They can not even participate in chat or comment on the OP. Can't we improve the sentence

    This does not really answer the question. If you have a different question, you can ask it by clicking Ask Question. You can also add a bounty to draw more attention to this question once you have enough reputation.

    in order to help a bit more, and how?

It would be cool, if new users could show their interest in some unanswered topic and ask the richies here for some bounty-partnership as I just have given. But I can't figure out some clever way on how to do that.

Well, at least I just did formulate my plea to all of you that flagging, deleting, and commenting such "requests for assistance" could be followed by some generous donation from your bulging rep-wallet.

  • I agree with your statements about the doubtful statements about enough reputation for comments etc. but how can we donate reputation to someone with low reputation? A bounty? Upvoting the answer which is apparently wrong and which would be deleted (most likely)? – user31729 Jun 10 '15 at 20:34
  • @ChristianHupfer The donation could look like my bounty I have set for this post. But this is of course voluntary. The question is more: How can we see that there is a lot of interest in a certain unanswered question? – LaRiFaRi Jun 11 '15 at 7:38
  • Note that a new question can't be closed as a duplicate of an unanswered question, as far as I know. – cfr Jun 11 '15 at 23:26
14

What about adding an "I'm having that problem too" button? The button could disappear as soon as an answer is accepted. In the meantime, if a question has enough "I'm having that problem" votes (more than 5, say), accepted answers could come with an bonus (and the bonus could increase with the number of votes). This would be similar to a bounty, but wouldn't require anyone to set bounties.

  • I was hoping for that suggestion. The more I was thinking about my described problem, the more I liked the idea of an "I'm having that proble, too!" button. I do not know, if this would be feasible. Let's see, what others say. – LaRiFaRi Jun 15 '15 at 7:51
  • One problem i see is Is it possible for moderators to accept an answer? Some of the old (really old) can get an answer, maybe even a good one, but the OP has lost interest as the project was due a year ago. Only the OP can accept, hence the button would never disappear. you could add a treshold though, 5 upvotes make the button disappear. – Johannes_B Jun 15 '15 at 16:22
  • My question with a suggestion like this would be how it is handled with the community. For example, if one person presses the "I'm having this problem too" button, is someone notified? If so, who? How would the notification differ if more than one person presses it? – Werner Jun 15 '15 at 22:44
  • I think it would be essential for moderators to be able to answer questions like this (at least after some time). I also don't really see a problem with that: if several people have the same question, it almost becomes a community question, and it's reasonable for moderators to accept these answers. I originally thought anyone who clicked the "I have that problem too" button should be able to vote, but I can see potential for abuse there. The original poster should have time to reject a moderator's proposed acceptable answer, though. – rainbowgoblin Jun 16 '15 at 10:37
  • 1
    @Werner It could put the question back on the "active" page? – T. Verron Jun 18 '15 at 14:06
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    @Johannes_B The button could disappear with the same threshold as the "unanswered" status : either an accepted answer or one with score higher than 3. A user not helped by this answer can then proceed like with any duplicate candidate, explain how his problem is not solved by the existing answer and hence why his question is not a duplicate. – T. Verron Jun 18 '15 at 14:07
  • @T.Verron: As long as there was some form of rate-limiting associated with it that would only allow one such push every X days, and X increases with the usage (similar to the bounty system where bounties double if issued by the same user). – Werner Jun 18 '15 at 14:47
7

This is a noble initiative, but it is not sustainable since reputation is an earned attribute and it's not in everyone to just doll it out at the drop of a new user. Of course, some folks do, but the majority of folks don't.

Additionally the request for updating a "vote-to-delete reason" should be consistent network-wide. The critical part within this quote is "...once you have enough reputation." That's just the way it is: while you can land here and ask/answer questions with only 1 rep, you generally have to work to gain trust. And reputation is how much the system trusts you.

Some related/helpful links:

  • Thank you for your answer and about collecting interesting posts on the reputation earning procedure. Donating rep via bounty was just one idea. Hopefully, we will see others. Maybe an "concerns me too" button on unanswered questions which pushes it up... Let's wait for other suggestions. – LaRiFaRi Jun 11 '15 at 7:47
  • That list is not ordered according to donations, right? Users could equally be spending their earnings on their own, individual interests. (I'm not saying they shouldn't and I'm not saying they do. Only that the list just says who is spending it - not who they are spending it on.) [To be honest, I never really consider spending mine at all. It just seems so mercenary. Like bribing people.] – cfr Jun 11 '15 at 23:23
  • @cfr: True, the list represents total bounties offered in a descending order. The motivations behind the bounties (recipient included) are not presented. – Werner Jun 11 '15 at 23:25

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