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Day after day when using Arqade, I see questions (poorly worded, formatted, whatever the case may be) from users who had just created the account to ask the question.

Almost every time the question never gets answered. Just look at the newest questions now. People with 1 rep who made an account today, asked a question, commented on that question, and will likely never return to the site to select an answer.

I'm referring to questions that have well articulated and well researched answers that the user who asks the question comments on, saying it was helpful, then never actually selecting an answer.

With the way reputation locks several features from new users (chat, edits, comments, etc.) I would think that not earning valuable rep from answering questions would be off-putting to new users who are actually trying to make contributions and go somewhere in the community.

What can be done about this as a whole?

Edit: I am not referring to the user never returning, I am referring to the impact it has on other users who invest time and resources into finding an answer only to have their efforts wasted.

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    Not a whole lot. We can't make them come back, if they don't want to. – Ash May 1 '14 at 20:44
  • @AshleyNunn I edited the question to be more clear of my concerns. It's not so much about the user not returning. It's about the people who invest time and resources into answering the questions of these users who then never give credit or select an answer when they've even acknowledged that the answer helped them. – Mkalafut May 1 '14 at 20:46
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    @Mkalafut - If the answer is good, it will get upvotes, and upvotes are worth 2/3 of a checkmark. It's not like you are missing out on anything if the checkmark never appears. – au revoir May 1 '14 at 20:48
  • Other stack exchanges have this same issue. It seems that so far the majority here doesn't seem to care but I figured I would bring it up anyway since myself among a ton of other love using this site to both seek and share knowledge. When people sign up, ask a question, and peace out, it affects just about everyone except for the OP. But I figured I'd make a mention of this and see what the consensus was in this SE. – Mkalafut May 1 '14 at 20:51
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    Stop focusing on accepts. An accepted answer that ends up outdated at some point is potentially more harmful than having no accepted answer at all. – user98085 May 1 '14 at 20:52
  • Getting downvoted for trying to improve the site. Oh the irony. I'll just leave this here and see myself out. meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/5040/… – Mkalafut May 1 '14 at 20:52
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    @Mkalafut Remember, votes work different on meta - here, downvotes are often used to say "I don't agree with this proposal". – Ash May 1 '14 at 20:54
  • @AshleyNunn Thanks for at least explaining that to me. This is my first meta post and I'm on the verge of just deleting it since it appears that I'm the only one that sees an issue here. – Mkalafut May 1 '14 at 20:56
  • @Mkalafut No problem. I know sometimes it can be hard to adjust to the differences between the main site and meta. Never be afraid to make a meta post, if you have a concern. :) – Ash May 1 '14 at 20:57
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    Much of it tends to be: User posts wildly off-topic/unclear/other close-worthy reason question, someone comments what needs to be be done to reopen it, user leaves in a huff, we edit question anyways, and reopen. The point isn't to earn rep; it's to make the internet a better place. – Frank May 1 '14 at 23:35
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The only thing that is missing is the +15 of the accept - people will still upvote good content, and answerers will still be rewarded in some format, even if the asker never ever comes back and never selects an answer.

Remember, the asker is not the only person these answers are for - it has been proven time and time again that creating awesome content will be rewarded, even if the OP never comes back to accept an answer. Acceptances are not the be all and end all of site content. :)

The whole point of Stack Exchange is to make the internet more awesome and fill it with excellent content, and just because the poster doesn't come back, doesn't mean that there is no point to posting stuff for other people to discover. As the badges for question views and the like show, many other people than just the OP views and interacts with our content, which in turn, gives badges/rep to the people who contribute. :)

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At the end of the day, if they're good questions underneath the garbage, we can clean up the writing and answer them. If the answer was helpful, maybe they'll come back; and if they don't, well, it's there for google and it makes the Internet a little bit better. Y'know, just like any other question. I'm not sure why any special treatment or notice is called for.

What we don't need to do is adjust or compromise our standards to let garbage through, just because it was posted (functionally) anonymously.

  • Question has been edited. – Mkalafut May 1 '14 at 20:45

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