I see so many questions in this forum that are answered but the OP doesn't mark it as answered. Should we comment to the OP, please mark a question as answered if you feel you have a solution?
1If the author of a question does not want to accept tn answer that is their choice. I personally would ignore any requests to accept an answer, when I choose to ask a question, I will accept an answer on my own schedule.– RamhoundOct 22, 2015 at 11:38
Marking off a question as having an answer is a part of the moderation process that is so obvious people tend to overlook it.
If the question/answer thread is still active and I catch a scenario where someone has not only answered a question but even states that in the comments I will make an effort to leave a comment that says, “If the answer solved your problem you should check it off as such…”
When something like this happens to me personally, I also encourage the original poster to check off the answer as the final answer. I feel a bit weird asking them to do that, but honestly some people don’t understand this community is not a chatroom or message forum and need prodding to “get it.”
While I’m not obsessed with earning reputation points, if the whole purpose of this site is to foster great questions and answers, then users should use the system in place to close that circle of knowledge by giving an official answer the stamp of approval. It ensures that the “unanswered question” queue is not filled with items that have answers but are simply not closed. And it ensures any future visitors to the question/answer thread can clearly see which solution worked for the user. Without that, this site just becomes another forum site.
And another aspect of this issue is quality. A lot of “late answers” come from users who see a question does not have an official answer and then hastily post something to earn reputation points. Most of the time these late answers are useless, redundant or a combination of both. As someone who patrols the “late” queue, I spend more time filtering through supposedly “unanswered” questions that clearly have answers than dealing with anything else.
1I also spend most of time reviewing those late answers. The recent increase in reputation from 50 to 100 to avoid that queue has not helped. It seems content is still being put in there from that change.– RamhoundOct 23, 2015 at 12:25
1@Ramhound Didn’t know about that change. Odd it doesn’t affect things. Still do believe marking an answer as answered is the best way to “shoo” away tons of useless extra answers. Oct 23, 2015 at 12:33
That rarely works in my experience. To be clear they increase the required reputation NOT to be reviewed from 50 to 100. Which means every answer from people with 51-99 reputation points is shoved into the review. Even though the change is weeks old I still find new (old) answers in the queue for some reason. Forgot to mention I agree with the answer.– RamhoundOct 23, 2015 at 12:39
@Ramhound Yeah, I mean… He has 20 years experience and spent time validating his email to get an account as well to repost the 4th answer to state the exact same thing. Oct 23, 2015 at 12:40
No we should not. Of all the things that would be unnessisary noise, that would qualify as it. I would prefer to see accolades and "this solved it for me" and other things that are deemed undesirable on this site, than to see begging, prodding, and in-so-much fake accepting What to do with answers to abandoned questions?
If people stick around, because they feel welcomed, they will eventually mark 95% of answered things accepted. If people are not sticking around, or not accepting answers, some of it could be a larger problem. Any cause unrelated is not fixed by its effect.
Assuming the OP's even around. Typically though here's what I'd do.
Upvote great answers, especially if it helped. If you can improve on it a bit without changing the spirit of the answers, do it. Commenting on the answer might be an option depending on the circumstances.
When you have more reputation consider bounties for exceptional answers. I wouldn't recommend overdoing it at your reputation level though.