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I was looking through some of the questions I've answered, and an unsettling amount have:

  • Not accepted an answer
  • Not given extra details to help people answer

In essence, these questions are now dead in the water. Would it be proper ettiquette to post a comment on the question reminding the OP to accept an answer or provide more information? There are a couple questions out there why myself and others have put a nice amount of work to make a well informed and well edited/formatted answer. When the OP doesn't do anything, it's kind of insulting.

I don't mean this from a reputation point of view, but more from a "we are a question and answer site, not just a question site".

Example (I added this comment, does this work?)

26

Yes, it is very proper. Often when I find someone that comments on an answer, saying it fixed it, I tell them to remember to accept it. I don't see why doing this would be improper. Asking them to provide more information is also perfectly acceptable.

  • 12
    It becomes improper when you ask it on every single question you answer or every unanswered you visit. But some gentle nudges to new users are off course no problem – Ivo Flipse Jul 9 '11 at 15:22
  • @Ivo Flipse: How should we know which questions to prod? Right now I have about 20 questions with good answers (not just mine) and absolutely no input from the OP. – n0pe Jul 9 '11 at 15:35
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    I'd see it as the inverse of the acceptance percentage: if you ask for getting your answer accepted 80% of the time, its too much ;-) – Ivo Flipse Jul 9 '11 at 16:31
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    I only tell people to make sure to accept when they have less than 10 rep. – Wuffers Jul 9 '11 at 16:58
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    +1 I do this sometimes, reminding users to comment on answers whether they worked, to provide additional information requested in comments, etc.. Especially if there's more than just my answer, I keep these nudges neutral. I see absolutely no issue with this, as it either is ignored anyway, leads to better questions and answers (through edits and clarification), or marks a question resolved. – Daniel Beck Jul 9 '11 at 17:16
  • @Ivo Lets say a user has 250 rep or so - they've been on here a bit. but then they only have a 20% acceptance rate, or less. Is that acceptable for a little prod? – Simon Sheehan Jul 9 '11 at 22:53
  • @Simon: I most certainly think it is. It's very common to remind people to work on their accept rate. – Wuffers Jul 10 '11 at 1:36
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    @Simon while sometimes a low acceptance rate might be an issue, it's a weak indicator. You really should check the user's questions whether the answers he got are actually useful. – Daniel Beck Jul 10 '11 at 16:52
  • @Mark I'd decide on a case by case basis to nudge a user. While accept ratio might be helpful for you in deciding whether to actually bother with answering a question, it doesn't tell you whether it'd be helpful to remind him to respond to answers. If he has 98% accept ratio, I don't care. Either respond to answers, clarify the question, or accept an answer. – Daniel Beck Jul 10 '11 at 16:54
  • +1 I think it's fine, unless you clearly get in to begging for accepts, implicitly just to gain rep. – James T Snell Jul 11 '11 at 23:22
  • @Ivo: Who does (unobtrusive, polite) comments asking the person to tie up their loose ends hurt? The argument seems to be that it looks unelegant if someone is begging to be accepted, but "begging to be accepted" != "asking poster to accept or give more info". I concur with Wuffers. Is this to be seen as the most authoritative answer and thread on this subject? I tried to follow this and this and got a (kind) response from a mod to stop commenting on old questions in this way. – Daniel Andersson Apr 10 '12 at 14:56
  • Well someone disagreed and flagging your comment and when I looked in your profile, I thought I saw more of these comments. Furthermore, the user has a 93% accept rate, he clearly knows he can accept answers, so I find it rather pointless. Also, just because something is highly upvoted on Meta doesn't mean I have to agree with it. For all I know it was upvoted only by people who want to leave these comments and nobody else bothered to vote. – Ivo Flipse Apr 10 '12 at 15:47
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Within reason, and done respectfully, it can be OK.

As Ivo pointed out, a site full of admonishing comments isn't a good experience for anyone involved.

However, it can be OK to sometimes gently inquire about the status of a question and ask the user if they have anything else to add, and if any of the existing answers were helpful for them.

  • 1
    Should it help to delete the comment after that the answer is accepted or upvoted? – Hastur Nov 13 '15 at 11:48

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