I was looking at some of my answers on ELL, and I feel that I'm experiencing a slightly worrying trend in that, there doesn't seem to be enough sustained interest from the OP to answers on his/her question. Take the following examples:

In the above examples, the OP poses a question, and has people respond to it. However, there is no longer any input from the OP thereafter, they seem to have just disappeared; no upvotes/downvotes, no accepted answer, and no comments voicing their thoughts on the provided responses. As a result, the person answering the question has no idea whether the OP is satisfied with their answer or not. This likely also has an effect on future visitors to the question; uncertainty could arise as to the validity of the responses. What is more, it's discouraging to those providing answers, as there seems to be no reward for their labour. What do you think can be done about this?

Please be assured that I'm not using my answers as an example because I feel that they are fantastic answers worthy of many upvotes; I'm simply using them as worthy examples.


2 Answers 2


If it's concerning to you, you may want to follow Dan's advice and look for the qualities of those sorts of questions and avoid spending too much time on them. Usually, the more effort someone has put into their question, the more likely they will be to appreciate good answers to it and up-vote or accept appropriately. If there is some part of the question that could use clarification, leaving a comment for the asker can be a good way to judge if they are still engaged with their question.

If you stop answering those sorts of questions, you stop rewarding the folks asking them, and they may start getting more involved with their questions. You may want to read over the discussion DO NOT FEED THE BEARS. Keep in mind that lower quality questions can be interesting questions, but if the person asking isn't willing to put in some effort to make them better, chances are your efforts to answer the question won't be well rewarded.

  • That's good advice thanks. Yeah I agree that there does seem to exist a correlation between the quality of the question, and the level of engagement from the part of the OP.
    – Mr Chasi
    Mar 9, 2016 at 15:50

I don't see it as much of a problem.

It isn't just about the OP.People will be viewing these questions for years to come. Their needs might not be exact but it might give them enough to work with. (I am speaking from personal experience here).

Over time votes will get added and the best answer will become evident, even if an answer isn't flagged as a solution.

Personally, I would prefer that an abandoned question gets an answer then goes unanswered. Think of the children!

  • I don't think this is just about an answer being accepted - I think these questions aren't very useful, so the answers don't get much attention and don't get up-voted either by the OP or by other folks. I would rather have that effort spent answering better questions than on questions no-one is interested in, not even the person that asked it.
    – ColleenV
    Mar 15, 2016 at 17:12

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