1

Full question: Can What should I do when someone answers my question? be improved by suggesting the OP provide clarification and guidance when the existing answers are not satisfactory?

In an answer to a recent Meta question (Why are users not being more actively guided to accept?), I proposed linking to the above-referenced Help article as a comment to new question users who ask a question and then act like a lump on a log (no up or down voting, no accepting of an answer, etc.).

The referenced Help item leaves out something important, in my opinion. I think it should include guidance on what to do if you are not satisfied with the posted answers. Here is a first draft for an addition, which could be inserted right after "Wait until you receive an answer that answers your question well":

If your question does not get answered to your satisfaction, you can edit your question to try to make it clearer. For example, you could provide more context to your question. You might be able to improve the formatting. Spell-checking your question might make it easier for others to understand what you are trying to find out.

Edit 10/10/16:

Alternatively, a link could be added to another existing Help article: "What should I do if no one answers my question?"

  • 2
    Actually, an edit that changes the question's meaning after the question got answers is discouraged. I would not add a sentence saying the OP can edit the question to make it clear, if it doesn't also say which edits should be avoided. It doesn't seem users need to know that, though, since they already edit their questions. – kiamlaluno Oct 10 '16 at 7:55
  • 1
    I think that you're misinterpreting "answers your question" to mean "posts what SE calls an answer" instead of "posts something that answers your question (to your satisfaction)". If you look at the accepting an answer link in the article, the link from the accepted answer article back to the what to do article says "When a user receives a good answer...". I don't think we need an entire paragraph there, although I can see how "answers your question" might need to be clarified. – ColleenV Oct 10 '16 at 11:40
  • Also instead of writing our own paragraph about what to do if none of the answers are suitable, we should just use the same link that the "accepting an answer" article uses: Accepting Answers: How does it work? – ColleenV Oct 10 '16 at 11:44
  • @ColleenV - Well, specifically, what do you think a concerned community member should give, as a comment, when there has been no action for some time from someone who posts a question? If handwritten, what text to do you suggest or find acceptable? If a link or two, which ones? How much time do you think needs to go by before it is appropriate for a concerned community member to contribute such a comment? – J. Doe Oct 10 '16 at 14:30
  • How you want to phrase your comment is up to you. I personally don't think we need change the help center text, but if the community wants to, I will figure out how to make that happen. – ColleenV Oct 10 '16 at 17:15
  • @ColleenV - I looked at your suggested link, " Accepting Answers: How does it work" and I think it's way too messy for a beginner to wade through. Question: how many days do you think one should wait before making any suggestions? – J. Doe Oct 11 '16 at 3:14
  • I've already stated that I think looking at days/hours is the wrong way to go about it. – ColleenV Oct 11 '16 at 11:47
  • @ColleenV The page linked in the question cannot be changed by moderators. It is changed by Community Managers at network level. Single sites cannot have their own version of that page. As moderator, you can just edit ell.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic. – kiamlaluno Oct 13 '16 at 11:54
  • 1
    @kiamlaluno Yes, I'm aware, which is why I said that I would figure it out instead of do it ;) It isn't carved into stone, so while it may be difficult to get it changed, if our community felt strongly that it should be changed, I would try to make it happen. You don't really know what's possible until you ask the right person the right question. That said, I don't see much interest among the community around this issue. – ColleenV Oct 13 '16 at 13:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .