Currently, there are 960 questions with no upvoted answers on the main site. Of those:

  • around 800 are more than a month old.
  • 710 have no answer at all.
  • more than 400 questions are of score 0 or less.

Additionally, Android-SE has a 85% answer rate which puts us squarely in the lowest percentile (around 70th place out of 84).

I hope I'm not alone thinking that something needs to be done to improve the situation. What other sites are doing:

  • The guys over at TeX-SE hold regular "Answer the Unanswered" sessions that are quite structured and efficient. Questions are answered, deleted, merged etc. as necessary. The site manages to keep the unanswered volume around 200 regardless of the growth TeX-SE has experienced recently. I'd venture that something like 30-50 questions are dealt with in every session. See the chat session to get an idea how it works.

  • We do something similar on Travel-SE -- there is a somewhat irregular "Answer-a-thon" sessions that are scheduled a week or so in advance in chat.

I think we can do something similar on our own, depending on high-rep users and mods time constraints. I'd say a whole-day, drop-in session, held once per month in the weekend. I think we should be focusing most on the following:

  • Closing old unanswered questions with weird device issues. Set some limit of say 2 months since last user intervention on the question. Decrease this for low-rep users that haven't visited the site for a long period -- say a month or so, or have only this one question. Reason for close would be most often "too localized".
  • Finding duplicates, or creating artificially ones -- for example, hunting down OS upgrade information for devices we don't currently list in the "When will my device receive the X upgrade".

What do you guys think? Some further suggestions?

  • 1
    There are a lot of questions that seem valid but are very difficult to answer without having the same phone/issue. I'd be hesitant to close these unless they're old and abandoned, as you note, but also I'd want to make sure that we have a consensus that that's the best thing to do. – Matthew Read Feb 24 '12 at 16:54
  • I like the idea, but I also know that unanswered, un-upvoted questions like these are also auto-deleted after some time. I wouldn't to interfere with that. A crap question that no one is interested in deserves to be deleted. – ale Feb 24 '12 at 23:42
  • @AlEverett Here are the exact criteria for automatic deletion: meta.stackexchange.com/a/82408. – Adam Lear Feb 26 '12 at 2:59

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