The most recent posting of the Unanswered Questions Community Ad by rm -rf lists 349 questions as unanswered. This is nearly 10% of the total questions on the site. Some of the questions are genuinely hard, and that is reflected in the number of votes they have. But, most have 5 votes or less.

I think we should organize a clean-up party to answer the questions that can be answered, prod the OPs as appropriate, and to close those that should be closed. Obviously, some of the tougher questions will likely remain open and unanswered, but there is a lot of low hanging fruit.

  • I have routinely reminded users in chat that we should organize a cleanup/chat event, but there wasn't much enthusiasm for the idea. Most of them are unanswered for good reason (too hard/time consuming/need domain expertise/etc), and people probably get tired hunting for that hidden low fruit. We're only at about 7% unanswered, so not much to worry about...
    – rm -rf Mod
    Jan 9 '13 at 3:00
  • maybe, maybe not. TeX - LaTeX has nearly 8 times the number of questions we have with less than twice the number of unanswered questions.
    – rcollyer
    Jan 9 '13 at 4:15
  • They have regular chat events to hunt down unanswered Qs. Hopefully as a result of this question, we can come up with a more focussed plan than my random reminders in chat. Answer rates can be a hit or miss at times and doesn't have much bearing on the quality f content/speed of answering on the sites. Bicycles & English have 100%, whereas Math, GIS, Android, TCS, etc have ~85%. On the other hand, we don't want it to get too low...
    – rm -rf Mod
    Jan 9 '13 at 4:39
  • 1
    So create a new chatroom for it as a start? Unfortunately lots of questions are boring and too laborious (not difficult).
    – Szabolcs
    Jan 14 '13 at 23:36
  • I view the unanswered rate as a proxy for the level of intellectual challenge involved in participating in a site :-). Of course it's more complicated than that--some sites attract bad or unanswerable questions (stats is prominent among them), for instance--but a very low rate of unanswered questions indicates a field where everything has an answer. Hardly any fun in that...
    – whuber
    Jan 15 '13 at 14:55
  • @whuber I agree there are a lot of hard questions there, and that is a very good thing. But, I suspect there is some low hanging fruit, also. Overall, I'd like to bring the count down by clearing out the low-hanging fruit, and bring some attention to the hard problems.
    – rcollyer
    Jan 15 '13 at 15:39
  • I noticed that there are a good number of "unanswered" questions which really have a comment answer that doesn't get posted as an answer because people don't want to take credit for the commenter's work. We could convert some of these to community wiki answers.
    – Szabolcs
    Jan 26 '13 at 15:22
  • This question is quite old, I wander if this clean-up idea every mature to something. I do agree that there are many old questions that would be good to delete and others worth revisiting to consolidate comments into a wiki-answer. Probably start by the oldest?
    – rhermans
    Oct 18 '14 at 18:08

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