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I have been trawling through this site for a while, and I often go to answer questions that already have a more than acceptable answer, only the person that asked the question either doesn't deem it a good enough answer, or maybe simply doesn't come back to the site to accept the answer.

I realize the accept % is here to try to enforce people to accept answered questions, but could there be a way to automatically promote the highest rated answer to an answer should the question be inactive too long? Or maybe just include the highest voted answer in the quickview aswell?

The reason is that a question could have a great answer only people searching for a similar answer may not see it at first.

Thanks,

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Really the only person who can know that, for a particular question, an answer has helped solve their problem is the question asker. We try to encourage people to mark questions as accepted, but there's no way to force a question as accepted (as far as I know).

For the rest of the community, voting is the way to express this. The default sorting algorithm puts highest voted answers near the top, so people searching for something should, in theory, find the answer they are looking for.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Indeed, but it's a shame that a highly voted answer to a question that has no accepted answer is not immediately visible from the question list... Is there no way to do this? \$\endgroup\$ – Jonathan Connell Jun 8 '11 at 15:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ What do you mean by "visible from the question list"? Questions with answers with upvotes have the number of answers in green. Questions with an accepted answer have the number of answers on a green background. \$\endgroup\$ – Tetrad Jun 8 '11 at 15:48
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Don't ever hesitate to add a great new answer to an older question:

  • new answers always bump the question, which means more people will see the question and your new answer.
  • if it's a good answer, the community will always upvote it, regardless of how old the question is.

However, this assumes the original question is interesting enough for the community to click on in some way -- if it's a really bad question (title, etc) or an extremely obscure topic. Thus, I would "punch up" the question with an edit1 as well when answering. This maximizes the chances of people seeing both a good question and your great new answer.

win-win!

1 below 2k rep, your edits will go into a suggestion queue, but everything here is editable by design.

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