Please do.

More specifically, I have not noticed very many questions with accepted answers. I do not know the exact percentages or whether the percentage here is better or worse than other sites, but qualitatively, it seems like few answers are being accepted.

It does encourage those who answer questions when you acknowledge their answer by accepting it, if it is the best answer to your question (in your opinion). So, go accept some answers today! (At least if the discussion seems to be over regarding the question.)

  • Just to note, you can monitor some basic stats over at the Area 51 proposal page, which brings other facts to face - the site is still very immature right now but I'm sure it will gain some momentum. May 3, 2011 at 22:56
  • for the time being, I have been more struck by the cases of very shallow and too quickly accepted answers together in a list with more upvoted, detailed or more thoughtful answers.
    – ogerard
    May 4, 2011 at 6:27
  • 1
    at the time of this comment: 122 questions, 46 with accepted answers, so more than 37% accepted and if you count only the 100 questions we had before public beta you would have arrived close to 50%. I believe this is quite high, and as Matthew Read says, I am more concerned by the voting distribution. Voting is essential to reinforce good behavior and adhesion to the site.
    – ogerard
    May 4, 2011 at 6:33

1 Answer 1


Accepting answers is completely optional.

The question owner is not required to accept an answer to their question. We view accepting an answer as a simple social convention, a little informal “thank you” between the asker and answerer, a virtual tip o’ the hat to that person whose response, as the question owner, you personally found the most helpful.

That doesn’t mean the community will agree with your choice. But as the question owner, it is your choice to make.

The default sort order is “votes” for a reason. Normally, the best answer will automatically float to the top through community voting. This is important because we expect a lot of our question askers to be drive-bys, programmers who ask a single question, get the answer they need (or don’t), and are never seen again. This is intentional and by design.

From http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2008/11/why-cant-i-accept-my-own-answer

Basically, voting is extremely important. Accepting answer is great, but we shouldn't be pushing users to do it if they're not ready.

For myself, I haven't yet encountered answers to my questions that I consider fully answering the question. Accepting an answer at this point would be premature, and would potentially discourage other answerers.

Keep in mind we have very few active users. We only went into public beta today! As we gain more users, we will gain more and better answers, and the number of accepted answers will go up accordingly.

  • 1
    I agree that accepting answers prematurely is not good (squelching discussion) and that, if complete answers are not forthcoming, no answer should be accepted. I follow those rules myself on StackOverflow (I have not asked any questions on Music). The intent of my post was to encourage accepting answers when it makes sense to do so. A close second would be to comment on answers so that everyone knows what remains unclear to the original poster. I don't think this encouragement is the same as pushing users to accept answers without being ready.
    – Andrew
    May 4, 2011 at 1:30
  • 1
    That entire post is about why you can't accept your answer to your question, which is no longer true. May 4, 2011 at 16:55
  • @BlueRaja If you'd like, I can pull up other places where Jeff says the exact same thing. Accepting answers is optional regardless of whether it's your own answer.
    – user28
    May 4, 2011 at 17:01
  • 1
    Even though I've been around for a while, I haven't seen that quoted text yet. Thanks, @Matthew. May 8, 2011 at 21:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .