We have a bunch of oldish (well, old for us :) ) questions that have:

  • One vote
  • Zero answers


  • Insufficient details on the question for anyone to take a reasonable stab at them
  • OR Too broad a compass
  • OR The questioner hasn't responded to requests for clarification

Dates they were originally asked range from Oct 23 to Nov 3.

Is there any harm in leaving them open (other than they they clutter up the Unanswered questions screen? Or should we be reviewing them?


We have a very small community at the moment that we hope to grow significantly. I say wait until we have many more people.

Stackoverflow has unanswered unupvoted questions from Dec 2009, so i think we could wait before doing anything.


90% answered is a healthy beta, 80% answered needs some work. We are at 98%.

I say it looks OK. But no harm looking again.

  • 1
    I'm not bother about having unanswered questions. I'm bothered about having bad unanswered questions. – user104 Dec 1 '12 at 19:44
  • @ColeValleyGirl Thanks for the clarification. – Ash Dec 1 '12 at 20:09
  • 3
    I endorse the sentiment but suggest that "unanswerable question" is a nicer term than "bad" for a question that is not yet in a form that will attract a good answer. And I freely admit that we will find some of them are so "bad" that they cannot be fixed and will need (eventually) to be closed. – Fortiter Dec 2 '12 at 2:07
  • @Fortiter, fair point - thank you. – user104 Dec 2 '12 at 10:33

One sub-category that I would argue for immediate removal involves questions where advice has been given (but not accepted) on providing additional context for example.

If the person who asked the question has been "seen" on the site (as per their profile) since the comments were posted but has not responded, then we can reasonably infer that the additional information is not available; and hence that the question can not be salvaged.

https://genealogy.stackexchange.com/q/1916 is an example of this type (but by no means the only one).

  • Should this be immediate removal, or give the original poster some further time, as they may be considering advice. – Those Legs Dec 3 '12 at 5:18
  • I vote give them more time. Casual users are encouraged. They might not have come back. Or they might have come back and decided to ignore the advice. Ignoring the advice should not be grounds for removal. – Duncan Dec 26 '12 at 16:46

I've closed a few of the questions that fall into the categories that ColeValleyGirl mentioned. Simply put, in these cases, the OP had not yet responded to requests for clarification, narrowed the range of the question, or added more details.

If somebody improves on them or the OP responds, I or ColeValleyGirl will most likely re-open them. Don't forget that users of 500+ rep can also vote reopen a question. When these questions are fixed, they will be reopened.

  • Not saying it shouldn't have been closed, but in the case of Fortiter's example (see below) the poster did her best to and split question up. See her profile. – GeneJ Dec 19 '12 at 23:35
  • Read your comment there. The OP didn't provide references for her information (e.g. 1920 census). When the OP provides the details requested, I'll be more than happy to reopen. – American Luke Dec 19 '12 at 23:39
  • I'll try to add a comment to that effect on closed question? I've seen Robert Cartaino add comments on close and have assumed they were helpful, especially to those just starting out or those new to StackExchange. – GeneJ Dec 20 '12 at 11:53

You must log in to answer this question.