Here's a common chain of events on SFF.SE:
- a new user posts a story-ID question
- the question gets a few comments from other users
- the OP finds the story they were looking for and says so in a comment
- the OP disappears and never returns to the site.
The end result of all this is a story-ID question whose solution is known and known to be correct, but which has no answer posted to it, let alone an accepted answer.
My suggested solution to this problem is for us, the people who use the site regularly rather than making one-off appearances, to post community-wiki answers to such questions. That way,
- we avoid clogging up the "Unanswered Questions" tab with questions that are answered
- we improve our site by having answers clearly posted rather than buried in the comments
- we set an example for how to write good answers to story-ID questions
- nobody except the OP earns any rep out of the whole business.
Such community-wiki answers should of course be deleted if the OP ever returns to post their own answer. Ideally they should be accompanied by a comment on the question along the lines of:
If you ever come back to the site, please do post this as an answer! It's possible for you to answer your own question and even accept your own answer. Until then, we've turned your comment into a community-wiki answer, just so that this question has an answer.
What are your thoughts on this suggestion?
If you agree wholeheartedly, we can start collecting a list of such questions in order to post CW answers to them.
If you have some reservations (e.g. should we set a fixed waiting time, only doing this if the OP hasn't visited the site for say 6 months?), please post your suggestions.
If you disagree with my suggestion, please let me know why!