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Looking for opinions on bringing back the participant-close feature (inactive system)

Hi Folks,

Abandoned questions have been an issue at Experts Exchange for a long time. A couple of years ago, EE put in place a "participant-close" feature where participants in a question would receive a "Help Close" notification for any question that was inactive for 14 days.

I thought this method worked well, allowing members to close questions that were abandoned. I did not see members favoring their own answers, i.e., for the most part, participants were fair in picking the solutions. Any participant who disagreed with the closing could object, whereupon a civil, professional exchange could occur, hopefully leading to an agreement by all participants. It may not have been a perfect system, but it was very good, imo.

EE shut down the participant-close feature (aka "inactive system") a few months ago (first bullet point in the 17 September 2018, Release Notes). As a result, abandoned questions are no longer closed, and members who have spent time answering them no longer receive points, even when the answers are spot-on (unless someone marks a post as "This is the solution", which is rare in my experience). While there's an inclination to think that only new, inexperienced members abandon questions, this is simply not the case. For example, I participated in a question that has been abandoned for more than four months by a Savant who has been an EE member for 20+ years, and is still very active on the site...not exactly a newbie. :)

The Release Note that announced the "Inactive system shut down" said that "This coincides with the Expert Beta being launched." That seems to imply that the "Expert Beta" would provide the same or similar functionality as the "Inactive system", but as far as I can tell, that's not the case, unless I'm missing how an Expert can (1) object to a "This is the solution" selection (rare as that may be) and (2) mark his/her own comment as a solution (I see how to do it for the comments of others), which is especially problematic when only one Expert participated. Or are we supposed to use an RA to object to a solution selection or to close a question where we think the solution is our own post(s)?

Looking forward to your thoughts. Regards, Joe
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Rank: Prodigy

Author Comment

Gustav's bug report today speaks to this issue:
https://www.experts-exchange.com/bugs/23610/Miss-the-close-question-option.html
Regards, Joe
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Rank: Prodigy

Expert Comment

Gustav Brock2018-12-22 07:53 AMID: 2448705
To return to Joe's original message, to me it is not a matter of a question being closed or not, but been answered.

That's what we could do, even split among several answers. That's the feature I miss.
No reason to block the question from future comments.
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Rank: Prodigy

Author Comment

No reason to block the question from future comments.
I agree, and that was the case with the participant-close/inactive-system feature. You couldn't get points for it (fine by me), but you could post comments after it closed. In fact, that has always been the case, as far as I know. Regards, Joe
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Expert Comment

Modalot2018-12-24 05:57 AMID: 2448875
Answered is the issue - for at least half of the questions you cannot tell whether the topic is really answered. You might think so, but the OP does not - justified or not.

So it boils down to:
(1) whether we think a question is sufficiently answered to make sense for other members. The good ol'e PAQ is of questionable interest. Not saying no one uses it nowadays, but it has been definitely different in the days you had to really pay for points. Since asking is free for members (who pay just for membership, not per question/points they give out), and the assumed motif of wanting to have my own question answered.

(2) getting points for having answered or significantly contributed to a potential solution.
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Expert Comment

Modalot2018-12-24 06:03 AMID: 2448876
Joe, questions have been closed against further commenting in some releases of EE. IIRC, pre 2010 you could not post with exception of the OP. Then it has been closed after (say) 30 days, and at some time not at all as is now the case. As said, that changed several times.
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Expert Comment

Modalot2018-12-24 06:14 AMID: 2448878
Big Monty,
whoever has a label like "Verified Expert", "Trusted Expert" aso. is already verified to have some knowledge, and will stay a member able to answer questions without limitations.

New members without any qualification (like MVP or other commonly accepted certificants) and those without any accountable contribution are going through a review.

Main point is to set the barrier higher and keep the spammers away; real experts shall not be obstructed to contribute, of course.
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