I was just looking at the list of Stack Exchange sites and noticed that WPSE has the lowest percentage of answered questions (besides StackApps): 79%.
Does that just mean that we get the highest number of drive-by askers?
I think one of the reasons for this is there are 3 different types of Wordpress users:
User A: has setup a WP blog and is getting along fine just dropping in plugins and themes, however, he actually knows nothing about PHP and only very little about HTML/CSS. As soon as a plugin goes wrong or doesn't do something he needs to do, he asks a question.
User B: Is a web developer, only uses WP as the majority does (he could make own platform but no need to re-invent the wheel). User B can easily answer user A's questions as they are simple. However the WP core is complicated and messy, and User B does not have the time/need to delve into the core. User B asks question regarding core functions and custom plugins which only very advanced users could answer...
User C: Is a die-hard WP developer, as much as a developer as User B, but specialises in WP and knows a lot of the core and hooks off by heart, maybe he's has his own plugin. User C rarely asks questions and can answer User A and B's questions with little research, but they are few and far between.
Sadly, the issue with this branch of SE is that user A is the majority due to the low entry level of Wordpress.
Would an increase in moderation help tidy this up and encourage a larger audiance to participate? How do the other stack sites deal with,
Lately I have noticed when I click a question I often have no idea what the person is asking.
Maybe we need something like this for WPSE, http://blog.superuser.com/2011/05/02/how-to-get-answers/
I guess the question is, would the more experienced users become more involved if there was less fluff and more interesting stuff. And how do the other stacks deal with this.
I think that, given our scope, we will have to accept that we will get a higher percentage of users who are "drive-by" - who ask one question, and then never return. Such users would naturally be less likely to mark an answer as "accepted".
Of more concern are users with multiple questions and corresponding low (or zero) accept rate. Those users should be expected to learn the WPSE MO, or should have subsequent questions ignored.
I'm sure this question/problem isn't unique to WPSE. How do other SE communities handle it?
Some ideas (mostly for brainstorming purposes; I don't know if any are particularly good or bad ideas):
Prevent users with a certain threshold of questions asked, and a certain threshold of questions without accepted answers, from asking additional questions. (Basically: force users to mark some answers as accepted before being allowed to ask more questions.)
I'm not sure this will work; it may very well just encourage users to mark arbitrary answers as "accepted" in order to ask additional questions.
Also, this can be self-policed by users, simply by refusing to post answers to questions from users with such low accept rates.
Mark answers as auto-accepted if they have a certain threshold of upvotes, after a certain period of time.
This could work, if the right threshold is established (eg. an answer with 10 upvotes has a fairly high likelihood of being correct).
Require higher reputation, or casting a certain number of upvotes, before being allowed to ask a question.
These would perhaps help ensure that a user understands the nature of WPSE before asking a question.
Consider Plugin- or Theme-specific support questions as out-of-scope.
This would cut down on the drive-by support questions, and would encourage more universally beneficial questions/answers.
Stop migrating questions from other SE sites to WPSE.
I notice that most migrated questions end up abandoned by the asker, perhaps due to the user/profile segregation between SE sites. (Really: who wants to register to multiple sites, and follow his or her question as it gets migrated from site to site?)
I am not sure which definition of "answered" that table is using, there are two definitions of unanswered:
There are different issues that contribute to these piling up:
as I heard WPSE attracts a lot of people new to network. This means less upvotes and accepts from them.
a lot of questions, especially plugin and theme related, are very specific ("how do I do X in plugin Y?"). If they are simple they are usually about relatively obscure plugin/theme. If they are complex they are about something like bbPress/BuddyPress and we are still lacking in experts on those.
"unanswered" section is obscure in interface and we don't have enough people looking at it.
I think Stack Overflow site tries to deal with some of this by having personalized home page that feeds you questions that need answer and in line with your interests. But it's been implemented while back and doesn't seem to be extended to other sites in network.