Perhaps related to the question of improving answered question statistics, what does one do about a question that doesn't have an answer? I.e. it isn't possible within SharePoint?

Example - I asked a question about formatting a DateTime column as a date only in the BCS external entity picker. I've received some useful information - but nothing that actually answers my question. I'm now fairly convinced that there is no elegant solution for this.

It's a fair question, so I'm loathe to just delete it. Will closing it 'answer' it, and is that an appropriate action?

(I don't like leaving it hanging)

3 Answers 3


I think "not possible" is a valid answer as well. I would recommend answering your own question and accepting it. If anyone discovers a solution later, they can always add that information.

P.S. I think since that question has an answer with at least +1, it counts as answered.

  • 2
    Okay, will do. I hadn't thought of 'Not possible' as a valid answer! :)
    – Andy Burns
    Jun 2, 2011 at 7:55

I agree with Kit on the "not possible" as a valid answer but I would recommend of using up-vote to act as a consolation prize to award those who do not fulfill your question but deserve recognition in giving answer as close as possible.

Of course if there are really no answer(s) that can partially-fulfill your question, then I think Kit's suggestion on 'answering your own question' will sure help the community as a whole.

For your consideration.

  • 1
    +1 as consolation prize :) Sep 13, 2011 at 13:00
  • I would definitely give someone +1 if their answer is helpful, but I would be careful with the "consolation prize" mentality. If their answer is incorrect or is not useful, then don't vote it up.
    – Kit Menke
    Sep 13, 2011 at 14:57
  • Thanks Vedran for your +1. Yes, I agree with you Kit that for incorrect or not useful answer, one should not vote it. I would also suggest that community who find incorrect or not useful answer to give comment to that particular user rather than immediately posting a 'vote-down'. This is to help that particular user by letting him/her know that his/her answer is not quite useful or incorrect and probably he/her can change his/her answer or delete the answer. Sep 14, 2011 at 1:02
  • Sometime, I saw vote-down question / answer but no explanation was given & that question / answer does not totally deserve a vote-down. So, for my opinion, I would not vote-down a question or answer as it does not help that particular user and the community as a whole. I would rather add comment to ask for more information or give my suggestion. Let make the community a better place to live. :) Sep 14, 2011 at 1:04
  • For the question, um, in question, I did upvote the reply I did get - it was good, and useful to know, but didn't quite solve it for my need. But like I said, I think the problem might be unsolvable.
    – Andy Burns
    Sep 14, 2011 at 8:18

Probably we can have similar rating system like those in the wikipedia, in addition to the existing voting system. For each article inside wikipedia, reader can rate the article in term of trustworthy, objective, complete and well-written using a scale of 1 to 5.

In our case, each question and each answer will have a rating in term of the following:
[1] Completeness - Is the question / answer provided sufficient information? (Is the question clear enough? Is the answer completely answer the question?)
[2] Well-Written - Is the question / answer well-written? (Does it contain too many spelling errors?) [3] Trustworthy - Does the links inside the question / answer workable? (Does the links provided point to wrong information or the very useful?)

The rating can also include a comment field in which user can provide how to improve the question / answer and it also add points to the user as describe below:
[1] For rating below 3, no points awarded
[2] For rating of 3, 1 or 2 points awarded
[3] For rating of 4, 3 or 4 points awarded
[4] For rating of 5, which is the best rating, 5 or 10 points awarded.
The points are awarded given that there are comment included.

Notice that the rating system did not deduct any points from user. Why? - the reason is simple - to encourage people to help each other and not shy away or scare of being deducted of points. It encourage active communication and help the whole community to evolve in a positive manner, thus building a warmly, active and positive community.

For your consideration. Suggestions and comments are warmly welcome.

  • The feeling of loss and gain in reputation is an important motivator for giving the site a focus on quality. I think it has to hurt or feel good a little to make a difference to the way people write their posts, and that creates positive outcomes. People shouldn't be taking a few numbers on the internet personally and I haven't seen any evidence that they are on this site... (Willing to be shown examples that prove otherwise of course.)
    – Alex Angas
    Sep 16, 2011 at 10:11

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