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This is a follow-up to this post.

We currently have 6022 unanswered questions + some others with zero score answers.

In order to find ideas, I propose that we post ideas here on how to reduce the zombie count. The most popular ones could be tried.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Personally I feel that we should focus on getting more active users. I've read the ideas below and would be happy to support some of them (lurk in a chat room if anyone need Python help. Or put my rep on the line as the monthly reward.) But I still hold my view from my answer on the linked post. I think focusing on zombie cleanup before we've got more active users will only worsen the situation in the long run. \$\endgroup\$ – Peilonrayz Aug 22 at 14:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Why is there no "zombie"-tag on meta? Oh well, I guess "unanswered-questions" will have to do. \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Forsberg Aug 22 at 14:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Peilonrayz I'm sure that having new active users would help, but that seems like a pretty big problem to tackle. I feel like we'll have active users by making them feel welcomed when they arrive here and I'm already doing what I can towards this, which makes me think targeting the zombie problem now isn't a bad idea. Until we have good ideas to attract more active users, I believe we should try to work to reduce the unanswered questions count \$\endgroup\$ – IEatBagels Aug 22 at 14:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @IEatBagels I would further discuss our disagreement. But I'll probably get moaned at that I'm abusing comments. :/ \$\endgroup\$ – Peilonrayz Aug 22 at 14:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Peilonrayz We're in meta, I think it's worth a try :p Worst case scenario, it'll be moved to a chatroom where we could continue \$\endgroup\$ – IEatBagels Aug 22 at 14:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SimonForsberg We could always create one. \$\endgroup\$ – Mast Aug 23 at 5:39
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Vote to close zombies which should be closed. That makes it easier to find the ones which could be answered.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Higher attendance in the review queues would be highly appreciated as well. \$\endgroup\$ – Mast Aug 23 at 5:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ Please be aware that close votes have the same standard even if the user hasn't been around for years. Don't fall into the trap of thinking no-one will be affected by the close vote so you can be less lenient or you can aimlessly follow others that have VTC. \$\endgroup\$ – Peilonrayz Aug 23 at 22:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Peilonrayz That's a trap that won't catch me twice. \$\endgroup\$ – dfhwze Aug 24 at 9:55
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The Walking Dead Prison : If you haven't watched Walking Dead, don't go past season 1 (citation needed), because the season two is loonnnggg. In the season 3, they end up in a prison where they need to work together to kill zombies are survive.

We could have a chat room specifically for zombie killing. The reasoning behind this is :

  1. We have zombies that are plain hard. Difficult topic or very long posts, reviewing those alone is rough.

  2. There are plenty of very interesting questions with interesting topics I'd like to review but just don't feel knowledgeable enough to do so (Think, I know stuff about OOP, would like to learn stuff about... video games, there's a question about a video game that wants to be more OOP. Being paired with someone who's good in video game stuff but would like to learn about OOP would be a great scenario)

  3. Say there are some C++ questions I could give review ideas on, but I don't know C++ enough to be sure my reviews are good. In this chatroom, people would team up to kill difficult zombies.

Sure, there'd be the question of who gets the reputation, but once again I'm sure we could find solutions to those specific problems (I don't mind not getting rep if I can learn something, for example, or if I feel like I'm doing less work than the other)

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think #1 could be a category for itself. These questions are not bad but often requiring a lot of effort to answer. Killing them would definitely mean clarifying many things and some authors are not always willing to cooperate when constantly asked for more information. In this case I opt for @PeterTaylor's suggestion of simply closing them. \$\endgroup\$ – t3chb0t Aug 23 at 5:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ I was thinking more of the well written questions that target a niche subject or that are very long. I'm all in for closing questions where OP didn't give feedback when asked for it \$\endgroup\$ – IEatBagels Aug 23 at 13:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ A chat room is definitely a good idea. I often feel discouraged to review if the question uses technology I am not familiar with (for example, I often just dismiss questions about Qt) \$\endgroup\$ – L. F. Aug 27 at 12:01
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The Rising Dead Challenge : Rising Dead is a video game where you kill plenty of zombies for whichever reason they must explain later than after the 10 first minutes of the game where I decided it wasn't a game for me.

We do a monthly friendly competition about who kills the most zombies. Using an SEDE query I've created (The set date is just as an example, I believe we should start the challenge in the future, say next week or whatever), we rank our killers monthly. We could have prizes but I'd like to believe the honor and glory of winning would be worth it (probably not, maybe we could have some bounties for top 3?). Obviously, some people could try to game the system by not upvoting worthy answers of their peer competitors, but I think we're a community with good faith.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Another thing I fear might happen is that people will try to answer as many questions as possible, maybe try to at least give some advice about naming for that really-tough-unbeatable-zombie, which might not be beneficial in the long run. \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Forsberg Aug 22 at 14:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SimonForsberg You're right that it could reduce the quality of answers. What if, instead of just counting the number of zombies killed, we counted the upvotes per zombie killed (maybe weighted by the language tag, since C#/Java usually attracts more attention than JS/PHP/Python, for example). That might get complicated though. \$\endgroup\$ – IEatBagels Aug 22 at 14:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SimonForsberg you won't believe it but I actually agree with you this time ;-P indeed, ending up with naming-convention-reviews just for the sake of answering zombies would be counterproductive. \$\endgroup\$ – t3chb0t Aug 23 at 5:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ here's another SEDE query from Janos: data.stackexchange.com/codereview/query/412155/ripe-zombies \$\endgroup\$ – dfhwze Aug 23 at 17:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ maybe zombie kills only count when the answer receives 2 or more votes, to avoid low quality answers \$\endgroup\$ – dfhwze Aug 23 at 18:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @dfhwze The problem with this is there are tags that attract less upvotes than others. I think that I have many answers in Python that are more "upvote worthy" than C# ones (One of my highest voted answer is objectively bad, but C#), so it'd be hard to set a good metric. \$\endgroup\$ – IEatBagels Aug 23 at 19:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @IEatBagels Maybe we can hold the competition separately for tags? I think it would be easier to set a good metric for a, say, C#-specific competition than for a general competition \$\endgroup\$ – L. F. Aug 27 at 12:05
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Since gamification is baked into the system: in your own profile, you can choose two badges to track progress towards them: one "normal" badge and one tag badge. (Alternatively you can track a "normal" badge and a privilege).

Pick a tag badge, and then click on it: a little UI element pops up with a button to "Go get it". This opens the corresponding tag page, which you can filter by "Unanswered". This way you can target a badge and kill zombies with the same answer.

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Focus on activity of recent questions

I would focus on actively reviewing, voting, commenting, closing recent questions to avoid creating zombies in the making. As the question count goes up, the percentage of zombies naturally goes down.

That being said, if I find interesting old questions without up-voted answers, I might edit them to get them bumped. And on occasion, I'll include an answer.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ But do you edit them only to bump them? Not that I'm against the idea \$\endgroup\$ – IEatBagels Aug 23 at 13:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @IEatBagels Well, I do add a tag I feel was missing. \$\endgroup\$ – dfhwze Aug 23 at 13:20
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The Photo SE Electric Boogaloo : Now this is kind of far fetched, but Photo SE has a Photo of the Week thing.

We could maybe ask StackExchange for a similar widget but that would show a small list of zombies, or something like that (I've thought less about this point than others)

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