I don't like to leave questions open for so long it looks dead, but I want people to still think that I want more feedback and I can't find a good middle ground. Any opinions?
Realistically, as long, or short, as you want
I have seen:
- Users accepting an answer as soon as it's gone up.
- Users never accepting an answer.
- Users accepting an answer, and then never visiting the site again.
- Users accepting an answer, and then accepting a new answer.
- Users accepting an answer, and then accepting a different, already existing, answer.
What I think is best
Wait at least 2 days from the time you got your last answer.
Don't accept straight away.
I believe that many answerers don't click on posts with accepted answers with the aim to answer the post. This is because the OP has signalled that they have gotten all they want from the post. And so accepting too early harms your chances of getting more or better answers.
Don't accept x days after you posted your question.
Posting and editing, both questions and answers, bump a question to the homepage. This effectively allows more clicks on your post, where more clicks means a higher chance of getting an answer. Even if it's been 2 years since you posted a question, there's the chance that someone sees it on the homepage and decides to write a better answer.
Don't wait 1 day after the last answer.
A user is likely to edit their post for a couple of hours. And some may edit their answer the next day. Meaning that your post will be on the homepage for a while. Rather than tracking edits, keeping a "eh 2 days from a ping" is easier.
What if I wait 7 days from the last answer?
That's fine, 7 days is better than never. It's also likely that no-one else was likely to answer the post.
What if I wait 1 year from the last answer?
Whilst the reputation of the user is likely to increase, the user may not be around to see the accept. And so won't be able to see how much you liked their answer more than any other.