One of Literature's biggest problems, as can be seen even from the Area 51 stats, is the unanswered questions. At the time of writing, we have 138 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers, out of only 575 questions total.1 A very significant proportion of our questions just aren't getting answers - perhaps because not enough people have read the works being asked about, or because those who have miss the question, or because people simply aren't motivated enough.
In an effort to eliminate at least the third reason, and perhaps the second too, I suggest we try to come up with some kind of system to reward people for answering older unanswered questions. The most obvious way to do this would be by a bounty, but I don't think we should narrow attention too much by just starting a bounty on one specific question.
- Perhaps we could compose a list of unanswered questions, and promise to award a bounty every
>- fortnight? month? - to the highest-voted (or a random but positive-scoring) answer to a question from this list. The list would be updated each time a bounty was awarded.
- Perhaps we could decide that an answer would only be eligible if there was a certain time period between the question and the answer, in the spirit of the Revival and Necromancer badges.
A similar idea has been tried on the sister site Movies & TV, where it seems to have been working well.
Of course, for a bounty system we'd need to have a few people willing to give up their rep for this noble cause. I'm happy to be one of them, but not sure if I'd want to be the only one. Perhaps the relative lack of rep so far on this new site means we should wait a while to implement a bounty system, and in the interim come up with some other reward system.
Thoughts? Ideas? Criticisms? Discuss!
1 Please don't keep editing this question as these statistics change. The point stands, regardless of the precise figures.