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So, I tend to like looking at the unanswered questions queue to see what is stumping the group. I opened a random question (this one: What is the easiest/cheapest way to seal/stamp a brand in craft paper?), and discovered that the OP states that a suggestion made in one of the comments answers his/her question.

I have seen other questions where the moderator has suggested that the commenter actually write an answer using the information in their comment, but in this case, the question and comment are more than 6 months old, and if I were the commenter, I would find it odd to receive a message like this after so much time.

But, it also seems inappropriate to keep this question labeled as unanswered. Is there some way to handle this type of question?

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This is something that's been addressed on most of the sites I've been a member of at some point or other.

The only solution, really, is for someone to write an answer. For this you have two options

  1. Ping the commenter and encourage them to write an answer.
    If the person who wrote the comment seems disinclined to do it (say you wait a day or two and they don't write an answer), feel free to write it yourself. Now, it helps if you are familiar with the subject and feel comfortable asserting that the answer is correct.
  2. Just write an answer.
    You don't have to give them the chance to write an answer - they should have done it long ago, so you're not "stealing" if you actually do the work.

That being said, we don't want to just blindly transfer a comment to an answer without any supporting details -links, examples, etc. There's no way to attribute the answer to the person who wrote the comment (other than linking to the comment) so they won't be the one affected by any reputation gains or losses due to the answer's quality.

So, in the case of that question, feel free to poke Matt about posting his comment as an answer if you like. But you can also feel free to just answer the question yourself. Explain that it's a stamp and maybe even do some research to find a couple of sites that make custom stamps as an example.

And, when you're done writing your answer, feel free to flag the comments as obsolete because now there's an answer!


As Erica noted in the comments, which option you start with probably depends on your comfort with the subject and how active a user made the comment. Someone who hasn't been seen in months and just has enough reputation to comment probably doesn't need to be pinged but a user like Matt, one of the top users on the site, should be around and will be more likely to write a full answer.

  • Thanks--I did just ping Matt. I don't think his is the most useful or complete answer, but if he does respond, he might come up with more specifics in his answer. Otherwise, I do know a bit about making rubber stamps, and I can write an answer. – magerber Apr 27 '17 at 20:10
  • It does depend a little bit on the commenter, but Matt's a long-standing, very active member -- so definitely try Option 1 with users like that :) – Erica Apr 27 '17 at 20:36
  • @magerber FYI I didn't get the ping. I noticed this meta just now. I did not get the ping since there was no space between my name and the start of your comment. – Matt Apr 28 '17 at 14:58
  • @Matt I can't see a time when a verbatim comment to answer conversion would be sufficient for an actual answer. Also, use of CW that way is generally discouraged. – Catija Apr 28 '17 at 15:44
  • I see it on SO occasionally with specific users where English is not their first language to they don't feel comfortable answering anything more. Also, use of CW that way is generally discouraged. Hmmm. Didn't know that. Outside of that I understood it to be a collaboration tool for answers like large canonical ones. My suggestion was based on an old MetaSE answer about this topic. Need to find it in case I misunderstood. It could just be outdated sentiment as well. – Matt Apr 28 '17 at 15:49
  • @Matt Thanks for letting me know about the "ping problem." Hopefully this one works better. :-) – magerber Apr 28 '17 at 16:22

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