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rpm_pseud0name's avatar

Am I wasting my time with Orphans?

Asked by rpm_pseud0name (8203points) May 2nd, 2010

I am relatively new to Fluther… When I see the orphans page, it makes me sad that no one was able to answer or even comment. So I am undergoing the job of answering every orphan. I’ve gone through about 100 so far. Most of the questions are 3 years old, but I just hate seeing so many pages of unanswered questions. I got a response on one that was 2 years old, that was nice. But I’m getting no lurve & the people who asked the questions haven’t signed into Fluther in 2 years. Should I stop or should I continue this epic journey to get the orphan’s section down to 0? :)

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17 Answers

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Mostly, they’re asked by one time appearance people who usually never check back after logging out.

So if the OP is not coming back on you’re the only person who answers it, it’s no longer an orphan but you’re the only one following it.

This is why so few people have the Oliver Twist award.

So yeah most of the time, you’re talking to yourself on those questions.

andrew's avatar

While I admire your enthusiasm, definitely stop. Responding to questions that you don’t know the answer isn’t really good for anyone.

lillycoyote's avatar

The orphans make me sad too. :) But it always seems to me that most of them are highly technical questions that I don’t understand let alone feel competent to answer, like “How to install an Itech Concept 2 mask to a CCM Vector helmet? ” Huh?

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

@andrew, I’m not just typing in responses for the sake of getting rid of orphans. I’m actually answering them with, what I think are good answers. Plus, you never know when they will return to fluther.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

Maybe I should just find orphans with users who have visited fluther in the past month. Maybe only do the ones in the first few pages, instead of working my way from the last page.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

Thats a part of the job I suppose. Even the tech questions, I search for the best possible answer or a link. I am really trying to help provide the best answer I can find.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

@lillycoyote Regarding the hockey helmet CCM… I think I took care of it. I would hate to think that this person has been playing hockey with no face guard on his helmet. Hopefully I provided a good enough answer.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

Update… just chomped off a few more pages of orphans. Got it down to 11 pages of orphans, used to be 15 or so. With all my researching for each answer, in a wide range of categories… my knowledge is growing at an absurdly fast rate. Watch out Ken Jennings!!

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

10 pages left. I must say, I’m a little offended by the 7 good answers given to Andrew. Clearly you aren’t reading my responses. Not to toot my own horn, but I am leaving some very GA’s with helpful links, if I do say so myself. So how about reading my answers & then judge. Also, I am doing this because if new members (or current) search for a topic & it happens to be an orphan, they will just ask it again. I’d rather have every question on this site have an answer partnered with it.

andrew's avatar

@rpmpseudonym I have looked at the answers—mostly they’re google searches that don’t necessarily answer the question—as is the case with some of the physics questions you’ve answered.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

@andrew Spirit is broken. I’ll leave the orphaned Q’s, A-less on a Q&A site. Yes, agreed that my past few answers have been google maps with locations, but look at my other 100+, I worked hard to find answers/very helpful links. Most of the links I provide contain an answer. Since a lot of the questions aren’t simple yes/no types. People wanted reviews on cars/products/programs & recommendations of similar things & instead off copy/pasting 4 pages of reviews, I sent them a link to read it. But questions on what to do about a weak wifi, or whether Epcot had certain breed of sharks or where to find a specific picture, or bluetooth headphones with mac, or binary groups, or get iodine stains off wood floors, or info in rosenblatt, or cost of togo, along with many, many others, I provided very specific/detailed answers that took me some time to find. So please be a little respectful for what I was doing.

Also, a lot of users who have stopped coming to fluther, left a sort of ‘new address’ to where they are now, in which I sent them a message, telling them I answered their old question. Maybe I will be able to get some old users back.

(this is not spoken in a sarcastic tone, so please don’t read it that way)
Apologies if answering questions to the best of my ability (what fluther is about) was upsetting you, but I just didn’t like the idea of a Q/A site with 15+pages of unanswered, 3–4 year old questions, it didn’t bode well for the site. Although, it’s not my site to run, so I’ll let you deal with it how you see fit. But in all honesty, if a question is 4 years old (& no current flutherite is even looking at orphans) & the original poster of the Q. hasn’t been on fluther since august of 2007, me leaving a helpful/possible answer of a link for if/when someone stumbles upon the question down the road, is not hurting anyone. So please don’t sound so pompous when writing back to me. I was doing what I thought was in the best interest of this site… which again, I know is your site, so upon your veiled request for me to stop, I will in deed, stop helping the orphans. – Sorry.

andrew's avatar

No no, I think your spirit is laudable—it’s just that we have enough of a problem with people giving answers to questions when they aren’t informed in the area.

I think giving researched answers is a great thing! But it seems as if you’re more trying to carve down the orphans for the achievement’s sake.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

@andrew, this is not meant to be argumentative, really, but rather speaking matter-of-factly, this site is based on achievements & the ‘lurve’ system. One including ‘Oliver Twist,’ answering an orphan. Now I know answering every orphan isn’t an achievement, or at least I don’t know, the last few awards have their ‘how to achieve’ status a secret :) So I guess I invented my own achievement & took it upon myself to answer all orphans. It started out as just meaningless goal achieving, but after a while, I really did want to answer every orphan with the best answer I could find. I enjoyed the searching & digging through sites.

I understand that taking an orphan away with a moderate/okay answer isn’t fair to someone who could have given it the perfect answer. I’ll still sift through the orphans, but I will only answer the ones I have an excellent answer for.


Also, I was wondering, I came across a lot of users that, when I click on their name, it brings me to an error page. Are these users completely erased? They are single question – one day visiting – no answers written- types. I was thinking that maybe you could delete their 1 time question. Since their profile doesn’t exist on this site, the many, many 1 time user questions are taking away from the orphans from users who are daily visitors & would benefit from having their questions answered. I don’t know if that’s something plausible with this site, but it’s something to consider.

-Thanks again for letting me know your standpoint on this. I’ll be more fastidious in my orphan choosing. Have a good day.

andrew's avatar

This is a good example:

While it technically does answer the question, it really doesn’t. It’s a referral to a european auto mechanic you found off google when the question asks for personal experience with a mechanic that deals with an american muscle car.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

I said I understood. let’s not belabor this. We’ve already beaten this horse that’s twice dead.

I’ll be wiser in my adoptions.

lillycoyote's avatar

@andrew His spirit is more than laudable, @rpmpseudonym is actually answering questions. With good answers.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

@lillycoyote, I say to you, a genuine & heartfelt, thank you!

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