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Can I answer my own questions, even those where I knew the answer before asking?

More of a suggestion then a question:

I was recently head deep in a problem, and just as I finished typing out my question I suddenly saw the answer. It seemed moot to actually go through with the post then write up the answer my own question.

Perhaps there should be an option on all the SE sites for "answer only" type posts. I envision a button on the edit page that would let you swap your question to this format. Sure I could have just answered my own question, but I had the brief concern that I would simply be adding noise to the site. A different post format is simpler, and I believe the option may get more people to start writing questions even if they think they know the answer (think rubbery-ducky debugging on the web).

More answers are always a good thing, I believe, and they could provoke just as much discussion as a question.

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marked as duplicate by Time Traveling Bobby, jadarnel27, Yi Jiang, Some Helpful Commenter, Yannis May 11 '12 at 14:57

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
I love rubber ducky debugging. –  jadarnel27 May 11 '12 at 14:02

1 Answer 1

I think this is a little bit of an edge case that doesn't happen often... Letting people post explanations about a problem they had along with how they solved that problem goes against the whole collaborative Q&A format that we have all grown to know and love. I do not feel that an additional format of posts is validated by these infrequent edge case scenarios.


If you really feel like your solution could assist future visitors to the site, then there are two suggestions I have for you -

  1. Find a similar (possible duplicate) question like the one you were about to ask. Chances are it exists already; All you have to do is dig deep enough. Once you find a suitable candidate make sure that no one else has posted a similar answer - we don't want duplicate answers for the same question.

  2. Post the question, wait the appropriate time until you are allowed to answer your own question and do it! Maybe you'll get an alternative answer that's even better than what you thought of. WIN!


I can't help but feel that this wanting to ask and answer your own questions is more suited for an article (in a blog perhaps) rather than in the SO Q&A format. We are all about collaboration here as opposed to be a collection of articles by users on different topics.

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You're totally right that it should be a blog entry and waiting an appropriate amount of time. The guy who posted this question answered his own question after only five minutes. He should really try and get a blog –  Some Helpful Commenter May 11 '12 at 14:28
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@SomeHelpfulCommenter Next you're going to suggest he should start his own Q&A website. Ridiculous. –  Bart May 11 '12 at 15:34

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