Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

Sometimes on SO I ask a question and get an answer or two that are not correct but do actually help me a lot. I then realise from these answers that my question is missing a vital piece or information or is misleading.

I used to create a new, more concise and clear question incorporating what I have learnt but this usually gets marked as a duplicate and down voted.

Should I be modifying my original question even if it means changing a good majority of it (and thus degrading the usefulness of the current answers that helped me)?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you're expanding the existing question to provide further information, yes you should. It may invalidate answers, but if your question was vague enough that the answers didn't actually answer the question, then they were likely just guesses at what the problem was, and those users run the risk of those answers becoming useless once the OP finally updates the question. Better information is always helpful, and will help future visitors identify the problem so they know if it's the same issue they're having or not.

You should not, however, edit the question to completely change the direction of the question. Changing the focus of what you want or continually updating your code to include changes from the answers evolves the question into a different question, which is then unfair to those who took the time to write an answer to a legitimate question that later got changed.

Being more specific is not the same thing as flat-out altering the question. Issues like these are usually more case-by-case and the way you phrase this question makes it sound like you're changing quite a bit, but if your questions are getting closed as duplicates, then obviously users agree that the question wasn't changed enough to warrant another, separate question.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .