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On a couple of occasions, I've posted answers to my own questions, only to have them downvoted when other users found the answers to be too obvious.

Some users have even told me not to answer my own questions if the answer can be found easily, and criticized the apparent lack of effort that I've put into these questions (even when I've answered my own questions immediately after posting them, and put a reasonable amount of effort into the answers to my own questions.)

An example of one of these questions can be found here: this is one of a few occasions where my efforts to answer my own questions have attracted a lot of negative attention, for reasons that I still don't understand.

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marked as duplicate by Bo Persson, Anderson Green, Lance Roberts, Austin Henley, hims056 Mar 2 '13 at 20:51

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.

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I've noticed that questions are sometimes downvoted for not showing enough research effort even in cases where the user answers their own question - this seems a bit counter-intuitive to me. Why should users be punished for answering their own questions when their answers might be helpful to other users? –  Anderson Green Mar 2 '13 at 16:57
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I vote on questions before I read their answers. If the question doesn't show any prior research, I'll downvote it and then move on to read the answers (if any). And I'll certainly won't go back and change my vote if I find out there's a self answer, the question must stand on its own. –  Yannis Mar 2 '13 at 16:59
    
Perhaps they are not always that useful if nobody has ever asked that question before? –  Bo Persson Mar 2 '13 at 17:00
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Self-answering is certainly encouraged, provided that both the question and answer can stand up to the regular scrutiny. (Self-answering does not allow you to ask a poor question, so to say) That said, particularly if the question is obvious and the answer equally so, users seem to frown upon the self-answer. Some might think it's a simple rep-hunt. I can't judge this particular situation though, so it might not apply here. –  Bart Mar 2 '13 at 17:00
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I think the downvote to your answer is fair, because you forgot to close the table tag. Just that it is a bit annoying that the downvoter doesn't even comment on it. –  nhahtdh Mar 2 '13 at 17:02
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@BoPersson If that were the case, then none of the new questions on Stack Overflow would be considered useful. If all new questions were questions that people had asked before, they'd be considered redundant. –  Anderson Green Mar 2 '13 at 17:02
    
@nhahtdh I have since fixed that mistake. :) –  Anderson Green Mar 2 '13 at 17:05
    
@Anderson - It is different if you ask a question because you don't know the answer, and asking a question because you happen to have an answer. We have had situations earlier where people wrote FAQ answers, but couldn't find a single question needing the answer. That situation can easily result in a downvote or two. –  Bo Persson Mar 2 '13 at 17:06
    
@BoPersson I often post answers to my own questions when I anticipate that I will need an answer to the same question in the future - for example, I once posted a question asking whether it was possible to draw an element of a web page on an HTML canvas. It isn't a question that anyone has asked before, but I (and possibly others as well) might need an answer to that question in the future. –  Anderson Green Mar 2 '13 at 17:13
    
FWIW I think it was a fair question (assuming there isn't a duplicate somewhere). I think your requirements and the ensuing answer are simplistic; there is no support for thead/tbody/tfoot, no ability to specify class name(s) for the table, etc. Personally, I wouldn't upvote it or downvote it. –  Tim Medora Mar 2 '13 at 17:33
    
@BoPersson, other close voters - is this really a dupe? Both the title and the body suggest that the user knows that self-answering is permitted;the question appears to be as to whether relatively easy questions shouldn't be asked/self-answered. –  Jaydles Mar 2 '13 at 23:55

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

They should generally be fine.

The biggest problem with most questions deemed too simple (or "lazy"), assuming they're not dupes, is an effort imbalance - that your question seems to require a lot more of the answerer than you bothered to put into asking.

In this case, that's impossible. The question lacks "what I tried," etc., because that's going into your answer. And you're clearly not asking the answerer for too much; they're you.

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