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I am new here and I have a question. Can I just ask questions on this community or do I have to answer other peoples questions too? I feel awkward when I just ask but not being able to help anyone.

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marked as duplicate by hims056, Mat, Rory, Time Traveling Bobby, Martijn Pieters Mar 13 '13 at 11:49

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.

3  
How dare you ask this question on meta before answering another one? –  Joachim Sauer Mar 13 '13 at 11:20
    
    
@JoachimSauer I don't understand what you mean. –  DilbertFan Mar 13 '13 at 13:29
    
@user2154695: Well, if it were a problem to ask without answering, then this question would be a problem as well ;-) I'm sorry, I thought about adding "(this is a joke)", but decided against it, since the answers already clarified that it's perfectly ok to just ask. –  Joachim Sauer Mar 13 '13 at 13:44

5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

We need people asking good questions to be able to provide answers!

Ask away, all participation is voluntary and you do not have to answer any questions. Of course, if you see a question to which you have the answer, don't hold back either.

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OK, thanks. Sorry for the dublicate. –  DilbertFan Mar 13 '13 at 13:30

There is no such rule that you can only ask the question or only answer the question. Choice is always yours. If you are fresher to some topic then you can only ask the question and if you have mastering in another topic then you can contribute by answering other fresher's question.

After all StackOverflow is run by You.

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Asking good questions is a service to the community. I cannot demand that anyone do it, and I could probably ask more good questions myself. But if you are so inclined, then please, please ask good questions. Whether or not you are also making answers is irrelevant to the goodness of making good questions.

Writing good questions (and improving existing questions, if you consider that to be separate) is fundamentally a way to contribute positively. Writing good answers is great too, but please don't be reluctant to contribute in one way just because you have not yet done so in another. Asking questions before answering them--or even asking questions and never answering one--is perfectly fine.

It's possible to be a help vampire (related) but people who ask good, well-researched, well-maintained questions (see here, there, and more links) are fundamentally the opposite of a vampire (like Karin!). Good askers show how the art of creating questions is done, and consequently are even an active force against help vampirism.

(And whatever you do, please don't submit bad answers!)

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You can certainly only ask questions. Just make sure they are good, on-topic ones, that fit the scope of the FAQ.

Don't hesitate to answer a question if you know the answer to it though! Answering also gives more reputation points than asking!

Good luck, and happy asking!

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Before he teaches to other, any professor had to learn.

When you'll feel you can answer, because you know well enough both a technology and the SO site, then you'll pay the community back. That's just how life works.

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