I keep seeing a strange pattern. A user on StackOverflow will post a question that has been asked before, but will ask it in a slightly different way such that a close-with-exact-duplicate is not appropriate.
So I'll answer the question, focusing on the differences, and referencing the related articles. No big deal.
But then within a relatively short period, a completely different person will ask almost the exact same question! Again, subtle differences, not exact dup. I get a bit of déjà vu - "wait, didn't I just answer that?"...
Checking out the two posters, they always appear to be different people. Not only do they have different usernames, but they write with different grammatical styles, misspellings, etc.
The only thing they appear to have in common is usually a very low rep (1 to 50), and few details in their profiles. Sometimes they are completely new, but often they have been a member for two or three years. (Who does that? 31 rep after 3 years? Really??)
- Average time from a list of start end times in linq to sql
- Using LINQ to do some calculations on the current and the next object
So while they are slightly different, both involve differencing C#
DateTime objects and evaluating
TimeSpans in LINQ. Nothing wrong with either post that would deserve a moderator flag, but I could swear that these posters could be twins. Perhaps this is a bad example, since they are posted 4 days apart. But many, many times I see this just a few hours apart.
Is it just me? Do I have double vision? Perhaps I'm going crazy. (And yes, that's a valid answer, if you want to take this question from a psychological point of view.)
Anyone else have this experience? It happens to me at least once every other week.
- These are co-workers (or students in the same class) trying to solve the same problem and both jumping on StackOverflow at similar times.
- Selection bias, since I follow particular tags closely.
- It's completely coincidental.
- I'm seeing patterns in the chaos that aren't really there.
- I'm seeing patterns in the chaos because they DO exist!
- I'm loosing my mind and these are the early warning signs.
Can anyone shed some insight as to which of these theories might be more plausible than others and why?
Is this anything to worry about from the perspective of improving the quality of questions on the site?