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I'm pretty sure using the "answer your own question" feature of stackexchange is considered spam/abuse, but wanted to doublecheck. My situation:

  • I had a problem

  • I couldn't find a solution

  • I wrote a program to solve the problem

In some sense, this is the perfect "answer your own question" scenario (maybe someone else had the same problem), but it seems to conflict with "avoid self-advertising" rule.

Which rule prevails? (my guess is the "avoid self-advertising" rule)

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Why not answer with code instead of linking to a program? –  juergen d Aug 31 '13 at 20:47
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It really depends on the scope/size of your solution. If you can extract the key bits of code, rather than just linking to the answer this can be perfectly valid. –  hayd Aug 31 '13 at 20:48
    
possible duplicate of How do I mention my own products in answers? –  gnat Aug 31 '13 at 22:24
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I don't think this is a duplicate. In this case, I am both asking the question AND giving the answer. All the other posts I saw about this topic assumed someone else had asked the question. –  barrycarter Aug 31 '13 at 22:30
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@barrycarter I can actually see why it might be a dup as ultimately self-answers are not special, they are just posts with the same asker and answered. That being said, I don't think this should be closed as a dup since there isn't a post that explicitly addresses this situation. –  psubsee2003 Aug 31 '13 at 22:50

2 Answers 2

"Answer your own question" is actually encouraged (hence the fact that the feature is there).

However, there are some guidelines that you should take under consideration and follow, or you risk downvotes on either the answer, the question, or both.

  • Both the answer and the post need to be high quality and will be judged independently of each other by voters. That means your question can't just be "How do I do x" and the answer can't just be "I wrote this program to solve the problem."
  • The question needs to explain the problem in detail, including what you have tried, and examples of your attempts.
  • You need to provide a real answer, describing the solution, and possibly including some code. It can't just be an advertisement and a link to download the program.
  • And just like any other self promotion, you need to disclose your affiliation

And just an extra note, I have observed self answered posts judged more harshly than others by some members of the community, so you need to be extra vigilant on following the suggestions and making sure the post is a quality post.

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This is exactly correct: You cannot ask "How do I prepare cookies?" and then go with a detailed answer about preparing cookies. The question will be evaluated independently from the answer, as if a user just wrote the question without writing the answer. –  kiamlaluno Aug 31 '13 at 21:33

It depends how you post the answer.

If you post something like "see [link here] how to do it" then yes, that's pure self advertising on the verge of spam and will be deleted quickly.

However, if you post full concrete answer that stands by its own and just link to the full project site for more details, in my opinion it's totally acceptable.

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