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I am pretty sure this isn't a major issue. It's just something to talk about for us here on meta if we do have a spare few minutes. I think the problem is that there are many too localized questions but some of them could as well be duplicate of another. Not always but most of the time it's the matter of OP making the effort to dig and fish to match/get the answer...

I participate everyday and answer lots of questions on , , tags. It's noticeable that there are only a few (less than ~15) people who actively participate and read almost every question. Other SO users seem to ignore the Office related questions as they are not very popular and it's hard to get up votes on answers, not mentioning that most of the Office related questions are poor and need lots of effort from both the OP and the answerer to actually narrow each question to an answerable format. Therefore, it is often very difficult to get 5 close votes on a question. It does in fact happen once in a while but like I said it's quite rare.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought questions that have answers somewhere else can just be marked as duplicates. Votes expire after 7 days if there question didn't get 5 close votes. Like I said it's rare to see an office question closed as a duplicate. People rather answer those questions instead closing it - I don't care if it's for the up votes or just the matter of helping the OP but if the flag as duplicate reason exists why not make use of it?

So, for example, looking at this weeks questions I see multiple duplicate

all these are almost the same - find cell that matches another cell or condition then do something(ie. delete, highlight, etc)

if single cell value is found in a range then delete entire row
Remove entire row based on match?
How to delete a row if it contains a string?
How to find if a cell contains a substring Excel
How to highlight a cell in Excel using conditional if?
running an excel macro that compares selected cells
VBA EXCEL Replace whole string if text found in it?

My question is:

  • is it good or bad that people are not flagging questions as duplicate and prefer answering each time? Should we not worry about having many duplicates? Does it matter in terms of the quality and maintenance of SO?
share|improve this question
Related (was asked yesterday): What's the incentive to flag duplicates? – devnull Oct 10 '13 at 7:48
This is where the privileges via reputation thing tends to fall apart. It would be awesome if there were a group of community-minded individuals who would commit to helping cleanup certain tags every week or month by casting close votes, duplicate votes, etc. for the benefit of those of us who can't. I noticed the same issue in the Excel tag, but lack the rep to do more than throw them in the absurdly long close vote queue. So I pass. This may make me a bad person. – jmac Oct 10 '13 at 8:12
it doesn't make you a bad person I totally see your point. – user221081 Oct 10 '13 at 8:26
up vote 3 down vote accepted

is it good or bad that people are not flagging questions as duplicate and prefer answering each time?

it really not good to answer duplicate i would prefer close/flag as dup

Should we not worry about having many duplicates? Depends,

i think the shog9's strategy exactly we need to follow

Quoting form shog9's answer

  1. Leave duplicate questions that are significantly different in wording.
  2. Delete duplicate questions that:
    • Don't have links to the original and don't have good answers, or
    • Aren't valid questions to begin with.
  3. Request merging of valid, effectively-identical questions where both questions have good answers.

for more information on Handling Duplicate Questions

And bout quality yes it affect multiple exact duplicate really make hard to find the question(original) which have better answer(in most of case).

So its good to delete exact duplicate and keep dup which have different wording and shows research

and in case exact dup question have good answer than flag for merge will be helpful

share|improve this answer
+1 i like the link to Handling Duplicate Questions! how did I not see that before:) – user221081 Oct 10 '13 at 8:02

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