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A user with low reputation posted a question on Game Development. He then found a solution himself, and edited his answer into the question. When suggested to not do that, and instead post the answer as a real answer, he say he couldn't due to his reputation and quoted the following error message:

Users with less than 10 reputation can't answer their own question for 8 hours after asking. You can answer 2/2/2014 12:33:45 AM. Until then please use comments, or edit your question instead.

This wording seems to convey the entirely wrong message: that it is acceptable to use comments or edits as replacements for answers when (for whatever reason) you are not allowed to post answers yet.

Ignoring the issue of the restriction on low-reputation self-answers (discussed elsewhere), why is this error message presented this way? It seems to suggest exactly the opposite behavior we want out of StackExchange. Further, the wording doesn't seem to actively discourage the posting of comments as answers, which is apparently the reason this reputation limit exists at all (per the above-linked meta topic).

Can this wording be adjusted to include more accurate guidance, such as "If you have follow-up information, please edit your post or use comments. If you have found an answer to your question, please wait until X and post the answer then," or something along those lines?

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marked as duplicate by Kate Gregory, ChrisF Feb 1 at 19:52

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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That's not the only place where we provide marginal advice. When questions are closed as duplicates, the message advises "If the answers on the duplicate don't fully address your question, then ask a new question." So now we have two duplicates, instead of just one (although, admittedly, this happens rarely). –  Robert Harvey Feb 1 at 19:04
1  
Fixed it for you: "Until then please use incognito mode." –  badp Feb 1 at 19:38

1 Answer 1

I would either hide or disable the Answer button entirely in this scenario, with only part of the existing notice in its place. I'd also humanize the time, rather than giving a raw timestamp:

Users with less than 10 reputation can't answer their own question for 8 hours after asking. You can answer your own question in 7 hours 59 minutes.

New users should also be encouraged to edit and improve their posts. I've noticed that a significant number don't even know that they can edit their posts. Or they have prior experience with forums, and think that editing here works the same way it does on a forum (forums generally do not "bump" edited posts; we always do).

To that end I would do something like highlighting the edit link the first few times a user visits a question they themselves wrote. For example:

share | edit | close | delete | flag
        You can edit your question to clarify it or add new information.
        Edited questions reappear on the home page.

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