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It seems some think if an OP knows the answer to their own question, it should be closed as "Not a real question." I disagree.

Here is an example.

The OP posted some C# trivia. The question was clear. It was a little brain-teaser, yet here we are, closed because it's "not a real question."

This seems wrong and hasty to me. Surely the goal of SO is to share knowledge and have a little fun doing so -- judging questions based on whether the OP knows the answer already or not seems a little pedantic. Is this a step too far?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 16 down vote accepted

The following is more thought, and less a response to your specific example:

I too don't think questions should be closed simply because the OP knows the answer. Allowing people to ask question for which they already have an answer creates more potential for others to learn. I'm sure many of the big names at Stack Overflow could ask questions I would never think of, which would result in me learning things that I may have never learned before. In fact, this happened this morning, and I was floored by what I learned.

I'd love to see the community get behind questions, and not genuine problems. I see some people wonder why top-answerers don't often ask their own questions. Many times it's because they don't really have any problems. If the focus was shifted from "only ask questions for genuine problems" to "ask questions that help us grow," I think we'd see the general knowledge of the community flourish.

If the Skeets of Stack Overflow began pouring out their knowledge in the form of questions, we'd see some pretty astounding content, in my humble and unbiased opinion :)

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5  
Can't +1 this enough. –  John Rudy Feb 12 '10 at 16:40

Closing questions just because the OP knows the answer: good or bad?

From the FAQ:

It's also perfectly fine to ask and answer your own question, but pretend you're on Jeopardy: phrase it in the form of a question.

It's obvious from this direction that a question should NEVER be closed just because the OP knows the answer, regardless of whether he posts the answer himself or not. In fact I'll occasionally post a question I know the answer to without posting the answer to fill out gaps in SO's knowledgebase. I find that I often learn new things about the question beyond what I already knew. This is perfectly fine behavior on SO.

However, I don't see anything in your example that shows the OP knows the answer, or that it was closed because 5 people thought the OP knew the answer. Are you sure that is the reason for the close votes?

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It's on its way to being reopened. Currently 3 votes.

As to why some voted to close it, perhaps they just didn't like the "trivia" aspect. If code golf is valid, I don't see why this isn't, as long as it's limited-dosage. That second part is the most important part, though. Just as you don't see new code golf several times a day, or (I think? at least I don't) even every day, you shouldn't see new "trivia" type brainteasers such as this that frequently, either.

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I don't think that question should have been closed just because the OP knows the answer. As long as it's a valid question, it may help other people later on who don't know the answer.

I would think it was closed because of the fact that he phrased it like it was some kind of game. If he had left out the trivia bit and simply asked the question, it probably would have been fine. I don't see why labelling it as trivia was necessary.

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The problem with the question was that its formatting and layout was... lacking.

It was very unclear what the OP was asking by the format and lack of care taken in asking the question.

In the future, if the OP spends the time to make the question look better, it's far more likely to stay open.

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1  
That's no reason to close the question. That's a reason to edit the question. –  Jeff Yates Feb 12 '10 at 16:39
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Indeed, that's why I voted to re-open, and I edited it. It doesn't mean it isn't a reason why people close questions, however. –  George Stocker Feb 12 '10 at 16:43

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