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Should I not answer my own questions?
Should I ask a question I know the answer to?

For instance, it occurred to me that the question "what's the difference between using 'sudo su - username' with and without a hyphen?" might be useful to others to have an answer to. Is it okay to ask it myself and then answer it myself, so as to include the answer to that (or any other) question on these sites. (I assume that one would be for superuser.)

It's possible that this question might already be answered on superuser.com, but that's not the point. Substitute any example question you want: is it okay to answer your own questions, and even to ask them with the purpose of answering them.

The only reason not to do this, that I can see, are that some might perceive it as "gaming the system" to get more points. But the reason for it is that it improves the supply of (hopefully) good questions and answers. And I think the points would still be fairly earned.

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marked as duplicate by mmyers, jmfsg, George Stocker, Lance Roberts, balpha Apr 27 '10 at 17:27

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.

Dupe of several questions, including meta.stackexchange.com/questions/12513/… –  Pops Apr 27 '10 at 16:45
Yes, it's ok to do so. See here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/12513/… –  Michael Kristofik Apr 27 '10 at 16:46
Short answer: Yes, and that's why there's a badge for doing it. –  mmyers Apr 27 '10 at 16:46
Also, you don't get rep points for answering your own question, so that's not an issue. –  Pops Apr 27 '10 at 16:46
Oh, one final comment: IANAR (I am not a rabbi) –  Pops Apr 27 '10 at 16:48
@Down, I believe you have to kill the rep in a certain way and drain it's blood first. I don't really remember. –  Earlz Apr 27 '10 at 17:13
@Pop To be more precise, you don't get +15 from being accepted or +2 from accepting the answer. –  mmyers Apr 27 '10 at 17:22
As long as it isn't during passover. –  ベレアー アダム Apr 27 '10 at 17:28
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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It is fine to ask a question you plan on answering.

Just give it 2 days (requirement to accept your own answer), and if someone gives a better answer than you would have, you probably want to choose theirs over yours.

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I would even go so far as to wait a day before posting my answer. –  AnonJr Apr 27 '10 at 17:20
@Anon, actually most of us recommend posting it immediately –  Lance Roberts Apr 27 '10 at 17:25
@Lance - Personally I'd wait at least a few hours. –  ChrisF Apr 27 '10 at 17:47
Waiting to answer depends on the situation, imo. If I think I have a good answer in hand I'll go ahead and post it immediately. If I have something that works but I'm hoping for something better, I'll wait to see what everyone else comes up with. –  Bill the Lizard Apr 27 '10 at 17:54
@Bill, agreed.. –  Lance Roberts Apr 27 '10 at 17:58
@Bill, @Lance, @ChrisF, et al: I'll grant that a day may be a bit long, but the point being that answering immediately may discourage others from submitting answers. And unless I'm 100% sure that I have a real kick-ass solution, I would think that waiting to see what other ideas are out there could yield some interesting results. YMMV. I'd have given a more nuanced comment earlier, except using the N1's on-screen keyborad in the doctor's office really sucks... –  AnonJr Apr 27 '10 at 20:30
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