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I've only posted one question so far on SO, and almost posted another. In both cases, I answered my own questions at least partially while writing it out. I credit the community and the process itself for making me think about the answer.

There's nothing explicit in what I'm writing that states quite obviously the answer I needed, but something about writing it down makes me think along extra lines of thought.

So instead of leaving the (sometimes dumb) question up for all to see and immediately answering it afterward, or just taking it right back down, in what way can I help or thank the community most? Is this commonly understood to be just the nature of the beast?

Edit: This is the "Rubber Duck" principle, although I didn't know what it was called when I wrote this. Thanks, Al.

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See also: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/60552/… –  Al E. Jan 13 '11 at 22:04
    
That's more in line with the answer I'm looking for, and good to know there's an actual term to describe it. Thanks! –  D.N. Jan 19 '11 at 14:55
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2 Answers

up vote 16 down vote accepted

The best thing you can do, is to become part of the community. Ask great questions and answer great questions of other people. The next best thing is to vote for questions and answers and accept the answer you liked the most.

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I am already trying to be an active member of the community. I have given several answers to questions since my recent account creation, of which I have given good thought to most. I try not to vote more times than I have answered questions out of my own personal etiquette rule. Good answer in general, but not quite what I'm looking for, I guess... –  D.N. Jan 13 '11 at 20:23
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@D.N. That's an interesting take on voting. However you may want to reconsider. There are incentives for voiting (like the 5 feature badges for voting) and this blog entry makes it clear that voting helps in its own way. –  Some Helpful Commenter Jan 13 '11 at 20:42
    
Ok, I'll take it. It makes the most sense anyway. :) –  D.N. Jan 21 '11 at 17:05
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Always fun to be the rubber duck sometimes. –  Toon Krijthe Jan 21 '11 at 19:02
    
@Gamecat - that's called "the scarecrow". –  Tom Teman Mar 14 '12 at 22:31
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You can also offer a bounty on any question -- remember that bounties are not tied to accepted answer.

http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/06/improvements-to-bounty-system/

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I'm not looking for traction on the question, more of how to handle the "rubber duck" style question (Thanks Al/Kristo) –  D.N. Jan 19 '11 at 14:58
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