I showed up here to write a perfectly normal rant about misaligned pixels, and there's a big fat checkbox cluttering up the "Ask" page, labeled:
Answer your own question – share your knowledge, Q&A-style
What is this?
Since Stack Overflow began, spontaneously sharing what you've learned by posting a question and immediately answering it has been allowed and even encouraged:
- if you have a question that you already know the answer to
- if you’d like to document it in public so others (including yourself) can find it later
- it is OK to ask, and answer, your own question on a relevant Stack Exchange site.
But as the number of people using Stack Overflow - and Stack Exchange - grows ever larger, self-answering as the "blog" portion of the not-quite-venn-diagram has repeatedly been ignored, disparaged, and simply forgotten. We've toyed with the idea of introducing wiki pages or articles as first-class citizens a few times, but always came back to the realization that... They've always been first-class citizens. Just quiet, well-behaved ones.
So we decided to bolt it right onto the Ask page.
We'll be watching this closely to see how it works, and whether or not it causes unexpected problems. Update: The rep threshold has been dropped to 15 and will stay there unless we find people are abusing it.
See also Encyclopedia Stack Exchange on the blog.
Just want to propose a small tweak:
Move the checkbox above the submit button
Why? Two reasons:
It's slightly better-- the option is seen even if the window isn't maximized. IMO, having more buttons after the submit button isn't that good an idea.
(This is the actual reason): You can play with the awesome fade feature better if the checkbox stays in one place.
I like it - answering your question at the same time as asking is going to save other people the time of answering (and possibly even reading) your question while not knowing that you already had an answer cooked up.
Here is a suggestion to go with this new feature when it is rolled out beyond the Meta-verse: you want to encourage new (competing) answers where appropriate on these instantly-self-answered* questions. I'm think possibly this can be a new badge, i.e. receiving [x] more upvotes than the marked self answer?
I'm thinking that we don't want to have these questions avoiding the technical scrutiny of the community, we don't want people posting theoretical question-answers where the answer is possibly not that technically accurate.
*Also known as Insta-Answers