I recently came across that situation: I found out something useful while formulating the problem on Stackoverflow. Being half-way through, i figured out the solution and wanted to share my knowledge and decided to answer my own question directly - since i read in the blog that It’s OK to Ask and Answer Your Own Questions.

Here is my question + answer: Howto: Style a part of a single character with HTML/CSS overlays using any dynamic width (0 - 100%)

It got closed immediately. Isn't that just wrong? Or did i miss something?

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    It's OK to ask and answer your own question, provided your question is a good one. Your question is Can i style just a part of a single HTML character? For example an "X" which is half-way red and then black? and that's a question that should be closed as not a real question. – yannis Jun 21 '12 at 6:44
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    thanks to the answers here i improved the question – Alp Jun 21 '12 at 7:06
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    There should be an "improved question" badge for op's who are able to suck it up, swallow their pride, ask a great meta question, then edit and pull their dead question out of the gutter, dust it off, give it a new and improved look, and then reintroduce it back into the world in all its glory. These are some of the great moments on StackExchange. – jmort253 Jun 21 '12 at 7:16
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    seconded, i would totally wear it with pride! by the way it was really hard to accept an answer because both were equally helpful. – Alp Jun 21 '12 at 7:21

First, questions are never closed because the asker answered them. Instead, questions are closed when they're off topic, or not constructive polls where every answer is equally valid. They can also be closed for being overly broad, incomplete, and missing important details that are required to give a solid answer.

However, in this case, I'm really not 100% sure I would have voted to close this one. I find the question, and the solution, quite interesting.

My suggestion, if you want to reopen it, is to edit the question to maybe describe more about your problem. Why do you want to do this, what did you try before posting your answer. What research did you do beforehand.

Afterwards, flag it for moderator attention and explain, politely, that you feel you've addressed the reason for it being closed as "Not a real question" and then see what happens. Good luck!


After looking at the question again, you state in the question body on the StackOverflow post that you intend to answer it. One of the points in the article you link to is that, when answering your own question, you should pretend like you're on Jeopardy, the question should be the question. Pretend you're two people, Alp1 and Alp2. Alp1 asks the question, legitimately not knowing the solution, and Alp2 answers it, intending to help a fellow programmer. Try editing that part our of the question and then follow the rest of the advice here.

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  • thank you, i got the point. please take a look at the improved question – Alp Jun 21 '12 at 7:08
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    Nice work! It looks like your meta question attracted five 3000+ rep users who were able to vote to reopen your post. Well done! – jmort253 Jun 21 '12 at 7:11

The problem with your question is it identifies a problem but you don't provide any examples or attempts you tried before coming up with your solution. If you eliminate all the garbage surrounding your question, the physical body of your question comes down to:

Can i style just a part of a single HTML character? For example an "X" which is half-way red and then black?

By all normal standards on Stack Overflow, this would naturally be closed as not a real question. We do encourage you to ask and answer your own questions. The problem people are facing here is asking real questions. The question here is another basic "give me teh codez" question that happens to have an answer on it.

A good way to formulate a real question is to include details about the process you took to achieve that result. Mention things you tried that didn't work, etc, but modify them as if you were still having that problem at the time you were typing the question. I realize this can sometimes be difficult if it's an older problem that you faced long ago, or you don't remember some of the things you've tried, but just saying "Howto do this with this" as the question and then posting an answer along with it is not a road we want to go down.

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