I was about to post my first question on SO after much searching, but fortunately, just before doing so, I noticed an existing question about an issue that is very similar to what I am seeing. However, there is no really good answer to that question -- nothing I haven't tried already. (I sympathize with the frustration the questioner seems to have with some of the answers he has been given.) I don't have an answer myself, but I do have a little more information from my own experience that seems relevant -- maybe it will help someone to resolve the problem completely. Or maybe I can help clarify the original question.

Neither a new question, nor an answer to the existing question seem appropriate here. And, since I'm new, I can't post a comment. I tried searching meta-so for instructions on how to proceed. This was the closest thing I could find. But by my understanding, the situation described there does not match my current situation terribly well.

How should I proceed, if at all?

  • Other than waiting until you get up to 50 rep, I don't think there's anything else you can do. It's an unfortunate situation, but the rep requirement for comments is our best protection against a flood of spam comments (comments aren't peer reviewed as answers and questions are).
    – yannis
    Sep 3 '12 at 6:18
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    Seems like the Meta question you've linked to covers this: if the answers on the old question aren't solving your problem, then you can ask a new question which explains why. Include your new information, too. If it gets closed as a dupe, raise a mod flag or come back to Meta for a review of the closure.
    – jscs
    Sep 3 '12 at 6:22
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    @JoshCaswell The linked Meta question talks about "truly different" questions, I'm guessing the OP doesn't consider his/her question to be truly different and only has a few minor information to add to the existing one.
    – yannis
    Sep 3 '12 at 6:26
  • @YannisRizos: Oh, you're right. I skimmed that Meta question too quickly and assumed it was another. Trying to find a closer Meta match...
    – jscs
    Sep 3 '12 at 6:29
  • I think there are other Meta questions that also cover this, but here's one that agrees with my comment: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/88979/… This is a good one too: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/103809/…
    – jscs
    Sep 3 '12 at 6:31
  • If you are not planning on sticking around to first acquire the 50 rep then the only option open to you supply this additional information is to submit is an answer and hope it gets converted to a comment rather than out right deleted. This might have a negative effect on your account if you are planning on sticking around though as too many deleted answers can trigger a post ban. Sep 3 '12 at 6:47
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    Actually posting a new question and including a link to the existing one may be acceptable. It may get closed and later merged with the existing question, but since you highlighted the possible duplicate situation right from the start and since you can't do much else, I don't see why that would be a big problem.
    – jogojapan
    Sep 3 '12 at 6:59
  • @Yannis Rizos: Thank you for taking such care when reading my post. You are correct that, in my view, the act of asking a new/different question is quite distinct from that of adding additional information to an existing question. Sep 3 '12 at 23:37
  • @Josh Caswell: Thank you for providing interesting links. My feeling is that the first one doesn’t apply to my situation well (Although, perhaps that is because I don’t yet have a strong sense of how things are done around here.) But I think the second link you provided may be a better match to my situation than the one I provided originally. (Probably I missed it because title seems so unrelated to me). Still not ideal though. Sep 3 '12 at 23:40
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    It seems that the strongest advice coming out of this is to ask a new question, adding a link to the original. Unfortunately, I sense some uncertainty here, and since I do hope to “stick around,” I’m disinclined to take risks with my reputation. I’ll see if I can figure this out on my own. If successful, I’ll come back to post an answer to the original question. Sep 3 '12 at 23:42
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    @MartinSmith Answers that are not answers and are comments, but are by users who do not have enough rep are not converted to comments. Moderators aren't generally supposed to help people skirt around the 50 rep requirement.
    – casperOne
    Sep 4 '12 at 2:09
  • How were you able to find the original question? It has a really vague title, and the body of the question is not much better WRT issue identification.
    – user102937
    Sep 4 '12 at 2:22

You can post a new question, if you truly have a different question to post.

Posting follow-up questions or questions that may be related is entirely permissible on Stack Overflow.

However, if you're going to post a new question and you feel that there might be similarities to an existing question which you don't consider a duplicate, then I'd consider doing the following:

  • Link to the existing question which people think might be a dupe.
  • Indicate why your question isn't a duplicate of that question, what is it that separates your question out from the others?

If you can't do the two things mentioned above, then it's probably a good indicator that you shouldn't ask a new question and work on getting enough rep so you can comment to add information to the existing question (it's not hard).

  • Since some subjectivity will always be involved when deciding "question validity," I don’t imagine it’s possible to answer my question much better than this. Definitely helpful. Sep 5 '12 at 18:06
  • Not that I expect anyone to care about the remarks of a Newb, but it seems like this is one place where online collaboration falls short of the face to face kind. If I know someone stuck on a problem, and I have information, or an observation, that isn’t a solution, but feels like it may help spark one, it’s pretty easy to share the idea in person. I appreciate the need for filters, and respect the quality of the site, but I can think of a few ways it might be possible for SO to virtualize this kind of side conversation sans disruption. Sep 5 '12 at 18:16

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