I have found myself repeatedly answering 'R' questions that follow the formula "reshape your data like this, feed it into ggplot like this, look at this graph." There are some very good reasons why this question is being asked multiple times, the primary of which is the fact that while the 'ggplot' package's syntax is well-documented, its use is not.
'R' users frequently have trouble combining plots or convincing 'ggplot' to auto-grouping their data, and I don't mind answering the question multiple times. However, once the question is closed, all of this duplication waters down the ability to find a suitable answer on Stack Overflow, and we end up answering the question again.
I wonder if we can find a way of establishing a reference guide for certain topics that come up repeatedly and elevating that guide in Google/Bing/DuckDuckGo search results. I would love to help curate an ongoing reference page on the use of the 'ggplot' function using the questions and answers we have available on Stack Overflow. Once incorporated into the reference page, it would make sense for those answers to redirect to the reference page rather than the original question, so we could elevate a good set of answers for people to find that would provide a more complete and useful answer.
To make my criteria for a good solution more discrete, I will attempt to list them here along with the reasoning:
The set of good questions and answers should be clearly visible above the "noise" of similar questions and answers when using an internet search engine. Otherwise, internet searches lead to Stack Overflow without leading to a good answer and results in a new post of a similar question. Currently, if I search 'ggplot multiple plots' on Google or DuckDuckGo, a top result is a 1-year old question (Q: multiple graphs in one canvas using ggplot2) that is a rather uninformative question with a rather uninformative answer. No other Stack Overflow results appear on the first page of the search results.
The set of good questions and answers should be curated and well-explained to address the broader need of the community of users. In the case of R's 'ggplot2' package, many users ask about how to combine a set of data into a single plot when the answer is the use of the 'reshape2' package to make the data easily auto-grouped from within the 'ggplot' functions. The correct answer is not the direct answer to the question being asked.
The solution should reduce the "noise" of similar questions within Stack Overflow itself. We ask our users to search for similar questions before posting, but when I search 'ggplot multiple plots', I get 121 results that are all asking something very specific (but usually end up with very similar answers). If users don't quickly see a question that is an exact match, the result is a new post of a similar question.
There have been several suggestions in the comments and in an answer, and I will summarize what has been contributed so far:
Make minor edits to an existing question to make it more broadly applicable. This is a good suggestion if I can find a question that can be made broadly applicable with minor edits. If the appropriate question can be found, this addresses criterion 2. The problem is that the question will still be only one among a sea of similar questions and will not address criteria 1 and 3.
Add an entry in the tag wiki for 'ggplot'. This also addresses criterion 2 by allowing the entry to be completely customized to suit the needs. However, I have in my time never seen a search result link to a tag wiki, so this does not appear to address criteria 1 and 3.
Just look at the related questions at the side. This does not appear to address any of the criteria.
Write the "perfect" question and give a "perfect" answer. I like this idea, and this again addresses criterion 2. I could write a good, broadly applicable question with a solid canonical answer and get some others to participate on the question. I am unsure how this addresses criteria 1 and 3, though, since the answer would not be particularly elevated above the rest of the "noise."
Merge questions as exact duplicates. Unfortunately, the questions I am talking about are similar and not exact, so I don't think we should merge them. I still think we should address people's immediate and specific needs by answering the questions they ask. I am proposing adding a new layer of information to help build a reference of all the useful, related information to a common set of related problems, so we can write some good comprehensive answers that apply to a variety of related problems.
The solution that I picture is more like this:
There are several of us who typically answer the 'ggplot' questions, and we could be wrapping these questions into an larger reference to help people with the standard 'ggplot' problems. As subtly different questions emerge, we can answer them in the usual way but then roll the answer into the reference page. I would expect the reference page to also be elevated in both external and internal search results, so people see the reference page first before asking a question.