I'm a little low on rep to be throwing bounties around due to losing privileges, but I tend to find questions with similar/identical problems, which don't seem to give quite the solution I need (if there's an answer at all). I don't want to open a duplicate, but I also don't want to waltz around in someone's question changing things if that's all they meant to ask.

Specifically, regarding the title, is meta the right place to look for advice on how to change specific questions that I may feel need more attention? Such as linking to the question and asking what could be improved?

I don't believe my question to be a duplicate of this, since in my case I'm talking about other people's questions.

  • That post applies equally well to other peoples questions. – Martijn Pieters Mar 1 '13 at 19:50
  • @MartijnPieters There are other factors involved when you are not the question author, such as what the intent behind the original question was, whether you have the privilege to edit the question, how to provide an incentive to answer the question (you can't accept an answer) – user200500 Mar 1 '13 at 19:53
  • @MartijnPieters I was thinking about the "provid[ing] status and progress updates resulting from your own continued efforts to answer the question yourself", but I still feel like I'd be trying to take control of the question and possibly changing the intent. What if I'm looking in the wrong direction and warp the original meaning? Also, in hindsight, I wonder if asking for thousands of meta users to check up on some poor guy's question is really any better... – Hydronium Mar 1 '13 at 19:55
  • @Asad: you can suggest an edit if you don't have the reputation though. This is about promoting an older question, not about accepting answers. – Martijn Pieters Mar 1 '13 at 19:55
  • @MartijnPieters Wouldn't it make sense to get input before suggesting multiple edits that may all fail? – Hydronium Mar 1 '13 at 19:57
  • @Alex: You could also leave a comment to see if the original author is interested in attention or editing? – Martijn Pieters Mar 1 '13 at 19:58
  • @MartijnPieters True. I've already commented on of the answers, as I feel that person may have the information I need. I didn't want to comment the original with "Did this answer your question?" or something similar, because I felt it to be a little too much like prodding. Then again, your suggestion might be the best way to do it. – Hydronium Mar 1 '13 at 20:03

Sure, if you've found a question that needs editing and aren't certain what exactly to change, asking here would be fine. You should tag your Meta post with and link to it.

Be aware that Meta requires you to do your homework just as much as, if not more than, any other SE site. You should be prepared with specific proposals of changes, even if you're not sure they're correct. Looking around for similar questions on SO to see how they've been edited, as well as looking around on Meta for questions about fixing up questions will also help you to get a good reception.

It doesn't sound like you're entirely concerned with editing for quality, though, as opposed to bumping the question. If you can combine the two, then that's wonderful! If the edits you want to make are just adding your own information to the question, that's less accepted, for exactly the reasons you're worried about.

It can be okay to ask "followup" questions on Stack Overflow. You just need to be very very clear about having read, digested, and utilized all the information available on existing questions, and explaining why none of it worked for your problem. Then, your question is no longer a duplicate -- it's a whole new problem. This, again, is just part of "doing your homework".

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  • For the question I'm worried about I think I could manage to improve the quality. There's only line of text and two code snippets, though it manages to get to the point of the problem. Thanks for the input. – Hydronium Mar 1 '13 at 20:10
  • Kudos for wanting to help the site here! However, if the question you're talking about is the one about DataContext, where you left your most recent comment, then based on that comment it looks to me (granted, completely unfamiliar with the specific tech) like you've got enough of a new aspect to the problem to warrant a new question. To wit, something along the lines of "I ran into the same problem as this fellow and the answer there says X. X does fix it, but it shouldn't because A and B. What gives?" – jscs Mar 1 '13 at 20:18
  • I'll do some more searching before I decide to post, but you may be right. – Hydronium Mar 1 '13 at 20:41

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