I've gathered quite a nice amount of reputation on Stack Overflow answering questions about PHP, jQuery and stuff I know a lot about. I have recently started learning C# and WPF, and I am an utterly hopeless in all the new things I come across.

To help myself learn, I have tried asking questions at Stack Overflow to some very mundane questions I don't seem to find proper answers to elsewhere. The questions should be easy for someone who knows about the subject, and overall they should be in line with the site's policy. Still, I feel that I don't get that many good answers.

I have a feeling that my relatively large number of reputation (37k+) has a negative impact on the answers, as if having such a high amount of reputation means that I am an expert in what I am asking about, and as such scare away people with much less reputation that actually know a lot more about the particular subject than I do. It's like people think "this guy has a lot of reputation, he can't be asking questions this simple, so maybe it's more complicated than it looks and I shouldn't bother embarrassing myself!".

When I ask a very simple question, I usually get comments like "Just do X and Y". But I don't have any idea how to do even X or Y! Because of this, I am a bit hesitant to ask anything in the first place. This hasn't happened that much, but still enough to get me wondering.

Sometimes I feel I should create a new username with 0 reputation, just to let people know I really don't understand anything in this subject, and I need everything explained to me in a way that even a complete noob would understand.

Has anyone else noticed anything like this, or is this all just in my head? Is there a problem here or am I just asking the wrong questions? How could I communicate to potential answerers that I am a complete tool in this subject, even though my reputation says otherwise?

  • 7
    If anything, having a lot of rep encourages better answers. And at least people will think twice before dumping a load of snarky comments on your question. I'd say the issue is the simplicity of the questions. Simple questions call for simple answers. – Mysticial May 1 '13 at 15:37
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    Anecdotally, ive seen the same. Learning WPF with a huge amount of c# knowledge. Solution: Add a nice high bounty, a good use of my accumulated rep. Share the wealth! – Jamiec May 1 '13 at 15:40
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    Are you sure you're not just bad at asking questions? Answers are supposed to be useful to any reader, not just the poorly presumed guru who asked. – djechlin May 1 '13 at 15:41
  • I am trying to generalize my questions as much as I can, so that they might also help others. So yes, I'd think my questions are useful to any reader. – Tatu Ulmanen May 1 '13 at 15:42
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    It's hard to say without some specific questions. Can you pick out some specific questions that you asked where this happened? – Ryan Gates May 1 '13 at 15:53
  • I sometimes feel the same way :/ – Brian May 1 '13 at 17:26
  • Interestingly, my anecdotal experience is that people are more motivated to answer my questions. But then, I haven't tried to systematically learn something entirely new and asking about it on SO, yet. – Pekka May 1 '13 at 17:29
  • There was a proposal, somewhere, for displaying badge score in the tags used on a question, on the usercard instead of either reputation or the number of badges. I can't find it at the moment but it would partially address your concerns. – ben is uǝq backwards May 1 '13 at 18:56
  • P.S., I'm not enjoying the trend towards white-square gravatars... it's disconcerting. – ben is uǝq backwards May 1 '13 at 18:57

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