I want to ask about Stack Overflow and asking questions. I have written several questions on Stack Overflow and in most cases I have received downvotes or the question just wasn't answered. Many of these questions also have very few views (5-10).

These questions generally come from issues I have had no luck finding an answer for through google, forums, or from my friends (who are also programmers). So I have written several questions with no answers.

Is there anyway to advertise a question?

Note: I do not have enough reputation to place a bounty so that is not an option.

  • 3
    You may want to reference specific questions when you make claims such as this; otherwise, you are just ranting with no substance to your argument.
    – Josh Mein
    Jul 2, 2013 at 20:01
  • 7
    What do you think StackOverflow is used for? It looks to me like you use it mostly as "help site", which it is not; it is a general knowledge site. Hopefully people do get helped as a result, but the point is not tech support - the point is to build a database of useful knowledge useful to other people. If your question is so specific as nobody else would ever want to know the answer, or the question is not asked in sufficient detail that someone could find it and the answer useful, then it's not a good fit.
    – Joe
    Jul 2, 2013 at 20:02
  • 2
    It's very easy to "advertise" a question. Just click the "share" link under the tags and you've got an URL you can send far and wide. For your convenience there are also links to quickly post to Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.
    – ale
    Jul 2, 2013 at 20:04
  • 6
    The reason you may feel so is because initially users come into StackOverflow with several assumptions that are usually not welcomed here such as: 1. It is like a forum. 2. Here we can ask people to help us out with our code (not unless you have done a significant portion of the code yourself) and 3. We can ask people to give their opinion on a particular tool/library (SO is primarily for specific problems and so these are not very useful). But I am just making assumptions because there are no actual links to look at. :)
    – Sai
    Jul 2, 2013 at 20:06
  • I said , if my question was easy , i would be found answer to my question on google or from my friends , etc. My question is more complex ( i think ) and it is not easy to find answer for this question , so that , i choose stackoverflow to ask question , but stackoverflow is also usefull for this question. Problem is that , in many questions , My questions wasn't answered. I dont think i can find answer my questions with sharing this questions , because , people in my circle don't know answers of this question (i know) Jul 2, 2013 at 20:12
  • 2
    I am sure that the SO community would like to change your opinion about SO. Hence if you share links to your questions, the community can give insights on the reasons they were not answered. Give it a chance and see for yourself.
    – Sai
    Jul 2, 2013 at 20:16
  • 3
    Unless you have several deleted questions, you only have 3 without answers. Two of which were not fit for stackoverflow (migrated/closed), and the other was just asked today. Please link to specific questions.
    – Josh Mein
    Jul 2, 2013 at 20:18
  • I cannot understand me , i don't want that SO change , i want to obtain advice for such situations , i question will not be answered what i must to do ? If i cannot find answer for my questions in stackoverflow , so this should be unusefull for me , shouldn't it ? Jul 2, 2013 at 20:20
  • 1
    If it's not answered, find the flaws. Is it not clear? Is it missing essential tags? Does the title invite people to read it, or will they have no clue what it's about?
    – Bart
    Jul 2, 2013 at 20:24
  • 1
    Your questions may not get viewed or answered based on how you are wording the question and what tags you use. Maybe you need to make some improvements to the questions. If you reference specific ones, maybe we can help you.
    – Josh Mein
    Jul 2, 2013 at 20:24
  • Looking at this question it is tagged fedora ,fuse, initrd. None of these are popular tags. With 206, 34 and 0 followers. Jul 2, 2013 at 20:26
  • Josh Mein, Please help me about this question. crypto.stackexchange.com/questions/6651/… I asked for my problem , this is not about any program , this is about cryptography protocols and there is not code for write to my question . I write in my questions , i want to make my own secured socket protocol (Not ssl) this is only for learning purposes . And i wrote in comments that i explained reasons for that , ssl protocol is more flexible for my situations. Jul 2, 2013 at 20:40
  • I cannot find any answer for my question, only i found downvotes , and one unusefull answer . (Dont make your own crypto) , this is advice for me , not learn cryptography, only learn how algoritms work , dont try to edit something , this is certainly that you will unsuccessful at this . Only God and NSA cryptographers can make crypto protocol :) What is wrong in my question , can you edit it ? Or can you say me How i should be ask this question ? Jul 2, 2013 at 20:41
  • 1
    @TalehIbrahimli That seems like an excellent question for the Crypto Meta. Present them with your question and ask them what the problem is and how you could improve it.
    – Bart
    Jul 2, 2013 at 20:42
  • 1
    Thank you guys for your advices Jul 2, 2013 at 20:52

6 Answers 6


Taking a quick glance at your questions, I see many questions, that are not bad, but not great either. I see two issues:

First, your grammar and writing style is not great. You are probably not a native speaker and that's not a problem, but it does mean that it's slightly harder to understand what you're asking. Adding even a slight hurdle to answering the questions can reduce the chance of getting help.

Second, and more importantly, some of the titles are bad! The title of the question is the thing that should catch someones attention. If the title doesn't get someones interest, then they probably don't even click through. And you want the attention of people who ask questions.

Let's review a few titles:

  • "Android SSL client certificate authentication": that sounds like someone isn't even able to read a basic SSL tutorial. When in reality you have the somewhat interesting goal of Generating a client certificate on an Android device. If you had used that bold part as a title, it would probably have gotten a lot more views (and an answer or two).
  • "Visual Studio Asp.net error": well, d'uh! There are thousands of those out there. Those who look for interesting problems to solve won't even glance at this one. (And adding the necessary information right from the start would be good too!)
  • Thank you for your advices. Jul 2, 2013 at 20:26
  • @TalehIbrahimli - Please take a look at the edits that I have done on your "Visual Studio Asp.net error" question. If you disagree with anything I've done in the editing, feel free to change it, but I feel like changes similar to this will improve the response on your questions. I put the error into text so that other people can find it, and read it more easily. I removed "filler" words, and clarified your question in place of "Any suggestions?".
    – KatieK
    Jul 2, 2013 at 21:55

It is useful for thousands of people. It is useful for me. It may not be for you.

You can make it more useful by looking at why you get downvotes, reading the about, help and ask pages, and writing good questions.

It is also worthwhile looking at the wide range of Stack Exchange sites and making sure you post on the most appropriate one.


From my experience the stackoverflow community doesn't randomly down vote questions. It's usually because questions are not written correctly and don't follow the guidelines. Read the about page to find out how you can improve your questions!

  • I don't randomly downvote questions. I randomly downvote answers!
    – Undo
    Jul 2, 2013 at 20:03
  • My problem is not about down votes. It is nice to me if stackoverflow community gives me -10 downvotes , but someone answer my question. I am not wonder about reputations. Problem is , why noone answers to my questions , and big problem is , why viewers of questions is not more than 10 user (normally ) :) Jul 2, 2013 at 20:16

Stack Overflow certainly is useful. There is a wide variety of users with different areas and levels of expertise. If you have a good question, I'd say you're almost guaranteed a decent answer and perhaps some additional comments.

It's a tricky beast however. Asking questions is difficult. Asking good quality questions (the type we like to see) is even harder. So if you're not entirely clear on what you want to ask, or even if you have difficulties formulating your questions, Stack Overflow might seem harsh from time to time. But it's not personal. All we're trying to do is protect the quality of the site. That's what brings in the users and letting it slip would cause harm.

So what can you do to improve your questions? You could read some of the excellent advice that is available at various locations. On our own site the Help Center contains a wealth of information. Take some time to read through the various topics on how to ask a good question. And then there's Jon Skeet's blog post on asking the perfect question.

And language counts as well. Is English not your first language? Then practice. Read some of the good questions and great answers. Read literature. Talk to people whose language skills are better than yours. Look at the edits of your posts that have been made by others. Try to understand why they did what they did. It will help you formulate your questions, which will in turn attract answers.

Is reading all that necessary? If you have a hard time getting positive responses to your questions, the answer is yes. Should you have a particularly difficult time understanding why a certain questions is downvoted, feel free to come to Meta. Give us a link to the question, tell us what you exactly don't understand about the voting by the community, and we'll gladly explain to you what the problem is. If you're genuinely willing to learn and understand, you'll find plenty of people here who will try to help you out.

Good luck.


It's extremely useful, as evidenced by it's popularity, but it pays to know how to use it. A well written question will not usually get downvoted (except perhaps on meta because voting on meta is different), and knowing what tags to use and how to phrase / format your question is vital to getting good answers.

You're welcome to post a link to your question on twitter, facebook, reddit, etc. In fact, it's done all the time, but no, Stack Overflow does not offer any way for you to adertise your question.

That being said, I have noticed that easier questions usually get a lot more attention (and sometimes votes) than more difficult questions, regardless of the relative merits of the questions themselves, but that's really just because there are more people in the community capable of answering them. The bounty system exists in part to attract attention to more difficult questions that may get lost in the noise.


Depending on what tag you are posting in, yes, you will get fewer views.

How can you advertise your question outside of a bounty? Well, not really. I guess you could put it on your blog or something, but you won't be able to advertise it here without >125 rep.

It could be that you simply need to improve your grammar, read the FAQ, the how-to-ask page, or the help center for more info about the site.

It's useful for me. If it's not useful for you, no one is keeping you here. We'd like for you to stay, though :)

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