You have a problem, and you know of a few possible solutions. You are not sure if any of them solves your problem in the best way possible according to some objective standard you set.

Here is a least of possible ways to present these ideas:

  1. The first way is to list all the answers you think of in the body of your question. This question is an example of such method.

  2. Another method would be to create an answer for each possible solution. I am not sure how this would pan out. Ideally the correct answer would have to address issues with all possible answers and provide insight into the consequences of the solutions before deciding which is the best. Additionally, an answer would require input on why such a solution would be good or bad, and you cannot provide this since you are the one asking the question.

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    Crossposting is about as bad an idea as posting several partial answers to your own question. – user1228 Nov 21 '16 at 18:44
  • To be fair @Won't looks like OP posted here after being told MSO was the wrong place to ask, can't really complain about people listening to good advice. – Cai Nov 21 '16 at 18:50
  • @Cai Still crossposting. Nothing wrong moving the convo here, but OP should delete the one on meta.so. – user1228 Nov 21 '16 at 18:55
  • @Won't I don't disagree, no one told OP that though – Cai Nov 21 '16 at 18:58
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    @Tom you should delete your post on MSO – Cai Nov 21 '16 at 18:59

In most cases the options need to be in the question to keep it from being too broad or unanswerable. On Travel, people often ask the cheapest way to get from A to B. There are too many answers to that - for example walking is probably cheapest, but if it might take weeks or months to do so then the cost of food and lodging while walking means that perhaps hitchhiking is best, but then again if the asker doesn't want to hitchhike, then a bicycle might be good, but if they have a lot of luggage... people are having "fun" suggesting cheap options, none of which interest the person asking, and there are too many of them, and this is why the question is closed.

Take that same underlying wish and ask "Is the train between A and B significantly cheaper than flying?" or "Are there bus routes between A and B? What do they cost?" and you have an answerable question. So if you're trying to decide between two options, asking "what should I do?" and then hoping someone mentions the things you've thought of, or providing your own answers listing the things you've thought of, leaves a vague, broad, and hard to answer question. But asking specifically for more details about one of your options, or asking for differences between/among your options, makes for a crisper question that is easier to answer, easier to choose an accepted answer that's clearly right, and far less likely to be closed.

In other words: don't ask "what should I do?" That's unanswerable. Ask something smaller whose answer will (possibly combined with answers to other small questions) enable you to decide what to do.


Answers should stand on their own and not rely on previous answers. If your possible solutions are integral (or at all relevant) to answering the question then you should include them in the question. Other answers should be largely irrelevant to answering the question so expecting users to read and take other previous answers in to account when answering isn't going to work well. Referencing various answers as part of a question doesn't make much sense anyway.

If your possible solutions aren't integral to your question and you're simply interested in other options then self answering shouldn't be a problem, but it may decrease your chances of getting more answers and other users aren't necessarily going to take them in to account when answering... But that isn't the situation you're describing.

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