Historically our beta site has discouraged self-answered questions.
The site has been running for 6 years (3 questions/day, 98% answered, 3 ½ answers/question, and very few questions are closed). The topic of the site can be a bit "subjective" (like Parenting, or amateur History), sometimes opinionated, and not entirely dry and technical like Stack Overflow.
We have discouraged self-answered questions -- because, as one of the moderators says,
I'm strongly opposed to giving green light to quasi-questions posted with the sole intent to share an opinion, an unsolicited teaching, rambling, philosophical musings etc. [...] self-answering [might be] utilized to take advantage of the SE platform to push unsolicited info at the audience [...] I'm not convinced we should greenlight a random newbie getting on the proverbial soap box [...]. How are we to decide who is allowed to get on the box and who's not? I suppose the main issue here is community self-moderation or rather the lack thereof.
My experience of other SE sites has been that self-answering isn't an important feature -- that the large majority of topics, and of the most upvoted answers, are all people answering other people's questions. So IMO if the community votes it wants to avoid people using self-answered questions to preach on the topic of their own choice (i.e. by posting a rhetorical question and self-answering), then that's fair enough -- i.e. it's not a huge diversion from SE's core mission as a Q&A site.
I'm aware that SE also usually encourages people to self-answer and hopes its sites may become like Wikis (which IMO is fair enough when the subject matter is like SO's).
My fear is that self-answered questions may be:
- Mostly summaries of or references to material already available online elsewhere
- A bit spammy (e.g. a summary of something on the OP's blog or YouTube channel)
- Someone might flood the site with unlimited self-answered topics
- It can be preachy -- users who disagree in their answers within one topic might use further self-answered questions to continue their disagreement into other topics
- People (or trolls) might post extremist, unorthodox, unwelcome, controversial views on topics of their own choosing.
Someone recently argued though that "experts" want to be able to post self-answered topics and won't frequent the site if they are not allowed to.
What's your experience (and on which site)?
Are self-answered topics a problem, a distinct category, difficult to control or to quality-control?
How do you (do you even) prevent people posting the kinds of low-quality or problematic content which I listed above)? What implements the prevention -- is it the community, the moderators, or some site-specific policies about what content is welcome?
Do self-answered questions seem a bit spammy sometimes? How to not be a spammer says,
Always solve the asker's problem. A good answer should at minimum allow the person whose question you're answering to solve their problem. Not all questions can be answered this way, but if you don't think you can write up a complete solution then you're better off looking for a different question.
... but a problem with self-answered questions is that there isn't even an asker -- the post is unsolicited, it's not cooperative like answering someone else's question.
Historically when someone posts a question in order to self-answer it, a moderator says, "That's not really conventional on this site, this is a Q&A site which is preferably for answering other people's questions".
So we've had little experience with allowing self-answered questions -- and having to quality-control or moderate them.
How does a site cope with the various kinds of problem listed above, without deprecating all self-answered questions categorically?