I have used the websites of SO a lot the past few months because I am busy with a large scale web project. I feel I get better answers here on SO than when I just do a Google search, maybe because I can be more specific here with my problem, and the responses are really fast.

Occasionally when I am not working I try to answer some questions, but the question almost always has an answer which is 'as good as' or 'better' than the answer I would supply.

So my question/answer ratio is about 20/1 something, if not more. When I look at my profile page I see a bucket-load of questions and almost nothing I answered myself.

Is this considered bad behaviour? I can see that this looks a little egoistic.

Definition of egoistic: One devoted to one's own interests and advancement.

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    If no one had questions, there wouldn't be an SO site. Commented Apr 22, 2010 at 15:42
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    If no one had answers, there would be an SO site, but it would seem futile.
    – MPelletier
    Commented Apr 22, 2010 at 17:11
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    If no one had questions, it could only be because no one was programming computers, and there would be no SO, no internet to access it, and no computers to run it on. Commented Apr 24, 2010 at 22:08
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    Personally, I'd like to answer more questions, but for any new Question that I think I could answer, by the time I finish reading it, if I click the refresh button - it's already been answered. And better than I could have done. So it goes... :)
    – John C
    Commented Jun 17, 2010 at 14:20

4 Answers 4


I wouldn't say it is bad behavior or rude. You might not be contributing answers to the community, but you are indirectly contributing knowledge (provided your questions actually are getting answers).

Personally, I do my best to see if I can answer questions, but I find an equal amount of satisfaction in asking questions. This is a good place to ask questions, after all. As long as you are polite about everything, then it is a polite act.

Now, if you continually asked questions but never accepted answers or participated in anything, not even feedback... that would be rude.

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    Yes nice points made. I think it is important to provide some feedback to the user. I always upvote,downvote on my question and accept the one I liked the most. Also when there is an answer that is wrong I try to provide a short explanation why I think it is wrong. Commented Apr 22, 2010 at 15:12
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    That is like the height of good question-asking behavior, then.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Apr 22, 2010 at 15:15

Is it considered rude if you only ask Question but almost never answer one yourself?

No. If that were true then questions wouldn't have any rep associated with them. While the community values questions less than answers, the only way we increase our overall knowledge is when people ask questions.

So even those users who only contribute questions add value to the site.


You're not doing anything wrong.

There have been problem users in the past who asked an absurd number of low quality questions. You're clearly not in that category.

As far as being egotistical goes, because your questions (and their answers) are public, we can all learn from them. It's a great system. You ask questions to serve your own needs, and with no additional effort you are helping others at the same time.


The whole purpose of the SO sites is to ask questions and have them answered. Some people like answering lots of questions and get a high rep as a result. Whereas asking a lot of questions does not generate as much rep (certainly since the last recalc) - but is essential for people who want to answer.

Basically only asking questions is not bad behaviour, its simply one part of the symbiotic nature of questions and answers.

As an experienced question setter is likely to frame a question in a better way than a 1 rep newcomer I suppose that your questions are even more welcome.

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