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Should I ask a question I know the answer to?

I had a problem that took much digging to find the answer to. Now I have found the answer, but I think it would help others to have the problem and the solution available on Stack Overflow.

What would be the right procedure to do this? Simply post the question, wait for anyone to answer, accept it if it is the right solution, or if there are no good answers then after X hours I post the answer I do know and accept it?


2 Answers 2


This is strongly encouraged: go for it! But I can offer a few procedural suggestions:

Compose both the question and answer before posting either. Then, post them both together. This way someone won't spend valuable time trying to help you figure out something you already know how to do.

Do not just accept your own answer right away. There are a lot of smart people on Stack Overflow, and you may find you attract an answer better than the one you had planned.

It used to be good etiquette to mark your answer (not the question) as community wiki, to avoid the appearance of begging rep and to make it easier for the community to do any cleanup of the stock answer, but I'm not sure this is still even possible.

  • Yes, you can definitely mark your own answer "community wiki" when you post it. But I'm not sure I agree this is necessarily "good etiquette". If your answer provides something useful to others, then you deserve the rep from those upvotes. I can't see anything wrong with that. Jul 8, 2011 at 13:31

Yes! This is very much encouraged.

From the FAQ:

It’s also perfectly fine to ask and answer your own question, as long as you pretend you’re on Jeopardy! — phrase it in the form of a question.

You already seem to know the most important thing: post it as a stand-alone question, and then post a separate answer containing the solution.

And don't worry too much about the specifics, i.e. how long you should wait between posting the question and posting your own answer. Some people have strong opinions about this, but in the end it honestly doesn't really matter. But I definitely recommend giving it a while before accepting your own answer, just to see if anyone else who comes along might have a better idea.

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