I've noticed that some questions have cropped up that are answered by the asker immediately. A good example, and the one which led me to make this question is, What are the Benefits of having a Guild?

I'm not sure how I feel about this tactic. I know that the site wants to be up on google and adding these kinds of questions will draw people to the site. However I do think that it defeats the object as information like this, talking specifically about this question, is available in so many other places, especially such as the wiki.

I've noticed lots of questions like this recently, and it's putting me off wanting to contribute to the site. For me personally, I only post questions which I genuinely don't know or can't find out by looking, reading or searching.

With the introduction of hats, I also feel that this pushes this kind of activity, and that's fine, I guess. However with the strict steel fist rule on Arqade compared to a site like StackOverflow it seems to me that this should be addressed. Otherwise the site runs the risk of being run by and for a specific clique of people, which will stifle new users and put people off asking questions on the site.

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There are many people who feel the same way you do so you're not alone in your opinion, but ultimately Stack Exchange provide the tools to answer your own question and share your knowledge. –  user27134 Dec 20 '12 at 10:19
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100% in agreement with you. It almost just feels like rep-seeding. –  Rilgon Arcsinh Dec 20 '12 at 10:47
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This happened in the last hat-dash as well. If the tools are there people will use it. This being Arqade, everyone is familiar with grinding and will try to win as many hats as possible. –  ヴァイシャリ Dec 20 '12 at 14:36
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Reputation is not a competition. You are not harmed in any way by other people earning rep, and providing content for the site that is upvoted by other people is how you earn rep. If you have a better answer for the question, feel free to add it, you're probably more likely to get votes than the asker. But don't fault the asker for adding quality content to the site. –  bwarner Dec 22 '12 at 1:43

3 Answers 3

up vote 13 down vote accepted

There are a few reasons for answering you own question. Sometimes you've genuinely had a problem, asked for help on the site and eventually solved the problem yourself, so you post your solution.

Another example you'll have is you having a notable issue you've solved and wish to share the solution to help others, so you post both the question and the solution together.

In both cases, you assume posting the answer benefits other users on the site. You don't gain reputation for accepting you own answer. If other users on the site feel the question/answer is inappropriate, bad or off topic, they can choose to downvote or close it.

The bottom line is: the question & answer you've provided might be beneficial for other users and future visitors. It doesn't matter if it's available somewhere else on the internet or not.

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Sounds legit. I'll be sure to downvote questions in the future and leave a comment. –  DavidYell Dec 20 '12 at 11:42
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Here's an example of exactly what you're talking about. I had a problem in Borderlands 2, Googled it, dug through some forums, and finally found the answer after some non-trivial searching. I knew other people would run into it and so immediately posted question & answer. If people didn't find the question or answer useful, they wouldn't have voted it up. In short, it only works as rep-seeding if other people actually find the information useful, which is the entire point of StackExchange. –  Sterno Dec 21 '12 at 21:24

From the former big man himself:

To be crystal clear, it is not merely OK to ask and answer your own question, it is explicitly encouraged.

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What to do with video game questions

A Beginner's Guide


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The advanced guide takes into account "Is this question on-topic?" –  Steve V. Dec 21 '12 at 6:30
    
Where does "No" on that branch lead? –  kotekzot Dec 21 '12 at 20:00
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@kotekzot - Yahoo Answers. –  Steve V. Dec 21 '12 at 22:04
    
That's a little cruel. –  kotekzot Dec 22 '12 at 7:30
    
@kotekzot If you're looking for a less cruel version, the "No" could also lead to http://stackexchange.com/sites. –  Theodore Murdock Dec 25 '12 at 5:34
    
That said, if you're interested in a question that's not on topic anywhere, Yahoo Answers really is a site with almost zero moderator attention, and no way to flag questions as off topic. It sometimes feels as if off-topic questions were explicitly encouraged. –  Theodore Murdock Dec 25 '12 at 5:47

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