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I was recently investigating some statistics related to the music industry and came across some interesting information that I was not aware of (though I should have been). I started to post a question on H:SE asking for verification of what I found but further searches turned up some additional sources which verified what I had discovered. There happens to be a misconception in popular culture about this topic because the information reported by the industry is misleading.

I thought it would be interesting or fun for others if I posted a question on H:SE about it to allow others to research the topic as well and discover what I found, but since I know the answer it seemed disingenuous to do so.

Thoughts? Should I just file this away in the cobwebs of my own mind as a happy little fact that makes me smile? Or would posting something like this on H:SE be ok? I thought I would ask here before abandoning the idea. I trust the feedback I will receive here as being what's best for H:SE.

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Self-answered questions are fine on Stack Exchange, subject to the usual caveats about being on-topic for the site .etc.

You simply click the checkbox that says "Answer your own question" at the bottom of the Ask Question page:

Question and checkbox

Then just type in your answer, before submitting the question and answer together.


However, if you already know the answer, I would post it with your question (although by all means encourage others to research, and add further answers if they discover more).

Otherwise it may appear like you are posting "quiz" questions (which really haven't gone down well here in the past).

  • Right - that's the policy (which I had read) - but there is also a culture that transcends policy so I wanted to get a pulse from mods and members with rep as to what the culture accepts - thanks! – Kerry L Nov 15 '18 at 15:28
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    Actually though - I wasn't planning to post an answer, just he question - I was hoping others would find it fun to go research and discover it for themselves and post their answer(s) - one of which I would accept (if correct) :-) – Kerry L Nov 15 '18 at 15:32
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    @KerryL Speaking just for myself, my only question on History:SE so far was a self-answered one! ;-) – sempaiscuba Nov 15 '18 at 15:33
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    Just read your question / answer... :-) I don't think what I had in mind can compare on any level with that. – Kerry L Nov 16 '18 at 0:35
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Sempaiscuba is right that in general there's nothing wrong with doing this.

However, for me at least here on this site, I've had some practical problems with that in the past.

If you post the correct answer with the question, the problem is that there's no real point in anyone else posting an answer. From my POV as a poster, you knew what answer you wanted from go, and even if I think its wrong and have a much better one, most likely you're just going to stick with accepting your own, which will forever appear at the top. So there isn't much point in bothering to answer.

If you don't post the correct answer with the question, I can tell you from experience that other answerers here are maddeningly great at posting well-written answers that may get lots of upvotes, but don't much resemble your "right" answer.

I've done this myself in the past a few times, and have never been very satisfied with the results. The main problem is that other posters persistently post answers that in my mind weren't the Right Answer when I thought up the question. Exhibit A is this question I posted, which I finally had to answer myself after waiting 2 years.

Either way, its a lot like posting a job opening with a "preferred candidate". Ultimitely, it just doesn't seem fully fair to everyone else.

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    This is a great case study - thank you. It kind of underscores some of the doubts I had about pursuing this idea. Much food for thought, and a good example as well. – Kerry L Nov 16 '18 at 0:32

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