I notice that a number of questions get taken and converted into generic questions and more often than not community wiki'd.

That in itself is a good thing.

However - I see it is often the same person that creates the question as provides the answer. I know that's not really a problem, but to the untutored eye it does look a little strange.

Would it not be better to have a 'generic question' or 'community wiki' user that these questions are owned by (maybe use UID -1 which is already a community user?) so that the person asking the question and the person providing the answer are different?

Let me give you an example:

What's this importance of datasheets?

In this stevenvh asks the question, answers the question, and even talks about himself in the third person (reminds me of "Bill Bailey would like the eggs of numbing inevitability...")

I know it's probably just me being picky, but there you go...

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I did edit the question, but I think steven was just taking the initiative. It was good to get it started and let others tweak the wording of the question which was far less important then the great answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jul 15 '11 at 10:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have any other examples? Steven posted that question based off of the meta post about it. Since he couldn't mark the question as CW it just took some time to get it marked as such. I can't personally remember there being any other examples of this that didn't get marked CW. \$\endgroup\$ – Kellenjb Jul 15 '11 at 14:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ By the way, CW questions don't gain the poster any rep. \$\endgroup\$ – Kellenjb Jul 15 '11 at 15:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kellenjb - I know! Sniff :-(. @Matt - Caesar also talked about himself in the 3rd person :-) \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jul 15 '11 at 16:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @stevenvh Caesar was a megalomaniac dictator. What does that make you? ;) \$\endgroup\$ – Majenko Jul 15 '11 at 17:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Matt - I know! Again time for therapy? :-) \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jul 15 '11 at 17:52

I agree answering your own questions might look strange, but it is encouraged on SE. It fits SE's wiki nature. On wikipedia, one and the same author might also start the article and provide answers about the topic's whats and whys. Even if the same person gets reputation for both the question and the answer, I think it's o.k. because it takes some time and effort to write a good question and an answer. Also, this is an invitation for others to chime in with even better answers.

We should not worry so much about reputation, and more about a good content-to-noise ratio.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't care a fig about the rep - only what new visitors to the site think when they see the same person asking and answering the question. \$\endgroup\$ – Majenko Jul 15 '11 at 11:40

This question was made Community Wiki by Kortuk, per the revision history:


We have provided some additional guidance at the blog:


TL;DR version

Most of the time, you should be asking yourself “How can I improve this post so that community wiki isn’t needed?” Community wiki is like a cheese knife: it is a specialized tool to be used sparingly, and only in very specific circumstances.

  • \$\begingroup\$ it was intended to give a single question that answers a very very common problem that in itself is not a great question but something we need a link for. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Aug 21 '11 at 20:27

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