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According to beta stats for questions per day, we're going down to around half of the require amount (15 per day).

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If those stats does not meet the line, sites rarely comes out of beta according to my understanding and also seems there is a lot of sites with several hundred days stick in beta.

http://area51.stackexchange.com/?tab=beta

So, I think we can ask questions even we know the answer?

What do you think?

9

This is Jeff Atwood's answer at Stack Exchange blog

It’s OK to Ask and Answer Your Own Questions

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Yes, I think it's fine, as long as the questions are interesting. I think it's worse to saturate a site with dōdemo ii questions just to get the question count up. That may drive potential new users away faster than a handful of quality questions. If you want to attract new users, try to create interesting questions that people may type into a search engine.

You may even answer your own questions (after some courtesy period) if you wish (see FAQ).

Overall, if the site simply doesn't take off because of a lack of questions and/or interest, so be it. You can't make this site interesting in the long run by answering your own questions. There's also nothing wrong with being in beta. Try to get people you know (or don't know) to use the site. That's the better way to generate more activity.

  • Well i think one idea would be to through up more questions to get more people discovering the site via search engines. – Mark Hosang Jul 25 '11 at 8:57
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Yes - If you go back and listen to some of the original podcasts from when Stackoverflow was in development, there was the idea of being able to use the Q&A format as a way of keeping notes on what you have learned. So if you have a question that popped up in the course of your own education that you think others would find useful, you should post it along with the answer. While this might be a bit more practical on the software development side of things, it is part of the overall goal of the exchange.

4

I wouldn't worry about that number as much yet, since we're almost a third of the way through the initial period. If we can make the downward trend of visits/day level off, then the questions/day should take care of itself. I've already seen a lot of new users this week, here's to hoping they stick around.

If you look at the full site list, Japanese has more questions/day than the newer betas, with the exception of Gardening (which is a week newer and has less visits/day, so that question average will probably decrease in the next week). So the relative performance against sites open for just as long is pretty good. Even the performance against some of the older betas is pretty good.

We've also got a very active user base among the power users we do have. Our meta is pretty active and we're still getting questions with really good answers like this one.

3

Basically: what everybody says!

  1. Yes, there's nothing wrong with asking a question for which you know the answer. Though questions that are a full treatise on a topic followed by a micro-question on a sub-sub-sub-part of it are probably not OK. So if you ask the question, you have to be OK with the idea that you cannot provide the answer you know.

  2. It's still very early to judge. I personally think that a low rate of questions, with a high answer/question ratio (which we have) is much more preferable than the opposite. At least, we have some margin to improve and we should be able to handle more questions as they come. View count will certainly go up as existing questions start getting good ranking in search engines (although I think SNS referrals are much more promising to get quality contributors). And when view count goes up, so will new questions, eventually...

  3. As @Tsuyoshi points out: at the end of the day, raising the number of questions directly is not our problem. We should do our best to promote the site, encourage new users and foster a welcoming atmosphere that does not discourage new questions. But if despite all that, we cannot get the question count up (which I doubt), then we just shouldn't be out of beta.

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Why should we try to raise the number which no user cares? If we do not get out of beta because we do not get enough questions without conscious effort to raise the number, we should not get out of beta.

That said, it is fine to post a good question and its answer by yourself. If you post a question for which you know the answer, please also post the answer (there is a checkbox to answer your own question on the “Ask a Question” page), and do not pretend that you do not know the answer.

Needless to say, posting a bad question just to increase the number is bad, no matter whether you know its answer or not.

  • 1
    The question is only "fictional" if no one has ever wondered the answer. I think it's totally fine to ask a question one already knows the answer to in the interest of generating more activity on the community. Rather, the asker has the responsibility to make sure the question isn't trivial/silly. There are many things that I have learned that I wish someone had taught me sooner about Japanese; if I was more of a beginner browsing this site, I'd hope to stumble into those questions - whether the OP knew the answer or not. – makdad Jul 6 '11 at 23:53
  • @makdad: I am using “fictional” to refer to a question for which the asker knows the answer. If the asker is posting a question for the sake of putting it on the website, I would not like to spend a minute to answer it. Frankly speaking, my time can be better spent than that. I will be angry if I spend time to post an answer and later the asker says “Yeah, I knew the answer.” – Tsuyoshi Ito Jul 7 '11 at 0:52
  • If SE sites were only intended to ask each asker's question at the time they would not be kept for future reference. Questions are indeed asked and archives and made searchable by Google in the expectation that several or many people will eventually ask versions of many of the same questions. – hippietrail Jul 25 '11 at 12:44
  • 1
    @hippietrail: I doubt that a question which is not asked out of the asker’s own interest is useful for other people in the future. But even if it is, I do not want to spend a minute to answer such a question. It is dishonest to ask a question for which the asker knows the answer without stating so. – Tsuyoshi Ito Jul 25 '11 at 13:47
  • @Tsuyoshi: I disagree as it seems do the SE creators from the blog post. I think the asker chatting about whether they already found an answer or not before sharing the question just adds bloat for people that find it later. When I asked questions I already had an answer to on SE sites they were ones which genuinely baffled me in the past that I assumed others would also want to ask but answers were not easy to come by. In fact I only found SE because for months or years many programming questions I googled had this funny SE loogo and then one day I thought I should browse the site directly... – hippietrail Jul 25 '11 at 13:54
  • @hippietrail: The asker can post the answer by him/herself. No need for “chatting about whether they already found an answer or not before sharing the question.” Although I am happy to help an asker and possibly regular users, I am not at all interested in helping random future visitors who may not even exist. You may have different preference, but that does not change my preference. – Tsuyoshi Ito Jul 25 '11 at 14:46
  • Also there are often more than one answer. Or sometimes you think you've found an answer but are still unsatisfied. This definitely applies more to the programming type sites but I think sometimes here as well. But in the final analysis you often won't know whether some questioners knew the answers before asking. – hippietrail Jul 26 '11 at 6:06
  • @hippietrail: I am only repeating the same thing, but if the asker thinks he/she knows the answer, it is both pointless and dishonest to post the question hiding what he/she knows. – Tsuyoshi Ito Jul 29 '11 at 1:33
  • @makdad: would not a "for-discussion" tag be a step in the right direction for someone to ask a question they know the answer to but want some opinion or new insight on? – dotnetN00b Feb 21 '12 at 20:06
  • @hippietrail: look above. – dotnetN00b Feb 21 '12 at 20:06
  • @dotnetN00b: That would probably be considered a "meta tag". The Stack Exchange folks have thought about it and decided they don't like meta tags. You can read all about their views in this blog post from a year and a half ago: The Death of Meta Tags – hippietrail Feb 21 '12 at 20:14
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I think it's hard to write a good question when you already know the answer. Since you're not invested in getting a good answer, the question comes out sounding perfunctory and nonspecific, and I think people pick up on that and give perfunctory answers. Also, if you already understand a concept, you won't be asking the kind of clarifying questions in comments that turn a good answer into a great one.

If people here are running out of questions to ask, what if we found unanswered questions that other people on the internet have, repost them here with proper attribution, and then link the original poster to our site?

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