I have a terminology question I'd love to get other users answers to, mainly to see if it changes from country to country.

I know the answer to it, but don't immediatly (if at all) want to answer it as it could come across a bit like rep farming.

What are the communities thoughts on answering our own questions? I understand say on stack overflow, it may be neccessary to answer your own question if you find an answer to it at a later date, to therefore help anyone who may suffer from the same problem. But on here?..

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Self-answered questions are very definitely encouraged on Stack Exchange. Just do it, people will vote your question and answer up as appropriate - if it's good, you get reputation, if it's not good, you don't.

Yeah, as Philip Kendall already pointed out, this is very much encouraged. For your goal, I'd suggest probably waiting a bit to post your own answer to give others a chance to give their own view without being impacted by yours, but as long as it's a good question for the site there is absolutely no problem with posting your own answers.

This is also how canonical questions work. Sometimes there are a lot of similar questions asked by people starting out that don't really understand the entirety of a concept so the questions kind of dance around the core issues. To avoid lots of semi-duplicates, a knowledgeable user can post a question that can cover all the related questions being asked and then also answer it themselves (and so can others). This ends up acting as a great resource for people because it covers a topic that is of general interest but most people who would be interested in it might not have the knowledge to form the question as well as someone with experience.

If you ever see a topic you think would be of general interest, would be a good fit for the site and hasn't been asked yet. Please feel free to make a question for it and answer it yourself to get it started. That's how the site is intended to work. It is a repository of information in Q/A format. Questions don't have to be asked to help the OP, they can be intended to help others.

I think some people answer their own questions as a way of giving back. If they are like me, they've benefitted a lot from someone else taking the time to answer their questions. Then if they spend hours trying to solve a problem for which there is no answer, and they come up with a solution, presenting and answering the question is a way of helping others and saying thank you for all the times they've have been helped. It takes time to write a question, write it well and answer it well. Why bother? Personally, I took the time because I felt it was the least I could do. What am I going to do with rep?

In sum, I generally see answering a good question as something done with altruistic motives.

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