As a new discoverer of this site, I was pleasantly surprised as to what is around here. I'm trying to delve in and participate as much as I can, but (as noted in numerous other places) there aren't a lot of questions coming in here. So my question is, how much should we be asking and answering our own questions?

One answer I've found basically states that we should be doing this - one way to help build the site is to ask and answer a lot of questions to come up with, in essence, a Beer FAQ, so that when people go online to search, they start coming up with the site here.

So, is there a consensus around this? Should we be asking and answering our own questions (and, obviously, encouraging other people to provide answers)?

EDIT: And yes, I'm aware of the blog post about asking and answering our own questions. I just don't see a lot of people doing it, hence my question.

  • 2
    In addition to the information in Andrew's answer, the self-answer help center topic specifically encourages answering your own questions. There's even a checkbox when asking a question to make it easier.
    – Xander Mod
    Mar 4, 2016 at 15:17

1 Answer 1


Coincidentally, I asked kind of a similar question on Arqade just a few hours before, though, in my case, for the lack questions around a very specific topic, rather than the whole site. The moderator @badp replied:

The kind of question seeding we frown upon the hardest is the systematic one, as in a bunch of largely identical questions that differ slightly (e.g. asking "how can I obtain an X" for every item in an RPG). Either phrase the question more generally, or only ask for values of X that you actually are struggling/have struggled with.

I side with this advice myself. For example, asking the BTU range for an IPA, then for a double IPA, then for a Pale Ale, and so on in separate questions, would be suspect. Instead, I'd encourage either (1) asking generally in a manner that seeks to answers some central curiosity of all these questions, or (2) asking about one or two kinds of beer due to genuine interest.

An even better example is when we discussed brand- or region-specific questions on this site. Questions like "Where can I find <beer> in <location>?" aren't great questions to spawn for the sake of increasing questions—they're often too specialized to help any future visitor. But when someone asks because they're genuinely having trouble finding a beer (and we seem to get this often from people who go abroad and can't get their hands on a beer they used to get at home), then we welcome the question. @MonicaCellio pretty much sums it up:

Limiting it to questions people actually care about should mitigate the fear of flooding the site with trivial questions. On the other hand, barring all of them just because some could be abusive, with our current question rate, seems unwise.

All this may very well be obvious to you, so maybe I haven't provided much of an answer. So to answer in another way, I'd say this:

Go for it. Just use some discretion and common sense as you go along. If you're unsure about a post, then bump it to the bottom of your list and come back to it. If you're still unsure, try asking just the question and letting someone else respond, at least for 24 or 48 hours, before you self-answer. If your posts start looking a little spammy or gratuitous, @Xander and I will keep this conscientious meta post in mind, and let you know in a comment. If you get downvoted by others, you have this meta post to reference in defense (but perhaps the downvotes are also an objective indicator of how your questions sound to the community). In any case, the worst that can happen is you delete a few questions. I'm all for having more questions on the site.

Welcome to Beer.SE, and thank you for your desire to participate at this level!

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