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Is it good etiquette to propose one's own forum post as an answer? RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • While replying to someone else's question, would it be considered good etiquette to propose one's own post as an answer or would it seem like blowing your own trumpet? Of course, the criteria would be that the post should be answering the OP's query in some way.

    Please mark this reply as the answer or vote as helpful, as appropriate, to make it useful for other readers.
    Thanks!
    Aalam | Blog (http://aalamrangi.wordpress.com)

    • Moved by Naomi NModerator Sunday, March 31, 2013 1:52 AM Discussion not related to T-SQL
    Saturday, March 30, 2013 10:16 PM

All replies

  • My vote is no. Let someone else propose it.

    Kalman Toth Database & OLAP Architect sqlusa.com
    New Book / Kindle: SQL Programming & Database Design Using Microsoft SQL Server 2012


    • Edited by Kalman Toth Saturday, March 30, 2013 10:26 PM
    Saturday, March 30, 2013 10:25 PM
  • In my opinion, the only person who is in position to determine whether a post answers the question or not is the person who posted the question. No matter how could you think your own, my, Kalman's or someone else's answer is, you don't know if that answer the question that the poster really had.

    So the only time you can propose and mark a post as an answer is when you answer your own question.


    Erland Sommarskog, SQL Server MVP, esquel@sommarskog.se
    Saturday, March 30, 2013 11:10 PM
  • I vote "YES, YES!" because it answers the question. This is the goal of forums, why we waste billable time here.  We want answers! 

    A lot of times I will post links to my articles or reference my own books. I think the best way is to analyze the question and tell the poster what bad assumptions (if any) they made and what we needed to help them; "Why did you assume that it has to be done with a cursor?" and my favorite "WHERE IS THE DDL?"



    --CELKO-- Books in Celko Series for Morgan-Kaufmann Publishing: Analytics and OLAP in SQL / Data and Databases: Concepts in Practice Data / Measurements and Standards in SQL SQL for Smarties / SQL Programming Style / SQL Puzzles and Answers / Thinking in Sets / Trees and Hierarchies in SQL

    Sunday, March 31, 2013 1:36 AM
  • No, I think proposing own question is a bad taste. Proposing someone's else question is OK. BTW, I moved this thread to another forum and this question was discussed there few times.

    For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert. - Becker's Law


    My blog

    Sunday, March 31, 2013 1:54 AM
    Moderator
  • I agree with Naomi and others. If you provide what you think is the answer, that kind of implies that *you* feel it is the correct answer. If you shut up about it and someone else proposes your post as answer, that will give it more weight and make it more likely that the OP (and others) will take notice.

    So, in addition to it being questionable from an etiquette point of view, proposing one's own reply as answer is less effective for the OP.


    Al Dunbar -- remember to 'mark or propose as answer' or 'vote as helpful' as appropriate.

    Sunday, March 31, 2013 3:30 AM
  • So, in addition to it being questionable from an etiquette point of view, proposing one's own reply as answer is less effective for the OP.


    Hi Naomi, You moved it to a hidden place. It would have more beneficial to leave it in T-SQL.


    Kalman Toth Database & OLAP Architect sqlusa.com
    New Book / Kindle: SQL Programming & Database Design Using Microsoft SQL Server 2012

    Sunday, March 31, 2013 8:42 AM
  • It is not hidden - it's a good forum. And these kinds of topics are regular in this forum.

    For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert. - Becker's Law


    My blog

    Sunday, March 31, 2013 2:15 PM
    Moderator
  • I agree with the others that say we shouldn't propose our own posts as the answer.  Erland is right, that only the original poster should know which responses provide the ultimate solution.  perhaps the only exception would the times where we post a question...and then figure out the answer ourselves?


    - will

    Monday, April 1, 2013 11:32 PM
  • Erland is right, that only the original poster should know which responses provide the ultimate solution. 

    I am afraid that is not true. Frequently obvious that a  response is the correct answer given that the OP correctly formulated the question.

    MSDN forums provide two facilities for forum members to participate answer proposing:

    1. Vote as helpful (anonymous)

    2. Propose as answer

    Also, proposal is helpful for moderators/answerers to mark an abandoned thread.


    Kalman Toth Database & OLAP Architect sqlusa.com
    New Book / Kindle: Pass SQL Exam 70-461 & Job Interview: Programming SQL Server 2012



    Monday, April 1, 2013 11:54 PM
  • Surely not. I consider it to be a kind of self-adulation. Others than the OP may propose an answer, that is how the social part in forums works.
    Tuesday, April 2, 2013 7:32 AM
  • Let me clarify the issue since the question was misunderstood by a few contributors:

    "While replying to someone else's question, would it be considered good etiquette to propose one's own post as an answer or would it seem like blowing your own trumpet?"

    You can propose as answer your own post to someone else's question. Not good etiquette.

    Assume you really know that your post is the answer like in 2*2 = ? (4). Still not good etiquette.

    Let someone else propose it as answer or the OP ( original poster - questioner) mark it as answer.


    Kalman Toth Database & OLAP Architect sqlusa.com
    New Book / Kindle: Pass SQL Exam 70-461 & Job Interview: Programming SQL Server 2012

    Tuesday, April 2, 2013 3:38 PM
  • Here's a wiki article on this topic

    Whether or Not You Should Self Propose an Answer in an MSDN or TechNet Forum


    Regards, Santosh

    I do not represent the organisation I work for, all the opinions expressed here are my own.

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees and confers no rights.

    Whenever you see a helpful reply, click on Alternate Text Vote As Helpful & click on Alternate Text Mark As Answer if a post answers your question.


    Interview with a Wiki Ninja: Santosh Bhandarkar, Windows Server and Directory Service Expert

    Wednesday, April 3, 2013 5:31 AM
  • From the wiki article:

    >Reasons to self propose

    >1 - You want the asker to know that you're trying to answer the question. So you want your suggestion to be seriously considered and tried ASAP (versus having the asker not try it and keep getting frustrated).

    I doubt it works. The asker probably ignores the self-proposal. There is downside also: threads with proposed answer(s) get less attention than "virgin" threads.

    >2 - Nobody else is proposing your answer. You replied to try to answer it. Time has gone by, nobody proposed your answer, nobody replied to it and commented on it, and nobody marked it as an answer. Rather than feel like you wasted your time (and possibly give up on the forums), you propose it as an answer to try to get a moderator or the asker to notice it and thus mark it as the answer.

    This does not work either. When I am marking a thread for answer(s), I prefer proposal by someone else as a vote of confidence. Proposal by hi-point members & mvp-s carry a higher weight in my mind.

    >3 - You don't want to leave it unanswered. Similar to #2, you tried answering the question and nobody is proposing your answer, marking it as an answer, offering an additional answer, or offering more details about why your answer doesn't apply. The Asker has obviously moved on, and you don't want it in the list of unanswered questions when you obviously tried to answer it. So you mark it as a proposed answer so that you can focus on the questions that are still unanswered.

    Moderators/answerers are instructed to look for abandoned threads and try to mark it if possible at all. Self-proposal does carry some weight in this case, though it does not mean automatic answer mark.


    Kalman Toth Database & OLAP Architect sqlusa.com
    New Book / Kindle: Pass SQL Exam 70-461 & Job Interview: Programming SQL Server 2012


    • Edited by Kalman Toth Wednesday, April 3, 2013 7:46 AM
    Wednesday, April 3, 2013 7:42 AM
  • the wiki article contains some good, common-sense comments about this.

    As to what is possibly the most valid reason to consider self proposing (i.e. because you know your answer to be correct and to be just what the asker needs), I have two comments:

    1. does anyone really know what effect proposing (self or otherwise) has on the average asker?
    2. clicking on the propose as answer button does not provide a lot of evidence that the reply in question really is the answer.

    In my view, if you feel a response of yours actually is the answer, but that everyone seems to have missed its subtlety, it seems perfectly good etiquette to say so in an additional reply, in which you can further elucidate your reasoning for considering it to be the solution. It goes without saying that such a post should refrain from sarcasm or personal comments about "you stupid people out there". Three things may result from this approach:

    1. nothing happens. No agreement, no disagreement, no further discussion. Oh well, you've done your best, time to move on.
    2. additional discussion leads to the conclusion that it truly was the answer. Everyone wins.
    3. someone replies and gives an explanation as to why your contribution was not a correct answer. Everyone wins, but most of all you do.


    Al Dunbar -- remember to 'mark or propose as answer' or 'vote as helpful' as appropriate.

    Thursday, April 4, 2013 5:57 PM
  • I agree with your idea. I also consider self proposing to be a bad thing and lack of humility.

    For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert. - Becker's Law


    My blog

    Thursday, April 4, 2013 6:32 PM
    Moderator
  • From the wiki article....

    Reasons to not self propose

    1- You don't want others to not look at the question.

    This is a good one. Proposed thread loses interest.

    2 - You don't get Achievement credit and medals for it.

    This is also a good one. You get 5 points if someone else proposes your post.

    3 - The community doesn't really like it.

    Also a valid point.

    4 - You are the least objective person to judge whether your post is the answer.  

    That is not exactly true.  We are doing Computer Science not witchcraft. You know that 2 * 2 = ? is answered by 4. But then again, if it is obvious that your response is the answer, someone will pick it up sooner or later (this can be 10 days later).

    5 - You don't want too many proposed answers.

    Excellent point.


    Kalman Toth Database & OLAP Architect sqlusa.com
    New Book / Kindle: Pass SQL Exam 70-461 & Job Interview: Programming SQL Server 2012



    Thursday, April 4, 2013 8:16 PM
  • While replying to someone else's question, would it be considered good etiquette to propose one's own post as an answer or would it seem like blowing your own trumpet? Of course, the criteria would be that the post should be answering the OP's query in some way.

    Please mark this reply as the answer or vote as helpful, as appropriate, to make it useful for other readers.
    Thanks!
    Aalam | Blog (http://aalamrangi.wordpress.com)

    Alam, 

    I find it more blowing an own trumpet if somebody writes long sentences on every message (even not related to a question)  likewise.

    Please mark this reply as the answer or vote as helpful, as appropriate, to make it useful for other readers. 

    For me that is the same as proposing your own answer.

    I don't propose my answers, but sometimes I'm 100% sure and then it is a waste not to do it. But I avoid it because it gives so much discussion. 


    Success
    Cor

    Monday, April 22, 2013 6:30 PM
  • Kalman wrote:

    4 - You are the least objective person to judge whether your post is the answer.  

    That is not exactly true.  We are doing Computer Science not witchcraft. You know that 2 * 2 = ? is answered by 4. But then again, if it is obvious that your response is the answer, someone will pick it up sooner or later (this can be 10 days later).

    I disagree with the above. When your answer actually *is* the correct answer, you might indeed be a good one to judge. But when you happen to be in error (sorry, even computer scientists get things wrong from time to time) then you are woefully underqualified.

    And how many times is a question asked for which there can be no dispute as to the answer:

       Q: What is '2 * 2'
       A: 4

    quite often there are qualitative aspects to the situation, such as when someone asks which of three different (but valid) methods apply to a particular problem. The best "answer" to such a question usually comes following a discussion in which the relative merits of each approach is weighed by people of differing opinions.

    And sometimes it is the question itself whose actual meaning is either unclear, is somehow misunderstood, or which does not properly ask what it is that the OP actually wants. One example: "does anyone know what '2 * 2' is?" The answer to this is clearly "YES", however those who see through to the OP's underlying conundrum would restate a more reasonable version of the question and then answer it.

    Also there is more than one valid answer to the question "what is '2 * 2'?'": "'2 * 2' is an arithmetic expression involving the multiplication of a small integer by itself".


    Al Dunbar -- remember to 'mark or propose as answer' or 'vote as helpful' as appropriate.

    Monday, April 22, 2013 7:13 PM
  • I appreciate your view on signature phrases, Cor! It can be a subject for another interesting discussion!

    I want to thank all those who have shared their opinion! The bent is clearly towards not proposing one's own posts as answers!


    - Aalam | (Blog)

    Monday, April 22, 2013 11:17 PM
  • Another very important argument against self-propose is that it is a distraction for moderators. A thread that contains a self-proposal is an invitation to moderators to look at the response, and  see if it really answers the question. If people routinely self-propose, this creates a large number of false positives that waste the moderators time.

    IMHO, at the very least there should be a significant delay (a day or two perhaps), before one can self-propose a response. But really, I think we would be better off without self-propose, and even propose altogether.

    BTW, somebody mentioned that only the asker (and moderators) should be able to propose or mark an answer. In fact, askers cannot propose an answer -- we stamped that out a long time ago (surely the asker should know if a response is an answer).

    Actually there is one case where self-propose might be good -- self-propose by the asker. Very often, the asker will summarize (perhaps incorrectly) the responses, and then self-mark their response as answer. Here self-propose would be better, because a moderator can check if it really is an answer and/or transfer credit to whoever really did answer the question.


    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP

    Tuesday, April 30, 2013 11:41 AM


  • Although this is not a question thread, I see here persons telling some replies are the correct answers (telling it is the right answer by sentences like "Another very important argument against self-propose). So if they propose a reply as answer or somebody who wrote a reply themselves, what is the difference. An answer cannot be subjective. Like Al wrote 2 * 2 is 4. .  

    Be aware this discussion is completely subjective. Those who are against it are telling that like it is the truth not to self propose, ignoring all replies which are not like they want to see it. 

    The people who do that should never propose another persons replies as answer, they see it as a kind of political game. Then it is better that the ones who replies, proposes their replies as answer.

     


    Success
    Cor




    Tuesday, April 30, 2013 12:53 PM
  • When I am marking post for answers, self-proposed or proposal by low/no point member means extra work me to make sure that the post is really an answer.

    Kalman Toth Database & OLAP Architect sqlusa.com
    New Book / Kindle: Pass SQL Exam 70-461 & Job Interview: Programming SQL Server 2012

    Tuesday, April 30, 2013 2:49 PM
  • It may be better if self-proposing will be prohibited. I know one person who constantly proposes his own responses almost immediately. I dislike this practice very much.



    For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert. - Becker's Law


    My blog

    Tuesday, April 30, 2013 3:13 PM
    Moderator
  • I see here much followers of Cato the Elder

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carthago_delenda_est

    However, that does not mean they are right. What would the world have been now if Carthago, a country/city with a high Punic culture had longer exist then the destroying Rome culture of those days  based on aggression and killing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carthage


    Success
    Cor

    Wednesday, May 1, 2013 7:03 AM
  • I see here much followers of Cato the Elder

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carthago_delenda_est

    However, that does not mean they are right. What would the world have been now if Carthago, a country/city with a high Punic culture had longer exist then the destroying Rome culture of those days  based on aggression and killing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carthage


    Success
    Cor

    How can an MVP post a response like above?


    Kalman Toth Database & OLAP Architect sqlusa.com
    New Book / Kindle: Pass SQL Exam 70-461 & Job Interview: Programming SQL Server 2012

    Thursday, May 2, 2013 1:00 AM
  • I see here much followers of Cato the Elder

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carthago_delenda_est

    However, that does not mean they are right. What would the world have been now if Carthago, a country/city with a high Punic culture had longer exist then the destroying Rome culture of those days  based on aggression and killing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carthage


    Success
    Cor

    How can an MVP post a response like above?


    Kalman Toth Database & OLAP Architect sqlusa.com
    New Book / Kindle: Pass SQL Exam 70-461 & Job Interview: Programming SQL Server 2012

    Simply, evaluating what is written, gets a conclusion and type it in and add some good qualified references from reliable resources.

    Be aware I could also have posted this link. 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demagogue

    Moreover, you write in this discussion all the time messages in the style. 

    "How can it be the world is not flat?  

    The whole thread is filled with that kind of messages from you. I try to avoid that. Maybe is it because I'm used to reply with answers, and not with only demagogue replies in the style of a questions.

    If you think something is not right, then tell it, don't misuse known demagogue techniques. You know that only few who don't agree with you will reply. Then at the end you make a conclusion.

    To tell a secret in the same way like this thread. Kids come not from cabbage which was once the conclusion after a poll on an Californian kindergarten. 


    Success
    Cor

    Wednesday, May 15, 2013 7:53 AM
  • Well , if you are 100% sure that you can do that.

    Please mark the post as answer if it is helpfull to you

    Thursday, May 16, 2013 8:32 AM
  • Well , if you are 100% sure that you can do that.

    Please mark the post as answer if it is helpfull to you


    I might be 100% sure but I might be completely 100 % wrong as well. So, better leave it to OP, Moderator or other members to certify your answer, if others propose your post as an answer, then it will become 100% but again, not always though *Conditions apply ;-)

    Thanks ! Jayawardhane

    Thursday, May 16, 2013 8:55 AM