# Has it become too hard to write self-answered questions?

Recently I posted a self-answered question which I had been working on in the Sandbox for drafts of long, complex posts for $$2$$ months (August $$10^{th}$$ to October $$10^{th}$$), which underwent $$44$$ revisions before it was posted. I also vetted the answer in the logic room to make sure it was correct before posting.

Despite the effort involved the question still got closed, although I was able to get the question reopened by addressing the critical feedback in the comments. After it was reopened, $$4$$ downvotes were received between the question & answer within a short timeframe.

The process of learning new content to edit the question, asking for it to be reopened, and now this meta post has taken a lot of time. I also went to constructive feedback to ask for possible explanations regarding the downvotes, since no comments were left.

Should self answer questions really require this much involvement? I learnt a lot from writing this question and from the feedback I got, but the closure and downvotes were rather unwelcome and time consuming.

• The question is not closed. Two downvotes only for the question I see. – Aryadeva Oct 18 '20 at 4:58
• @Aryadeva In the $3^{rd}$ paragraph, I mentioned that the question was reopened. You were right about the downvotes on the question, I have changed it to refer to downvotes shared between the question and answer. – user400188 Oct 18 '20 at 6:00
• I see no evidence that your post is received negatively because it is self-answered. – Arctic Char Oct 18 '20 at 9:54
• @ArcticChar Can you think of any other reason why the question and answer were downvoted? Both votes appeared after the comments were addressed and it was reopened. – user400188 Oct 18 '20 at 10:20
• People downvote for all kinds of crazy reasons, or for no reason at all. If the downvoter doesn't give a reason, then we are reduced to pure speculation. – Gerry Myerson Oct 18 '20 at 11:42

The fact that your question was written to be answered by yourself is a red herring here, and has nothing to do with the reception of your question. The first thing you should be asking yourself is "Is my question a good question, per the site guidelines?" My first impression of the linked question—even in the current state—is that it doesn't really meet those standards. The original version of the question (barring the meta-commentary about the question being a self-answered question) reads:

Is it possible to name every object in every model of any first order theory? I would like this question to be answered using Tarskian semantics, where names refer to objects external to the logic.

What is actually required by way of context is likely somewhat opinion-based, but, at the very least, you should have defined what you meant by a "name" from the start. Personally, I would also appreciate a short précis describing Tarskian semantics (or, at least, a link to such), though I recognize that the target audience of this question probably already knows what the phrase means. Finally, I would like to see some indication as to why anyone should care. Why should we care whether or not every object can be named? What is the significance of Tarskian semantics in this question, rather than some other system?

So, again: my guess is that the poor reception of your question has nothing to do with the fact that it is self-answered, and everything to do with the fact that readers just don't think that the question is terribly interesting, well-motivated, or context-ified.

• This explains why the question was received poorly, but not the answer. That said I have taken your suggestions and edited the question to give a justification for using Tarskain semantics, linked to its definition, and given some brief motivation for the question. Please let me know if you think that this is (in)sufficient. – user400188 Oct 22 '20 at 4:19

Had the same problem before as well and I too made a similar meta post over here. What I understood is that most of the stack exchange wants the site to become a 'give help-get help' site with its reputation system rather than be a site which is a knowledge repository/ a treasury of mathematical ideas.

This is not a bad thing, you just have to use it the way the community wants it to be. As per the amount of hard work that you've put into the answer, I suggest you either write a personal blog post elsewhere or maybe publish your result in a paper if you are in the position too and the idea is big enough.

Hope this helps.

P.s: I do not intend to offend anyone here but this was my personal experience.

for OP: do not take this incident personally. There is a lot of other help/ use you can make of this site.

• I'm not sure this is the most important conclusion to make here. Both of these meta questions have relatively highly-voted (and in your case, even accepted) answers which make the case that the self-answered questions being referred to aren't very good questions. Contrast with something like this which is a self-answered question which does a much better job of fulfilling community standards about what a good question is and has been voted accordingly. – KReiser Oct 19 '20 at 21:15