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I asked a question yesterday that was about an issue I'm currently dealing with. I was going to apply the advice of some of the answers to the situation. For better or for worse, it's turned out that the problem might be moot, but I was planning to try to write up the results of whatever solutions I used, because it could help future users who might have similar situations.

In cases like this, where the asker of a question tries out advice and finds some sort of a result, how should they share this with the rest of the community? I have some ideas:

  • In comments below an answer, if they took the advice mainly from one answer.
  • In a self-answer, if the approach was different enough.
  • In a short edited section in the question body.

There are more options out there, I'd assume, but these are the three that come to my mind. Better ones would certainly be appreciated.

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I'm really not a fan of adding "what I did" to the question. It's not part of the question. It's a solution and belongs in the answers. So, that being said, option three is out.

Option 1 is good (along with accepting the answer) if you really did just use the advice from that question - assuming you can keep it brief.

If you went with a completely different solution or a combination of them, I'd go with option two, I'd write a self-answer and explain what you did and what the result was.

This is what I always encourage on Cooking as many users ask for help there and then either

  • Don't get an answer at all so they do some testing and come back with the results
  • They get an answer that isn't based on evidence and, upon testing, get a different result
  • They get an answer and it worked for them (so they post a comment on the answer and accept it).
  • 2
    Thanks for bringing the viewpoint from Seasoned Advice; I see that both sites involve answers that aren't that easy for the average person to test out (although more so here than there). For what it's worth, I'm not a fan of the editing-it-into-the-question idea, either. – HDE 226868 Jul 18 '17 at 21:48
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Well my first idea was just bad. Looking back I realized that just commenting on answers is really the best option you gave. You could even try just talking about how it worked in chat.

The comments is (get this) for commenting on the content. I believe that how it worked out is shown by a comment saying "This really helped out. This is what happened: blah blah blah" and accepting the most helpful answer also shows what worked.

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It's best to add it as an answer.

Real world experiences to a given situation (or something similar) are valuable information for all both now and in the future. All people with an interest in helping make a more complete answer should be encouraged to write up an answer. This is true in particular to the asker of the original question. If they have more and newer information to contribute then, by all means, please write it up as an answer -- just like anyone else. The intrinsic voting process will allow the most helpful information to float to the top.

None of these advantages built into the site would work for commenting and/or editing a question.

The disadvantage to editing a question with results -- apart from putting an answer into a question -- is that it circumvents that great processes outlined above.

The disadvantage to commenting is that they are supposed to be transitory remarks and are prone to removal. These too circumvent the neat processes above.

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    I think we mainly agree... except for the comments. I personally don't see there's a problem with someone saying "This is what I did and it worked really well for me"... If this is removed, the accept mark is still there... but unless they start aging out comments for some reason, I don't see why this would be deleted... or why it would be an issue if it were. Writing an answer saying "I used UserX's answer and it worked great" is likely only going to be greeted with downvotes. – Catija Jul 18 '17 at 22:27
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    @Catija Agreed. Comments of this nature would probably never be removed/migrated -- but they can be. Once an answer is posted that explains a result, others would be encouraged to comment with additional nuances and/or information. That would be optimum from my point of view. – John Jul 18 '17 at 22:33

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