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Quite often I go through pain to discover how to do something useful, in this case how to get PHP running on Google App Engine without the 'resin.jar too big' problem, but I have nowhere to let people know. In this particular case, the web answers were incomplete, outdated or plain wrong.

I could create a blog, but it's overkill. I just want let programmers know a quick solution/approach. I'm not sure it's the done thing to ask a question and then answer it.

In short, it'd be nice to be able to just dump a sort of combined question/answer/snippet, then let others comment as usual, shoot it down, like it, whatever.

How do the rest of you approach this?

Cheers,

Shane

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Feb 5 '11 at 8:02

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

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should be migrated to programmers.stackexchange.com –  CoolBeans Feb 5 '11 at 7:48
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This sort of posting (the one talked about, not this this which would better be on programmers, perhaps) -- "letting people know" -- is actually allowed under the FAQ; at least as it seems to be read. There are several such posts/answers on SO. Just make sure to phrase it as a question, with a reply. And if someone has a better answer, accept that ;-) –  pst Feb 5 '11 at 7:50
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This probably should have been migrated to Meta. Looks like the majority of voters disagreed with me, and it ended up here. I think the appropriate answer is the one pst provides: post a question on Stack Overflow, then provide an answer. A couple of questions there already deal with this issue: Should I ask a question I know the answer to? and Should I not answer my own questions?. –  Cody Gray Feb 5 '11 at 8:05
    
Which programmers do you want to talk to? All programmers everywhere? Your co-workers? StackOverflow? –  John Dibling Apr 28 at 11:07
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5 Answers 5

I could create a blog, but it's overkill.

It's actually the best option.

You will write whatever pleases you and nobody will bug you about "not-programming-related", "duplicate" etc.

Set up a simple blog (on your own domain), enable comments and get writing.

Will also help in polishing your writing skills.

Ah yes, and it will give you a bit of promotion, something positive as well.

UPDATE: In case you're worried nobody ever finds your tutorials on an unknown blog then that's what the Google is for.

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+1 for improving writing skills. Many developers overlook this and don't realize how important it is. –  jmort253 Feb 5 '11 at 8:10
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+1 for mentioning that no one will bug you about "not-programming-related" :). And yes it does help you to improve your writing/communication skills. –  Pradeep Feb 5 '11 at 8:17
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Actually, I disagree. Another random blog about some problem and solution is increasingly likely to be ignored, due to the fact that some many of them are overly specific, and often mediocre writing. Some place in the stack exchange family is much better, because it's more likely to get reviewed by someone in the know. –  Hack Saw Feb 5 '11 at 9:24
    
I think this is a good option. Even if no one ever reads it but you, having a blog is a good way to go back and find your own solutions to things. And chances are, at least a few other people will stumble onto your blog. –  Marcie Feb 5 '11 at 13:59
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+1 for the blog being a fine option. I came to this conclusion after observing how often plugging an error message (for example) into Google led me to a blog post from someone with the exact same problem and a solution to it that helped me. You don't even need to mess about with a domain, just set up an account on Blogger or somewhere. –  Carson63000 Feb 6 '11 at 6:53
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Stack Overflow is a good place to start. Ask a question, wait for others to offer some solutions and, if your version is better, answer your own question. This will let others in the community find your answer easily.

Another option is CodeProject. There's quite a lot of useful stuff there, including tutorials. I'd think this would also get your solution quite a lot of exposure.

Also, I'm not the biggest blog fan. Yes, they're nice, but they're hard to find; it's easier to remember searching for a question you once saw on Stack Overflow than it is to search for a random blog with 3-4 blog posts (harsh reality of blogs: most people stop blogging after a short while).

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I think the OP was asking about where to post his solutions to problems, not where he can ask questions. –  jmort253 Feb 5 '11 at 8:05
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@jmort Can't you post solutions on Stack OVerflow? You can ask a question and answer it yourself. And CodeProject is there for the same thing: post stuff that you think would be useful to others. –  alex Feb 5 '11 at 8:10
    
@jmort253, jeopardy.stackoverflow.com? –  user1249 Feb 5 '11 at 10:51
    
+1. Just check the "Answer your own question" box on the "Ask a question" page and you can do it on the same form. See blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/07/… –  tomfanning Mar 6 '13 at 21:53
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This is an excellent question and one that I've often struggled with myself. Keeping a blog up to date can be a massive undertaking; however, it's really one of the only ways I can think of to get information out.

One possible solution could be to link to the original content in your blog, and then describe the changes you made. Not having to repeat the entire process may be helpful to not only clarify the problem with the original set of instructions, but also you get the advantage of not having to write a novel.

You can also leave a comment on the original poster's blog linking to your solution, with links between both your blog and her/his, it might also have the added benefit of improving both websites' SEO.

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The wonderful thing about a blog which some people don't realise is that you aren't under some sort of obligation to post. Post as much, or as little as you wish to. I subscribe to several blogs that only get posted to as little as once per month. –  Matthew Scharley Feb 5 '11 at 8:32
    
If you want it to appear in search results, you do have to put effort into it, and the OP was asking how to get this information out to others. seotrainingsw.com/2010/12/seo-blog-tips all involve vigilance. –  jmort253 Feb 5 '11 at 9:06
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I used to post solutions that I discovered on PasteBin-type services, and shared the URLs (often via Twitter or IRC, depending upon the situation).

However, I've recently began to just dump bits and pieces into Google Docs for later reference, with the intention of creating blog posts based upon them - but a lot of content tends to languish there, due to either lack of time or terseness (i.e. I sometimes omit minor details, and later find that they're actually fairly critical).

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How about writing a blog. Whenever you solve a complicated problem or found out something useful you post it and everybody can find it. It is not overkill. there are lots of free blog providers and setting up a blog is easy. Use it as your personal notebook for solved problems.

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