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After someone asks a question, members of the community propose answers. Others vote on those answers. Very quickly, the answers with the most votes rise to the top. You don’t have to read through a lot of discussion to find the best answer.
Like topics on Wikipedia, questions and answers on Stack Exchange can be edited. If someone writes the beginning of a great answer, someone else can elaborate and make it even better.
The site is free and open to everyone. You don’t have to register, but if you do, you collect reputation points when people vote up your answers, which will appear next to your name.