While most questions on Biostar are requests for methods and advice, many of them are also related to usage and installation of software and databases.
In the last case, the first thing to do is, to my opinion, to ask the developers/maintainers of the software/database. Most of the time, the group is more than happy to answer the questions. I'm wondering in how many cases this has been done before to post a question on Biostar. I think this could be a "must do", and when no answer has been provided, it could be mentioned in the post. In addition, if an answer has been provided, Biostar users would sure be happy to know about it, so it may be posted together with the answer.
I believe such behavior may help:
- ensure the right people (the developers of the application/database) are asked first,
- help the Biostar community know about the best answer,
- keep track of the follow up provided by the databases and developers (by the way it may also be good to know for referees).
Any opinion about it?
I've tried to encourage other project teams to monitor this more actively, but it's not happening as much as I'd like. I think it would be good for them to be proactive like you are. A few times I've even taken questions from here and fed them to the appropriate developers but it hasn't been very satisfying.
Dual posting on any of StackExchange, BioStars, SEQanswers, or project specific mailing lists (unless cross referenced) annoys me for the exact same reason - duplicated effort for the community answering. I make a point of commenting about this when I notice.