I have been using/contributing to StackExchange for about a year. I have thus seen what must be a common phenomenon: the same, or very similar, questions coming up again and again. I know there is already some effort to avoid this, but it seems to me the site is in danger of just sprawling ever outward into a vast splodge of information which rapidly becomes hard to find.
I am guessing that there are already ideas and tools to restrain this, but then my question is: what are they and how are they used (beyond just valient efforts by patient users to point out duplicates)? I don't find it obvious from just scanning the site and using it. In particular, is there a quick way to locate answers I know I have seen (e.g. ones I have written) based on some search terms or something like that? Would it be possible for there to be a greater automatic linking of questions, and discouragement of duplicates? Would it be possible for the information stored in all the question/answer pairs to be navigable in some more intelligent way? (At the moment it feels like a heap, or a set of heaps under each tag term).
I apologise in advance if this question demonstrates ignorance; but in that case the knowledge I should have had is, perhaps, not very clearly available in the way the site is presented to users.