I just realized that I can approve or reject post edits with this nifty tool (5k+ only). Using it, I've seen which types of edits are generally approved:
- Fixing English (e.g. spelling, punctuation, grammar, making things more idiomatic)
- Removing happy talk (e.g. salutations, greetings, pointless meandering)
- Tidying up formatting (e.g. adding code blocks, breaking up text into paragraphs)
- Fixing dead links and images
- Fixing tags
I think all of this is awesome. It's really great that posts by non-native speakers who put reams of text in one paragraph with broken links next to some unformatted code with five tags that aren't really relevant to the question are quickly tidied up by the community.
- Correcting factually erroneous or incomplete information
- Adding helpful information or code examples
- Fixing bad practices in the code
- ...anything that changes the meaning of the post
I can easily see the problems that could arise by allowing these types of edits. Even so, I think that most of the time, these edits are actually constructive, and having a mechanism to accomodate them would increase the quality of posts.
Currently, comments sort of fill this role. When there is something wrong with a post people will usually comment to say so. I'm usually grateful when people point this sort of thing out and will fix it most of the time.
What if people could suggest these sorts of edits and the poster could approve of them? That way, posts could be improved more directly.
Personally, I think it would be really neat if people were encouraged to enhance the actual content of my posts. They would get satisfaction from fixing the internet, and I would be happy to have other people make me look good. It would make editing more powerful and I think it would do a lot to encourage even more community effort.
Does this sound like a good idea?