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Hopefully this isn't too controversial, but issue that might occur with community wiki posts is that newer users with a low reputation might not want to answer the questions since they don't get any credit for them. As such, I would like to propose that a nominal amount of reputation be given for community wiki answers.

Currently, I am thinking something along the lines of the following only having the first up or down vote count and only one answer would count. Consider the following examples:

  1. User A posts an answer that goes to community wiki, they get twenty up votes on the answer, net reputation gained is 10 points.
  2. User B posts and answer that gets two up votes and one down vote, net reputation gained is 8 points.
  3. User C posts an answer that gets five votes then goes back and posts a second answer that gets 15 votes, net reputation gained is 10 points.

My justification for this suggestion is that I think it is in the spirit of the reputation system in that it shows how well you are trusted, likewise, it also encourages people to participate more even when their reputation is low. Additionally, I don't feel that it breaks the overall point of community wiki as only the first up and down vote counts towards the reputation. Thus, on "subjective" or "fun" questions with 100's of up votes to questions, the overall reputation impact is nominal. In short, enough that a newer user is encouraged to post, but not enough to propel someone into high reputation from a single post.

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up vote 11 down vote accepted


Nine times out of ten Community Wiki posts are made to make a post which otherwise generally would get immediately closed (and/or voted down to oblivion) and isn't of any real sensible value.

Attaching a rep reward to them (no matter how insignificant) is just adding a potential incentive for people to keep doing so.

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Care to expand upon that? – rjzii Aug 4 '09 at 13:47
Simple. When almost the entire purpose/usefulness of Community Wiki now is solely to keep people from earning rep, allowing them to earn rep makes it even more of a "why the hell do we have this?" feature. – TheTXI Aug 4 '09 at 13:48
Agreed. The purpose is to allow people to express opinion on controversial or subjective topics. We have already seen the result of these questions on user gaining reputation yet they haven't actually provided any real answers to any real questions. – BinaryMisfit Aug 4 '09 at 13:52
I took that into account which is why I was hesitant to even post this up; however, I also think that new users are going to avoid the community wiki questions because they don't earn reputation for them. 500 seems to be the point at which reputation actually starts to mean something so the nominal reputation could also be limited based upon how much reputation you have. – rjzii Aug 4 '09 at 13:52
Newer users generally aren't familiar enough with the system to even realize what is going on with Community Wiki, so I highly doubt that newer users are going to be avoiding the questions since they aren't cheap money pits of reputation. – TheTXI Aug 4 '09 at 13:56
@Rob: Even if newbies avoid cw questions: so what? These questions are not meaningful most times anyway as TheTXI pointed out. If they are ignored or deleted, no-one bothers. – Ladybug Killer Aug 4 '09 at 14:02
It isn't a loss if a user decides to avoid Wiki questions. – Ian Elliott Aug 4 '09 at 14:04
@TheTXI - True in regards to new users being generally unfamiliar with the system. – rjzii Aug 4 '09 at 14:16
@John - The community wiki questions being meaningless tends to depend upon the site, I can imagine with SU that we are going to see more of them than on SF or SO since there is a much wider user base. However, across the board I've seen some useful questions go community wiki fairly quickly (e.g. Hidden features of C#). – rjzii Aug 4 '09 at 14:18
yet one could make the argument that "Hidden Features of C#" is not an actual question that can have an actual answer, and is therefore not a real question and does not belong. To them that would mean that you are attempting to give rep (even if just a small amount) away for doing something which is not an acceptable (to them) use of the system. – TheTXI Aug 4 '09 at 14:25

the overall reputation impact is nominal

Exactly. It's so easy to come by 10 rep that I fail to see how it is an encouragement to answer CW questions. While I don't specifically disagree with your proposal, it seems like tinkering for the sake of tinkering. I don't perceive any real benefit from it.

Further, the fact that you want to apply the first downvote means that unpopular answers become slightly more discouraged, especially from new users who can't afford to lose rep the way I can.

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The impact is less with more reputation, but when you are a new user that still has less than 500 reputation, 10 points is a lot in the short term scheme of things. Also, I left the down vote there since I knew this was going to be an unpopular suggestion and if it wasn't there people would likely not even give it a second thought. – rjzii Aug 4 '09 at 14:15
10 points is a lot in the short term, but it's also already extremely easy to acquire. I just don't buy that new users -- who probably don't understand CW anyway -- are going to be wooed into answering CW questions by the potential lure of a single upvote. – Hilarious Comedy Pesto Aug 4 '09 at 14:24

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