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A requirement of 750 rep to edit community wiki posts seems too high. 750 rep will take weeks for most users to acquire. Even an extremely active user will take at least 4 days (at a max of 200 rep per day, neglecting bounties). A user who has invested the time to make it to 750 rep is probably on their way to earning the 2000 rep required to edit anyone's post.

As I see it, there are two options here:

  1. Lower the rep required to edit community wiki posts significantly (I'd suggest to 100), so that they really are Wikipedia-like (e.g. anyone can edit).
  2. Stop calling them "wiki", since they are nothing like Wikipedia, and come up with some new term which only implies that no rep is earned from the question ("unaccredited" or "unowned" or something).
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++Can't believe i missed this... Excellent suggestion, Kip! It's always bugged me that CW still locks out anyone who hasn't spent serious time on the site. You could have enough rep to up-vote it, down-vote it, or flag-delete it, but not correct a typo or add useful information. Makes a bit of a mockery of the whole "wiki" part, IMHO. –  Shog9 Jul 5 '09 at 2:37
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rep requirement reduced from 750 to 100 –  Jeff Atwood Jul 20 '09 at 0:36
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Thanks Jeff. So I guess there is still hope even after something has been tagged "status-declined". :) –  Kip Jul 20 '09 at 2:26
    
I hope this is an experiment? As the optimum value for various topics is between (225 - 475) (e.g. C# 225, Java 350, Gen. Discussions 475), IMHO –  kd304 Jul 20 '09 at 7:37
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@kd - how would you know the optimum numbers? and why would java's optimum number be 125 points higher than c#'s? your numbers seem just as arbitrary as 100 or 750 –  Kip Jul 20 '09 at 13:07
    
@Kip: Fair question. Based on my observation between the reputation value and answer quality within Java, and based on various discussions around here - according to god :) –  kd304 Jul 21 '09 at 6:09
    
I can't believe this still gets upvotes over a year after it was actually implemented... –  Kip Jul 30 '10 at 13:30
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5 Answers 5

up vote 21 down vote accepted

I would support both, actually.

A rep limit of 100 might be a little too low, but 250 would work nicely, I think. And changing the name from community wiki to simply community would be a good idea (especially since community posts are, by definition, not owned by an individual but by the entire community).

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I love the idea of calling them "community" or "community owned". –  Lawrence Dol Jul 9 '09 at 22:11
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I'd argue the "Community Wiki" option is entirely vestigial with the introduction of Meta. Certainly, it makes sense for some questions to revert to a non-reputation-gaining status. (Certain popular and broad-based questions rack up reputation for the asker until they get 30 answers.) But rather than choose to make a question "Community Wiki", it would be better to ask it here.

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Disagree - many kinds of questions would be totally offtopic here on meta (which is about SO and the other sites), but perfectly valid as CW questions on Stack Overflow; e.g. polls about software development tools, or whatever. –  Jonik Jun 30 '09 at 20:07
    
I agree polls should be non-reputation-gaining. But "community wiki" means several other things. And those other things serve no purpose for poll questions and answers. –  Jon Ericson Jul 1 '09 at 17:06
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I think in the early days here at meta, and I presume on SF and superuser to come, it is a challenge as there aren't really enough regular users with enough rep to help out the moderators. However, within a few weeks I would expect the system work acceptably.

Overall, I think 750 is a number that works well. For dedicated users it shouldn't take too long to get there as you mention. And I'm not sure it should be too easy for everyone to get there, as believe there are things you should learn about the community before you earn the keys to the kingdom, and earning rep is a way to show you've learned what is needed to respect the system that is in place.

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Your arguments against a low barrier to editing could be applied to Wikipedia, but it doesn't seem to be a big problem there. Edit history and rollback solve those problems by making it easy to spot and undo abuse. –  Kip Jun 30 '09 at 16:52
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Also, RE: "For dedicated users it shouldn't take too long to get there as you mention.": my point is that you shouldn't have to be a dedicated user to edit a wiki post--in my mind a wiki is something that just about anyone can edit. –  Kip Jun 30 '09 at 16:55
    
I think that's where our opinions differ, I view a wiki as something that is community edited, though the definition of community differs by implementation. Personally, I like SO's definition community when it comes to wiki; yes rollback is available, but I believe a higher rep restriction leads to fewer edit wars. –  Timothy Carter Jun 30 '09 at 17:10
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I disagree. I think 750 is something that indicates the user is trusted and invested, but it is high enough to exclude anyone who has just posted two or three answers/questions. Editing someone else's post (even a CW one) is still a responsibility and SO's Q & A environment means that the focus is more on answering questions rather than editing other peoples answers.

The whole purpose of rep is that with increased input comes increased power. The higher the barrier to entry, the fewer ill-meaning people you will get. If you make the edit cutoff 10k, you'll get VERY VERY few editors who deface questions, but you'll also have almost no editors.

There are a significant number of people with editing privileges, and I don't think they're falling behind, so I don't think we need to increase the number. And the CW posts specifically don't need thousands of people to be adding extra input. If they NEED to have their say, they can just add an answer or a comment.

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The difference between Stack Overflow and Wikipedia is that Stack Overflow still places the author's name next to a post and you can still earn badges for it, even with a community wiki post. Community Wiki mode is also often used to post content for which you still want to claim ownership, but not earn reputation points.

Stack Overflow just has a greater sense of ownership in general, and this does still include Community Wiki content. As such, it's only right that it maintain a higher standard for editors.

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so would you agree that "wiki" is a bad name for it? –  Kip Jul 16 '09 at 13:43
    
No: it's just a different kind of wiki. –  Joel Coehoorn Jul 16 '09 at 15:06
    
wiki doesn't mean, "anyone can edit" it means a more collaborative approach. Saying that "Community Wiki" is actually redundant as Wiki's are, by definition, edited by a community. Still I'm fine with the "Community Wiki" term. –  Nathan Koop Jul 16 '09 at 16:34
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