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I recall a time when the FAQ said something along the lines of "This is not a collaborative site..." but now the FAQ explicitly states "this site is collaboratively edited, like Wikipedia" (and I can't find the previous mention anymore). Has this term been re-evaluated for its definition on this site? Because both those statements are of course complete opposites. I personally agree with what it says now, because it is in fact true.

I'm just curious of any exact reason why this has changed (if it really did change or if my brain is failing me).

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@DaveNewton Out of interest, what do downvotes here mean? – Danny Beckett Feb 15 '13 at 0:38
@JerryDodge The downvote might be because your premise (the FAQ said something along the lines of "This is not a collaborative site...") is unverified. Other than that, the question seems to be somewhat trivial, since it is about whether a particular adjective does or does not apply to the site. – Asad Saeeduddin Feb 15 '13 at 0:40
@DannyBeckett A variety of things, depending on the question. For example, a feature request downvote means "do not want". For this question I imagine it could mean any number of things, but trying to guess the actual reason for the single downvote... out of my area of expertise, but perhaps "uninteresting", or "how could a site that encourages users to edit both Q&A not be collaborative", or...? – Dave Newton Feb 15 '13 at 0:40
Well how can it be verified if it no longer is there? – Jerry Dodge Feb 15 '13 at 0:40
@DaveNewton Thanks – Danny Beckett Feb 15 '13 at 0:42
@Asad There's a link to the FAQ at the top of every SE site, and it's one of the FAQ entries on Meta's. – Dave Newton Feb 15 '13 at 0:42
@JerryDodge Tried Or is there a revision history for the FAQ? – Danny Beckett Feb 15 '13 at 0:43
Actually yes and could not verify :( That's why I said "I recall a time..." and didn't say "There was a time..." – Jerry Dodge Feb 15 '13 at 0:45
I think I know where my confusion comes from, I'm pretty sure this is something that someone told me on SO once in comments. – Jerry Dodge Feb 15 '13 at 0:49
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I wasn't aware of that being in the FAQ. Questions are collaborative to the extent that others will help improve the presentation and grammar of your content, but the content itself will be solely your own.

A good illustration might be how Wikipedia collaborators are encouraged to start stubs, which accumulate content from other editors over time. By contrast, this is generally not encouraged on Stack Overflow. Here, your questions are expected to maintain a decent standard in terms of completeness, clarity and research effort from the outset. In fact, you are penalised if you post poor content, although others may choose to edit and improve minor flaws like formatting, grammar, readability etc.

There are of course exceptions to this, such as FAQ posts and the odd answer that is a community effort, but these are not the norm.

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